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Golden Rules of Kitchen Organization

1. Store things where you use them. Pots and pans are best kept near the range or cooktop; mixing bowls, near the countertop you use for food preparation; plates, glasses, and flatware, near the dishwasher.

2. Group like items together -- store all bakeware in the same cupboard, all wooden spoons in the same ceramic crock, all spices in the same drawer.

3. Store your most frequently used items in the most accessible places. Keep things you use most often at eye level; store heavy items below waist level and infrequently used items on high shelves (keep a step stool within easy reach for such items) or in another area of the house. For example, if you use your oversized turkey platter only once a year, you don't need to store it in the kitchen at all. Instead, stow it on a high shelf in the garage or basement.

4. Declutter yearly. Take an inventory of all utensils, cookware, and dishware annually. Get rid of unnecessary duplicates, items that are damaged beyond repair, or things no longer used.

5. Keep small kitchen items in containers, see-through bins if possible, with neat, easy-to-read labels.

Comments (23)

  • 17 Feb, 2009

    I use new inexpensive shower caps bought by the bag-full at a dollar store to cover the utensils in the crocks on my counter. Keeps the dust and grease off as they are right by the stove, and they are easy to remove when I need to use or when company comes by. Get too grimy toss them out.

  • 14 Feb, 2009

    I'm interested in your steamer...what kind is it and how does it work? Do you use it on your countertops and cabinets too?

  • 13 Feb, 2009

    Great Suggestions. I found that I only use 1 wooden spoon, 1 good knife, and 1 utensil for flipping eggs! I use a steamer to clean the surfaces and the kitchen is always clean.

  • 13 Feb, 2009

    This comes in handy - at a time when I'm trying to keep my kitchen simple. If there are too many things, you simply just cannot find them.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    When we downsized three years ago, sending an entire moving van of furniture, dishes, and everything else to auction, we learned to live with less STUFF. It was an adjustment, but I am very content with our little uncluttered bungalow. I do have much of the seasonal kitchen stuff in the basement on racks. Can hardly remember what we got rid of!

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    Thanks for the freecycle.org tip. I went on there and immediately found places for some of the stuff I've had boxed up and ready to go. I reorganized my kitchen a few weeks ago, I do it twice a year, and had a lot of good stuff that I just didn't need. Thanks again.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    A small kitchen is all the more reason to follow the above tips

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    If you really want to help people in need, don't give your stuff to Goodwill. See a family smile in person when you give them something for FREE. Try this amazing program Freecycle.org

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    yeah...my kitchen is probably the size of martha stewart's garden shed. not gonna work for me.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    I keep all of my crab-eating utensils such as the claw hammers and picks in a drawer inside a gallon zip-lock bag. When everyone comes over for a backyard crab fiest, I don't have to rummage through the drawer to find everythinhg.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    I decluttered my kitchen by gathering up all the excess, unused or unwanted items, packed them into a box, stored it in the garage and a year later (since I didn't miss any of these items) I donated everything to Goodwill. My junk drawer has small paper boxes labeled with words like rubberbands, twist ties, etc. How many wooden spoons do you need, really? Paring down keeps your sanity, your kitchen tidier and more organized and helps those in need when you donate.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    Since I remodeled my home I placed an Island in my huge kitchen and storing my pots/pans, baking pans, large pans, is ideal. I also have a basket to hold all those lids to the pans.
    There are four drawers to store excess kitchen tools, drawer by phone for phone pad, extra pen, address book, grocery list handy to write on when an item is low. Shelves on the end for phone books, large appliances need often, crock-pot and food processor. Other end Church Bible, library bag.
    .

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    I had my hubby install a cupboard in our garage to hold all of the large pans, pots, etc. that I don't used everyday, it has worked out great. We also use it to store paper towels, plastic ware, etc. I have also rearranged our kitchen a few times trying to figure out the best arrangement for us. The junk drawer mentioned in another comment is a necessity in my house, it stores matches, twist ties, a few nails, screws, rubber bands, flashlight, etc.....JUNK :)
    I'm always rearranging.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    I think it helps to have a junk drawer. One that if you are in a hurry and it looks like where does that go? You can just sweep it there. Like a bottle top or a piece of string. A twist tie or the garden clippers that you had out and guests are about to arrive and you don't have time to take them out to the garage. I clean the drawer out from time to time, but it helps keep everything tidy in the kitchen.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    I find that things stored in the open tend to get dirty, greasy, dusty, etc. I live near a busy road and dust is always settling on everything. I don't have much storage in my kitchen, but have built some counters with shelves below that can be covered with a curtain to keep the gunk out. Wish I could have a pot rack and utensils out, they look so nice that way, but get too yucky. Oh well.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    I like my dishes

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    Also, use inexpensive plastic drawer dividers to organize cooking cutlery (small knives together, long spoons, tongs etc.). I prefer to keep dishes and glasses not necessarily near the dishwasher, but rather near where they will be used: glasses near refrigerator, mugs near coffee maker, dishes and silverware where a tablesetter doesn't get in my "flight path" when I'm cooking.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    I had a drop ceiling in my kitchen, I removed the tiles and made use of the space above by installing peg board, and S-hooks to hang my pots. It totally cleared up the space in my cabinets for storing other items. This also could be done on a wall if you have space available. Got the idea from seeing a picture of Julia Childs kitchen.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    I had a drop ceiling in my kitchen, I removed the tiles and made use of the space above by installing peg board, and S-hooks to hang my pots. It totally cleared up the space in my cabinets for storing other items. This also could be done on a wall if you have space available. Got the idea from seeing a picture of Julia Childs kitchen.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    she's so right about the see-thru containers..i just switched my flour, sugars, choc chips, etc to lock-n-lock containers instead of ziplocks. nicer-looking, more orderly...

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    This is great information for new homemakers. (and, dianatx512-some of us don't have enough drawers and so we must use counters-you are not required to use the information offered, only to read it) Thanks for the tips.

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    This is mostly common sense, but good reminder to put heavyor breakable things below as opposed to on top. I need to move the pyrex lower. I also don't like too many things on the countertop. Wish I could do a hanging pot rack

  • 12 Feb, 2009

    While this is a good idea for some people. I don't like to have my counters filled up with things that can go in a drawer.