65 Brilliant Kitchen Organization Ideas That Actually Work, We Promise

best kitchen organizing ideas - hang pots and cooking tools above the stove

Karen Emile / Milk and Honey Life / Instagram

If you only have time to organize one room in the house, make it the kitchen. We gathered simple tricks and tools to make organizing the kitchen a little easier. And dare we say fun, too.

Your kitchen is usually the busiest room, even if it's located in the corner of a studio apartment, and a little organization can make cooking much faster and more pleasant. Whether you're a Marie Kondo protégé or you can barely keep your spice rack in line, we've rounded up a few ideas to inspire you to get organized.

Keep scrolling for ingenious hacks and organizing ideas that actually work, regardless of the size of your kitchen.

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Organize Your Baking Tools

Drawer with baking tools

Breathing Room Organization + Styling

If you're a baker, you can easily shave time off that cookie recipe if you can access every scoop, tablespoon, or measuring cup you could ever need without digging around a messy drawer. Consider organizing your drawers based on the frequency of use, and add dividers to give every tool has its own space.

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Ditch the Boxes

Pantry with organizing

Breathing Room Organization + Styling

Cardboard boxes are bulky and take up too much space in the kitchen. Clean up your kitchen by tossing them out and transferring your pantry staples to clear glass or plastic containers. It will keep your food fresher longer, and it's prettier to look at.

Cereal containers
OXO Good Grips Pop Cereal Dispensers $50
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Use Clear Storage in the Fridge

Fridge with clear storage containers

Breathing Room Organization + Styling

If your refrigerator is a disaster zone, this idea is for you. Invest in a few clear containers. Your food will be organized and you'll easily see where everything is located for easy access

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Repurpose a Nook

Nook with spices

At Lucy's House / Instagram

If you have a small kitchen without a pantry, fear not. Consider repurposing a small, unused nook as a shallow pantry. Keep it organized with matching containers if it's visible, or cover it up with a curtain or door.

No nooks or crannies? If your wall is deep enough, you can even add a shallow cabinet or pantry within a wall.

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Create a Caffeine Drawer

Drawer with coffee in it

 Breathing Room Organization + Styling

If you recreate this caffeine drawer, you'll definitely thank yourself come 7:00 a.m. Fill a spare drawer with coffee pods, tea, and sugar so you can get your daily fix without digging around before sunrise.

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Use Risers for Your Counter

Kitchen with white accessories

amparo_lasnubes / Instagram

Short on storage in a small kitchen? Invest in a few counter risers. It will double the available counter space without taking up the coveted prep area. Look for white or natural wood to blend in with your countertops.

white and wood rack
West Elm Yamazaki Tosca Wood-Top Stackable Kitchen Rack $33
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Try Deep Bins in the Pantry

Pantry with bins

Breathing Room Organization + Styling

A deep pantry sounds nice in theory, but if it's difficult to access the back of your shelves, it's unlikely you'll ever see or use what's back there. Instead, invest in deep baskets or bins that that can be slid in and out so you don't waste any pantry space.

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Organize That Junk Drawer

Organized junk drawer

Neat Method Santa Barbara

We all have it—the infamous junk drawer that holds way too much stuff and is impossible to sift through. Instead of getting rid of the junk drawer, add dividers to the space. It will help you find exactly what you need, when you need it.

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Label Everything

Pantry with clear containers

Breathing Room Organization + Styling

Whether you go old school with a label maker or you simply write on your containers, it's time to get serious with labeling. Keep track of everything in your pantry and cabinets by creating an easy-to-follow label system the whole family can follow.

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Use Pegboard

Kitchen with pegboard

Joanna  J Westwood / Instagram

There are few things more versatile than a pegboard. This wonderful coffee station idea is proof that a pegboard may be the most practical organizational tool for the kitchen. Hang mugs on pegs and add open shelving for containers.

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Organize Your Utility Space

Under sink storage

Breathing Room Organization + Styling

Keep your kitchen cleaner with a well-stocked and well-organized utility closet. Use baskets or bins to keep like products together and easy to access. When you can see everything easily, you'll know when you're running low on important cleaning tools.

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Try Glass Candy Jars

Jars with bars in them

Breathing Room Organization + Styling

Give your kitchen a vintage feel with clear glass candy jars. Fill them up with energy bars, fruit snacks, and more for easy access with a cute retro touch. Bonus points if you add labels.

Biscotti Jar
Williams Sonoma Biscotti Jar $12
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Use Open Weave Baskets

Pantry with white baskets

Breathing Room Organization + Styling

Baskets are great, but you want to be able to see everything in your pantry. Instead of woven baskets, pick options with an open weave so you don't block your view into the baskets' contents.

