25 Kitchen Organization Ideas

Lisa Iannucci
July 5, 2017

Families spend so much time in the kitchen! Here's how to keep the hub of your house super-functional and easy to use.

Kitchens get messy! Are you in need of kitchen organization ideas to keep the mess at bay? Aside from the endless tasks of washing and putting away dishes and wiping down countertops are the countless items that make their way into the house each day. What to do with it all?

Create work zones and group "like with like" items, suggests certified professional organizer (CPO) Ellen R. Delap of Professional-Organizer. "Group items that you use for a specific use -- for example, a coffee zone, breakfast zone, snack zone, small appliance zone or food prep zone," she says. "Once items are grouped together, it is easier to get tasks done."

Plastic containers can be repurposed for organizing drawers. "Shallow square containers can be configured in drawers to keep items that are alike together, especially junk drawers," she suggests.

"Keep dishes you use everyday in cabinets at eye level, says Sharon Lowenheim, a CPO known as the Organizing Goddess. "Put dishes that you seldom use in higher cabinets that you can't reach without a step stool." Swap them out every few months, she recommends, to make sure that the entire set gets used.

Kitchen Organization Ideas:

  1. Gather Ideas
    Visit Pinterest and organizing sites, or read books like "Design Mom" by Gabrielle Blair, which is chock-full of organization ideas.
  2. Sell, Donate, Recycle, Ditch!
    Have duplicates? Never use that whisk or that pan? Have a garage sale, donate or recycle what you don't need.
  3. Enlist Kids' Help
    Create a kids' lunch prep area. "Shop for pre-packaged foods to drop into bins for veggies, fruits, proteins, snacks or carbs," Delap recommends. "Have kids prepare lunches the night before."
  4. Keep Up -- With Yourself!
    "Maybe you don't entertain as much as you used to," says Lowenheim. "Don't hold on to things that no longer reflect you."
  5. Use the Grocery Store as Your Model
    Organize your food in cabinets or the pantry as it is grouped in the grocery store, suggests Delap.
  6. Contain Coupon Clutter
    See all your coupons at a glance with a binder, such as this one from All You.
  7. Store Items Near Their Point of Use
    "Towels belong near the sink," says Delap. "Pot holders go near the oven."
  8. Use Vertical Space
    Hang racks for pots above the stove and hooks inside cabinets for your measuring spoons and cups, Delap suggests.
  9. Create a Command Center
    Use a command center that includes wall pockets, hooks, a clock, a cork board, chalk board and baskets or clipboards for papers.
  10. Label Everything!
    Label containers with pictures for youngsters so they'll know where to put things.
  11. Organize the Fridge
    "Condiments, salad dressing and pickles should be stored inside on the door," says Delap.

    "The top shelf can store beverages. Bottom shelf can hold lunch preparations like applesauce. Leftovers can be grouped on a middle shelf." Figure out a system that works well for you and stick to it, so you can more readily find items when you need them.
  12. Use Bins
    Plastic bins are great and can be used everywhere! Add a few bins in your fridge to keep fruits, veggies and other items organized and protect shelves from drips. See this dollar store refrigerator makeover from The Domestic Geek.
  13. Tame It With Tension Rods
    Organize your cutting boards with pairs of vertical tension rods, and use another under your sink to hang spray bottles on, with these great ideas from Tidy Mom.
  14. Rack Up the Spices
    Everyone likes organized spices, but spice racks can be expensive. Save money with this unique DIY spice rack from The Social Home.
  15. Hang It Up
    Keep plastic wrap handy with this tip from Frugality Gal.
  16. Keep Things Visible
    See-through containers, such as large plastic bowls or wire baskets, make it easier for kids to see what snacks are available for grabbing on the go. Keep these containers in your fridge and kids will know where to look.
  17. Use a Magnetized Dry Erase Board
    As you put things in the freezer, jot down the items and their dates on a board. "You will use what's in your freezer knowing what you have," says Delap.
  18. Binders Aren't Just for School!
    Use a few in your kitchen to organize coupons, recipes, wine bottle labels you want to save and random other mementos. Clear plastic sleeves or some with different sized pockets make the task easy.
  19. Recipe Makeover
    Everyone needs a good system for organizing recipes. Take some time to put your loose recipes into a binder in an organized way, like Remarkably Domestic does.
  20. Keep Junk Drawers to a Minimum
    Have only one junk drawer for office supplies and one for tools, suggests Delap.
  21. Nix the Mismatched
    "If no containers match, declare plasticware bankruptcy and start fresh," says Delap.
  22. Charge It Up!
    "Set up a technology charging space," says Delap. "Keep control of technology in your home and be ready to go in the morning."
  23. Line It Up
    "If you have a lot of the same food item, line them up with the item that will expire soonest in the front," says Lowenheim. "It ensures that you use the oldest one first, and allows you to see that you still have more."
  24. Forget the Bulk Shopping
    While appealing for cost savings, Lowenheim notes that you'll probably forget what you have on hand. She's a fan of just buying what you need.
  25. Ask for Help
    The National Association of Professional Organizers offers a directory for locating a professional organizer near you. You could also hire a personal assistant!

Looking for more organization tips? Check out these 21 Clever Closet Organization Tips.

Lisa Iannucci is a freelance writer who has written for many national parenting publications.

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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