Even if your kitchen is on the small side, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to organize your cabinets for maximum efficiency. Whether you’re looking for a way to keep pots and pans from taking over or you want to find a home for all of your spices, these kitchen cabinet organization ideas will help you make the most of every inch of space.
Does your kitchen sound like mine was?
I seemed to have stuff everywhere and I always had to move something to get at what was underneath or behind it.
There was clutter on the counter and by the garden door entrance.
Small appliances, knives, recycle containers, utensil jars and sundry bits made the counters difficult to wipe clean.
And half the time I bought spices I already owned because I couldn’t find the original jar.
So when I did my recent kitchen remodel, I decided I needed to get organized and declutter once and for all, so I could turn my tiny kitchen into a well-oiled machine.
Here are all the kitchen cabinet organizing ideas and tips I came up with.
1 | Keep like things together
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The number one thing to keep in mind when organizing your kitchen is to keep like things together.
So baking supplies stored with other baking supplies, dishes in one cabinet, tea and coffee supplies in another.
This will make it easier to remember where everything is, and where it is supposed to go back to.
2 | Store baking supplies in Clear containers
In an effort to keep like things together and make them easily accessible, use clear plastic kitchen organizer containers* to hold baking supplies and other cooking ingredients.
To make the best use of your space, measure the cabinets and buy containers as close to the cupboard space size as you can find.
Then label the front of the containers so you know what is in each one without having to take it down to look at it. (I like this label maker* from Amazon).
I use the upper shelves of the pantries to store things I rarely use. Most of those sundries are in their own plastic containers, so I can lift the entire box down when I need its contents.
3 | Make a Lazy Susan more efficient
If you already have a lazy Susan, you know that they can be awkward to keep organized.
I fixed this problem by purchasing these pie-shaped containers* instead of the standard rectangular ones.
They maximize the use of the space, and prevent things from falling off the edge of the lazy Susan as it is turned.
Again, where possible, label the clear storage boxes with their contents. This makes it a snap to find everything.
4 | Add a corner cabinet lazy Susan
If you don’t already have a lazy Susan, you might consider adding one.
They make accessing the hard-to-reach space in corner cabinets much easier.
I added these kidney-shaped wooden ones from Lee Valley in my second corner cabinet.
They were quite expensive but with the pull out shelf in the middle and rotating access to storage on the sides, they were totally worth it. Pure luxury!
5 | Divide your drawers
To keep drawers organized, you’re going to need some dividers.
Fit the junk door with individual drawer organizers of different sizes that can be used for different supplies. I got mine at Ikea years ago (and they’re no longer available) but you can find something similar here*.
Organize the utensil drawer with a clean-looking [wgBambooDrawerOrganizerLink]expandable bamboo utensil organizer[/wgBambooDrawerOrganizerLink]. This works well for storing other small kitchen utensils as well.
You can also use some of our DIY kitchen drawer organization ideas.
6 | Hang large utensils
To make large kitchen utensils easy to reach while cooking, I built our DIY rotary hanger and installed it under the cabinet near the cooktop.
This makes finding them (and returning them to the right spot) a breeze.
7 | Use drawers whenever possible
Drawers are much simpler to keep organized than shelves (especially in lower cabinets).
There’s no moving a bunch of stuff out of the way to get to the stuff at the back. And you can see everything that’s in there all at once, so finding things is so much easier.
Here are just some of the things I store in drawers:
- Containers for left-overs. The lids are in a clear plastic box within the same drawer. I discarded any extra containers that would not fit in the drawer.
- Infrequently used electrical appliances.
- Dusters, tea-towels, and wraps.
- Flour and other baking supplies. Putting them in large containers with labels on the lids makes them easy to access.
- Pots and pans.
8 | Pull out the garbage
Install pull-out double garbage cans in a lower cupboard to keep the garbage out of sight but still convenient (for both using and emptying).
Two containers means you can keep garbage in one and recyclables in the other.
