22 Brilliant Ideas for Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

kitchen pantry snacks
Photo: Tria Giovan

Kitchen cabinets are packed with all sorts of dishes, cookware, ingredients, and more. Storing all these essentials in an organized, easily accessible manner is key to making the most of your time cooking, eating, and entertaining. Bring order to cluttered shelves and drawers with these smart and affordable ways to organize kitchen cabinets.

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Slide-Out Kitchen Cabinet Shelves

organized kitchen cabinet drawers
John Granen

If items tend to get lost at the back of your cabinets, try this organizing solution. Trade out fixed cabinet shelves for ones that effortlessly slide out. With sliding shelves, you can see and access 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.

02 of 22

Narrow Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas

blue kitchen spice drawer
Edmund Barr

Make a sliver of space beside the range more functional for storing your favorite flavoring ingredients. Add a pullout rack inside the door to use as a kitchen cabinet spice organizer. If you have more room, install a turntable ($15, The Container Store) 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.

03 of 22

How to Organize Glass Kitchen Cabinets

green kitchen cabinet glassware display
Kritsada Panichgul

Glass-front doors put cabinet interiors on display, so you'll want to make sure these areas are neatly organized. First, edit down your dishware collection to avoid overcrowding the cabinets. Arrange pretty plates and bowls into stacks and line up mugs in neat rows. Consider storing bulky or unattractive items you'd rather not display, such as large stock pots, in a different location.

04 of 22

Kitchen Cabinet Recycling Zone

kitchen drawer trash can
Tria Giovan

You're more likely to recycle when bins for paper, plastic, and glass are easily within reach. Stow these containers 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.

05 of 22

Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas

kitchen pantry snacks
Tria Giovan

When organizing food items in kitchen cabinets, it's best to sort everything by category and designate specific areas for each type of item. For example, store favorite snacks on a cabinet shelf that's easily within reach of all family members. Dedicate another area for breakfast items like cereals and pancake mix. To boost organization, add printed labels and use baskets to corral smaller loose items.

06 of 22

Kitchen Drawer Organizers

organized tools kitchen drawer
Marty Baldwin

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

07 of 22

Kitchen Sink Cabinet Organizer

cleaning supplies under sink
Ann VanderWiel Wilde

Intrusive plumbing pipes, the sink bottom, and pullout hoses can make organizing the kitchen sink cabinet a particular challenge. Choose stackable acrylic or wire shelving that fits beside and below the sink U pipe 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 space, and consider including some specialty tools such as a holder for plastic grocery bags ($30, Bed Bath & Beyond). 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.

08 of 22

Cleaning Supply Cabinet Organization

kitchen cabinet cleaning supplies
Jacob Fox

Most of us think to stash cleaning supplies under the sink, but larger tools won't fit in that tight space. Consider using a vertical cabinet to store stick brooms, mops, and related cleaning supplies. It will move your gear from the coat closet or laundry room and put them where you need them most: the kitchen.

09 of 22

Organizing Dishes in Kitchen Cabinets

white kitchen with open storage slots for dishes
Marshall Johnson

Piles of heavy dishes make it difficult to grab anything except the topmost item. Instead, outfit a cabinet with a plate rack ($10, The Container Store) that allows you to file dishes vertically for easy access. This lets you pull out just the plates you need without sorting through the entire stack.

10 of 22

Kitchen Pantry Organization

organized kitchen pantry
Alise O'Brien

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

11 of 22

Open Shelving and Cabinet Organization

white kitchen sink open with cabinets and shelving
Robert Brinson

Take advantage of vertical wall space with open shelving that extends 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 tear out existing upper cabinets but like the idea of open shelves, simply remove a few doors and paint cabinet interiors to set off your belongings.

12 of 22

Kitchen Cabinet Wine Bottle Organizer

colorful kitchen linoleum flooring
Stephen Karlisch

While some wine lovers need a full cellar to house their bottle collection, most of us are content to keep a few favorites 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 into the space.

