How to Organize Your Kitchen

how-to-organize-your-kitchen

How to Organize Your Kitchen

White farmhouse style kitchen with quartz countertops.

Learn how to organize your kitchen with this step by step plan. Simple tips to help you get your kitchen decluttered and organized – and keep it that way!

How to Organize the Kitchen

The Household Organization Diet is moving into the kitchen! The kitchen is the heart of the home – the place where friends and family gather and delicious meals are enjoyed together. Having an organized and decluttered kitchen will make it easier to find what you’re looking for, cut down on your meal prep time, and create a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for your whole family to relax.   Don’t invite clutter to the dinner table!

8 Steps to An Organized Kitchen

Are you ready to get your kitchen organized? Follow these basic steps to get things done! Remember that everyone will organize their kitchen a little differently so don’t be afraid to switch things up. Create organization systems that work for you, your family, and your specific space.

Step 1: Set a Realistic Time Frame.

The time it will take to organize your kitchen will obviously vary depending on the size of your kitchen and the current clutter-level.  Some of you may be able to tackle it all in a few hours, others may need a whole day, and others may need a whole month. The biggest thing when starting the organization process is to set yourself up for success and set realistic time frames.  If it’s been a while since you’ve organized, start small with a cupboard or two and see how it goes – it may take longer than you think! Only tackle what you can FINISH in your designated time frame.  You want to see your accomplishment when your time is up – not a bigger mess!  So decide how much time you have, set the timer, and get to work. {You can find my step by step process for how to declutter ANY space HERE.}

Step 2: Declutter, declutter, declutter.

I find that decluttering the kitchen is often one of the easiest rooms to declutter as we don’t usually have as much emotional attachment to items like we might in other rooms.  For the most part, it’s generally quite obvious whether we really need an item or not.  And, on the off chance that you do give an item away that you need in the future, kitchen items are easy to borrow for the odd dinner party or large family gathering that you may happen to need it.  Be ruthless when it comes to the decluttering process and the rest of the organization {as well as the maintenance!} will be so much simpler.  I am a big fan of completely emptying out each space when you’re decluttering. Start with these 20 items to declutter from your kitchen now.  They may not ALL be applicable to you, but they’ll give you a good place to start.  You’ll find a free decluttering printables and lots of decluttering tips to help you out.

Step 3: Completely empty out the space.

It may seem like a lot of work, but completely emptying out the spaces that you’re organizing is definitely worth it in the end. Taking all of your items out of your drawers and cupboards really lets you see HOW MUCH STUFF you have – and what you can really afford to get rid of. Once the space is empty, it’s easier to see the different ways you could work your organization systems. If your current organization method isn’t working for you, switch things up and move items around until you find something that works for you.

Step 4: Divide and Conquer.

As you’re emptying the items out of your cupboards or drawers, sort them into five categories: trash, recycling, donations, belongs elsewhere, and keep.  Have your trash bags and recycling bins handy so you can place the items directly into them.  You only want to touch each item once to cut down on time. Find a large box for items to donate and take this directly out to your car when you’re finished. Use a basket or laundry bin to collect any items that you find in the kitchen that should go somewhere else in your home.  Sort all items that you’re going to keep into similar categories.  Move quickly through this process – you really shouldn’t have to think too hard about where each item should go.

Step 5: Organize by zones.

So now it’s time to put those “keep” items back into your cupboards and drawers. Try to organize all of your kitchen items by function in specific areas of the kitchen.  For example, all of your baking items would be in one section, all spices in a second section, and any cleaning supplies in another section.  If you don’t like the functional organization system {or it just doesn’t work with your kitchen design}, come up with some other organization plan that works for you.  Be sure to have a basic plan in mind before you start loading all of your cupboard spaces back up and try to keep similar items together as much as possible.

Also think about where the best place is to store items in the kitchen for easy access. For example, try to keep your dishes and glasses close to your dishwasher for easy emptying. Keep your dishcloths in a drawer as close to the sink as possible. When storing items in cupboards, ensure that the most used items are near the front within easy reach. You can place less used items towards the back and on harder to reach shelves.

Step 6: Create functional {clutter-free} kitchen counter space.

The kitchen counter is PRIME real estate in the kitchen so you want to make sure that you’re only storing items on it that you need daily.  Keep the items corralled on trays to make for pretty yet practical displays and try to keep the front 2/3rds of the counter clear at all times to allow for prep work.  Find all of my tips on how to keep your counters clutter-free HERE.

Step 7: Keep the papers under control.

Kitchen counters and tables often seem to attract paperwork – despite it not actually belonging there!  If you do need to keep papers in the kitchen, have a dedicated file box or paper trays in a corner to store papers out of the way. If you have a larger space, create a kitchen command center to organize everything off of your counters and other flat surfaces.

Step 8: Utilize the inside of your cabinet doors.

Cabinet doors hold a ton of unused storage space, so get creative with what you do with them!  Add adhesive storage bins for water bottles or food wrap, hang command hooks for oven mitts or cooking utensils, or use office file holders to store recipes.  I have storage added to almost all of my kitchen cupboards and it’s really provided a lot of free space in the cabinets.  

Whew!  You made it through!  It may seem like a lot of work, but if you do it thoroughly the first time, it should really only require minimal maintenance to keep it decluttered and organized for good!

The Household Organization Diet

This post is part of The Household Organization Diet, a systematic room-by-room plan to get your entire home decluttered, deep cleaned and organized. To read more about the plan and grab the free organization printables, check out this post HERE.

I recommend starting with the 31 Day Decluttering Challenge but, after that, you can choose whatever room you would like to do in whatever order. You CAN get that house cleaned and organized once and for all! Start at any time and make sure you are following along so you don’t miss out…

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You can also grab my book, The Home Decluttering Diet, for even more organization tips and tricks. It’s the perfect compliment to the blog and a great way to help you stay on track! Remember that it’s not about perfection – just progress. So even if you miss some days {or even a whole week or two!}, don’t use it as an excuse to stop.  Continue to move forwards at whatever speed you can and don’t give up!  Intentionally scheduling in some organization time – and actually sticking to it – can really help you to tackle your goals.  I know you can do it!

More Kitchen Organization Ideas

If you’re looking for more kitchen organization ideas for specific areas of your kitchen, check out these posts. There are tons of ideas for any sized kitchen!

Easy Kitchen Organization Ideas

Organizing Under the Kitchen Sink

How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

Happy Organizing!

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