And this version also has a cover to keep the garbage contained, even in the cabinet.
9 | Keep paper towel handy
A side-mount paper towel holder* doesn’t take up a lot of room and keeps paper towel easy to reach when you need it.
Since my kitchen is so small, I like to use every inch of space wisely. So I installed it in the lower cabinet above the pull-out garbage cans, a space that would otherwise have been wasted.
But you could also hang it on the side of a cupboard or under the upper cabinets.
10 | Make room for cans
To make cans easy to find and access, mount a metal sliding shelf unit onto the inside of a base cabinet.
They are another space saver that makes finding what you’re looking for much easier.
11 | Store large platters vertically
To store large serving plates in the cabinet above the refrigerator, an expandable pot rack* works well.
That way the platters are stored vertically and are easy to remove (and put back) without having to move a stack of other things.
12 | Add dividers for trays, cutting boards and cookie sheets
Similarly, you can store trays, cutting boards and cookie sheets on their sides by using pull-out wire dividers in either a base cabinet or the large cabinet above a wall oven.
The pull-out feature makes them really easy to get at.
Or if you prefer a DIY project, you can make our large cabinet vertical storage rack.
13 | Double up your dish space
For organizing the dishes in your cabinets, these racks* that are designed for the purpose will give you more usable space and make the dishes more accessible.
They also work well for stacking containers in tall cabinets.
14 | Hang measuring cups
Hanging measuring cups on the back of a cabinet door (like we did with this pegboard project) makes them easy to access when you need them.
If you want the same functionality without damaging the door, try using Command hooks* to hang them. They’re super easy to put up, and take down if you need to.
15 | Make spices easy to reach
If you’re like me, storing spices can be a challenge. I have a lot of them, and can never seem to find the one I need when I’m looking for it.
To solve this, I put spice racks on the inside of 2 doors above the stove.
Then I designated one narrow cupboard to the remaining spices.
Some fit into a shelf on this pull-out rack*. Others were placed in a clear plastic container with the contents labelled.
I organized my spices in alphabetical order on the doors and pull-out rack to make them easier to locate.
Or if you prefer, try our DIY magnetic spice wall.
16 | Hide dish scrubbers
To store pot scrubbers in a handy place that is out of sight, convert the false drawer front in the sink cabinet into a tip out tray*. Then you’ll have one less thing on the countertop!
Just make sure to get the size that fits your cabinet.
17 | Keep grocery bags handy
Keep plastic grocery bags handy for re-use by installing a grocery bag holder* inside the cabinet door under the sink.
18 | Create a utility closet
Designate a pantry cabinet as a utility closet. This can be used to store a small vacuum (like my cordless one* that I love!), step stools, and cleaning supplies.
Installing a rod in the utility pantry is useful to hang an outdoor jacket.
19 | Hang vacuum accessories
Install robe hooks* to hold a bag with the vacuum accessories.
That way you can take the whole bag with you when you’re vacuuming the house and you’ll always have the right accessory when you need it.
Not to mention a convenient place to put it back when you’re finished. (No more hunting for where you left it).
These hooks also work well for things like feather dusters.
20 | Keep cleaning supplies nearby
Keep cleaning supplies handy on the back of a cabinet door, in metal kitchen cabinet door organizers*.
They’re narrow so they keep spray bottles from falling over, and the back of door location is so convenient.
21 | Pull out your shoes
If your kitchen has a door that leads outside (like mine does), it’s handy to have a pair of garden shoes or boots nearby for those quick trips out to the herb garden.
Installing a pull out shoe rack* in a base cabinet by the door keeps them accessible but out of sight. This was a splurge from:
My kitchen definitely is a pleasure to work in now. I hope some of the organizational tools I used are useful to you, and make your kitchen a happier place to be in.
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Have comments or questions about our kitchen cabinet organization ideas? Tell us in the section below.
This post was originally published on September 23, 2022 but was updated with new content on July 29, 2023.