How To Store Everything in the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of every home. No matter how big or small your kitchen may be, proper storage and organization are key to making it a functional and inviting space. With so many different items to store, from food staples to small appliances and cookware, it can be challenging to keep your kitchen tidy. However, with some planning and clever solutions, you can store everything you need in an organized way.

Take Stock of What You Have

The first step is to take a look at everything you currently have in your kitchen. Go through all your cabinets, drawers, and pantry and make a list of the items you use regularly and need easy access to. Also make note of anything that is rarely used or could be stored elsewhere. This will give you a good idea of what types of storage solutions you need. Consider the following:

  • Food staples like spices, oils, grains, canned goods
  • Dishes and glassware
  • Pots, pans, and baking sheets
  • Small appliances like a blender or food processor
  • Cutting boards, utensils, and cooking tools
  • Cleaning supplies

As you make your list, group similar items together. This will make it easier to designate storage areas based on what you use most in your everyday cooking.

Maximize Cabinet Space

Kitchen cabinets provide plenty of storage options if used properly. Here are some tips to maximize vertical space:

Use Shelf Risers

Shelf risers or dividers allow you to create an extra layer of storage within a cabinet. They are great for holding canned goods, spices, or baking ingredients. Look for adjustable risers so you can customize the height.

Install Pull-Out Shelving

Pull-out shelves make items pushed to the back of cabinets much more accessible. Mount them on drawer slides so they glide smoothly in and out. Use them for everything from spices to pots and pans.

Use Vertical Dividers

Install vertical dividers on the inside of cabinet doors to hold cutting boards, cookie sheets, and other flat items upright and out of the way. You can also use hanging racks for pots and pans to free up more space on the shelves.

Take Advantage of Dead Space

Spinning “lazy Susan” trays allow you to access items pushed to the back of corner cabinets. You can also install pegboards or nets on the inside of cabinet doors to hold small items like spices.

Organize Your Drawers

Kitchen drawers can turn into black holes for gadgets, utensils, towels, and more. Use these tips to divide and conquer:

Separate Utensils

Use a divided organizer tray or inserts to keep utensils separated. Group types together – have one section for cooking spoons and spatulas, one for small tools like peelers and can openers, etc.

Contain Gadgets

Keep random gadgets like garlic presses, egg slicers, and bottle openers neatly contained in a divided organizer tray. You can also stand immersion blenders upright in a utensil crock.

Make a Towel Drawer

Designate a drawer just for dish towels, rags, and pot holders. Use a divider to keep them neatly separated and standing upright for easy access.

Use Interlocking Trays

Interlocking drawer organizers allow you to fully customize your space. You can mix and match compartments to create divisions for everything.

Organize with Baskets

Wire, metal, and plastic baskets are great for corralling all sorts of kitchen items. Here are some ideas:

  • Store root vegetables and onions in a wire basket on a cool, dark shelf in the pantry. The air circulation helps extend their life.
  • Corral cleaning supplies like sponges and detergent in a plastic caddy to keep under the sink neat.
  • Use decorative baskets or bins on top of the fridge to hold extra items like cookbooks or small appliances.
  • A wire fruit basket on the counter holds fresh fruit so it’s ready for snacking.
  • Metal bins are perfect for holding baking supplies. Attach chalkboard labels so you can write the contents.

Optimize Pantry Organization

An organized pantry makes it easier to keep an inventory of what you have on hand. Follow these tips for optimizing the space:

Use Clear Storage Bins

Store bulk items like flour, sugar, rice, etc. in clear plastic bins so you can easily see contents. Use labels to identify each ingredient.

Store by Category

Group like items together – have a shelf for canned goods, one for baking essentials, one for snacks, etc. Most used items should be at eye level.

Use Tiered Shelving

Tiered racks double your storage real estate. Use them to hold canned goods, small appliances, or frequently used ingredients.

Hang a Pantry Door Rack

Install an over-the-door rack to hold extra items like small appliances. You can also use hanging racks for spices, cooking utensils, and pots and pans.

Add Drawers and Shelves

If possible, add pull-out drawers and extra shelves to maximize vertical storage. Drawers are great for stabilizing packets and boxes.

