Inside: Learn how to organize your kitchen – and keep it organized – by following these 4 easy expert organizing tips. This post contains affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
Spotless counters. Not a dirty dish in sight. No crumb out of place.
You may be wondering, how can you get your kitchen to look like that?
How can some people keep such an aesthetically pleasing kitchen when you frequently buy multiple ingredients and can never find the right food storage lid thanks to an unorganized, immensely messy, and chronic stress-inducing kitchen.
These tips will help you learn how to organize your kitchen when it’s a catastrophe.
How to Organize Your Kitchen (yes – even when it’s that messy)
There are 4 steps when it comes to organizing, and many people often miss the first step, deeming it unimportant. On the contrary, this is the single most important step of the whole process, and without it all your hard work will be ineffective.
- Deep clean
Most times, people that want organized spaces go from thinking about it straight to step #4: organizing.
If you want your space to not only be organized for a day or two, but want results that last and can stand the test of time, it’s important to follow each step from 1 – 4 in the correct order.
Let’s dive in.
How to Organize Your Kitchen
Step One: Purge
- The first step is pulling everything (yes – everything) out into the open.
This means emptying your pantry shelves, emptying cupboards and drawers, and taking the toaster, coffee maker, and other small appliances off of the countertop.
The goal here is to be able to see everything in your kitchen out in the open and out of place.
Meaning, even if you can see your spice rack just fine where it always lives on the countertop, move it to a new location – like the kitchen table or floor.
Moving objects out of their regular home will give you new eyes for them and help you discern whether or not they are really a necessary accessory to your kitchen.
If you leave items in their normal place and just look through them where they sit, your brain won’t be able to properly decide which stuff needs to go.
Skipping this step puts you right back on the hamster wheel you’ve been running on for years.
Organizing clutter isn’t organizing at all – it simply leaves you wondering why you spend so much time organizing, yet your space never feels – or looks – organized.
- Keep and let go
Now that you’ve pulled everything out into the open, it’s time to sort through it all and decide what you will keep and what you will donate or toss.
Find yourself struggling to get rid of stuff? The Clutter Buster will help you start purging your items like there’s no tomorrow. Click here to get your copy.
Looking at everything flooding your kitchen counter, table, and floor may feel overwhelming, but once you get moving it won’t take long to decide what things are definite keepers and which things you no longer need. And, if it does take you a long time to decide whether you should keep something or not, chances are you don’t really need it.
This step isn’t easy. Letting go of items you’ve held on to for years is hard. But it’s important to keep your end goal in mind: having an efficient and functional kitchen.
Remember what you want your kitchen to look like.
As you work your way through your items, sort them into three separate piles:
The keep pile is for items you intend to keep. The donate pile is for anything that no longer serves a significant purpose in your kitchen and you can live without. The toss pile is for anything you no longer need that isn’t in good enough condition to donate.
Step Two: Deep Clean
There’s no better time than right now to give your kitchen a deep clean. With everything out of your kitchen cabinets, drawers, and pantry you’ll easily be able to wipe everything down with nothing in your way.
Wipe the pantry shelves, cupboard shelves, doors (inside and outside), and door hinges. Get on the countertop and wipe the tops of your cupboards, top of the fridge, and top of window frames.
With nothing to move out of the way, deep cleaning your kitchen should take less than an hour, depending on the size of room that you’re working with.
Step Three: Plan
Before you put things back in their place, take a few moments to plan where you want to keep things.
Maybe where you used to keep things stored wasn’t the most efficient place for them, but you kept them there because it was convenient at the time.
Now is the time to re-plan the layout of your kitchen contents. Didn’t like where you kept the pots and pans? Put them somewhere else. Hated how you always had to climb on the countertop to reach the salt and pepper shakers? Find room for them somewhere lower down.
Think about where it makes sense for things to go, placing items you don’t use often to the backs of cupboards and on top shelves, and keep items you use more frequently in places that are easier to get at.
This alone will make spending time in the kitchen more attractive by taking away the hassle of moving 10 serving platters you rarely use to get at the crock pot you use weekly.
When planning out your kitchen, make your life easier by writing it down. Don’t rely on your memory here. Instead, grab a notepad and a pen and write down where you want different items to go.
Take note of the items you use on a daily and several-times-a-week basis, then write down where the most convenient place in your kitchen would be to keep them. When it comes to planning places for things that don’t get used very often, plan to fill the cupboards and shelves that are hardest to get at with these items.
Step Four: Organize
Now that you see how much more there is to organizing any space in your home than just thinking it, then jumping right into the organizing, you’ve finally reached the step of actually organizing.
While some people dread this step, since you took the time to get rid of unnecessary items and then plan where everything will go, this step couldn’t be easier.
Simply look at your notepad where you jotted down where each item will go, and follow those directions.
Related: 21 Expert Organizing Tips
In no time at all your kitchen will be neat and tidy, organized, and even inviting. While you used to avoid going into your kitchen because of the stress it caused, now you can enjoy going into your kitchen because you know exactly where everything is – and it’s all laid out in a way that makes sense for you.
Keep It Going
Keep your kitchen from becoming a disaster by reminding yourself to put things back in the right place right away. If you find you often place certain items in a place they don’t belong because it’s more convenient, reconsider the places that you have your items stored and try re-organizing them in a way that makes it easier to keep your kitchen organized.
Kitchen Organizing Hacks
Once you’ve organized your kitchen, if you find you still need more space or aren’t satisfied with the way things look, consider a few of the following hacks to further organize your space.
