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How to Organize Your Home Room by Room, Part 1: The Kitchen

Kitchen Organization Ideas to Wrangle Clutter and Instill Order

Do you let out a cry for help when you try to match Tupperware containers to their rogue lids? Are you constantly searching an overcrowded drawer for the utensil you need? If the answer is yes, then you may want to block out time this weekend to get your kitchen organized. 

Don’t stress out about your kitchen clutter just yet, the solution is simpler than you think. We’ve pulled together easy organization tips that won’t require you to spend the whole weekend in pantry purgatory. Follow these professional kitchen organization ideas to tackle every area in the room.  

How to Organize Your Pantry

“In the pantry, people often have a lot of food that’s been sitting on the shelves for a while, especially spices they bought for one recipe,” according to Cheryl Larson from Cheryl’s Organizing Concepts. Avoid this by going through your pantry and purging or donating items that you don’t plan on using again. 

Simple Kitchen Pantry Organizing Ideas to Avoid Stockpiling Food

  • Circle expiration dates to make sure you don't keep food past its prime.
  • Alphabetize spices or small items so you know exactly what you have and don't end up double-buying goods.
  • After a trip to the store, always put new food in the back so older items are used up first.
  • Make a note to go through the pantry at least once a year and do a deep clean.

Organize food staples in pull-out storage containers or baskets with labels. This will let you easily see what you have, and what you need to put on your grocery list. Group like items together with generic labels. If you purchase foods in bulk like cereal or tea, transfer them to small, see-through storage containers to save space in your pantry. Remember to use a uniform labeling system to keep everything consistent and organized. 

Keep the Fridge (and Freezer) Clean

It's not just your pantry that suffers from disorganization. If you often find un-identifiable leftovers stuffed in the back of the fridge, these tips are for you. 

For the Fridge

Go through your refrigerator once a week to make sure there isn’t spoiled food sitting on shelves or in storage drawers. Keep your fridge tidy by designating one drawer for fruit, one for veggies and one shelf just for leftovers. 

For the Freezer

Your freezer won’t suffer from spoiled food the same way your refrigerator will, but you also don’t want to find freezer-burnt food hiding in the back corner. Clean out your freezer once a month to check for any items that have gone bad. 

Minimize Junk in Kitchen Drawers

Silverware and utensil drawers should hold just that — silverware and utensils. If there are other items lingering in those drawers, find them a new home. Insert drawer organizers to separate forks, teaspoons, tablespoons and knives and keep everything neat.

Everyone seems to have at least one drawer in the kitchen that contains leftover birthday candles, tape, office supplies and more. If you don’t pay attention, that single “junk drawer” can turn into “drawers” before you know it. 

“To organize your utensil drawers, first weed out any duplicate items. Once you’ve decided what you need to keep, measure your drawers as well as the groups of utensils you’d like to store together. Write down the approximate sizes you need and head to the store with your measuring tape in hand. You can either purchase ready-made containers, or you can purchase adjustable drawer dividers that will run the length or width of your drawers.”
Rose Lounsbury | Organize With Less

Organize Your Junk Drawer to Function Like a Mini Office

What to Keep:
  • Pens and pencils.
  • Tape.
  • Scissors.
  • Flashlight.
  • Small writing pad.
What to Remove:
  • Sewing materials.
  • Small tool sets.
  • Birthday supplies.
  • Batteries.


Master Your Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets often collect things that don’t belong in the kitchen. If you dream of Pinterest-worthy kitchen cabinets, order is how you will get there. First, be prepared with a box for items that should move to another room and a second container for items that you don’t use and can be donated. 

Then, empty your cabinets one-by-one to sort through what belongs and what doesn’t. Stack plates, bowls, pots and pans neatly in each cabinet. Designate shelves for specific types of drinkware, and try to not have more than one type per shelf. 

Organize Kitchen Cabinets and Prevent Clutter

  • Keep just one set of glassware in your cabinet. Chances are you won't need more apart from special occasions.
  • Don't store holiday plates or china with your everyday dinnerware. Keep the good stuff in storage.
  • Avoid collecting mugs and specialty glasses on vacation.
  • Stack Tupperware and pans with their corresponding lids close by.

Pro Tip:

Stick with one kind of Tupperware and purchase different sizes. This helps avoid a surplus or difference shapes in the same size, and everything will fit better. 

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Banish Countertop Clutter

"The rule of thumb is, if you don't use it every day, it doesn't have to be on the counter."
Cheryl Larson | Cheryl's Organizing Concepts

Have a station for the utensils you use most, spices and maybe some olive oil if you’re an avid home chef. Restricting the essentials to a defined place, perhaps in a basket or on a tray, keeps you disciplined, helping you make the most of your counter space. 

If your toaster, teapot and Keurig sit out on the counter, relocate them to one of your newly reclaimed cabinets when you aren’t using them. Even if you make toast every morning, the toaster takes up valuable space the rest of the day. 

“The best way to banish clutter in any room is to make sure each item has a home. In the kitchen, one item that typically piles up is paper. As soon as paper comes in, use the RAFT method – read, action, file, trash – to separate it into piles. Put each pile into a logical home, reading material in a basket, actionable paper in a to-do bin on the counter, filing in a filing cabinet, and trash into a recycling receptacle.” 
Rose Lounsbury | Organize with Less

Keep It Clean

Cleaning goes hand-in-hand with organizing efforts. Create a checklist for your kitchen that tackles a specific area each day, or every other day, with major projects on the weekend. 

When organizing the rest of your kitchen, don’t forget your cleaning supplies. Investing a little time upfront means you won’t get frustrated looking for a sponge down the road. 

“Get a plastic basket and put your cleaning supplies inside. It’s so much easier to pull out one basket with everything you need than to go searching.”
Cheryl Larson | Cheryl's Organizing Concepts

The key is to keep everything in one spot, and just stick to the necessities so the cleaning supplies you do have are clearly visible. 

How to Keep Your Kitchen Organized All Year Round

"The secret to being organized it to live within your space. If you have too much stuff it just makes spending time in the kitchen miserable."
Cheryl Larson | Cheryl's Organizing Concepts

Always think twice before you buy anything. Ask yourself where it will go, and if you have trouble imagining free cabinet space, put that decorative plate back on the store shelf. 

Looking for more organization ideas for the rest of your house? We have you covered.

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