How to Organize your Kitchen Cabinets in 3 Simple Steps
Organizing your kitchen cabinets can seem like an overwhelming task. With so many dishes, utensils, and other items to choose from – how do you know where to start?
Looking at your messy drawers and cabinets can be daunting. You want to find space for everything, but you don’t know how.
Well, we have a solution for you! We want to help you turn your chaotic kitchen into an efficient and functional room.
Follow these three simple steps (complete with kitchen cabinet organization ideas) and see how easy it is to organize your kitchen cabinets and make your kitchen work for you.
Need more ideas? Check out: 12 Easy Tips to Organize a Deep Pantry or Freezer Organization Hacks That’ll Make Your Life Easier
How do you organize old kitchen cabinets?
Organizing kitchen cabinets is a necessary part of keeping your kitchen functional and efficient.
However, the kitchen is one of the most difficult places to clean and organize. Because there are so many dishes, kitchen utensils, and other items of various sizes, it can get cluttered really fast.
But if you create a system where everything has its own place, it will really help you to keep things organized and cooking won’t be as frustrating in the future.
The first step to getting a cleaner kitchen is to declutter your kitchen cabinets.
Go through your kitchen drawers and cabinets and figure out which items you actually use. If you find something that you haven’t used in months, don’t put it back in the cabinet; instead, throw away the useless items.
Find old pots and pans that don’t work well anymore, stained food storage containers, or any broken kitchen supplies, and get rid of what you can.
Chances are, you’ll find that you have a lot of certain items that you only actually need a few of!
Once you pare down what you have, organizing your kitchen will be a lot easier.
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How do you decide where to put things in kitchen cabinets?
After you’ve gotten rid of some things, you need to decide where to put everything you’ve kept. So, to help you decide where everything should go, make a list of all of the items found in your kitchen cabinets.
Most of the items on your list will be pretty generic (like baking dishes, silverware, cooking utensils, pots, pans, food storage containers, etc.) but make sure you include specific items (like your blender) too. You don’t want to leave anything out of this process.
It might help to open up your drawers and cabinets while you’re making the list, so you make sure you don’t forget anything.
The Sticky Note Method
We suggest writing those items on sticky notes. Write one item (or category like utensils) on a sticky note and then move on to another.
You should start with the items that are most frequently used first. Things like baking dishes and pans might be a good place to start. After you’ve organized those items, continue on until all of the sticky notes have been sorted into their appropriate cabinets and drawers.
(You can also make a big inventory list beforehand, so you’ll know exactly how many sticky notes to use. Or you can just grab a sticky pad and go for it!)
When deciding where to put your things, it’s best to test out your item placements for a few days. That’s one reason we love this method for organizing your kitchen cabinets. This way if something doesn’t feel right, you can simply move around the sticky notes until you find the ideal placement.
When deciding which cabinets are good places for which items, ask yourself how often you use each item, how much cabinet space it will take up, and what you want easy access to.
Making an inventory list beforehand or using this sticky note method is helpful because it will help you determine how much can fit inside each cabinet, what needs to be in arm’s reach of your oven or stove, and what items you want to be stored together.
Plus, this way, you won’t have to worry about moving all of your items over and over again. You’re just moving around little sticky notes!
Once you’ve got everything labeled, it’s time to put all of those kitchen items away.
What is the most efficient way to organize kitchen cabinets?
You can make your kitchen functional and efficient through organization. No one wants to be frantically searching for a spatula or whisk when they are in the middle of cooking!
As you’re figuring out where to store all of your kitchen supplies and how to utilize your kitchen storage efficiently, there are a few things to keep in mind.
A good way to start organizing your kitchen cabinets is by considering how you use certain items.
Here are a few kitchen cabinet organization ideas to help you find a perfect system for your home.
Keep similar items together
You’re going to want to place like items together. For example, your cooking utensils should go in a drawer, while food containers should be stored on the lower shelves so they are easy to access and keep fresh.
For example, if baking is a hobby of yours and you bake often, it would be best to create a cabinet that houses all of your baking supplies.
Even just keeping the utensils that are most commonly used for baked goods (like spatula or whisk) together will make baking in the future much easier. When everything you need is stored together, you can find it easily.
It is also a good idea to have all the spices together so you can find them easily when cooking. You don’t want to be hurrying around your kitchen, grabbing some spices out of one cabinet and some out of another.
Putting all of your spices in the same bottles with similar labels really elevates the style of your kitchen and creates a beautiful, cohesive look!
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Create one cabinet for your plates, another one for mugs and glasses. Keep knives in an easy-to-access drawer so they are always ready for use while preparing dishes.
This way nothing will get lost and you will always have everything at hand.
If you make yourself a protein shake every morning, you can even create a protein shake station!
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Be thoughtful about where to put each item
When you’re planning out which cupboards you’ll use to what, make sure you put them near where you’ll be using those items.
Put dishes near the sink and dishwasher so you can easily load and unload the dishwasher without traveling all over the kitchen.
Make sure oven mitts are by the oven and put things like dish towels, dish soap, and your drying rack by the kitchen sink.
Put spices right by the stove so they’re accessible while you’re cooking and try to ensure that your designated baking cabinet is near the surface you use when you bake.
Keep cutting boards near your knife block if possible. Separate cooking supplies from and kitchen cleaning supplies so you don’t have to worry about any contamination.
Be thoughtful about how to organize each cabinet, so that your personalized system is one that makes sense for how you actually cook in your kitchen.
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Set up items on the shelves according to what you use the most
If you frequently use certain items, make sure you put them where you have easy access.