Utilizing space on your wall and ceiling will help the countertops not feel so cluttered, while allowing you to still keep the essentials in an easy-to-access place.
- Multi-purpose elegant rack for spice bottles, jelly jar or nail polish bottles
- Sturdy steel-wire construction with fine bronze finish
- Mounts on the wall. All mounting hardware (screws/wall anchors) included
A wall mounted rack can be used to keep spices, jams and jellies, and other small jars on display in a stylish way without them hogging counter real estate.
- Shelf dimension 30 inches x 10 inches x 9 inches. Maximum weight hold 50 pounds
- Kitchen wall shelf with wire mesh for hanging cookware to save space.
- Made from quality metal matt finished to prevent rust. Attractive and durable.
This wall mounted rack for pots and pans boasts a shelf along with hooks to store your pots and pans out of the way, but in a convenient enough space to get at, without having to shuffle through an overfilled drawer or cupboard.
- ★ MODERN INNOVATIONS MAGNETIC KNIFE BAR: This modern magnetic knife bar is made from strong magnets and covered in elegant, satin finished, high grade stainless steel, accenting any kitchen decor
Don’t have room for a knife block on your counters? Worry no more. Keep your must-have knives easily accessible with a stainless steel magnetic knife (and utensil) bar.
Cupboard & Drawer Organizers:
Keeping drawers and cupboards organized doesn’t only make it easier to find what you’re looking for, it also makes working in the kitchen more enjoyable. When you know exactly where everything is, there’s less wasted time, less frustration, and more production.
- Elegant Perforated Design, and Stackable design w/ 2 tier shelf
- Expandable from 13.75 to 26 inches
- Size: Medium Shelf 12.5-inch L x 8.5-inch D x 5.75-inch H
If you’ve ever wished there was less wasted space in your cupboards, this cupboard shelf is the answer to your problems. Not only will your cupboards look and be more organized, but you’ll also be adding an extra layer of usable space in the cupboard. If your kitchen feels like there’s just not enough space, this cupboard shelf will rock your world.
• Instant Organization: Perfect for inside kitchen cabinets to store bakeware, wraps, cleaning supplies, and more
• Easy Installation: Once you find the perfect spot use the included hardware to mount
For cupboards that have lots of empty space inside, particularly the under-the-sink cupboard, this cabinet door organizer makes better use of the empty space, making your under-the-sink must-haves easier to get at.
• Quality & Safety Material: Made of PP & stainless steel material, BPA free, sturdy & durable
• Expandable Steel Pipe: Length adjustable from 15-inches to 26-inches
Speaking of under-the-sink storage… an expandable shelf under the sink with removable shelves will keep that dreadful cupboard that you try so hard to hide from guests presentable.
Don’t let your pantry be your enemy. Spruce up your pantry space with these 4 must-have pantry organizers:
• Portable & Stackable: Built-in, easy-grip side handles make it easy to transport; stack these or use side by side to create the storage solution that works best for you
• Functional & Versatile: The perfect depth for lower cabinets and deep pantry shelves as well as inside the fridge or freezer
Perfect for the pantry, cupboard shelves, or the fridge, these food storage bins will keep small and mess-prone items organized. From loose spice bags to miscellaneous nuts and seeds, keep them from taking over your pantry shelves by giving them a home in these convenient storage bins.
• Best Bang For Your Buck: Includes 1 Large Container (8.0 cups), 2 Medium Containers (5.1 cups), 2 Small Containers (3.4 cups), 2 Mini Containers (2.1 cups)
• Superior Bundle: Your Complete Bundle comes with 7 BPA-FREE Premium Food-Storage Canisters, a Chalkboard Marker & BONUS Reusable Chalkboard Labels
Keeping things like cereal, flour, and sugar in clear plastic containers will help you identify what you have at a glance, and will keep your pantry shelves cleaner and neater.
- STACKABLE DESIGN: get multiple sets and stack them together in a second
- Store up to 36 can or variety size can/jars
- Six adjustable plastic dividers get different size can, jars,beverage can aligned and organized
Don’t let cans take over your pantry shelves and floor. Using a stackable can organizer will display your cans in an orderly way while keeping them in place.
- HANGING RACK WITH BASKETS: Ideal for kitchens, pantry, utility, linen closets & more
- REPOSITION BASKETS WITH ADJUSTABLE DESIGN: Easily reposition adjustable baskets to accommodate tall and short items; Ideal for storing cans, bottles, small boxes, spices, jars, small folded items & more
- MOUNTED DOOR OR WALL ORGANIZER: Wall mount or over-the-door rack with all hardware included for installation; Over-the-door solution also requires mounting installation with screws provided (1.5 in. over the door hook depth)
Perfect for adding space to your pantry, this 8-tier door or wall rack boasts the elegance of vertical storage. Giving you 8 extra layers of storage, you’ll finally have the space you need to keep your pantry looking neat and tidy.
Conclusion: How to Organize Your Kitchen
Keeping your kitchen organized isn’t a matter of having all the right kitchen organization tools and products. Rather, it’s a matter of keeping only what is necessary and needed on hand, and doing away with all the rest.
It’s a matter of having the items in your kitchen laid out in a way that makes your kitchen efficient and functional… for you.
It’s a matter of regularly and consistently putting things away where they belong – right away – to avoid a mess from building up.
I’d love to know, what are some of your tips for organizing a kitchen? How do you keep your kitchen organized when mess is knocking on the door? Let us know in a comment below.