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How To Organize A Kitchen

Updated on November 12, 2009

 Kitchen organizing doesn't have to be hard when you think about what you want to accomplish.  Probably the number one concern in kitchens is with pantry storage solutions.  What are the best pantry organizers?  Should you use sliding cabinet shelves?  I will give some recommendations and show some options that work well.

If you are remodeling a kitchen, you have an endless amount of options available with the many different styles of pantry storage cabinets and other kitchen shelving. You may also be able to tweak the layout of your kitchen for optimum performance.

Maybe you just want to get a bit more organized.  There are still some options for you.  With tiered wire shelving inserts, baskets and drawer inserts you can be on your way to a super functioning kitchen.

Kitchen organizing made simple.
Kitchen organizing made simple.
Kitchen shelving at the end of an island.
Kitchen shelving at the end of an island.

Open Kitchen Shelving

If you are designing a kitchen or have some existing open shelving, this makes a great place to store cookbooks and other kitchen small appliances that you don't mind showing off. Counter space can quickly become cluttered so having the extra space is ideal.

Cookbooks that are readily available and organized make finding that favorite recipe just that much easier.  These could also go on a designated cupboard shelf.  The key is to have them all in one spot so you don't waste half your cooking time in searching for your recipes.

Sliding cabinet shelves in a pantry for easy access.
Sliding cabinet shelves in a pantry for easy access.
Storage containers for baking ingredients keep cupboard organized.
Storage containers for baking ingredients keep cupboard organized.

Pantry Storage Cabinets

 Having a large pantry area in the kitchen is ideal.  The lower level of this pantry has sliding cabinet shelves.  This makes access to the back of the shelf extremely easy.  Since there is usually such a big variety of items in a pantry, it can be easy to lose an ingredient that slips to the back of the cupboard.  When you can slide a shelf completely forward, this is no longer a problem.  You have equal view of every item.

The top shelves could be used to store bulk items or lesser used items.  It would also be a good place to maybe put baskets of potatoes and onions.

You may want to keep a separate cupboard just to store baking ingredients.  Since all flours and sugars seem to come in paper or plastic bags, it is nice if you can store them in plastic storage containers.  This keeps all of the items uniform and stackable in your cupboard.  Otherwise, you tend to get a messy mixture of flour and sugar all over your cupboard shelf from half used bags.

Tiered Shelves and Storage Containers

 If you don't have sliding cabinet shelves, then you may want to get some tiered cupboard inserts.  These help you to see and store more items at a time.  They also keep your cupboards looking neat and organized.

This set of food storage containers would work great for storing baking ingredients, rice, oatmeal, spaghetti, nuts, cereal.  Basically, anything that comes in a bag that you could keep better organized in a container.

Spice drawers work well to keep spices organized and within reach.
Spice drawers work well to keep spices organized and within reach.

Spice Drawers

 If you have a nice spice rack for the counter or wall, that is a great solution for spices and it looks nice too.  However, if you don't have room on your counter, another solution is setting aside a spice drawer.  I put mine right next to the stove where it is handy for cooking.  All of the spices are immediately visible and I don't have to waste any time searching.

 If you can't set aside a drawer for spices, then maybe a good solution would be this cupboard door insert.

Just fasten the insert to the inside of a cupboard door, closest to your cooking area, and pop in your spices.

Counter Storage

 Counters can be utilized for all kinds of storage.  Most of the time you will want that storage to be somewhat decorative since it is out in plain sight.

Maybe you have a pretty bread basket filled with baked goods or a fruit bowl/banana tree overflowing with fresh fruits.  A decorative coffee canister next to your coffee maker could hold your freshly ground coffee.

Another idea is to store your olive oils or other oils on the counter.  Quite often they come in pretty bottles anyway.  Topping them off with a decorative bottle stopper just completes the look.  Not only do they look nice but if you place them next to your cooking area they are easily accessible while cooking.

A place in the kitchen to take care of household business.
A place in the kitchen to take care of household business.

More Kitchen Organization

It is nice to have a spot in the kitchen to be able to take care of household business. This is where you could store address books, envelopes, stamps and bills. It would be another great place to store cookbooks and recipe cards.

If you have kids who do homework, keep this area stocked with pencils, paper, rulers, crayons and whatever else they need for those school projects.


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    • Song-Bird profile imageAUTHOR

      Renee Hanlon 

      7 years ago from Michigan


      Thank you! I hope you get your own place again soon. In the meantime, you could always keep a scrapbook of decorating ideas that you would like to do when you do get your own place. When we were building our house, I took advantage of the time by doing just that. By the time our house was finished, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

    • 4tune profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan

      I love your kitchen,Cozy yet elegant at the same time,I live with mom right now a clutter bug and it drives me nuts, I can't wait to have my own place and space again again to do what I want with, I miss organizing and decorating my own place as you are doing so much,its just so rewarding.

    • Song-Bird profile imageAUTHOR

      Renee Hanlon 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you Henry! I'm glad you found it to be helpful.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great hub, you really put lot of effort to make this very informative.

    • Ambition398 profile image


      9 years ago

      Love the spice drawer! That would make things so much easier.


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