Ideas & Inspiration

How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

Clear Clutter
A kitchen cabinet housing unorganized dishes.

Everyone's kitchen and how they use it is different, so there isn't one steadfast rule to how you organize; however, the first step to solving kitchen chaos of any size is to clear out the clutter. 

This is especially true if your kitchen features open cabinets and shelving which can immediately draw the eye as you enter the kitchen. 

Start by tackling one cabinet at a time. Separate items by use and, as you're sorting through, get rid of anything chipped. 

Once the cabinets are clear, give them a good wipe down. 

Tip: To keep clutter at bay most days, do your very best to put everything back where it belongs each time you unload the dishwasher. The best way to avoid chaos is to take the time to put things in the right spot every time. 

Stack by Use
A woman sorts and stacks plates to organize them.

When you're ready to restock your cabinets, start stacking by use. For example, instead of stashing plates in teetering piles – and constantly having to rearrange them when you need a plate from the bottom of the stack – keep like items together (cereal bowls in one pile and diner plates in another) to save time and create a streamlined system that will lead to less chaos.

A good trick to maximizing your cabinet space is to think vertically. Consider if you need to adjust the height of any interior shelves or add a helpful organizer or two before you restock. Shelf risers and plate holders will save you from the dreaded reshuffle (and broken plates).  

A shelf riser will separate individual stacks of plates, making it much easier to create space between varied sizes, allowing easier access to them. 

A plate holder is similar in its ease of access, but turns plates vertically, so you can see exactly what you’ve got on hand, and can make room for other dishes in the cabinet. 

Sort by Size and Style
Glassware in a cabinet is stacked by size.

The trick to storing glassware? Separate them according to their size and use, keeping like with like (juice glasses over here, rocks glasses over there), so you always know what to reach for. If you have a variety of glassware in different colors, sort your stacks by color to create a uniform look that's efficient and pleasing to the eye. 

Tip: Shelf risers will essentially double your cabinet space, which is perfect when you’re filing glassware away.

Think Outside the Cabinet
A person hangs racks to store wine glasses.

Whether you're short on cabinet space or simply want to make more room for delicate items, consider adding a hanging glass rack under cabinets or shelves. 

Wine glasses, for example, are often more delicate and don’t fare well being shoved away into a cabinet. They can easily be broken by overcrowding, and run the risk of wobbling on an uneven cabinet bottom.

The solution? Attach a wine glass rack under the cabinet, and thread the base of the glasses into the rack. Not only is this a better way to prevent breakage, it also keeps dust from piling up inside the bowls of the glasses. 

Set Up Zones
A woman uses wall hooks to hang coffee mugs near her coffee pot.

Organizing your kitchen by activity can also create a streamlined system. In fact, if you follow the flow of kitchen activities, it makes sense to put things close to where you use them. 

Mugs, for example, are easier to reach for if they’re housed in the cabinet above the coffee maker. Even better (if you have the counter space) is to get them out of the cabinet and onto a mug holder, as this will free up cabinet space for those less-reached-for items. 

One more idea? Stick a row of hanging utility hooks on the wall behind the coffee maker, and hang mugs from their handles. Not only does this solve your storage situation, but putting your favorite mugs on display is an easy way to decorate the wall. 

Another thing about those hanging utility hooks: They’re perfect for creating storage on the inside walls of cabinets to hang potholders, aprons, mugs and more. 

Divide & Conquer
A pull-out cabinet features organized food storage containers.

Due to their varied sizes and shapes and matching lids, food storage containers are tough to tackle. Aside from buying stacking and interlocking sets of containers (which you can invest in if your system needs an overhaul), there are ways to work with your existing items.

First: Stack like with like. Nest containers inside each other, and give them the nesting doll treatment until you’ve gotten as small as possible with each stack. 

Second: Store lids vertically, either tucked against the side of the cabinet, or on a lid divider. 

For more organization, use vertical dividers to store cutting boards and serving platters. They’ll be quicker to locate when you need them, and won’t fall out every time you open the cabinet door. 

Well-organized kitchen cabinets can make any size kitchen feel more spacious. Ready to clear the clutter from your kitchen? We have options to deliver online orders when and where you need them.