How to Organize Your Kitchen (and get dinner on the table)

how to organize your kitchen


Kitchens are the heart of our home. We gather, connect and entertain here. Big or small kitchen, getting and staying organized is important for all of us. You might have a small pantry, narrow drawers, lack storage or have a lot of dishes. There is a lot to store including small appliances, dinnerware, cookware, “tupperware” and serving pieces. There are also those tricky items like cuttings board, and baking sheets that need to be stored. Keeping your kitchen items accessible and organized makes it easy to make meals and spend time together. These strategies are smart ways to make this space more user friendly.


Declutter your counter tops

Exactly what is stacking up on your counter tops? Likely it is technology and papers. Set up a command center on a transit way wall to be sure your counters stay clear. If backpacks are in your kitchen, add a landing strip to your entry area. And what about technology and your common charging spot? Gather these items in a location that makes it easy to keep devices charging and counter tops clear. A clear counter area makes your kitchen feel inviting and ready to cook.


Organize your kitchen cabinets

Follow this step by step process for organizing your kitchen cabinets (and your kitchen drawers too.)

  • Empty cabinets onto the counters in your kitchen. As you empty, sort your items into categories. Group items by use such as drinking, eating, or serving. Categorizing and grouping items used together make your space more efficient.
  • Decide what to declutter and what to donate. That may depend on how many items match, how many items you need of one category or how well used the item is. Give yourself permission to let go of more, rather than less.  Donate those items right away.
  • Determine the best location to store items by their use. Pots and pans should be by the stove, while plastic storage should be by the sink and refrigerator. If you want your kids to access these, be sure items are stored low.
  • Add shelf inserts and any other storage solutions to make it easy to access items and put them away after use.

Edit inside your kitchen drawers

  • Once done decluttering,  your kitchen drawers may need an additional round of editing.  Think about which tools are multi-purpose and more functional.  Group together tools that are used for baking, barbeque, garnishing, and grating. This last pass helps you keep only what you use and need.
  • There are many different drawer dividers that keep these spaces organized. Standard silverware trays are great for flatware. For drawers with a variety of tool sizes and dimensions, adjustable drawer dividers keep order intact.


Assess your small appliances

Small appliances have gained great popularity with Keurigs and Kitchen Aids. Placing these under cabinets where you can create a “zone” helps, such as the coffee area or baking corner.  Most cooks love showing off these appliances despite being countertop hogs. If in doubt about the routines and maintenance of these appliances, be sure to set up a schedule for cleaning and care.


The best maintenance tip for a kitchen is to have a great dishwasher routine and a coordinated chore chart. When you pair the timing for dishwashing overnight, kitchens stay organized and tidy all day long.




4 replies
  1. Seana Turner
    Seana Turner says:

    My favorite room to organize! I love all the links you put in this post to help people find the tools they need.

    That appliances point is so important! Appliances and large food storage containers can take up so much space. Anything in the kitchen, and particularly on the countertop, needs to justify it’s presence.


  2. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    Kitchens are the hub of the home. A little organization goes a long way for creating flow and ease of use. It’s one of the most fun areas of a home to organize. Having clear counter space to prepare food is essential. Most of what is ‘out’ doesn’t need to be. Sometimes it requires getting creative about the storage space, especially if you don’t have a lot. Perhaps a closet in another room could be a remote pantry for the less used or larger items.

    And sometimes all you need are a few good tweaks. We acquired a collection of stainless, stackable mixing bowls which are great for food prep. However, some of them are large. So we rethought where some less often used food items were stored, moved them to the remote pantry, and made room for the bowls. It was amazing how much better our kitchen functioned when we made that tiny shift.

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