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I have a love/hate relationship with my less than stellar kitchen. It’s the biggest kitchen I’ve had in the near decade I’ve been in NYC, which is a win in my book. I also have a washing machine, which is pretty much unheard of around here.

But that about sums up all that’s good about it.

It’s a rental that I can’t change much about, though, so I have had to get creative in order to make the not so perfect aspects of it manageable.

So I thought it would be fun to do a run through of the different ways I have organized my kitchen to make it as functional and as much mine as I possibly could.

I hope that you can draw some inspiration from what I’ve been able to do!

Just to give you a quick idea of what I’m working with here: I have a total of 7 full-size cabinets, 2 smaller ones, 4 drawers, and 6 cabinets on the bottom (counting the two under the sink). Aside from the fridge, that’s it. No pantry included.

We keep most of our food in 3 of the larger cabinets, and the 2 smaller ones, so let’s start there.

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission from any purchase made, at no additional cost to you. I only suggest items that I use myself. You can read more on my disclosure statement here.

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Canned Goods Rack

After about two years of failed attempts at keeping all of my canned goods stacked neatly I made an impulse decision and got a rack to store them on. And it made such a difference! It fits perfectly in my cabinet, but I would definitely check the measurements on your own cabinets first.

There are plastic dividers that you could move to store different sizes of cans, but I just keep them at the standard “green bean can” size so that I can easily make it work with whatever cans I have on hand at the time. And since most of the cans I buy are this size, it works best for me to keep it this way.

DecoBros Supreme Stackable Can Rack Organizer

Canned Goods Organizer

Three-Tiered Shelves

The next thing I did was get a handle on the spice/cooking/baking cabinet. I hate countertop clutter, so a spice rack there was a last resort option. I hesitantly bought these three-tiered shelves, and was pleasantly surprised by how functional they turned out to be.

We put one on the bottom shelf for all of our spices. The bottom shelf is slightly elevated, too, so we actually have four levels of spices, with the tiny bottles in the front. You need to know that there is not a back to these, though. If you don’t push them against the back of the cabinet, whatever is on the top shelf can easily be pushed off, and it is a major hassle to move the entire shelf, and all the spices, to get whatever fell. I found this out the hard way.

We put another on the middle shelf, and it’s great for keeping our cooking spray, flour, coconut oil, whatever we may need to cook organized and easy to reach.

Copco Non-Skid 3-Tier Cabinet Organizer

Three Tiered Shelves

Empty Space Shelving

The last thing that I have in my upper cabinets are these two interlocking shelves that I use to fill in the empty space above my plates and bowls.

I honestly hated always having to pick something up to get to a plate underneath, but with limited storage, it just seemed inevitable. Especially with an endless stream of plastic toddler plates and bowls in the mix.

So I found these little shelves online, and they are amazing! There is enough room underneath for my larger plates, and they are sturdy enough to stack my smaller plates and bowls on top.

It comes as two separate shelves. One is slightly smaller and can slide underneath the taller one, so you can make one longer shelf of a customizable length, or two separate shelves, which I do.

DecoBros Expandable Stackable Kitchen Cabinet and Counter Shelf Organizer

Empty Space Shelves

Utensil Canister

Because I only have four drawers in my kitchen, I was forced to try to fit all of my utensils into one drawer. And it was absolutely ridiculous. I can’t even count how many times the drawer got stuck from something getting jammed.

Now, I have already said that I hate countertop clutter. But the only logical solution to solving my drawer dilemma was to find a canister to store some of the utensils in..

After some searching, I came across the Le Creuset utensil crock. It’s cute. And the brand is phenomenal. The best part, though, is it was less than $30.

It fits most of my cooking utensils, is easy to clean, and looks great on my counter.

Le Creuset Stoneware 1-Quart Utensil Crock

Utensil canister

Pots and Pans Organizer

No kitchen organization would be complete without some way to organize your pots and pans. These will take over half your storage if you don’t keep them under control!

Because these are heavy, and the lids are typically glass, you need a sturdy, reliable way to store them. I have tried a couple different storage racks, and tossed them after a while because they just weren’t cutting it.

And then I discovered the Lifewit storage rack. It is stainless steel, and is a lot sturdier than any of the other racks I have tried. It is also adjustable, so I was able to set it up exactly like I wanted it for my own storage needs. It is hands down the best pots and pans storage racks that I have come across and it has kept the cabinet that I store these in so organized!

Lifewit Adjustable Stainless Steel Pan and Pot Organizer

Pots and Pans Organizer


Create Your Own Reach-in Pantry with EasyClosets

What do you think about the different tools I use? Have any of you tried any of these? I would love to hear your feedback on them as well!

And don’t forget to share this post with someone who could use some help getting their own kitchen organized!

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The 5 Best Tools for Organizing Your Kitchen