Top Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen Cabinets

neat kitchen

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The kitchen typically contains the most number of items in the home, all in the name of food preparation and storage. It is easily the scene of chaos, which is why kitchen cabinets and accompanying drawers are so important. It is a way to bring some order to the chaos.

Unfortunately, many homeowners tend to let things get out of hand, leading to a breathless search for that colander or that particular baking pan. It is important to have a strategy for keeping things organized, which is easier said than done if chaos already reigns supreme.

The following top tips for organizing your kitchen cabinets take that into account. If you are feeling faint from the very idea of diving head first into the disaster called your kitchen cabinets, consider the benefits:

• You will never again buy duplicate items, thus adding to the chaos, because you could not find the original one

• You can save time in the kitchen because you know exactly where everything is

• You become more efficient because everything is in a logical location based on how you work

• You can plan meals more efficiently and avoid wasting food by knowing what you have on stock at any given time and using them in before they expire or go bad

Convinced? Here we go!

Plan ahead

kitchen cabinets

Organizing kitchen cabinets and drawers filed to the brim is a big project. You need to be sure you can keep your motivation up. You will create a bigger problem than you had if you leave halfway through.

Make sure you have the time and space to bring everything out and put everything you plan to keep back in the right places. You will most likely create a royal mess and be unable to move around freely. You will most likely feel that you will never get through all of them.

Simplify your life

box marked
The first thing you need to accept is that you probably have too much stuff. If you want to organize your kitchen cabinets effectively, you have to simplify your life. You only have a limited amount of storage space. So, you want to make sure you actually need anything you put back in them.
Get rid of anything you have not used in the last 12 months, not likely to use at any time, broken, redundant, or missing parts. Have separate piles or boxes for things other people might be able to use (donation or gifts), things you may be able to sell in a yard sale, and trash.

You might be amazed at how much money you can make by selling off your old stuff on Craigslist, eBay, or the local junkyard. Just make sure they don’t end up going back into your cabinets. If you fail to sell them, donate or trash them.
Getting rid of stuff you cannot or will not use in the kitchen frees up valuable storage space. It makes easier for you to organize what is left.

Like for like

marble countertop
Once you are down to your kitchen essentials, you need to start organizing whatever is left. The rule of thumb is to group together things that serve a similar function or are in the same category. Create categories such as baking stuff, grill stuff, food storage, food, cookware, small appliances, cutlery, glassware, etc. When you have put everything in a pile or area, you can decide where to put them.

Make it accessible

kitchen cabinets with pull-outs
The thing with using a kitchen is that everybody has a slightly different system. While the kitchen triangle generally works for some people, it is not cast in stone. Before starting to put away your stuff, think about how you plan to use them.

The best guide for this is to put the stuff you use all the time within easy access. For example, if you one side of your kitchen has a marble countertop and you love to bake, you would want all your baking stuff on that side. By the same token, put all your pots, pans, turners, and spices near the cooktop.  Because that is where you are going to use them.

If you have basic kitchen cabinets and drawers, you may have to invest in organizers to make the most of your space, make it more accessible, and segregate items so they don’t end up a jumbled mess. You can find many of these kitchen helpers in the home section of department stores and warehouse clubs.

Separate food from other stuff

pantry stocked with food
Food already has a specific area in the kitchen, and that is in the refrigerator. However, you also need to reserve space for non-perishable foods such as canned goods, noodles, and anything else that’s edible. You should not mix it up with plates and tableware, for instance. Logically, you might want to put non-perishables where you will use them. For instance, you might put cereals in the kitchen island, ready for breakfast.

You will find the foodstuffs in most kitchens on one side of the wall cabinets, plates on the other. Cutlery in the drawers on the side of the dishes. In some kitchens, they use a tall cabinet (ceiling to floor shallow cabinets) as a pantry, which makes sense if you have the space. In tiny kitchens with just one or two cabinets, you will have to figure out how to segregate the food from other stuff in the kitchen.


Organizing your kitchen cabinets is a major undertaking if you let it get out of hand. Use these tips to impose some type of system to your chaos. Once you manage it, make sure you stick to your system. The last thing you want is to have to do it all over again.

The perfect time to organize your kitchen cabinets is when you have to replace them, because you will not have a choice. When choosing your new cabinet system, make sure you maximize your space and choose cabinets and drawers that will make it easier for you to stay organize. You can ask an experienced cabinet supplier for advice on the cabinets and drawers you should get for your needs. If you are in cities such as Chicago, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estate, Elk Grove Village, and surrounding areas, Cabinets City is your best choice.

We carry some of the best brands in the country, from Thermofoil to wood cabinets, and at the best prices compared to Cabinets To Go and Advance Cabinets. These include Schrock, Fabuwood, J and K, Forevermark, and Wolf Cabinets, each of which come with manufacturer warranties. We always deliver on time, so you will not have to worry about keeping your schedule to stay in budget.

We can advise you on the best cabinets for your kitchen. Give us a call for a free consultation and quote, or visit our showroom in Mt. Prospect, Illinois. We can give you what you need faster and better than big box stores.

Bayram Gulsen

Bayram Gulsen is the owner of Cabinets City. He always had this passion to redefine cabinetry to be at its best along with his dedicated team and the author of Cabinets City blog: You can find Bayram on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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