How to Organize the Kitchen Cabinets – Storage Tips for Cabinets

 

Trying to find an easy way to organize the kitchen cabinets? Overwhelmed with too much stuff?

 

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Then look no further!

As a professional organizer, about half of my jobs are helping people organize their kitchen cabinets — and keep them organized going forward.

Because it’s one thing for me to go in an organize everything. It’s another for them to actually stay organized. So I try to find solutions that will be as easy as possible for them to maintain.

And I’m going to share the best of the best here with you today.

So whether you’re looking to organize the kitchen cabinets, spices, pantry, pots and pans, and more, I’ve got you covered.

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How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

 

Before we dive in, though, I want to tell you about one of my most popular free challenges — the Busy Mom Decluttering Challenge!

In just one week, I’ll walk you through the basics on how to declutter every single room of your home.

Because in order to get organized, you have to declutter first.

So click here to learn more or enter your email below to sign up for this free training. You’ll receive on email a day for 5 days with your decluttering action plan.

 

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. This means that I may make a small commission off any purchase, at no additional charge to you. I only recommend products and services that I use and love and will totally help you rock the #momlife juggle. You can learn more and read my entire disclaimer here.

 

Organize the Kitchen Cabinets

Before we dive in and organize the kitchen cabinets, let’s cover a few basics.

Anytime you organize you want to follow the same basic steps: purge, sort, organize, maintain.

And if you get the first three right, the last step should happen pretty much on its own (as long as you can convince your family to pick up after themselves).

So let’s start by getting rid of what you don’t need and then deciding what stays in each cabinet.

 

Decluttering the Kitchen

When decluttering the kitchen, you want to start by looking at how much space you have.

Because you only want to keep the stuff that you actually have room for.

Now, some people prefer to pull everything out of the cabinets when decluttering. But unless you have a lot of time (like 6-8 hours), I don’t suggest doing that.

I usually work through one cabinet at a time with my clients so it’s more manageable and a lot less overwhelming.

The point, though, is to go through everything and decide what you’re going to keep and what you’re going to get rid of.

So go through all your plates, utensils, cookware, and everything else, keeping only those things that you need and actually use.

This is also a good time to go through your pantry and get rid of all the non-perishables and spices that have expired.

If you want some extra help decluttering, you can check out this article here where I dive a lot deeper on the topic, or click here to sign up for a free 5-day decluttering challenge where I’ll send you an email every day, walking you through the entire process.

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Zoning

Next, you want to decide if your current setup is working for you or not.

In other words, think about whether you and your family are constantly running into each other in the kitchen. Or if you waste a ton of time going back and forth getting all the different things you need when you’re cooking.

Then, think about where you do different things like veggie prep, cleaning meats and veggies, cooking, plating food, cleaning, and so on.

Then, create zones for each of these different activities and store the stuff you need for each of them in the different zones.

So in my veggie prep zone, I would be able to reach the knives, cutting boards, spiralizer, and whatever else I may need without having to make trips back and forth.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

 

Similarly, I would want to store glasses near the sink, coffee cups by the coffee maker, plates with the rest of the dishes, and food in its own area.

The image above is just an example, but in that kitchen, I would store all the food along the left wall next to the fridge, have the coffee pot set up to the left of the sink with all the cups and glasses above, plates and bowls above the number 2 and 3, and then spices, oils, and other cooking supplies in the cabinet above the stove.

Not only does this leave everything where you’re most likely to need it, but you won’t have family members trying to grab a snack or glass while you’re trying to cook at the stove.

So basically, it keeps things efficient and helps prevent traffic jams.

 

Zoning in Smaller Kitchens

Now, if you have a smaller kitchen, you may think this isn’t necessary because you don’t waste much time getting things.

But you probably have a lot more collisions. So if you have any hope of getting some help cooking and cleaning, creating zones will drastically help you manage the kitchen traffic.

So if anything, it’s almost more important in those smaller, cramped spaces.

And I’m saying this from experience — I lived in closet-sized apartments in NYC for a decade.

In this case, though, the zones will look a little different. If your kitchen is along one short wall, then just have a cooking zone and a cleaning zone, and try to match the cabinet space up with these zones.

In most of my smaller kitchens, I used a stand-alone shelf as a pantry.

