17 of Our Best Kitchen and Pantry Storage Ideas for Busy Families

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home depot select kitchen style light gray cabinets

The kitchen is the heart of the home, a place where you create unforgettable meals and special memories. But finding storage for all of your essentials—appliances and tools abound—can be a beguiling process for even the most organized of cooks. An efficient and safe kitchen is always important, but it's especially crucial for busy parents.

For families constantly juggling busy schedules, a well-organized kitchen can make all the difference in creating effective meal prep and family time. Ahead, we're sharing some of the best concepts to help you streamline your kitchen so that you can spend more time crafting and reading with your children, and less time playing hide and seek with the fruit snacks.

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Tuck Away Appliances

Annie Schlechter

A cabinet with a hinged door means easy access to small appliances, without having them on full display. And since they're not where children can reach them, you don't have to worry about any accidents.

02 of 17

Create a Designated Space

Annie Schlechter

Organize your little one's belongings in a special drawer designated just for him or her—we're talking lunch totes, school supplies, sports bottles, or anything you might need to grab on your way out the door.

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Leave a Note


With family members always on the go, coordinating schedules can be a challenge. Create an erasable board where you can list sports practice schedules, important days, chores, or grocery lists.

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Keep the Pantry Neat

Annie Schlechter

An organized pantry is a must. Sort your groceries and store them in food-safe containers for easy access later. Adding pullout drawers to your pantry also creates more function, so you or your kids won't have to go rummaging through shelves.

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Store Your Supplies

Annie Schlechter

Pullout spice cabinets can be repurposed to store all of your cleaning supplies. The easy access will help you get to spills and messes more quickly.

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Lift Items Out of Reach

wooden pegboard
Pernille Loof

For those items or ingredients that you don't want the kids to get into, put them out of reach with high shelves. And if your pantry doesn't feature the type of shelving you had in mind, create your own.

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Store Pans Properly

CAXXA Heavy Duty Pan Rack
Courtesy of Amazon

Stack pans vertically for simple storage—plus, they're easy to grab.

Shop Now: CAXXA Heavy Duty Pan Rack, $22.97, amazon.com.

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Leave No Space Unused


Make use of unexpected spaces. A tilt-down tray for your sink can be an extra storage space for sponges, brushes, and other odds and ends that would otherwise clutter your countertops.

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Divide and Conquer

Annie Schlechter

Tame your food storage by using drawer dividers. Now you can easily find the container you need—and it's matching lid!

10 of 17

Select Storage Bowls

Martha Stewart Collection Eight-Piece Pastel Melamine Bowl Set
Courtesy of Macy's

Melamine bowls in pastel hues are a great way to store items in your refrigerator. They're perfect for families with small kids since you won't have to worry about them breaking if dropped.

Shop Now: Martha Stewart Collection Eight-Piece Pastel Melamine Bowl Set, $34.99, macys.com.

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Label Everything

the home edit kitchen organization and storage
Courtesy of The Home Edit

Create a pantry where it's easy to access everyone's favorite foods and your essential mealtime ingredients. Our secret? Use clear labels so everyone knows where everything is.

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Stack Clear Bins

The Container Store Clear Stackable Plastic Storage Bins
Courtesy of the Container Store

Perfect for the refrigerator or pantry, clear stackable bins allow you to see what you're running low on so you can stock up next time you're at the store.

Shop Now: The Container Store Clear Stackable Plastic Storage Bins, from $3.49, containerstore.com.

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Stow Plastic Bags


Stash plastic bags (or folded paper ones) in this simple and easy to make project. You'll never hunt down a reusable bag again.

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Style Your Cookbooks

kitchen corner with blue cabinets and hanging exposed shelves with cookbooks and dishes
William Abranowicz

Worried about the little ones getting too close to your prized cookbooks? Elevate them while adding to your kitchen décor by displaying them on high-up shelves that are out of reach.

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Hang a Storage System

Warmly Multipurpose Cutting Board Storage Shelf Rack
Courtesy of Warmly

Any parent knows that kids tend to spill things. Have eco-friendly towels ready to go with a two-in-one organizing system like this. The cutting board and racks allow for more counter space.

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Encourage Healthy Snacking

Martha’s Maple Avenue house kitchen
Thomas Loof

For the foods that you want your kids to eat more of—fruits and vegetables galore—place them on full display and within reach. An array of better-for-you snacks arranged in decorative bowls encourages children to make their own selections.

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Camouflage Storage

kitchen sink with decorative diy sink skirt
Lennart Weibull

Cover up under-the-sink storage while adding to your kitchen's décor with this simple and effective DIY. Just be sure to keep any cleaning supplies or potentially harmful items higher up and out of reach of young children.

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