How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

Glass kitchen cabinets

Organizing kitchen cabinets can help you do more that just get your kitchen in order. You can save yourself time and frustration by taking the time to make sure that your cabinets are properly organized.

Getting Your Kitchen Cabinets Organized

Whether you just bought new dishes, are renovating your kitchen, are moving in to a new home, or have decided it's just time to put things in order, organizing kitchen cabinets takes time and perseverance. The kitchen remains the most functional (and used) room in most homes. It is where you prepare food, gather with your family, and eat some or all of your meals. The best way to begin organizing your kitchen is to put dishes, pots, pans, cups and cutlery close to where you will need them.

Step One

The first step to organizing is to de-clutter everything. If you have a kitchen cabinet full of leftover Christmas decorations, random items or craft supplies, get them out of there. Clear all counter spaces of accumulated clutter. This includes any cup stands, food processors, blenders and other kitchen items that have a home but are not in it. You want open counter space to work with as you reorganize (or for some, organize for the first time) your kitchen supplies.

Step Two

Identify what needs to go where. Keep in mind that it makes sense to store like items together. While standing in your kitchen, look at the cabinets next to your stove and range. You should store pots and pans in easy reach of this area. If your cookware is not next to the stove, empty out a cabinet for them. Check the cabinets to see what is there. For example, if you have spices and drink mixes that you need when using the range top that is fine. However, if serving trays that you only use for special occasions are beside the stove, move them to another location.

Step Three

Clean the surface of the shelves if necessary with soap and warm water. This removes any sticky residue on your kitchen cabinets, as well as dust, so that you have a fresh surface to work with. Pretend the cabinet that you have just cleared is glass and visible to everyone. Maximize the use of the space with stacking and reasonable placement. Do not stack your pans six deep if you use the bottom pan far more often than the top. Place lids within easy reach of pans. If you have Rubbermaid containers, you may want to reorganize the area where they are stored so that the items you use the most are the easiest to access.

Tip: Don't be afraid to get rid of items that you never use. Many families worry that they will need these items later. If you think so, pack them them a box and place it in your garage. They're close enough to get to if you really do end up needing them, but far enough way to not be readily at hand. If you go 90 or more days and you don't need those items, donate them to charity.

Step Four

Repeat this process with each of the cabinets in your kitchen. The items you use the least should go the farthest from the center. Some kitchens are designed to so that dishes are stored on the far side near the dining room or dining area. Place the most commonly used items on the lower shelves and least used items on the upper shelves.

Tip: Holiday dishes should always be stored high up on the shelves. Remember they will be dusty when you pull them down, but they'll be ready to use after a quick rinse in the dishwasher.

Step Five

Organize your cleaning supplies under the sink. The only cleaning supplies under the sink should be cleaning supplies for the kitchen. All others can be relegated to a laundry room or bathroom storage area. Be sure to use safety latches on cabinets with heavy duty cleansers if you have small children to keep them out of it.

Tip: Once you have everything where you want it, use a label maker and put a small label inside each cabinet door that lists what goes there. That way when other family members put things back, they will have no excuse for not knowing where an item goes.

Drawers, Pantry and Other Kitchen Storage Areas

Organizing your kitchen cabinet space can take a while, particularly if they were very cluttered. Remember to do it one step at a time. Once your cabinets are organized, move on to the drawers, then to the pantry, and so forth.

Do not be afraid to eliminate clutter, because the kitchen is the center of the household it is where most of the junk mail and miscellaneous items end up. Do not allow that clutter to take up your space. Once you've eliminated the cluttered areas, periodically sweep through to remove clutter that accumulates later.

Buying Kitchen Cabinet Organizers

You can buy many items in retail stores that help you organize your kitchen cabinets from plate stands to cup racks to trays that allow you to stack small and large plates on the same "shelf" without being on top of each other. Only invest in the items you need to create the space you want. While the project can be a chore, when you're done, you'll enjoy the organized space.

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How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets