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How To Organize Kitchen Cabinets – 12 Tips & Tricks

Modern kitchen, Open drawers, Set of cutlery trays in kitchen drawer

In our opinion, the kitchen is the most important room in a house. Could that have something to do with the fact that food makes people happy? Maybe. But that doesn’t take away the fact that without the kitchen, a house isn’t really a house, but an empty space.

And now that we know the role played by the kitchen, it’s time to talk about its contents. More specifically, how to organize the kitchen cabinets, with the sole intention of making that whole space look and feel presentable.

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12 Surefire Tips & Tricks for Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

We often like to think about organizing a kitchen cabinet as a process or procedure. Something defined by a series of steps to reach an end goal. Of course, you’re allowed to do it your own way, as long as the end result puts a smile on your face.

1. Clear Out the Shelves

It will be difficult to move the items to the positions that make them more accessible if they are all still cramped up in that tiny space. So, remove all the contents and leave nothing behind. Even if it’s just a small salt or pepper shaker.

We hope you remembered to create space on the counter because that’s where you’ll be moving them to. And it has to be clean, or else you’ll be forced to rewash the cookware and dinnerware before placing them back in.

woman looking in an empty pantry at kitchen cabinet
Photo Credit By: Steve Cukrov, Shutterstock

2. Clean The Doors and Shelves

Now that we have a space, the next logical step is to wipe all the doors and shelves. You have to wipe them even if you can’t see any dirt or dust. Go to the store, buy a multi-surface degreaser spray, come back, look for a clean piece of cloth, and start wiping both the interior and exterior surfaces.

cleaning gray cabinets
Image Credit: Natalia Anyukhina, Shutterstock

3. Install More Drawers

We found that having several cabinet drawers is an effective way of making sure that things stay organized in the long run. So, if you have a limited number, you’ll have to get a professional to help you install more drawers or cabinets.

Alternatively, if time is not of the essence, you could always use this opportunity to work on a small DIY project—there are unlimited sources on the internet with simple instructions on how to do this.

man assembling kitchen cabinet
Photo Credit By: Dmitry Kalinovsky, Shutterstock

4. Fully Utilize the Space

Organizing a kitchen cabinet means you also have to find a way to maximize its capacity. This is where you’ll find yourself crunching up numbers because you have to adjust the original shelves in a way that leaves adequate space for shelf maximizers.

The purpose of a shelf maximizer is to make it possible for the different cabinet items to be stacked on top of each other, or for mini shelves to sit on relatively larger shelves.

kitchen cabinet
Image Credit: ginsburgconstruction, Pixabay

5. Install Dividers

The dividers will be more effective if they are installed in the cabinet drawers. We also noted that they tend to be more supportive when implemented on the cabinets that are often located under the kitchen sink. You know, the places where we like to store things like paper towels, dishwashing soaps, sponges, and all the other cleaning supplies.

Silicone kitchen ware in cabinet
Image Credit: castorly-stock, Pexels

6. Take Advantage of Round Organizers

Have you ever heard of the Lazy Susan? It’s a round platform that’s designed to rotate on some bearings. Restaurants love using it as it makes food distribution easy. In the kitchen, you can use the Lazy Susan in the lower or upper cabinet. This flat platform can hold most of your utensils and spices in the cabinet, hence helping you to fully maximize space.

built in dishwasher in the kitchen
Image Credit: More Than Production, Shutterstock

7. Don’t Forget About the Vertical Space

Instead of storing your stuff horizontally, why not try vertically? Or you could do it your way, but stack baking sheets on top of them. This will not only give you easier access to the items but also leave more space on the other side, for other items.

organized kitchen cabinet with pots and pans
Image Credit: Rosamar, Shutterstock

8. Get Containers

If you hate using containers because they make your cabinets look tacky, it’s probably because you keep going for containers that aren’t aesthetically pleasing. To us, containers have always been the best remedy for storing those food items that have hideous packaging. Furthermore, a good quality container will lock out bacteria, and ensure your food’s shelf life is extended.

kitchen drawer filled with plastic containers
Image Credit: Charise Wilson, Shutterstock

9. The Cabinet’s Exterior Is an Extra Storage Space

Yes, you caught that right. The exterior sections of your cabinet can be used to store some of the items that usually go in. we’re talking about the cutting boards, cutlery, and shiny kitchen tools that could be used for decorative purposes. All you need to do is look for some adhesive or pegboard hooks and attach them to the sides. We promise, you’ll love it.

Set of cutlery hanging on wall in the kitchen
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

10. Detach The Doors

This sort of sounds counterproductive, but it works. And it’s more or less a psychological thing because it’s easy to maintain organization in the kitchen when the cabinets don’t have doors. The doors simply give you an opportunity to hide your mess, and now you’ll have taken that option away.

Also, who wouldn’t want to showcase their work of art once they are done organizing? It’s a passive way of letting everybody know how organized you are in the kitchen. The well-arranged wine glasses, strategically placed plates, and shiny cutlery will add color to that space, and bring out a feeling of sophistication.

man installing kitchen cabinet
Image Credit: ANDRANIK HAKOBYAN, Shutterstock

11. Heavy Goes Down, Light Goes Up

Intuitively, we often feel the need to place heavier items on the bottom shelves. But have you ever asked yourself why that is? Why would people feel like it’s only natural to place all the large serving dishes, pans, and bowls at the bottom instead of the top shelves?

Well, it’s because they are trying to avoid accidents and breakage. You see, if for some reason the top shelf isn’t stable enough, and it crumbles, all the heavy items stored there will crash down and break the light items at the bottom. So, by placing heavy at the bottom, you’re intuitively trying to salvage the situation should something like that occur.

woman arranging plates in dishwasher
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

12. Like Items Go Together

This is kitchen organization 101. It’s ridiculous to even think about placing the dishes in the same place as the cookware or mixing the cookware with the food items. That’s the literal definition of disorganization—something that we’re trying to avoid.

drawer with silver cutlery in modern kitchen
Image Credit: Di Studio, Shutterstock

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Is It Important to Organize the Kitchen?

We often like to remind our audiences that a disorganized kitchen can cost them more than just the inner peace that people keep preaching about. If that space constantly looks like a battleground, anytime you’re there you’ll spend half of the time looking for stuff or cleaning random messes. And that will cost you time, money, and several other resources, in the long run.

How Do You Know Where to Put Things in The Cabinet?

Knowing where “this or that” goes is not the hard part. You’ll instinctively know the cookware looks good next to the other cookware, and the dishes have to be moved next to their counterparts. Figuring out how to fit them in that small space is the equation that you need to be worrying about. Because if you don’t have things like Lazy Susans or dividers, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

Where Should You Store Wine Glasses in A Kitchen?

All glasses have to go in the cabinet, and not on the kitchen counter or close to the fridge. Placing your glassware on the counter is the reason why you keep pushing and breaking them anytime you try to grab something. Once you’re done washing your utensils, pat them dry and place them in a cabinet that has doors. If the doors are detached, place them at the far end—away from the kids.

What Goes on The Upper Kitchen Cabinet?

The delicate stuff. Anything and everything that looks delicate has to be placed on the upper shelves. That includes the dinnerware, wine glasses, dishes, and small bowls. Food items are also meant to go up. It would seem weird to place those items in the same place you store your cookware or heavy appliances.

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Wrapping Up!

It’s true what they say; you’ll never find a kitchen that’s big enough to please any homeowner. All we can do is try to create more spaces and remain organized. And organization starts and ends with the cabinets. If everything’s a mess in there, the whole room’s a mess. So, apply these tips and tricks, and that kitchen will look more spacious than usual.

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Featured Image Credit: PK-Donovan, Shutterstock


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