he kitchen is one of the most important, high-traffic areas in your home, which means it can easily become cluttered and messy. If you’re trying to organize your kitchen, check out these 11 kitchen decluttering tips to help get your home in order and maintain a clean space!

Keep It Simple

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To avoid feeling overwhelmed when decluttering your kitchen, go through one cabinet or drawer at a time instead of pulling out every single item all at once. Establish a decluttering system, like sorting items into “keep” and “don’t keep” piles. You can also set up a donation box for items you plan to give away. A simple approach can help you measure your progress and stay on task until the job is done! It’s also best to keep your kitchen organization system simple, so that all household members know where to find things.

Remove Items That Don’t Belong

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Take stock of the items in your kitchen and consider which things actually belong there. Chances are, many items could relocated to provide more organized kitchen storage, clearer workspaces, and a more enjoyable cooking environment. Kitchen counters tend to accumulate all kinds of things that could go elsewhere—whether it’s kids’ homework, papers for your home office, canned food for the pantry, or other items. You’ll also want to consider which items you truly want or need to hang onto. To properly declutter your kitchen, get rid of any unnecessary duplicates and items you never use, toss broken items, and consider putting rarely-used items into storage.

Clean & Polish Surfaces

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Since you’re already reorganizing your kitchen, you might as well clean all the nooks and crannies! Start by scrubbing surfaces, wiping down your kitchen cabinets and pantry drawers, and polishing the hardware so everything feels fresh and clean. Then, wash any dishes, silverware, or utensils that feel dirty or sticky. Moving items out of your cabinets to take stock of what you have also gives you the perfect opportunity to add contact paper or nonstick liners in drawers and on shelves, providing your cabinets additional protection from moisture and dust in the future.

Consider Your Zones

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No matter what size your kitchen is, it’s helpful to organize it by how you use the space and where you complete certain tasks. When contemplating how to arrange your kitchen, try designating specific task zones, like a storage zone, prep zone, baking zone, cooking zone, and dish-washing zone. You might also include a drink station for coffee supplies or snack station for grab-and-go foods. Then, store your kitchen items according to their designated zones. For instance, place the most frequently-used cooking utensils, pots, and pans within easy access of the cooking zone. Personalizing the organization process in this way can make all the difference in maintaining a clean and efficient kitchen moving forward.

Find Creative Kitchen Storage Solutions

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When organizing the kitchen, it’s important to consider if your available storage is being used effectively. Are there some easy-to-install organizers or dividers that would make better use of the space? Consider adding kitchen storage solutions like:

  • A lazy Susan for a corner cabinet
  • Hooks on the wall for aprons or dish towels
  • A tiered shelf riser for an underutilized cabinet
  • Over-the-door organizers for cleaning supplies
  • Drawer dividers for utensils and other small items
  • A ceiling-mounted rack for pots and pans
  • A repurposed dresser or credenza for storing dishes or linens

These convenient organizational systems allow you to quickly grab what you need so you can be more efficient in daily kitchen upkeep.

Put the Everyday On Display

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If you’re limited on drawer or cabinet space, consider implementing more counter storage options or installing open shelves, bringing a functional, yet decorative, flare to your organized kitchen. The key to open storage in the kitchen is to feature items that look nice and get used regularly. This helps maintain the practical functions of your space while also creating a welcoming atmosphere. Plus, choosing items that get used regularly helps keep your open storage from collecting dust. Items like a set of dishes, color-coordinated hand towels, and wood and metal cooking utensils can all look attractive enough to be kept out in the open, freeing up drawer space and keeping them easily accessible for everyday use. Set up a mug tree next to your coffee maker. Store produce in a fruit bowl, bread in a wire basket, or use glass jars for dry goods like rice and pasta.

Organize the Pantry

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Whether your pantry storage is in a kitchen cabinet, freestanding shelving unit, space under the stairs, or even if you’re fortunate enough to have a walk-in butler’s pantry, decluttering and organizing your pantry is key to having an efficient kitchen. Start by going through the items in your pantry, tossing expired products and setting aside unopened, non-expired products that you no longer want so you can donate them later. Then, sort the products you’re keeping, grouping similar items together and putting the items with the soonest expiration dates in front. Put things you seldom use on the top shelves, and move your everyday or regularly-used items within arm’s reach. Depending on the size of your pantry, you can also store extra cookware or small appliances.

Go Through the Refrigerator & Freezer

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In addition to organizing your pantry, you’ll also want to declutter and organize your refrigerator and freezer. Go through everything, tossing any spoiled or expired food and giving each category a home. Use food storage containers or fridge and freezer dividers to keep items accessible and in their designated areas. You can also use this opportunity to adjust your fridge shelves, customizing the space to better suit your organizational needs.

Create a Command Center

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As you reorganize your kitchen, consider setting up a command center to help you stay organized moving forward. A kitchen command center can be created on the wall, counter, or on the side of the fridge. This station should include various components to help you stay organized, such as a calendar, kitchen whiteboard or chalkboard, to-do lists, grocery lists, hooks for keys, and a mounted magazine rack for storing important papers or mail. You can also implement a refrigerator chalkboard to keep track food items in your fridge and pantry to help avoid food waste. Or make a chalkboard yourself with peel-and-stick chalkboard paper, a picture frame, and adhesive hanging strips.

Streamline Your Cleaning Supplies

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If you keep cleaning supplies in a kitchen cabinet, don’t forget to organize your cleaning products as part of your kitchen reorganization project. Begin by decluttering cleaning supplies, getting rid of empty bottles or products that you no longer use. If you have multiple open boxes or bottles of the exact same product, consolidate them into one container to free up space. Be sure to keep cleaning rags in the same place as your cleaning products to prevent cross-contamination with kitchen linens and towels. Additionally, use plastic storage baskets under the sink to keep cleaning supplies organized, and remember to use a waterproof shelf liner to protect the cabinet.

Donate Your Items

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Once you’ve gone through your things, it’s time to gather the items you want to give away. Consider sending unopened, non-expired food items to a local shelter, food pantry, church, or soup kitchen in your area. Donate cookware, kitchen utensils, and small appliances to places like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, or local thrift stores. Remember to call your chosen donation place before you drop off your donation box to ensure they will accept incoming kitchen items.


Decluttering your kitchen? Life Storage has several facilities across the nation that can help with your kitchen organization project. Rent a storage unit today!

This post was originally published 07/23/2018, and last revised on 02/01/2024 with updated information.

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