The kitchen is the heart of the home, but for many, it is also the black hole! Kitchen organization is so important, but it isn’t always easy to keep everything together. Today I’m going to share with you some of the ways I keep my kitchen organized. I don’t have a kitchen organization secret, just lots and lots of planning and rearranging! You may just pick up an idea or two when you get a little tour around my kitchen…
When we moved into this house, the kitchen was the drop zone for most of our boxes. We moved right after getting married, bringing along all our own belongings plus all the boxes from our registry. To say it was a disaster would be an understatement.
I made kitchen organization my top priority- unpacking and categorizing everything. I tried to find the best place to store things and ran into lots of issues- cabinets that were too shallow or too small, drawers that were not tall enough… and I spent lots of time trying to find the best place for things. When things were finally put away I felt like we could actually live here.
After living here for a few months, I took literally everything out of the cabinets and drawers and completely rearranged. You have to know how you use a space to organize it properly. I’m pretty happy with how we have things organized now- but kitchen organization is an ongoing project!
I’ve divided this post into countertops, upper cabinets, lower cabinets, and drawers. That way it’s easy to follow. Hey, I can’t help but want to be organized everywhere!
When we moved into our new house with our amazing kitchen, I knew one thing: I wanted to keep the countertops clear.
Well, I haven’t quite done that, but I’ve done the best I can! And it’s definitely an improvement on our previous kitchen. I wanted to keep only the basics out, which are things that we use regularly or things that don’t fit anywhere else.
So I settled on a few things: Our toaster oven, some basic utensils, paper towels, and our kitchenaid mixer. As we lived here I’ve also added a fruit bowl, salt, pepper, olive oil, vinegar, honey, and a decorative plate.
Oh, and if you’ve noticed how shiny and amazing our counters are, you can give all credit to my homemade granite cleaner!
It was important to me that small things didn’t look like they were left out accidentally. I wanted them to look purposeful. So I used this awesome acacia two tier tray to store salt, pepper, honey, and a few other things. Our olive oil and vinegar are in decorative bottles next to the stove.
I kept out only our nice looking utensils in a neutral color scheme. The rest are in a drawer. This is definitely a huge improvement for us- it keeps the space looking less cluttered while still leaving important tools within reach.
We also keep our paper towels away from the sink to make them less convenient. This means we don’t use them nearly as often, opting for sponges and microfiber cloths instead. We waste so much less paper this way! We honestly don’t even go through one roll a month.
So that’s about it for countertops! We made sure everything looked purposeful while keeping it uncluttered- which is so important for kitchen organization.
Cabinets can be tricky. I love the layout of ours, but I’m the first to admit that they could be much more efficient. What we’ve got going for now works for us, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we change it in the future.
Upper cabinets are one of the easiest places to store things, so it makes sense to keep your everyday use things in there. Plates, bowls, everyday drink ware, and mugs all make sense.
Where we’ve been a little less logical is to keep much of our extra dinnerware and glassware in these cabinets as well. We registered for lots of extras because of Lars’s big family (between his siblings, step siblings, and their spouses we’ve got 20 people! All in his immediate family!) This works for now but I can see myself moving our extra stuff somewhere less convenient if we need to make use of this space in the future.
I’m a huge fan of cabinet organizers– they’re super important for our kitchen organization! We got most of ours at an estate sale for $1! You really can’t beat that. I’ve made use of them to try to keep stacking to a minimum. The less stacking the less weight each piece has to bear, meaning they will last longer.
I put our dinnerware to the left of the stove because they are directly across from the dishwasher. When emptying the dishwasher, dinnerware is the bulk of it. So I put them where it was most convenient.
We’ve got a lot of height in our cabinets, which you can’t necessarily see from the pictures. I’m 5’8″ and I can just barely reach the third shelf in these cabinets. Top shelf is step stool territory. So logically the things we use every day are kept lower.
For our drinkware, we keep our drinking glasses and commemorative mugs on the lowest shelf. The mugs that came with our dinnerware are on the second shelf. The top two shelves are for less frequently used glassware- champagne glasses, wine glasses, beer glasses, martini glasses, cocktail glasses… why does each beverage need it’s own glass?! Luckily we have the space for them!
This cabinet is one of my favorites. It stores all our pitchers and long trays and cutting boards. I used a maple rack to keep the trays in place. It just makes me happy to look in this cabinet and see everything easily accessible.
Finding a place for our bakeware was a little trickier. The only cabinet that was deep, wide, and tall enough was the one above the pantry. We had previously stored kitchen appliances here, but I found a better spot for them.
Once the appliances were moved out and the bakeware was added, I felt like I had finally found the right place for things! We used a wire organizer to keep baking trays separate, and kept our cute nesting casserole trays in front.
These are definitely my favorite! We’ve worked really hard to make our lower cabinets work for us. Kitchen organization is tricky, so it takes trial and error. We don’t have very many lower cabinets, but the ones we do have are put to good use!
This cabinet came with pull out drawers, which I absolutely love. We keep our cookware in this cabinet, which is to the left of the oven. We ended up moving the top drawers higher so that we could keep some taller cookware on bottom.
You know I love cabinet organizers- I’ve made use of this awesome one to store our pans. They fit perfectly in the cabinet drawer.
You can see that I keep our pots and saucepans in the other section of the cabinet. Finding lid storage is always a challenge. I’ve used one of the door mounted lid racks before, but the lids fell off if you slammed the door too hard. So we kept ours in the upper drawer of this cabinet. It works so well for us!
This narrow cabinet baffled me for a while. It is such an awkward size- there isn’t much you can logically fit in there! I stored some of our bakeware in there for a while, but it was still too narrow. When rearranging I realized it was the perfect size to fit small appliances!
So this awkward narrow cabinet became our small appliance storage. We keep our waffle maker, fondue pot, immersion blender, and mandolin slicer in there. It’s one of my favorite organization ideas to date.
And if you have trouble with the cabinet under your kitchen sink- that’s a topic in and of itself! Which is why I already wrote an entire post about it. Just click here to read it!
Drawers can be tricky- it’s easy to just toss everything in there and forget about it. Which is why drawer organizers are so important!
We have an awesome huge drawer to the right of the stove- so that’s where we keep the rest of our utensils. We also keep knives, baggies, tin foil, and wax paper there. I’ve made use of some drawer dividers so far, but I plan to build our own custom drawer dividers sometime in the future- so be looking out for that project!
Tupperware has always stumped me. I just never found a good way to store it! My current system is working for us, and I think I’ve solved the issue. I’ve made use of 2 deep drawer dividers to keep our tupperware sorted.
I keep the large tupperware (and our awesome reusable bowl cover) in the left section. Normal size tupperware goes in the middle, and lids on the right. It makes it easy to find everything and put it away. Let’s hope it works long term!
Now for my favorite drawer- the spice drawer! These spice drawer liner inserts were the perfect size to fit our drawer. I just laid them down, and then added all our spices. Now they are always in reach and easy to find. Maybe one day I’ll put them all in color-coded matching containers and be in organization heaven, but I’m not there yet!
So there you have it- that’s how I keep our kitchen organized!
There’s no secret to kitchen organization- you just have to find what works for you. Making things easy to find and put away is key- and be open minded! If it makes most sense for you to store dinnerware in a drawer- do it! Work with what you have.
Good luck organizing- let me know how it goes for you!