So don’t put things at the front of your shelf that you hardly use. You don’t want to constantly be moving things out of your way to get to the pots and pans at the back of the shelf.
Figure out what you use the most and then set up your cabinet shelf organization around that.
Use vertical space in your cabinets
Always make sure you are utilizing all of the space in your cabinets.
Install shelves to create more vertical storage for items that don’t stack well or take up too much floor space.
Stack mugs, bowls, and other dishes on top of one another instead of putting them side by side so they occupy less room.
Use wire racks to create more shelves within your cabinet so you have less dead space in tall cupboards.
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Make the most of your corner cabinets
Don’t forget about your corner cabinets! You want to make sure you don’t have any unused space, and people often forget about those corned cabinets.
You can install a lazy Susan in the corner cabinet to make it easier for you to see all of your items that are stacked up high.
Use the door as extra storage space
If you have a lot of items that need to be stored, installing hanging racks on the inside of your cabinet doors can create additional storage space without taking up too much room in the cupboards themselves.
Install a cabinet door rack to hold your kitchen utensils and pot lids. You can use door racks to hold supplies like measuring cups and spoons, utensils like spatulas, grilling tools, or even your salad tongs.
You could even use a small over-the-door shoe rack organizer to organize kitchen supplies and maximize space. Your cabinet door is often overlooked as storage space, but I promise it will come in handy if you have a small kitchen.
Make use of that cabinet door!
Line up your baking sheets and muffin tins like files
No one likes it when they try to take out one baking sheet and end up pulling out the whole stack.
So instead of stacking them, line up those cookie sheets and tins so they are standing on their sides like files and not laying flat.
Use tension rods to create slots in your cabinets that you can just slide a baking sheet into. It will make getting them in and out of your cupboards so much easier.
You can also do this with cutting boards!
Use drawer dividers wherever you can
Drawer dividers are one of the best things you can use to organize your kitchen because they are adjustable and can be used in so many different ways.
If your drawers are cluttered with utensils, try using drawer dividers to separate them into sections. You could even label each section if needed!
You can find drawer dividers super easily (and a lot of them are pretty cheap) so measure your drawers and find dividers that work for you and your kitchen.
Keeping your kitchen drawers organized is so much easier with dividers!
Be creative with storage solutions
If you have a small kitchen and you might not have lots of cabinets or shelf space, consider taking things out of the cupboard.
You can hang your pots and cutting boards on the wall to save space in your cupboards.
You can even hang your utensils on hooks on the side of a cabinet or mugs to the bottom of an upper cupboard.
That might sound a little odd, but I’m sure you’ve seen those movies where fancy kitchens keep their pots and pans hanging above an island or have cutting boards on hooks on the wall.
When it’s done in a pretty, organized way, it can look really good while saving you cupboard space.
Hang up your lids
Keeping your lids in a cupboard is not the best way to keep them. When they are on top of your pots and pans, it makes it impossible to stack those pots, which just wastes valuable shelf space. And no one wants wasted space!
Hanging lids up on the side of the cabinet interiors can help you save space on the cabinet shelves. Just use command hooks and rest the lids on those hooks.
You should be able to use the lip of the lid for that, but if it’s not big enough, just put two hooks at the bottom of where you want to rest the lid and you can just slide the lid into those hooks.
Use magnetic strips in your cabinets
Magnetic strips can make it a lot easier to organize your utensils or other cooking accessories in a kitchen cabinet.
If you have a lot of utensils or things metal items that go in blenders or food processors, it can be so hard to find the one that you need when they are just lying around in a pile.
If you get magnetic strips and put them on the inside or outside of your cupboard door, then attach all those spoons, forks and spatulas onto it, you can easily see what you have.
Use shelf risers
If you have a lot of cabinets and some things just don’t fit, use shelf risers to give you an extra inch or two.
Or, if there is too much depth in one cabinet and not enough on the next one over, add another set of shelves on top!
This allows you to stack items on top of each other without the mess or hassle of unstacking everything when you need something at the bottom.
Shelf risers can really come in handy when you have a deep drawer.
Get mixing bowls that can stack
If you can, try to find pots and mixing bowls that can stack into one another. This is a small tip (and probably one that seems obvious) but getting stackable sets can really save you kitchen cabinet space.
It’s also a great idea to get containers (like Tupperware) that can stack into each other. Containers and bins (and their lids) can take up tons of valuable drawer or kitchen cabinet space, so investing in sets that can sit inside each other is always helpful.
Label your shelves and drawers
One of my favorite ways to keep a kitchen organized is by using labels.
Label the shelves in your cupboards with a small label and a marker so you know how to put things back.
You can also use a labeler to print out labels for your items and stick them on the front of drawers or cabinets. This usually makes your kitchen look even cleaner because a printed label gives off a professional, crisp feel.
If you have kids, this is especially helpful because they’ll be able to help keep everything organized. When it’s labeled, they’ll know exactly what goes where.
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Make sure to stay organized!
Hopefully, these kitchen cabinet organization ideas help you get your kitchen cabinets in order!
But how do you continue to stay motivated?
One way is by rotating out your supplies; always using one set of measuring cups and spoons before buying new ones.
Or if another organizational method works for you, stick with it! Find out what works best for you and your kitchen and stay true to that system.
You don’t want to do all of this work to organize your kitchen cabinets only for them to become a mess again in just a few days!
Take a few extra minutes to make sure everything is put away properly when you’re done using or cleaning it, and it will make cooking so much easier.
It doesn’t take too long to stack neatly and your kitchen will look so much nicer if you do.
Plus, you might actually enjoy using your kitchen now that you know where everything is!