How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets (In a “Normal” Kitchen)

How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets (In a “Normal” Kitchen)

Make your kitchen efficient for the entire family with these simple tips on how to organize your kitchen cabinets and drawers. You will love spending time in your kitchen once you maximize your storage!

Having a kitchen that is efficient is a really high priority for me! As a person who is really busy and really loves to cook, I need to make it as simple as possible to spend quality time in the kitchen. I want to spend my time cooking or baking something delicious, not trying to find a measuring cup or the lid to the pot I am using. A few key kitchen organization ideas have saved my sanity!

If you have been around for a while you will probably remember when we did a massive kitchen renovation to our old house. We learned so much doing that and we brought that knowledge into organizing our kitchen this time around.

When we moved in and realized we had fewer and less functional cabinets, I got busy making small improvements to make them work as well as possible. We got all of our kitchen storage arranged efficiently from the dish cabinets to the pantry organization to the cabinet under the kitchen sink, and it has made life so much easier. The key to it all though is to start with the best kitchen cabinet organization ideas and it will all flow from there!

I am giving you all my best tips for creating an organized kitchen space that works FOR YOU. All of our kitchens are arranged differently, but they all have the same basics–appliances, cupboards, some counter space and kitchen drawers. Maximizing the space you have while making it easy to move in the area while using it is the real goal. Smart organization is what makes it possible!

Organizing your kitchen cabinets is a two-step process! PLEASE I am begging you, do step one before you even think about moving forward. It is impossible, not to mention overwhelming, to try to organize things you don’t want or need! Once step one is complete, you can safely start moving through the ways to make your kitchen efficient and organized.

Step 1: Declutter Your Kitchen Cabinets

Do you dread cooking in your kitchen because it’s full of clutter and not organized? If so, you are not alone! Kitchen clutter is a very real problem. Here’s how to declutter your cabinets which you absolutely MUST do before trying to organize them.

Remove and put away any items that belong in other rooms.

Use a basket to collect items that belong in other rooms and return them to their proper homes.

Clear and declutter one cabinet at a time.

For cabinets and drawers that store non-food items, focus on the following: Get rid of any items that you don’t use, you don’t like, you feel obligated to keep because they were a gift or that don’t fit in the space/are difficult to store. Be sure to also get rid of anything that is not in proper working order.

For cabinets and drawers that store food items, focus on the following: Check labels and throw away anything that has expired (yes, spices and many other things go bad folks)! Gather together non-perishable food items that you simply don’t like or will not use and take them to a local food bank. If it’s perishable but you know you won’t eat it or use it, find someone to give it to or throw it away.

Decide what to donate, sell, or toss.

Consider selling quality items that you simply don’t use on eBay, Facebook or Craigslist. But don’t delay in taking action! For those items that are not “sale worthy,” donate them to a local charity or thrift shop, such as Goodwill (be sure to get a receipt of your donation in case your tax professional determines that your donation is tax-deductible). Toss anything that is broken or useless.

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Step 2: Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we gave our kitchen a budget-friendly makeover, and it wasn’t just about painting the kitchen cabinets and making it pretty. We focused a lot on organization and function for maximum efficiency. Here are my tips for organized kitchen cabinets (that will keep you from wanting to pull your hair out).

Make sure items you use every single day are easy to access.

Easy access to certain things like bowls and mugs is important, while you may not need your gravy separator or your oyster knife quite as often! Make sure you put everyday items in easily accessible spots. Your dishes should be organized and easy to reach. What you don’t need can go into the hard-to-reach cabinets and the dark recesses of the pantry. If you find yourself having to dig for or get a ladder to reach something you use regularly, you need to relocate it.

All of our dishes are on the lower shelves of our upper cabinets so that everyone in our family can reach them. But we store the fondue set and pancake griddle in the cabinet above the refrigerator that’s hard to reach because we don’t use them often.

Add pull-outs to your lower cabinets.

When we renovated our last kitchen, we opted for all of our base cabinets to have drawers, and we LOVED them! Drawers are so much easier to keep organized than cabinets. One of the biggest reasons kitchen cabinets become disorganized is that they become a jumbled mess. This is particularly true if you are like us and have base cabinets as opposed to large lower drawers. A cabinet full of pots and pans isn’t easy to keep tidy and it’s very hard to find what you need when it’s a mess.

We were pretty bummed to realize that our current kitchen has almost all base cabinets–we had gotten used to the convenience of drawers. The good news is you can easily add pull-out shelves and organizers to make your base cabinets super functional and easy to keep organized! I highly recommend these, especially if you are going to stay in your home for any amount of time. And keep in mind you only need the ones that work in your kitchen and for your organizational needs.

In our kitchen we installed a new pull-out trash can/recycling system, an under-the-sink organizer, a pots and pans organizer, and a double-pull out for our larger pots and pans. You can see photos of everything in our kitchen below. You can also watch this Instagram story highlight to see me demonstrate/talk about everything and how it’s used! I’ve also included links to the cabinet organizers below the photos 🙂

I love that the different pullouts are designed for specific jobs. It’s not just for pots and pans! The one for cleaning supplies and sponges keeps the cabinet under the sink from becoming a black hole of cleaning products, dish detergent, paper towels, garbage bags and anything else you need.

I hate seeing the garbage can and there was no good place in our kitchen for one. Adding a pullout that connects to your drawer hides it perfectly, but it is still super accessible when you need it!

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