Creative Storage for Small Kitchens

If you have limited cabinet and pantry space, get creative with your storage solutions:

  • Mount a magnetic knife strip or spice rack on the wall to free up drawer and cabinet space.
  • Hang pots and pans from the ceiling with a pot rack. Opt for one with chains so you can adjust the height.
  • Install shallow, wall-mounted shelving for small appliances like a coffee maker or toaster oven to get them off the counter.
  • Store less used items like roasting pans or large platters upright in canvas tote bags on a high shelf.
  • Use an over-the-door hanging rack on the back of the pantry door for frequently used items.
  • Store bulk dry goods in large apothecary jars on the counter or in a basket on the floor. Use chalkboard labels.
  • Mount a paper towel holder and knife block on the side of the fridge to save counter space.

Organize Portable Appliances

Finding a home for small appliances can be a challenge. Here are some clever ideas:

Store Inside Cabinets

If you have room, store small appliances like a blender or food processor inside a lower cabinet. Pull it out when needed.

Create an Appliance Garage

An “appliance garage” is a pull-out drawer or slide-out cabinet that hides small appliances when not in use. It keeps them accessible but out of sight.

Build Custom Storage

Maximize vertical space by having open shelving built to hold small appliances. Opt for electrical outlets above to keep them plugged in and ready to use.

Use a Rolling Cart

A rolling cart with tiers or cubbies is ideal for holding portable appliances. Roll it into a corner when not in use.

Hide Them in Baskets

Place small appliances inside decorative baskets on top of cabinets or the fridge. The basket hides them when not in use.

Keep Cookware Organized

Pots, pans, and baking sheets can quickly clutter cabinets and drawers. Use these tips to keep them organized:

  • Mount a ceiling pot rack or wall-mounted hanging rack to store cookware while freeing up cabinet space.
  • Use cabinet dividers, racks, or insert trays to keep pots and pans from sliding around when stacked.
  • Store lids upright in a separate drawer using a divider insert so they don’t get jumbled.
  • Line a deep drawer with non-slip shelf liner to keep cutting boards and baking sheets from sliding around.
  • Install hooks inside cabinet doors to hang oven mitts, aprons, and bulky cooking utensils like wooden spoons.

Make Use of Dead Space

Look for wasted areas in your kitchen that could provide storage options:

Shelf Over the Fridge

Utilize the empty space on top of the fridge with baskets or bins to hold small appliances, cookbooks, or overflow pantry items.

Underside of Cabinets

Mount hooks to the underside of wall cabinets to hang coffee mugs, pots, pans, or utensils.

Inside Cabinet Doors

Attach reusable adhesive hooks inside cabinet doors to hold cutting boards, baking sheets, dish towels, and more.

Sides of Cabinets

Mount magnetic knife strips, paper towel holders, or spice racks on the sides of cabinets to free up drawer space.

The Backsplash

Hang utensil hooks, paper towel holders, and spice racks from the backsplash to make use of vertical space.

Invest in Storage Containers

The right food storage containers make it easier to organize your fridge and pantry:

  • Opt for clear plastic containers so you can easily see contents. Use chalkboard labels so you can write what’s inside.
  • Buy containers in multiple sizes – large for bulk items, small for chopped produce or leftovers. Square shapes maximize space.
  • Choose containers with leak-proof, airtight lids to keep food fresh longer.
  • Get some freezer-safe containers for storing soups, stews, or extra meals to reheat later.
  • Look for stackable containers that allow you to vertically store items inside the fridge or pantry.
  • Get shallow bins for the fridge to corral yogurt cups, juice boxes, condiment bottles and other small items.

Label Everything

A labeling system makes it easy to identify contents and maintain order. Here are some approaches:

  • Use removable vinyl labels on shelving, bins, and baskets. These allow you to frequently change contents.
  • Adhere magnetic labels to the front of metal tins and bins. Write contents with a dry erase marker.
  • Attach chalkboard labels to bins, jars, and shelves. Use chalk to write and erase contents.
  • Print content labels on removable adhesive paper and stick onto containers. Replace as needed.
  • Label shelves with contents using printable vinyl strips or reusable chalkboard tape.

