How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

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Bring the chaos in your kitchen to order with these smart and affordable ways to organize your kitchen cabinets. Find a place for everything and enjoy your kitchen again.

Keep It Open

Take advantage of vertical wall space with open shelves that extend to the ceiling. Open shelves let you display your prettiest kitchenware while making everything easy to spot and retrieve or put away. If you don't want to take down existing upper cabinets but like the idea of open shelves, simply remove a few doors and paint cabinet interiors to set off your belongings.

Commandeer the Sink Cabinet

Intrusive plumbing pipes, the sink bottom, and pullout hoses can make bringing order beneath the kitchen sink a particular challenge. Choose stackable acrylic or wire shelving that fits beside and below the sink U pope to make the most of available space. Some wire bin units slide out to make it easy to retrieve items at the back. Add storage bins, shelves, and hooks inside doors for more storage, and consider including some specialty storage such as a holder for plastic grocery bags. To boost storage, look for a kit that transforms the false drawer fronts on the front of the sink cabinet into tilt-out bins for stowing kitchen sponges and scrubbers.

Go Deep

A deep drawer becomes a safe harbor for pots and pans near the stovetop. You can also use drawers to hold dishware by adding dish divider dowels to keep plates, bowls, and saucers stacked tightly in place. Make sure the drawer is equipped with quality sliding hardware that can hold the weight of dishes when the drawer is fully extended.

Slim Down

Make a sliver of space beside the range more functional for storing your favorite flavoring ingredients. Add a pullout rack inside the door for spices. If you have more space, install a turntable on one shelf so you can spin bottles of oils and vinegars into view. Decant other foods and spices into clear or labeled containers for quick inventory and easy stacking.

Learn how to tackle some of the most common kitchen storage problems with these smart tips and tricks.

Solve the Most Annoying Cabinet Problems

See how to tackle your kitchen cabinets' most common problems!

Let It Slide

If you've ever used a flashlight in a fruitless search to find something at the back of a dark cabinet, you'll love this solution. Trade out fixed cabinet shelves for ones that effortlessly slide out. With sliding shelves, you can see items at the back of the shelf as easily as dry goods at the front. A shallow lip around each shelf keeps supplies from falling off.

Tidy Up

Keep items from rattling around inside drawers by adding an insert or drawer divider that maintains order so you quickly spot what you need. Fit small containers between dividers when you have especially tiny objects to corral.

Convert a Cabinet

You'll need a place to store cutting boards, cookie sheets, muffin tins, and other items that stack neatly on their sides. Convert a cabinet with dividers and allow these items to stand on end. It's an ideal height and keeps them conveniently close to your prep zone.

Make It Convenient

You're more likely to recycle when bins for paper, plastic, and glass stow neatly inside cabinets near the kitchen cleanup zone. These pullout cabinets feature cutouts sized to hold plastic waste receptacles that are easy to lift out and empty when needed.

Divide and Conquer

Prevent an avalanche of food storage containers every time you open your cupboard door. Divide your stash of plastic into stacks of containers and lids. Stack containers into each other like nesting dolls, and store them in a larger tray. Lids can also be corralled by using containers.

Add a Tier

Most kitchen cabinets include one shelf, and it alone is often not enough. Add a second tiered shelf to bring order to pots, pans, skillets, and lids. Organizing all lids together allows pots to rest inside each other and gives you an opportunity to use another storage container for lids.

Stow Linens

Unlike clothing which stacks neatly into deeper drawers, it's nice to store linens in shallow drawers and with like items: tablecloths, napkins, runners, and more. Install linen drawers behind a pair of cabinet doors to make the most of your storage space.

Enlist the Garage

Kitchens are hardworking spaces, but that doesn't mean you want to keep everything on the counter in plain sight. Install an appliance garage and you can park your most frequently used appliances with style. Have a professional electrician install an outlet inside the garage, and you can keep appliances tucked away in one place.

Think Outside the Box

Semicustom and custom cabinets can be outfitted with nearly any specialty hardware, allowing you to turn a basic drawer into an ironing board. 

Stock Up

While some wine lovers need a full cellar to house a collection of wine bottles, most of us are content to keep a few favorite bottles on hand. Build storage space into your cabinetry with a wine bottle holder insert. You can also retrofit an existing cabinet by removing the door and having an insert built. Slide it in and stock your supply with all your favorite reds and whites. 

Configure the Corner

Corner cabinets can easily become the Bermuda Triangle of kitchen design: You know you put a can of soup in there, but it's nowhere to be found. Remedy the lost corner cupboard situation with a multi-tier lazy Susan insert. If you don't need another food storage solution, check out recycling and trash bin inserts to make the most of your corner space. 

Keep It Clean

Most of us think to stash cleaning supplies under the sink, but consider using a vertical cabinet to store stick brooms and related cleaning supplies. It will move your gear from the coat closet and put them where you need them most: the kitchen. 

Find the Right Container

Individual servings of prepackaged snacks are slippery and impossible to stack. Gather a few little containers to hold like items in your pantry and create an organized look. You'll also be able to tell at a glance when it's time to go grocery shopping again.

Restore Order

A walk-in pantry with plenty of shelf space is a luxury, but it still needs to be a very organized space to support all the cooking and entertaining you do. Group like items -- paper products, canned goods, cereals, baking supplies -- in labeled shelves to make it easy for anyone in the family to find and replace on the shelves.

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