Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets in Nine Easy Steps
Before the open floor plan rose to the top of every homeowner's wish list, kitchens used to serve as closed-off quarters where the messes of everyday cooking could be quietly hidden away. Now, kitchen cabinets do much of the work, serving as a storage spot for non-perishable groceries, dishes, and cooking supplies, and occasionally housing stray wares that may not have made their way to a more permanent home before party guests arrive. As such, cabinets can easily become a hotspot for clutter and, in turn, wreak havoc on a streamlined cooking routine.
The result of a messy cabinet? Having to take out half the shelf and reorganize everything on your hunt for a single frying pan, or getting ready to try a new brownie recipe only to discover your star ingredient expired last month. Working efficiently in the kitchen hinges on having a system of organization in place, and that means making sure everything has a spot of its own, that groceries with the shortest shelf-life are placed within easy reach, and that items are stacked in a way that doesn't create an avalanche the moment you open the cabinet door.
The good thing is you only really need a few simple accessories to help maximize your kitchen cabinet space (and maybe getting rid of a few items, too). From racks and bins to baskets designed to use every square inch of space, read on to find out which organizing essentials you need. Plus, we're sharing a few handy tricks that put unexpected household items—like curtain tension rods—to work.
Baskets and Bins
Use them to contain small items that might otherwise create clutter, such as spices, dish towels, cleaning supplies, and produce that shouldn't be refrigerated.
Divide flatware or utensils within drawers. Arrange separate components to fill a drawer or look for expandable one-piece units.
Multitier turntables are handy for organizing items like condiments, spices, and vitamins and can help make the most of corner base cabinets and storage spaces. They also work well in the fridge!
Contain spice bottles on wire racks that sit in wall cabinets, fit into drawers, or are mounted on walls.
Utilize cabinets top to bottom by placing plastic-coated wire shelves in between shelves to double storage capacity.
Bowls, Pots, and Pans
Nest them to conserve space. Place paper plates or sheets of paper towels in between layers to prevent scratching (use nonabsorbent coated paper plates between cast-iron pans, which tend to retain traces of oil).
Nonbreakable Flat Items
Installing tension rods between shelves makes it easy to store cutting boards and baking pans upright.
Glassware, Dinnerware, and Serving Pieces
Group by pattern, collection, or function—for example, everyday glasses on one shelf with special-occasion stemware on another. Stack no more than four to six plates together (anything that has been repaired should always be kept on the top, or not stacked at all) and store glasses upright to protect rims.
Group wooden utensils in one crock, stainless-steel ones in another. Line up crocks next to the cooktop, for easy access.