Regularly Edit and Organize

Maintaining organization is just as important as the initial setup. Get in the habit of these regular tasks:

  • Take a few minutes each week to look for expired items and toss anything you haven’t used in awhile. Donating unopened food allows someone else to use it.
  • Check supply levels of staple ingredients like flour, sugar, oils, etc. Make a list of what needs replenishing so it’s ready for weekly meal planning.
  • Do a deep clean of shelves, bins, fridge drawers and containers every couple months to keep everything spotless. Toss food residue, wipe down surfaces, etc.
  • Whenever you put groceries away, take an extra minute to make sure everything goes in its designated spot. This prevents clutter from accumulating.
  • Always return items to their storage place after using them. Leaving things out leads to counter clutter.
  • Adjust your storage setup as needed. If an area seems crowded, look for ways to better utilize the space.

Make Good Use of Wall Space

Taking storage off the floor and countertops opens up room. Make use of vertical wall space:

  • Mount curled pot racks, hanging utensil racks, or panini presses on the wall. Get them up and out of the way.
  • Install floating wall-mounted spice racks. Opt for ones with railings and hooks to hang utensils too.
  • Attach a paper towel holder to the side of a cabinet. Choose one with a shelf to hold extra rolls.
  • Use wall-mounted utility hooks near the stove to hang hot pads, oven mitts, and dishtowels so they’re always handy when cooking.
  • Mount open shelving on the wall for cookbooks, small appliances, oils, or decorative cookware. Style with baskets or bins.
  • Install a magnetic knife strip on the wall to clear up drawer space. Make sure it’s safely out of children’s reach.

Keep it Functional Yet Stylish

The functionality of your storage solutions needn’t come at the cost of aesthetics. Here are some tips for style:

  • Choose storage bins and canisters made from natural materials like rattan, bamboo, or wood rather than plain plastic. They look nicer on open shelves.
  • Search for ceramic canisters or glass jars with bamboo lids to hold bulk dry goods like flour, sugar, pasta, etc.
  • Opt for a hanging pot rack with elegant chains over the utilitarian look of a pegboard and hooks.
  • Incorporate galvanized metal buckets, bins, and baskets on open shelving. The metal adds an industrial vibe.
  • Use fabric lined baskets or bins to conceal less attractive items like food storage containers. The fabric softens the look.
  • ChooseNeutral colored or white bins and baskets blend in better than bright colors that stand out.
  • Add drawer liner or shelf paper inside cabinets and drawers to hide clutter while you organize.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions about kitchen storage and organization:

What are the best containers for pantry organization?

Clear plastic bins or glass jars with airtight lids are ideal for dry goods like flour, sugar, pasta, etc. Square and rectangular shapes make better use of shelf space. Make sure to label contents.

How should I organize my pots and pans?

Use cabinet inserts, dividers, or hanging racks to keep pots and pans organized. Store lids separately so they don’t get jumbled. Hanging racks or a ceiling mounted pot rack saves cabinet space.

What’s the best way to organize a junk drawer?

Use compartmentalized organizer trays to divide up the space. Have sections for batteries, flashlight, keys, pens, rubber bands, etc. You can also mount hooks inside the drawer to hang tools.

How do I make use of the awkward space on top of my kitchen cabinets?

The top of cabinets is great for storing baskets or bins with items you don’t use often like large platters, roasting pans, or extra pantry overflow. Just make sure heavy items are secured.

What should I use to organize my tupperware and food storage containers?

Interlocking removable plastic bins are perfect for stacking sets of containers upright so you can easily grab one. Just be sure to use labels. You can also store them inside a drawer using dividers.

How can I add more storage to my small kitchen?

Use wall space to mount knife strips, spice racks, panini presses or shelves. Install hooks on the undersides and insides of cabinets. A rolling cart can provide extra storage. Get creative!


With some planning and creativity, it is possible to efficiently organize every corner of your kitchen no matter how big or small the space. Take time to group like items together, make use of vertical storage, and contain clutter in baskets and bins. Invest in storage accessories like drawer organizers, tiered shelving, and hanging racks specifically suited for kitchen tools and food staples. Be sure to maintain organization by regularly editing contents, keeping surfaces clean, and returning items to their designated homes. Put these tips to work for you and you’ll have a fully-functioning kitchen that makes cooking a pleasure.