I don’t know whether it’s the new year, the Marie-Kondo-madness that everyone seems to have caught, or nesting, but organizing has been on my mind a lot lately. It seems like I’m not the only one, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite tried-and-true kitchen organization ideas from my own home.
When Steven and I painted and upgraded our kitchen a few years ago (see the dramatic before-and-after here), we took out some closed cabinets, and added open shelves. It meant we lost some storage, so I tried to add as many practical organization elements as I could, and I’ve added a few more since then. Of course you should declutter and get rid of stuff you don’t need, but once you’ve done that, these kitchen organization ideas can help you make the most of your cabinets.
1. Vertical baking sheet storage – If the baking sheet or muffin tin you need always seems to be at the bottom of a stack, the answer is to go vertical. It’s much easier to see what you need and get it out without having to sift through a pile of stuff. I used this tutorial as a starting point for my baking sheet and pan storage. As you can see, it also works for muffin tins, cooling racks, a roasting pan, and even a marble board.
2. Door storage shelves – These are great for frequently-used items that you don’t want to have to dig around for. You do have to leave clearance in the front of the cabinet for the shelves to fit, but in a tall, deep cabinet without shelves like this one under the sink, that’s not difficult. I used shelves similar to these, and they installed super easily, with just a couple of screws.
3. Pull-out drawers – These are one of my favorite kitchen organization solutions. They’re the best way I’ve found to maximize space in lower cabinets. Pull-out drawers make it possible to utilize the back corners of your cabinets, without having to get down on the floor and excavate every time you need to use the stuff back there.
4. Pull-out garbage and recycling bins – Part of the reason we needed to make the most of our kitchen organization is that we lost cabinet space when I added these pull-out recycling and garbage bins. But it was totally worth it to have them so conveniently hidden away. I used these pull-out slides and this door-mounting kit to retrofit my cabinet.
5. Spice storage – This spice storage cabinet is one of my favorite things in my kitchen, but when we moved in, it was home to a fold-out ironing board. Cute and retro, but not very practical. So I took it out, and converted it into this spice rack by adding narrow shelves.
If you want all of your spice jars to match perfectly, you could buy a set of jars like these. But I’m way too frugal for that, so I removed the labels from the glass jars my spices have come in over the years, and spray-painted the exterior of the lids black so they all match. Trader Joes spices all come in matching jars with black lids, so they’re a good resource for building up your jar collection. And if you’re like me, you’ll want to label your spices so that you can keep them all alphabetized. I love this label-maker.
Do you have any favorite kitchen organization tips or tools? Please share!