Once you’ve started decluttering and zoning, then it’s time to make use of every inch of space you have available.

So let’s take a look at how you can make that happen.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: The Container Store

 

Kitchen Cabinet Organizers

First of all, when organizing your kitchen cabinets, you want to explore the different kitchen cabinet organizers available to you.

You also want to look at the space you’re working with to decide which cabinet organizers will be best.

 

Get Rid of Hard to Reach Spaces

So first of all, look at all the hard to reach spaces in your kitchen. More than likely you have stuff shoved back there that you haven’t seen in years.

But that’s still valuable real estate, especially if you never have enough room in your kitchen!

So let’s explore a couple of different ways you can prevent stuff from getting pushed to the back and make better use of that space.

 

Shelf Organizers

The most common way to avoid things from getting lost in the back of your cabinets is to use different bins, baskets, and shelf organizers.

And while this may sound totally obvious, you’d be surprised how many kitchens don’t take advantage of all the different shelf organizers that are available today.

And shelf organizers come in all shapes and sizes. You can get stackable bins and label what’s inside. Or you can get pull out drawers that make keeping things tidy even easier.

The bins pictured below are great because they stay put, hold quite a bit of stuff, and you can easily see what’s inside.

An extra perk? You can always repurpose them in the bathroom, office, or even the playroom if you decide to install pull out shelving or something similar.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Make Use of Lazy Susans

Another great way to maximize the space in your cabinets is to use different lazy susans so that you can easily get to everything with a quick spin.

Now, when most of us think of a lazy susan we think of the ones that come built into corner shelves of older houses.

But today you can get a lazy susan of any size to fit any cabinet or shelf. I personally use them in my cabinet and fridge to keep things tidy and organized.

You’ll just want to make sure you measure your cabinet before you get one to make sure it fits.

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Install Slide-Out Shelving

And finally, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, slide-out shelving is the way to go.

This way, there are no back corners because you can pull the entire shelf out and easily grab anything.

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Home Depot

 

Make Use of Vertical Space

Now that we have those back corners taken care of, let’s take a look at how we can maximize the space in your kitchen cabinets.

The quick fix? Making use of all that vertical space.

I mean, take a look in your cabinets. How much space do you have above everything?

It could be quite a lot. Or you could have stuff stacked so high that you don’t have much. And that’s not a great solution, either, because grabbing something off the bottom of the stack is no fun.

So let’s take a look at how you can either make use of all that vertical space — or make better use of it.

 

Get Creative with Plate Racks for Cabinets

And the main way I do this is with different plate racks and stackable bins.

Now, you can get plate racks from pretty much anywhere anymore. You just want to make sure they’re decent quality or you may end up with a bunch of broken dishes.

I bought one off of Amazon that I had to return. So for something that’s going to be holding more weight, I’m always more comfortable getting it at Bed Bath & Beyond or the Container Store.

I’d rather spend a little more to avoid any mishaps (and to make sure it lasts through continuous use).

And they make rectangle shapes (that are normally stackable, too) as well as corner racks. I personally think that the corner ones are a little more stable and typically fit larger plates better than the rectangle ones. But you would just need to check the measurements against your dish set and cabinets to see which would work best for you.

And I use them by putting the larger plates on the bottom and smaller plates on top.

I even use them for bowls, again putting the bigger bowls on the bottom and smaller ones on top.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Nestle Wine Glasses

Fitting wine glasses in a kitchen can sometimes be challenging, too.

I had a client whose cabinets were too small for her wine glasses. Another who just didn’t have the space. Another who would always knock them over and break them.

The fix? Nestling them in a wine glass rack.

And these are normally something that you would have to attach either inside your cabinet or underneath it.

But they will hold your wine glasses in place inside of your cabinets, preventing any mishaps. Plus, doing this frees up some space underneath to store something else.

Most people prefer to attach them underneath their cabinets, though, to avoid using cabinet space altogether.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Home Depot

 

Think Outside the Cabinet

And this brings me to my next point. When organizing your kitchen, you’re not solely limited to the space inside of your cabinets.

You can always add additional cabinets or shelves to your walls, or get a rolling island for extra storage and counter space

The trick here is to make sure you’re not overcrowding the space with too much furniture, though. So take stock of any extra space you have and then find extra storage that will fit in that space.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Home Depot

 

Cabinet Liners

Now, like I said earlier, it’s one thing to organize your kitchen cabinets and another to keep them organized going forward.

And one of the best ways to motivate you to keep them organized is to make them look as nice as possible.

Because think about it…

If you just threw everything in a drawer and tried to keep it a little tidy, it will more than likely get out of control at some point. Or if you don’t really care what it looks like inside of your cabinets you won’t care if you’re putting stuff away exactly where it goes, right?

Well, the fix then is to not only organize your kitchen cabinets, but to make them look super nice and organized, too.

And yeah, on one hand, that could mean making them look like any of the pictures in this article with neat stacks and tidy, organized bin

But it also means using liners to make them look uniform and top of the line.

An added bonus? Liners make it easier to keep them clean.

And the first step is to measure all of your shelves and drawers. Then, pick out your favorite liner, cut them to size, and stick them in.

There are a ton of colors and materials available, so pick the one that matches your style and decor and get them in.

I know it sounds crazy, but taking the time to do this will really encourage you to keep them neat going forward.

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Home Depot

 

Organize Spices

Another problem area in most kitchens are the spices.

Now, first of all, go through and get rid of all the expired bottles. Because yes, they expire!

I can’t think of a single kitchen I’ve organized where I haven’t thrown away half the spices.

Then, come up with a solution to organize the ones you have left.

 

Create a Spice Drawer

One way you can do this is with a spice drawer. Now, this is only a good solution if you have extra drawer space (which, unfortunately, most of us don’t).

And you don’t want to just throw them in there. Instead, get a drawer insert that allows you to display all of them so you can always find what you’re looking for.

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Spin Your Spices

If you’re like most of us and don’t have the extra drawer space, then you can always get a spice rack to store them.

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Hang Your Spices

And finally, if you have some extra wall space, you could always get a hanging spice rack to keep them organized.

Now, I totally get that most people don’t want this hanging up on their kitchen wall anymore.

But some of these hanging racks also fit on the inside of your cabinet doors and pantry doors. So you could find one that fits inside of your cooking cabinet, provided your shelf is set far enough back that it won’t block the door from being able to shut.

Or the door or even a wall in your pantry could work, too. Just keep in mind that it’s usually easiest to keep your spices within proximity to your stove so that you’re not running back and forth to get the different spices you need while cooking.

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Organize Tupperware

Tupperware is also a massive headache for most people. Not only do they go missing all the time, but stacking them so they don’t fall all over you every time you open your cabinet is no easy feat.

Here are a couple of my favorite Tupperware organization solutions to help you out.

 

Use a Pull Out Drawer

I personally think that the easiest way to organize Tupperware is to use a drawer — not a cabinet.

And while that may sound a little crazy, hear me out.

One way you can do this is to get pull out shelves designed to house Tupperware. This way you know it will all fit for the most part, and you don’t have to give up an actual drawer to do it.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: The Container Store

 

Use Your Own Drawer

Another option is to use a drawer, then. This is what I do in my house and it works great.

The trick to both of these, though, is to only keep the Tupperware that fits in the drawer.

In other words, if it doesn’t fit, it’s got to go. This helps prevent you from storing too much, which is normally the main reason it’s so disorganized in the first place.

You’ll also want to make sure you get stackable Tupperware if you do this. I only use GladWare, and it all stacks neatly in the drawer.

 

Pantry Organization

Keeping your pantry organized can also feel like a part-time job.

So if you want yours to look like the picture below, then check out my favorite pantry organization tips!

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: The Container Store

 

Use Stack and Pull Boxes

First of all, make use of different bins and boxes. I know I mentioned that already, but it’s seriously one of my favorite pantry organization hacks.

And this works even better if you get some stack and pull boxes. These essentially function as drawers inside of your pantry to keep like things together.

(Yes, I know the picture below is from a bathroom, but these are my favorite pull out bins for organizing a pantry. I love the Container Store.)

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: The Container Store

 

Label Your Containers

Next, you can store different dry goods in various canisters with labels.

