From canned food storage to recipe organization, here are some hacks that can take your kitchen to the next level.


Updated on 1/3/16. Originally published on 2/11/13.

Tricks, Tips and Hacks To Staying Organized In the Kitchen

The kitchen. It’s your therapy session, homemaking spot, and biggest area of stress all in one. It may be the central area of your home, but cleaning and organizing it is often one of the toughest jobs around the house. After talking to home organizing experts and scouring the Internet a bit, here are some of our favorite kitchen organizing ideas that range from practical to crafty.

Canned Good Storage


This one can be done on the cheap. If you have a lot of soup and/or canned goods, they can often occupy a lot of space. To counter that, use the boxes from 12 packs of soda, juice, etc. Store cans on their side, in the same manner that soda cans are stored, and you have an easy organizational solution.

To add a decorative flare, cover the outside of the boxes with fabric, wrapping paper, or your favorite scrapbook paper.

Organizing Measuring Devices

Your measuring cups and spoons can often create chaos in your drawers. When you actually need to find one, you have to sift through a mess before you locate the one you need. An affordable solution involves repurposing a paint stick (which you can usually get for free at your local home improvement store). Paint the stick your preferred color, attach small hooks and labels for each size, and then secure the stick to the inside of your cabinet door.

Kitchen Cabinet Organizing

Pots and pans not only take up a lot of space, they often become disorganized very quickly. You can solve that with a pot and pan storage rack for your kitchen cabinets. It’s a great way to maximize storage and help keep your pots, pans, and lids organized. You can opt for a rack that’s stationary or one that pulls out so you can easily reach the items stored in the back of the cabinet.

Open the Unopenable Drawer

Every bit of space you can use in your kitchen is helpful when you’re trying to create storage solutions. Do you have a faux drawer under your kitchen sink? With a few modifications, you can use that as valuable storage space. See the full tutorial at The DIY Club.

Refrigerator Repurposing

The refrigerator is a big culprit for clutter and disorganization. A simple solution: put a lazy susan in your fridge and put your condiments on there. You’ll know where they all are, you can easily grab what you need, and it reduces the amount of space they occupy.

Sliding Shelf Organizers

Converting your kitchen cabinet and pantry shelves to sliding shelf organizers is a game changer when it comes to kitchen organization. Having pull out shelves means you can maximize your vertical space while also taking full advantage of the depth of your cabinets (because it’s easier to reach items in the back when you can simply pull the shelf out). Designing a custom kitchen with sliding shelf organizers can be a budget buster, but you can do this project yourself for a fraction of the cost. The Family Handyman offers tips if you’re thinking about building your own shelves, and even what to look for if you want to buy roll out shelves that are already made.

Magazine Holders: Kitchen Storage Solutions

Wide magazine holders make canned storage a breeze; store cans on their side and the magazine holder helps keep them stacked without falling over. You can also use these gems to store pantry produce like potatoes and onions. Another option: turn a magazine holder on its side and you instantly have sturdy shelves that you can use in your freezer to help you stay organized.

Hang Your Cleaning Supplies

The storage space underneath your kitchen sink can quickly become chaotic. Maximize the vertical space you have by hanging a tension curtain rod inside your cabinet. You can hang spray bottles on that tension rod for easy access, and it also gives you space to store other cleaning products in this area.

Hang Your Aprons and Pot Holders

There never seems to be an apron or a pot holder around when you need one. You can solve that problem by adding a shelf with pegs that allow you to hang your aprons and pot holders on it. This will keep your aprons from becoming wrinkly, and you’ll always know there’s a pot holder handy when you need one. For fire safety, make sure the fabric items hang at least two feet away from the stove or oven.

Lid Storage Solutions

Storing pots and pans is relatively easy because you can nest them inside each other to save space. Storing the lids that go with those pots and pans isn’t as easy. Martha Stewart recommends using towel racks as a lid storage solution. “Don’t use fancy or bulky bars – look for simple ones that stand out about 2 inches; mount them only to the rails of solid-core wooden doors. To hang a lid, slide it behind the bar so the knob or handle catches and holds the lid in place.”

Install a Hidden Kitchen Organizer

A great DIY project to clear clutter off your refrigerator door is to make your own hidden kitchen organizer. It doesn’t take up much space on the back of a kitchen cabinet door, but it can greatly reduce the amount of paperwork you hang on your fridge. Use this organizer to store wedding or birthday invitations, bills that need to be paid, notes that come home from your kids’ school, or anything else that you would usually hang on your refrigerator. You can see the full tutorial to make your own at Two Twenty One.

Plastic Shopping Bag Storage

Plastic shopping bags seem to take over your counter space if you don’t have creative storage solutions for them. You can solve this problem by simply creating a space to store your bags. You can add a bit of decorative flare to your kitchen and also create a unique storage solution for these annoying plastic bags when you follow the SOHO Sonnet tutorial on how to make your own plastic bag holder.

Easy Utensil Drawer Organizer

For less than $10, you can create your own kitchen utensil drawer organizer even if you don’t feel like you’re very handy. The kitchen utensil draw can easily become full and disorganized, even just after one time unloading the dishwasher. However, building custom compartments will help ensure that everything stays in its place (even if the kids are putting items away). There’s an in-depth tutorial at Kevin & Amanda that walks you through the step-by-step process. One of the best features is that even though these compartments fit snug and don’t fall over, they are completely removable, which makes cleaning your drawers a breeze.

Recipe Organization Tips

The way you organize recipes is highly personal, but every functional kitchen needs recipe organization. Some recipes are on the Internet, others come through email, and others are on note cards handed down from your grandma. How do you keep them all organized? The Kitchn compiled the top recipe organization options for you to consider so you can find the one that works best for you.

  • Google Drive
  • Pinterest
  • Apps (Chef Tap, Pepperplate, Paprika, Evernote)
  • Recipe Binder

Use Stackable Shelves

Lower cabinets are a great way to store large items, but it still often leaves wasted vertical storage space. The solution: stackable shelves. For example, you can put a slow cooker on the bottom, glass serving bowls above, and then dishes on top. If you use the shelves efficiently, you could easily double the storage capacity for your lower cabinets. Build your own stackable shelves that are designed to fit perfectly in your space, or you can purchase pre-made stackable shelves that are available in a variety of prices, sizes, and materials.

House Smaller Items in Bins

Whether your goal is a pretty pantry, like The Social Home, or you just need more function, you can greatly benefit by simply using bins. Using supplies from a dollar store, you can create storage spaces for all of your pantry staples. Print out labels to increase the pretty factor and to make it easier to find what you need. The benefit of this kitchen hack is that you can buy containers that are the perfect size for your pantry, and you can even choose items that are stackable so you can quickly maximize your storage space.

Featured Image via An Inviting Home

About the Author


Lauren Thomann

Lauren Thomann is a moving and storage expert. She attended the University at Buffalo and has worked in the storage industry for over five years. Here on the Life Storage blog, you can find Lauren covering everything from finding a home, settling into a new home and all the stages in between.

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