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Create a Custom Pantry

Pantry with baskets and containers

Joanna Organize / Instagram

For a truly stylish storage option, consider splurging on a custom pantry. A professional can help you get set up a with a system that works for you.

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Hang Pans and Cooking Tools

best kitchen organizing ideas - hang pots and cooking tools above the stove

Karen Emile / Milk and Honey Life / Instagram

Low on cabinet space? Install racks or rods to hang your pans and other cooking tools on empty wall space. It provies easy access to tools you use frequently without using up precious cabinet space.

Add hooks to the bars so you can hang your lids right next to their matching pot or pan.

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Use Your Doors

Cabinet with shelves on the door

Laura Cattano Organizational Design

Don't neglect that space behind your cabinet door. Add shallow shelves to the inside of your door so you can store extra spices and use up every inch of available space. Or use small hooks to hang small utensils.

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Invest in Adjustable Shelves

Pans on a silver shelf

Laura Cattano Organizational Design

If you have a roomy kitchen but you're short on cabinetry, think like the pros. A stainless steel rack is a great option for storing pots and pans and can be easily adjusted to fit your exact measurements.

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Store Those Water Bottles

Drawer with water bottles

Mika Perry

Don't forget your water bottles need love too. Instead of tossing them on your counter (or in every bag you own), dedicate drawer space to your bottles and their matching lids. That makes it easier to grab and go before your next workout.

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Use Cabinets for Food

Cabinet with labels

Mika Perry

If you don't have a pantry, organize your cabinets with your most-used staples within arm's reach. We suggest only using your upper cabinets for food storage, allowing you to easily see everything you have.

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Fold Those Tea Towels

Drawer with tea towels

Mika Perry

Dedicate a drawer or two to your tea towels and fancy napkins to keep them wrinkle-free and easy to grab when you need them. We recommend folding them accordion-style, so you can easily see how many you have.

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Create Zones

Well organized pantry

Mika Perry

A well-organized pantry focuses on zones. Pair likewise foods together (i.e. baking supplies, noodles, etc) so you always know where each item is (or at least where to find it).

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Add a Chalkboard

Chalkboard on a door

Mika Perry

Not only is a chalkboard aesthetically pleasing, but it can help keep your kitchen organized. Add one to the outside of your fridge or on the back of a door you can keep track of weekly dinners, chores, and more.

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Create Calm

Drawer with essential oils

Mika Perry

Kitchens can be oases too. This essential oil drawer is the exact inspiration we need to invest in a little self-care—and set up a diffuser in our kitchen to make cooking a little more pleasant.

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Use Gift Tags for Labels

Baskets with labels on them

Mika Perry

Instead of printing out labels, use removable gift tags to label your baskets and bins. This makes it easy to swap them out or move them around when you run out of something or need to change it up.

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Organize Your Cleaning Supplies

Organization with cleaning supplies

Neat By Meg

Save time on your next deep clean by keeping your cleaning supplies in order. Arrange them by purpose and use bins to keep them separate and neatly arranged.

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Create a Party Drawer

Drawer with napkins in it

Neat By Meg

If you love to entertain, consider dedicating a drawer to all of your favorite party supplies. Fancy napkins, placemats, or name tags should always be within arm's reach if you entertain frequently.

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Assemble a DIY Pantry

Pantry made from hanging shelves

Neat By Meg

If your place doesn't have a built-in pantry, consider making your own. Transform a mudroom or hallway into a pantry with DIY shelving units that can be customized to fit your space.

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Use Dividers Everywhere

Drawer with cooking tools

Neat By Meg

Do you sense a running theme? Every one of your drawers should have a divider in it to maximize every inch of usable space. You will thank us later.

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Create "To Go" Drawers

Drawers with meals

Neat By Meg

If you have an active family, organizing baskets filled with pre-set meals or snacks is a great way to create a "grab-and-go" station. Add soups, mac and cheese, or other easy-to-make items for the whole family.

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Invest in Lazy Susans

Pantry with lazy susans

Neat By Meg

If you don't already use them, it's time to get familiar with lazy Susans. Whether in your fridge, pantry, or cabinet, a lazy Susan can give you access to those hard-to-reach spaces.

Clear lazy susan
The Container Store The Home Edit 2-Tier Lazy Susan $26
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Create a Serving Drawer

Drawer with utensils

Neat By Meg

Get those utensils off of your counter by creating their own space in a tall drawer or cabinet. Place serving spoons, forks, and knives in a narrow, tall drawer for easy access.