13 of 22

Cabinet Organization for Pots and Pans

pots and pans storage drawers
John Granen

A deep drawer is a smart organizing idea for pots and pans near the stovetop. You can also use drawers to hold dishware by adding dish divider dowels ($98, Wayfair) 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.

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Best Way to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

Various types of dishes, cookware, and utensils require different kitchen cabinet organization ideas. Without a specific organizing system, your cabinets can end up looking like a jumbled mess. Learn how to solve some of the most common kitchen cabinet problems with these easy solutions.

15 of 22

Convert a Cabinet

kitchen storage
Ed Gohlich

You'll need a place to store cutting boards, cookie sheets, muffin tins, and other items that stack neatly on their sides. Choose a cabinet near your prep zone and add dividers that allow these items to stand on end. Removing the cabinet door makes them even easier to access.

16 of 22

How to Organize Food Storage Containers

Kitchen cabinet organization
Cameron Sadeghpour

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.

17 of 22

Tiered Kitchen Cabinet Organizer

Kitchen Drawers
Cameron Sadeghpour

Most kitchen cabinets include just one or two shelves, which often isn't enough to keep all your items organized. Give cabinets a boost with an added shelf organizer ($10, The Container Store) that can 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.

18 of 22

Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas for Linens

storage drawers
Paul Dyer

Install shallow drawers behind a pair of cabinet doors to make the most of your storage space. Stashing these items in the kitchen ensures they're readily accessible when dinner is ready. Arrange like with like, separating tablecloths, napkins, runners, and more between drawers or with dividers.

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Kitchen Cabinet Appliance Garages

appliances in hideaway cabinet
Brie Williams

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 behind closed doors. Have a professional electrician install an outlet inside the garage, and you can keep appliances tucked away in one place.

20 of 22

Custom Kitchen Cabinet Organization

ironing board storage
Paul Dyer

Get creative with kitchen cabinet organization ideas that suit your specific needs. Semi-custom and custom cabinets can be outfitted with nearly any specialty hardware to add unique functions outside of food and dishware storage. A basic drawer in the kitchen island, for example, can be designed to pull out into an ironing board.

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Corner Kitchen Cabinet Organizer

pantry with canned goods
Alise O'Brien

Small items can easily disappear into the depths of corner cabinets. To keep items in sight and easy to grab, add a corner kitchen cabinet organizer, such as a multi-tier lazy Susan insert ($30, The Container Store). If you don't need another food storage solution, check out recycling and trash bin inserts to make the most of your corner space.

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How to Organize a Kitchen Snack Cabinet

cabinet organization
Paul Dyer

Individual servings of prepackaged snacks can be slippery and impossible to stack. To create an organized kitchen snack cabinet, gather a few small containers, such as trays, baskets, or bins, to hold similar items in your pantry. You'll also be able to tell at a glance when it's time to go grocery shopping again.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should I not store in kitchen cabinets?

    While there aren't many hard and fast rules for what you should and shouldn't store in your kitchen cabinets, there are a few things to consider. First, avoid storing anything too heavy in your upper cabinets so you don't risk them falling off the wall. Additionally, your cabinet space is best used for items that can benefit from the organization—things like small appliances or rarely-used entertaining pieces are typically best stored on your countertop or in a nearby pantry.

  • What should I do first when organizing kitchen cabinets?

    When embarking on organizing your kitchen cabinets, start by purging anything you don't use regularly, including dishware, entertaining pieces, and small countertop appliances. From there, decide how you're going to group your remaining pantry supplies and dishware, and where to locate everything logically in your kitchen. It's also a good idea to invest in organizational tools (such as a flatware divider or pot rack) that will help calm any chaos within your cabinets and allow you to maintain organization.

  • What should I store under the kitchen sink?

    What you store under your kitchen sink is entirely up to you, though it is a popular location for cleaning supplies. Avoid storing anything below the sink that is susceptible to water damage on the off chance that your basin or pipes leak. If you do choose to keep cleaning supplies or other chemicals below the sink, it's important to make sure they're secure and out of the reach of small children.

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