Not only does this keep them organized and help them stay fresh longer, but it can make your cabinets look amazingHow to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Amazon

 

Store Small Items in Bins

And again, storing smaller items in bins that you can easily pullout is one of the easiest ways to keep your pantry organized.

I use these for almost everything in my pantry and my fridge.

They’re fantastic.

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Organize Canned Goods

And lastly, corral your canned goods in racks to keep them contained and organized.

I personally like the one below because it’s adjustable. That way you don’t need to get a separate rack for larger cans.

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Organize Kitchen Drawers

Now that the top half of your kitchen cabinets are organized, let’s move on to the bottom half. Starting with your kitchen drawers.

Now, if you’re like most of us, your kitchen drawers are totally out of hand.

I mean, I’m a professional organizer and mine are out of hand half the time.

#momlife

But these tools help me keep them under control and make it super easy to get them organized again in no time.

 

Organize Your Utensils

So first of all, one of the main problems people have is all the different kitchen utensils they have.

And I totally get it, I have a ton, too. And because my kitchen is pretty small, I keep most of mine in a canister on my counter.

But I get that most people don’t like countertop clutter. And it’s not something I encourage with my clients.

So here are some other options you have.

The first is a bamboo organizer that allows you to lie all your utensils down inside the drawer but keeps them in place so it doesn’t become a jumbled mess.

This will only work if you don’t overfill the drawer, though.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: The Container Store

 

Organize Odd Shapes

If you have a bunch of utensils that are different shapes, though, a more compartmentalized organizer would be a better option. This allows you to store things with odd shapes and sizes without them getting buried under your whisks and wooden spoons.

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: The Container Store

 

Organize Silverware Drawer

And then finally, you can keep your silverware drawer organized the same way.

For this drawer, I prefer an adjustable drawer organizer. This way you can adjust it to your own needs and continue to use it if you get different flatware or knives in the future.

 How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Amazon

 

Organize Pots and Pans

Next up is your pots and pans.

Because let’s face it, if they aren’t organized, they’re just thrown in a bottom cabinet somewhere.

One option you have is to hang them rather than hide them. This also frees up that cabinet for something else (like your mixer, holiday table settings, and so on).

 How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Amazon

 

Or you can get an adjustable cookware rack to put inside one of your lower cabinets.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: The Container Store

 

Or, if you’re able, you can get a pull-out cookware organizer to make it incredibly easy to keep them organized.

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: The Container Store

 

Organize Cookie Sheets

Keeping all your cookie sheets organized can also be a hassle.

And I suggest using organizers in your cabinets to keep them sorted, too.

You can also use adjustable racks here…

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

 

…or pull-out racks, as well.

And really, you could install a pull-out rack on one side for your pots and pans and one on the other side for your bakeware and you’d be set.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Over the Door Hanger

If not all of your cutting boards and bakeware fit in those racks, then I have another solution for you:

An over the door hanger to keep them all together in one place.

And not only are these great for your cutting boards, but they’re a great place to store your tin foil, plastic wrap, and other odd-shaped things that don’t quite fit in a drawer.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: The Container Store

 

Organize Under the Sink

And finally, let’s go through a couple of ways you could easily tidy up the mess under your sink.

Because let’s get real, we all just kind of throw stuff under there with the hope of one day getting it organized.

Make today that day. Because there are a couple of ways you could do it in a half an hour or less (depending on how much you have stuffed under there).

Your first option is to get an adjustable shelf that slides into the cabinet. These are great because they have a cutout for the pipes and allow you to adjust everything so it fits your space perfectly.

This is personally what I recommend because they’ll fit under almost any sink. To be safe, it’s always best to measure first, though.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Link Credit: The Container Store

 

If you don’t want to take up the entire space with an organizer, you could always make do with different bins, an over the door hanger, and a lazy susan.

These will help you keep things tidy while giving you the option to mix and match different kitchen cabinet organizers to fit your own needs.

 

How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

Image Credit: The Container Store

 

And that’s it! I’d love to hear about your favorite ways to organize the kitchen cabinets in the comments!

And, if you’re ready to move on to the rest of your house, make sure you sign up for my totally free home decluttering challenge. I’ll walk you through the entire process, giving you a massive jump start on your home organization project.

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How to Organize The Kitchen Cabinets — Storage Tips for Cabinets

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