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Embrace the Command Strip

Kitchen cabinet with pot holders hanging

Neat By Meg

From hanging pictures to hanging oven mitts, a Command Hanging Strip is a workhorse in any kitchen. Use them behind the cabinet door for extra storage that's easy to access.

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Stop the Tupperware Pile

Tupperware in a cabinet

Neat By Meg

Never have drawers filled with mismatched Tupperware again. Always keep your Tupperware paired with its lid so you never spend time searching around for a match.

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Take Knives Off the Counter

Drawer with knives

Neat By Meg

If your knives are taking up precious counter space, a knife organizer for a drawer can be a great way to store expensive knives.

Williams Sonoma In-Drawer 7-Slot Knife Organize
Williams Sonoma In-Drawer 7-Slot Knife Organizer $30
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Hide Appliances

Pantry with crockpots

Neat By Meg

Remove small kitchen appliances from the counter and give them their own storage space. If you don't have any hidden storage, consider swapping multiple appliances for a single workhorse like an Instant Pot.

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Label Your Lazy Susans

Lazy susan with a label

Neat By Meg

Now that you have invested in Lazy Susans, be sure to label them. Label the outside, so you can quickly turn to the items you need in one spin.

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Label the Tops of Spices

Spices in a drawer

Neat By Meg

No room in the pantry for spices? Use a drawer instead. Just be sure to label the top of the spice jar so you can survey everything you have without taking it all out.

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Organize Cutting Boards

Cutting boards in a divider

A Fresh Space / Instagram

Instead of stacking your cutting boards and baking sheets on top of each other, file them. A vertical system can help you keep your flat kitchen items in line and reduce clutter.

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Use Every Inch of Pantry Space

Pantry with door organizer

A Fresh Space / Instagram

That's especially important if you have a shallow panty. Hang a spice rack on the inside of the door to make your storage space go much further.

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Hide Your Coffee Machine

Cabinet with coffee maker

A Fresh Space / Instagram

We all need our caffeine fix, but if your coffee machine is taking up precious counter space, move it to the pantry. No pantry? Buy a wardrobe and cut out a hole for a plug, and voila—instant coffee bar!

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Remove Tea Bags from Boxes

Tea bags in a drawer

A Fresh Space / Instagram

Get rid of bulky tea bag boxes and invest in a tea bag tray instead. You can place the tray on a shelf or inside a drawer and it will take up less real estate than the original packaging.

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Go Wild With Glass Jars

Shelves with glass jars

A Fresh Space / Instagram

One of the most affordable ways to add extra organization to your kitchen is with cheap glass jars. You can find a dozen mason jars for about $10, and they make ideal storage for your pantry staples.

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Reduce Your Tupperware

Organized tupperware

Sustainably Sage / Instagram

We are all guilty of hoarding Tupperware, but less is more in this case. Reduce your collection to only a few pieces you use most frequently and toss the rest.

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Add Shelves to Cabinets

Cabinet with shelves

Sophisticated Organization / Instagram

Maximize your usable cabinet space by adding shelves and risers. This can almost double the available storage you have and make it easier to find what you need without digging around.

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Build a Drawer Within a Drawer

Kitchen with white cabinets

Maison Blonde / Instagram

If you are renovating a kitchen, consider your drawers. Here, a drawer within a drawer adds an extra layer of organization. These little extras can make keeping up with an organizational system a lot easier.

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Organize Your Fridge

Fridge with clear containers

Rachel Rosenthal

It's time to stop filling your refrigerator to the brim. Invest in storage containers and create "zones" in your fridge so you can easily find every ingredient before it goes bad.

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Turn a Nook Into a Pantry

White kitchen with a nook

Maison Blonde / Instagram

If you don't have a pantry, consider turning a small nook into exposed shelving. If you have a mudroom or laundry room off of the kitchen, that's a great place to consider adding kitchen storage.

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Use Every Awkward Corner

Blue cabinets

The House Acc / Instagram

If you have a small kitchen, you know that it's essential to use every nook and cranny. Add shelving to the backsides of cabinets, on the sides of islands, and anywhere else you find unused space.

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Add a Rail Under the Sink

Under sink storage

Clean and Scentsible / Instagram

A hanging rail on the inside of your under-sink cabinet is an organizing jackpot. Hang a dishcloth or gloves for easy access. It's also a more sanitary solution than outside of the cabinet.

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Place Cups Upside Down

Glasses upside down in a cabinet

Sophisticated Organization / Instagram

One of the easiest ways to make your cabinets look less cluttered is to turn your glasses upside down. Not only does this look better, but it helps reduce dust inside your glasses as well.

