29 Clever Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Organized

An uncluttered kitchen with plenty of storage is a dream for most of us. Having everything in its proper place makes prepping, cooking and even cleaning easier and more fun.

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March 25, 2015
By: Michele C Hollow and Jacquelyn McGilvray

Photo By: Tonya Stabb

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Toni Hammersley

©Photo courtesy of Diamond Cabinets


©Susan Serra

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

©Photo courtesy of Diamond Cabinets

Photo By: Lindsay Raymondjack ©Designs by Joanne Palmisano, photos by Susan Teare

Photo By: Mali Azima

©Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

©Jean Allsopp

Photo By: Shane Inman

Photo By: Brian Brown

©Susan Serra

©Diamond Cabinets

©QCI Direct

Breakfast Storage Bar

Ever since blogger Tonya Staab and her family moved into their new home, she longed for more storage space in her kitchen. Since she uses her kitchen island for prepping meals, she came up with the idea of adding shelves under one side of the island. She uses the wooden crates to store vegetables, cans and recycling.

Paper Towel Drawer

An open-face drawer with a built-in paper towel dispenser makes the towels easy to reach but it is not an obvious part of the kitchen. Design by John McGilvray. See more of this beautiful French country kitchen >>

Hidden Pegboards

A set of columns on either side of the sink look purely decorative, but they’re totally practical with their pegboard-style storage. Design by John McGilvray. See more of this gorgeous kitchen >>

Toe-Kick Step Stool

If your upper cabinets are hard to reach, a step stool stowed away in the cabinet's toe kick may be the perfect solution. Design by John McGilvray.  See more of this kitchen >>

Baskets + Bins

Organize your pantry staples in see-through, pull-out baskets it'll make it easier to see what you have and what you need. 

Even the Least Obvious Spaces Work

Most kitchens have toe kicks under their cabinets. This one, however, utilizes those spaces with the toe-kick drawer from Diamond Cabinets.

Looking Upward

Don’t overlook those hard-to-reach spaces. With a handy sliding ladder in place, access is a fingertip away. The shelf over the entryway stores cookbooks, and the circular lazy Susan is mounted on the wall to hold spice canisters. Photo courtesy of DIY Showoff.

Mix and Match Modular Shelving

The fun of floating shelves such as these is that you can position them any way you want, which makes them an ideal choice for tiny kitchens. 

Less Is More

Efficiency is key when you have a small kitchen. All the necessary tools need to be within easy reach. Shelves can store tools and even art, as long as it is not overcrowded. Susan Serra, CKD, CAPS and author of The Kitchen Designer blog, enjoys finding solutions to create order in tight spaces.

Spring-Loaded Curtain Rod to the Rescue

When organizing your kitchen, it’s easy to forget the dark area below the sink. Stop tossing in the miscellaneous cleaning supplies, and give them a space that’s all their own. By adding a small curtain rod below the sink, you will be able to hang your cleaning supply bottles while also opening up the bottom of the cabinet for other items.

Cabinet Racks

To maximize cabinet space try stackable wire racks. The racks come in different heights and widths, and they allow various sizes of plates to be stored neatly within the same cabinet.

That Tiny Space Next to the Fridge

The tall pull-out cabinet next the fridge is open on both sides so it is convenient and easy to see what you’ve got in stock.

Both Sides

The dual-door cabinet from Diamond Cabinets allows for easy access for dinnerware, serving bowls and other kitchen items.

Under Sink Pull Out

Why have a drawer if you can’t actually use it? Try adding hinges and a convenient tray to the false drawer for an extra place to hide cleaning essentials.

Pantry Door Organizer

A chalkboard panel mounted on the inside of the pantry door makes it a snap to keep track of grocery needs and daily schedules. Attaching a piece of chalk with a pretty ribbon ensures that you won’t have to go digging through drawers when you need to write something down.

Mix It Up

Display your favorite dishes with antiques and artwork to add interest and character to your open shelving.

Pegboard Backsplash

A pegboard wall allows for extra storage as well as display space. The inexpensive panels are fastened to the walls, then hooks from the hardware store are used to hang utensils and kitchen gadgets.  Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Stylish Island

For extra serving and prep space, a custom island made from an old console table was updated with a spray-coat of bubble-gum pink lacquer. It was then outfitted with hooks for kitchen supplies and topped with a Carrara marble remnant. 

Reclaimed Wood Spice Rack

Most of us hide our mismatched spices in a cabinet until it's time to cook. Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri of HGTV's Kitchen Cousins have a solution to turn your spices into a unique piece of artwork. Slabs of reclaimed wood were cut to size and nailed to the wall, and then various metal holders were added to hold 30 different spices in matching canisters.

Wire Drawers

For extreme durability, try another take on baskets — wire instead of wicker. The see-through racks also mean that you no longer have to dig for that bag of kettle corn.


Look up. If you aren’t comfortable with open shelving at eye level, try limiting it to the row of cabinets near the ceiling. In this kitchen, the homeowner removed the upper cabinet doors to enlarge the feel of the compact space and add decorative interest without putting her entire kitchenware collection out in the open.

Illuminated Pot Rack

A pot rack with an integrated light fixture with small halogen bulbs takes advantage of vertical space and can add task lighting to the work space below. 

Toy Drawers

Kids love playing in the kitchen while you work, but post-meal clean-up is enough of a drag without adding toys to the mix. Look for clever options like the one in this kitchen island. The kid-height, slide-out shelves collect everything from crayons to tots' pots and pans.

Side Desk

A small desk tucked into the end of the cabinets is a spot to stay organized or a convenient place to do homework. 

Primitive + Practical

Sometimes simpler is better. In this case, dishes become part of the decor in a distressed-wood dish rack. But they're also close enough to make storage and use a delight.

Nooks and Crannies

Contrary to its size, these sliding drawers store a lot of items. Susan Serra, CKD, CAPS, found that these drawers hold small gadgets, dinnerware and food.

Soaring Spirits

This reclaimed wooden rack is great for housing open wine bottles and other accoutrements like corkscrews. It is available through Obaz.com.

A Place for Everything ...

... and everything in its proper place. These sliding chrome inserts from Diamond Cabinets make pots, lids and other items easy to spot. Chrome shelves on the inside of the doors are perfect for storing plastic wrap and other kitchenwares.

Round and Round

When you open a cabinet door, don’t you want to see order? The Can Tamer works like a lazy Susan to house canned goods. From QCI Direct, the Can Tamer stores 13 cans or up to 39 food cans, depending on their size.

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