If you can organize your kitchen it’s a beautiful thing. Having a place for everything—and being able to find it—makes cooking more enjoyable and less stressful, especially after a long day at work.
But sometimes, especially after those long days at work, the thought of coming home and spending your evening on an organizing project can be just too overwhelming.
So, keeping that in mind, here are eight quick and easy ways you can organize your kitchen.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on one and make a purchase. It will not cost you any extra, and I will be grateful for your support. Read the full disclosure here.
Keep only those things you use daily on the countertop.
Kitchen counters are for food preparation, not for display. Your countertops should include only your most-used food prep and serving items. If it’s not something you use daily (or close to it), find a cabinet or cupboard to store it in to free up your space.
Develop the habit of clearing kitchen counters daily to avoid clutter build-up.
If your house is like mine, the kitchen counter is the designated catch-all. Make a habit of cleaning off the counters and sending everything to its proper home once a day. Whether you do it before dinner (to make some cooking space) or before you go to bed at night, developing the habit of clean counters at least once a day will go a long way to feeling like you can easily organize your kitchen.
Keep knives & other sharp-bladed kitchen tools in their own drawer to avoid accidental cuts and unpleasant surprises.
I learned this years ago–the hard way. Ouch.
If you’ve ever stuck your hand in a drawer to grab a utensil and come out with a stab wound instead you know exactly what I’m talking about. We have a designated drawer at our house for all utensils that could cause bodily harm: knives, pizza wheels, scissors, potato peelers, anything that has a blade on it. Since implementing this rule, my kitchen injury rate has decreased significantly.
I use these bamboo drawer dividers to keep things tidy and sorted, reducing my surprise injury risk even more. Admittedly, I am not the most coordinated of cooks, so anything that keeps me from needing first-aid is a win in my book. The dividers come in two sizes, for small and large drawers.
Slide-out shelves make it easy to keep track of pots & pans & avoid having to dig through cupboards.
I have this one cabinet in my kitchen. I’m pretty sure it goes to an alternate universe somewhere. It goes so far back I can’t reach without crawling halfway into it. Thankfully I don’t have to. It has a slide-out shelf so I can easily reach everything AND keep it neat without wondering if I’ll end up in Narnia one day.
Keep like items together & give them a home near where they’re most used.
One of the best tricks I’ve learned to organize your kitchen is to keep supplies as near as possible to where you use them. In my kitchen, potholders are in a drawer on one side of the stove and spatulas and wooden spoons are in a drawer on the other side. On the other side of my kitchen, the silverware drawer is conveniently next to the dishwasher and the food storage containers are right underneath the counter where the kids clear the table, making it easy for them to put away the leftovers.
By the way, I’ve discovered that storing my leftovers in glass containers really does keep them fresh longer. And I have the added bonus of not having to guess what’s in the containers when I open the fridge. And even better, I can pop them in the microwave on leftover night, meaning I’m not dirtying more dishes. As a lazy cleaner, this makes me really happy.
Having things where you use them means you don’t have to waste time hunting them down.
Make grocery day clean-out-the-fridge day. Get rid of leftovers & things your family won’t eat before restocking.
We’re not talking a thorough fridge cleaning here (though wiping down the shelves would be a definite bonus). Just pull out all the containers, give them the sniff test, and if they’re scary, dump them. If they’re still edible, make it leftover night—and then dump whatever they don’t eat. This way there’s room for the new groceries and you are no longer storing science experiments in the refrigerator.
Group similar foods together in the pantry for easy access and inventory control.
Make it easy to grab snacks & other small items with see-through plastic bins or wire baskets in the pantry.
These two go together. I organize my pantry by type of food. Crackers on one shelf, baking supplies on another. Grouping like items makes them easy to find and helps keep me from ending up with multiple open containers of the same food. No more waste, no more mess.
The bottom shelf of my pantry has three bins on it. One bin holds sweet treats and one bin holds dried fruit, nuts & granola bars. The third bin holds drink mixes and my herbal tea stash. The bins make it easy for me to keep these individual servings organized and it makes it easy for my family to grab a quick snack or lunchbox treat. It also makes it easy for me to see when it’s time to restock.
I love using these clear plastic bins for pantry storage. They may not be quite as cute as pretty lined baskets, but they are easy to keep clean, and easy for everyone to see what’s in there.
What’s your best tip to organize your kitchen? Share it with me in the comment section below.
This post was originally written in 2015 and updated in 2022.