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Add Mug Hooks Under Kitchen Cabinets

Hang coffee cups with mug hooks

Steve Lupton / Getty Images

Don't forget the space under your upper kitchen cabinets. Hang cup hooks or small Command Hanging Strips and take your coffee mugs out of the cabinet and store them underneath, instead

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Use Large Windowsills as a Shelf

Green plant on the windowsill
aapsky / Getty Images

Older apartments are often tight on space, but feature windowsills with ledges large enough to hold a book or a plant. Use up every inch of space in front of the window, especially to provide lots of light for houseplants.

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Use Under Table Storage

 Drop Leaf Dining Table with Storage

Courtesy of Walmart

For small spaces, maximize storage with shelves under your kitchen table. A drop-leaf table adds extra room to move, and shelves let you store everyday items in plain sight.

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Store Knives on the Wall

A wooden magnetic knife holder, shown on the wall with knives on it.
Vicky Wasik

Installing a magnetic strip specially designed for knives keeps them in close reach and frees up drawer or countertop space. The added bonus is that knives stored like this will stay sharper longer because bumping into each other in a cabinet drawer dulls the blades.

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Don't Forget The Top of Your Refrigerator

Retro refrigerator with storage

Photo by Sara Tramp / Design by Velinda Hellen for EHD

In a small space, every square inch counts, and there's an entire empty shelf sitting on top of your fridge. Use the space for items you don't use daily as they may be harder to reach. Keep in mind the top of the fridge tends to get warm, so don't use that area to store food or other perishables.

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Hang Pots on the Ceiling

Antique Ladder Pot Rack

Antique Ladder Pot Rack

This may not be an option for renters, but homeowners low on kitchen space should look up. Install a hanging pot rack on the kitchen ceiling and free up an entire cabinet or two. Pro-tip, always test the strength of the rack before hanging heavy items.

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Make Use of the Narrow Gap Between the Stove and Wall

Rolling Kitchen Storage Cart

Urban Outfitters 

Plenty of kitchens, especially those in older apartment buildings, have a narrow gap between the stove and wall or the counter and the wall. If that's the case, opt for a very slim rolling storage rack for spices or small food containers. There are options that are as slim as 4 inches wide.

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Puts Plants or Fruit in Hanging Wire Baskets

Two hanging plants in blue wire baskets

A Joyful Riot

Let the ceiling provide some much-needed storage space. Use hanging wire baskets in the kitchen to hold fruits and vegetables while freeing up surface space. Additionally, if you want to add more plants, but don't have room on the floor or countertop, use a hanging basket as a plant holder, but be sure to use pots without drainage holes.

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Rely on Magnetic Storage Shelves

magnetic spice rack

West Elm

The side of your fridge is another spot to add storage. Choose from magnetic shelves in a variety of sizes to hold everything from small spice jars to your canister of oatmeal. Some models also have paper towel holders attached to the shelves for a 2-in-1 storage solution.

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Take the Dish Drying Rack Off the Counter

Above the sink dish drying rack.
Doorknob

There are a variety of dish racks that can be installed under a counter so they air dry without taking up surface space. If you can't build or install a cabinet unit, look for a small dish rack that fits inside the sink.

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Hang Your Wine Glasses

Wine Enthusiast Hanging Oak Wine Glass Rack
Photo (c) PriceGrabber

Take your delicate stemware out of the cabinet, and let them hang from the ceiling or an under-cabinet wine glass rack. Especially for those with high cabinets, take advantage of that space for storage. There are wine racks that can be mounted to the bottom of your cabinets that hold anywhere from 4 to 12 wine glasses.

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Mount Storage Baskets on the Wall

baskets.jpg
Pottery Barn

For small or lightweight items, look for woven or metal baskets that can be hung on the wall. Use them to store kitchen towels, small kitchen utensils, or napkins. Adding labels to each basket will ensure that everything stays in the right place.

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Take Spices Out of the Jar

Use magnetic strips to store items
House Tweaking

Fill clear-topped magnetic spice containers with our favorites herbs and spices, and ditch the bottles. The spice containers can be stuck to the fridge or stove for easy reach when cooking. Moving spices to magnetic containers should free up an entire pantry shelf or kitchen drawer.

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Utilize the Top Shelf

Organized pantry

A Fresh Space / Instagram

Before you start packing your pantry, consider where you put all of your items. Reserve the top shelf only for those things you rarely need, so you're not constantly climbing over your stuff.

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Opt for Mixed Materials

Baskets and lazy susans in a pantry

A Fresh Space / Instagram

Though a perfectly matching pantry can be aesthetically pleasing, sometimes you need different materials for different food items. A tightly woven basket is great for those items you want to just toss in the pantry (think fruit snacks), while clear containers are great for bulk foods.

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