Organize Kitchen Cabinets & Drawers For The Last Time

organized kitchen shows drawers partially open to show tidiness, also counters are almost bare. Image is in white and very light wood color.

If you find yourself rummaging through a sea of pots and pans, oven mitts and dish towels etc., struggling to locate your favorite spice, or just tired of the chaos, read on. I’ll share tips and tricks on how to declutter and organize your kitchen cabinets and drawers, transforming them into highly functional spaces.

Decluttering Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers for a Fresh Start

All organizational and storage solutions begin with a good decluttering. There is no way around this. So get out your trash bags and start! Since the kitchen is usually the hub of the family why not gather the kids to chip in and make this a life’s lesson too. Sorry kids!

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3 black trash bags marked in red in the 3 separate categores

Get yourself a box of heavy duty black contractors bag and label the bags like the picture above shows.

Begin with Kitchen Cabinets

Let’s tackle the often-neglected kitchen cabinets first. Start by taking everything out. Yes, everything. This includes pots, pans, baking sheets, and small appliances. Empty out any dead spaces and under the kitchen sink too. Now start sorting into the bags.

Don’t spend a lot of time. Just sort, don’t overthink it. Put aside the stuff you regularly use and are keeping and sort the rest into the bags.

Simon enjoys his spare time under my kitchen sink and pops his head up at the whiff of peanut butter! 

my black and tan King Charles spaniel puppy in my under the kitchen sink cabinet! He is poking his head up because he smells the peanut butter on the counter!

Embrace Small Kitchen Solutions

In a small kitchen, every inch counts. Trust me, I know. I have a very small, albeit highly functional kitchen. Consider installing pull-out shelves to make accessing items at the back of your bottom cabinets a breeze, ensuring easy access to all your kitchen items. I realize there are financial considerations and this may not work for some people.

a cool slender pull out spice rack is all that would fit next to the stove

Spice Up Your Spice Storage

I did a small kitchen renovation during the pandemic and my favorite part is the pull out spice drawer. There was this perfect size, basically useless, former slender cupboard next to the range just crying out for this pull out spice rack. I bought a very good quality pull out spice drawer for a very reasonable price, under 100. is all I paid. 

Spices can easily clutter your kitchen, and they are also essential for a cook. Investing in a spice rack or drawer insert to neatly organize your collection, and probably last forever, is a good investment and great use of space. You can go a step further and label the containers for quick identification, ensuring that your spices have a proper place in your kitchen.

Mastering Cabinet Organization

Upper Cabinets – Organizing Dishes and Glassware

Upper cabinets are often the prime real estate for storing dishes and glassware. Begin by taking everything out of your upper cabinets, including dishes and glassware. Assess what you use regularly and what can be donated or stored elsewhere.

Remember the black labeled trash bags, continue sorting into bags setting aside what you will keep.

Lower Cabinets – Taming Baking Pans and Pots and Pans

Lower cabinets are ideal for storing heavier items like baking pans and pots and pans. Take a deep breath and start by clearing out your lower cabinets. Evaluate which pans you use most frequently and which ones can find a new home. This is a crucial step in achieving a well-organized kitchen.

Now that you’ve decluttered and streamlined your lower cabinets let’s move on to cabinet organization:

Revamp Drawers With Organizers

Drawer organizers are your best friends when it comes to your utensil drawer. Sort your kitchen utensils, cutlery, and kitchen gadgets into designated compartments using drawer dividers. This not only keeps things tidy but also makes meal prep a breeze.

Bamboo drawer dividers are very popular now and come in a bunch of sizes and for instance Amazon even sells expandle bamboo drawer dividers!

Conquer Dead Space

Many kitchens have awkward “dead space” where items get lost and forgotten. Install pull-out shelves or baskets to maximize these spaces, making the most of your kitchen cabinet space. Use them to store cutting boards, baking trays, or even seasonal items. Like I did with the pull out spice rack.

Store Large Appliances Efficiently

Large appliances like your blender, air fryer, and food processors can take up valuable counter space. My kitchen has so little counter space I store all the big appliances in a cabinet on the other side of kitchen. I also am not one to spend much time cooking so I don’t use appliances that often.

