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My best tips for organizing your kitchen cupboards and drawers

by respaced on May 23, 2011

Is your kitchen a pleasure or an annoyance to work in? If cooking in your kitchen is a game of hide-and-seek for all of your supplies, then you might want to consider reorganizing all of your drawers and cupboards. Storing items where they are frequently used and easily accessible will make your kitchen flow so much better. You might even feel more inclined to cook (unless you are like me and you hate making dinner. Then you have a problem that only a big glass of wine can solve each evening.)

Here are some of my best tips for reorganizing your kitchen:

Go through all of your kitchen supplies and get rid of anything that is a duplicate, non-functional and/or rarely or never used. I find most people have way too many plastic water bottles, cups and mugs with logos on them, and plastic leftover containers. Just eliminating those items alone will probably free up at least a few shelves.

Thing about how you use your supplies and map out your kitchen drawers and cupboards. This means you sketch your drawers and cupboards on a piece of paper and write your supplies on Post-It notes (eg. platters, plates, glassware, mixing bowls). Experiment with new placements for items by moving the Post-It notes on various cupboards and drawers in your picture. The next items on this list will help you figure out the best spot for everything.

Keep like items together. For example, create a baking drawer that contains your measuring cups and spoons, hand mixer, rolling pin, cookie cutters and cupcake liners.

Store your plates in cupboards either by the dishwasher or by the stove. This way, they are close to where they get washed or close to where they get “dished up.” Try to store your glasses, mugs and bowls in cupboards adjacent to your plates, as these are all used for “dishing up” too. Store your silverware in the drawer below these cupboards.

Pots and pans should be stored in cupboards or drawers near the store, because this is where they get used. Consider getting a pan organizer, which holds your pans so you don’t end up having to move five pans just to get the one you want. Also, a lid holder on the insider of the pots and pans cupboard door can be quite handy.

Store your cookie sheets, cutting boards and trays in a tall, narrow cupboard. Use tension curtain rods to separate them or buy these organizers from the Container Store.

Separate your cooking utensils according to use.This might mean you have a drawer for utensils that stir and scrape, utensils that are sharp, and/or utensils used for preparing fruits and vegetables. If counter space allows, keep five or six of your most frequently used items in an attractive container on the counter.

Try not to nest more than three bowls at a time to save you the hassle of pulling out the bottom bowl.

Gather up all of your plastic leftover containers and make sure each piece has a matching lid. Don’t keep more than 10 of these containers. Store the containers without their lids by nesting them in three piles: square containers, rectangular containers and circular containers. Put all of the lids on their side in a big container, grouping the square lids together, the rectangular lids together and so on. Designate one shelf or drawer for all of these. THIS is the secret to storing those annoying plastic containers!

If you have young children at home, storing your knives on a magnetic strip on your stove’s backsplash is safer than keeping them in a drawer or in a butcher block on the counter.

Making these changes will save you a lot of time and frustration in your kitchen. What are some of your best kitchen organizing tips? 

Image courtesy of Ben Snider at Flickr.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy May 24, 2011 at 3:08 am

Great ideas! Especially the Tupperware tips.
Thank you!


MaryJo @ reSPACEd May 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Thank for the thanks! I have tried a few different methods for organizing Tupperware, and this is the one that has been the most sustainable (in terms of everyone in the family sticking to it).


srisang May 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

Your excellent guidelines will be of great help to many. Nice post. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

Cooking Equipment


MaryJo @ reSPACEd May 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Thanks for reading, srisang!


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