This is a perfect solution for me. You need to create a system that works best for you. My way works for me because I love the look of bare kitchen counter tops. This frees up my kitchen counter for food preparation and gives my kitchen a cleaner look. Plus I paid a king’s ransom for this small quartz counter top and want to see it!

Tackle the Chaos of Food Storage Containers

Food storage containers have a knack for multiplying and creating chaos. Get rid of all those mismatched food storage containers!  

My sister has convinced me to buy a couple good set of Pyrex glass food storage containers. She reports this not only maximizes her kitchen storage space, it brings her joy! Feeling joy over food storage containers seems like a stretch to me – but who am I to judge. These containers are great for leftovers and freezing and reheating.

Dedicate a drawer to them and pair lids with containers using clear containers which of course the glass are. If you find any lids without a match, it’s time to let them go. This is a great time-saving kitchen organization tip. My sister sold me on the glass ones because I decided to not waste another minute on looking for containers with lids that fit.

Pantry Organization

A well-organized kitchen extends to your pantry. Take time to organize your pantry by categorizing food items, using clear containers, and labeling everything. This ensures that you can quickly locate ingredients when cooking and helps prevent food waste.

Water Bottles

Let’s talk about water bottles. Not sure why my friend has no less than 2 dozen water bottles clogging up her kitchen cabinets. She seems to use the same bottle all the time, at least when I see her, which is regularly. I know, judgy judgy. I have 2 water bottles and the quality of my life seems fine.

Just sayin’, you might consider culling your collection to free up cabinet space and easily grab a cup on the go.

A Well-Organized Kitchen Awaits

With these expert tips and a little determination, you can declutter and organize your kitchen cabinets and drawers, regardless of the size of your kitchen. Embrace the magic of drawer organizers, pull-out shelves, and creative storage solutions to create a well-organized kitchen that not only looks fantastic but also makes your daily cooking endeavors easier, quicker and less frustrating.

Maintaining your well-organized kitchen is crucial for long-term success. Here are additional tips for sustaining kitchen bliss:

Label Everything for Easy Access

Labeling is a simple yet effective way to ensure everything finds its rightful place. Use labels on bins, containers, and even the inside of cabinet doors to help you and your family members maintain order. When everyone knows where things belong, it’s easier to put them away correctly.

Practice the “One In, One Out” Rule for Kitchen Items

For every new kitchen item you bring into your kitchen, consider removing an older item. This rule ensures that your kitchen remains clutter-free as you acquire new gadgets, utensils, or cookware over time. How many wood spatulas does one really need?

Also keep in mind the 80/20 rule. Studies show we basically only use 20% of our stuff 80% of the time.

scrubbing down kitchen tile backsplash as part of regular cleaning

Regularly Clean and Organize

Don’t forget to clean your kitchen cabinets and drawers regularly. Dust and crumbs can accumulate over time, making your well-organized space lose its luster. A periodic deep clean will keep your kitchen looking and feeling fresh.

Adapt as Needed for Your Kitchen Space

As your needs and kitchen equipment change, be open to adjusting your organization system. Flexibility is key to maintaining an organized kitchen in the long run. Don’t hesitate to shift items around or invest in new organizers if your requirements evolve.

With dedication, a bit of ingenuity, creativity and a bit of elbow grease, you can transform your kitchen into a space that’s not only functional but also maybe fun to cook and spend time in. I actually almost enjoy cooking since I renovated my kitchen. Honestly, I only had used the kitchen oven two or three times in about 25 years.

A Lasting Well-Organized Kitchen Awaits You

The key to organization is to declutter regularly and maintain your newfound organization system. With time, you’ll notice how your well-organized kitchen simplifies your daily routines and brings a sense of calm to your culinary adventures.

Your kitchen is a place where creativity and deliciousness come to life, so why not make it a space where order and efficiency thrive as well? Happy decluttering and organizing! May your kitchen always be a source of inspiration and satisfaction!

Oh! One more thing, check out my 7 Day Declutter Challenge if you need help motivating yourself!

pic of author

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutter-er and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

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