The 59 Best Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas of All Time

updated Nov 10, 2023
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Credit: Anna Spaller

The kitchen is known as the “heart of the home” for a reason. It’s seen you through your first dinner party, many a culinary or baking experiment, big celebrations, and maybe even a heartbreak or two. It’s important that this space is a reflection of you and the way you like to live and cook, and your kitchen organizational methods can make or break your experience as a home cook. 

Whether you have a small kitchen or an enviably large cook space, utility often takes priority over style, but you can find a balance of both with the right organizational practices. Need a new way to store your spices that will make curry night less stressful? How about inspiration for styling your countertops so they spark joy?

Check out these brilliant kitchen organization tips for every type of need to help you get the most of your kitchen day after day.

For Small Spaces

Yes, you can still have a streamlined, organized kitchen if you’re short on square footage. These simple ideas require minimal investments of your time and money to help you maximize every square inch of your cook space.

1. Use turntables inside your cabinets.

Turntables are key kitchen storage secret weapons when it comes to making any dead space more functional. Use them to make spices accessible or so that you can see and grab exactly the right hot sauce from your collection. They’re also great for organizing bottles of oil and other condiments that you keep near the stove for easy access while you’re cooking.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani/Kitchn

2. Use drawer dividers everywhere you can.

Drawer dividers help you keep like items with like and direct your hand to exactly the utensil or tool that you need. They also prevent items from being piled on top of each other and from sliding around in drawers. We love how this versatile 6-piece divider works in practically any room.

Credit: Alexis Buryk

3. Make the most of the sides of your cabinets.

It’s amazing how much space goes wasted when you stop to look around your kitchen. If you have cabinets with exposed sides, use them! Add a rail, hooks, or even shelves to maximize your square footage.

Credit: Anna Spaller

4. Use the space above the cabinets, too.

If your cabinets don’t go all the way up to the ceiling, you can still capitalize on above-cabinet space for extra storage. Turn it into your new home for bulky, lesser-used pots, cookbooks, extra ingredients, or even as a spot to show off a collection of vintage kitchenwares.

Credit: Lana Kenney

5. Use hooks to hang mugs on the underside of shelves.

Hanging mugs from hooks is an easy, inexpensive way to use the otherwise unused space above a stack of plates or bowls. You’ll be able to reach your favorite mug without shuffling the others out of the way while making more room to store other items inside cabinets.

6. Store mixer attachments in your mixing bowl.

Mixer attachments, especially the whisk, take up a lot of space. Guess what stores them perfectly and keeps them right where you need them? The mixing bowl! Line your bowl with a towel to prevent scratches.

Credit: Erika Tracy

7. Store serving platters vertically.

Use a cutting board organizer to store your serving platters on their sides. This way you can pull exactly what you need without having to sort through a stack in a high cabinet. 

Credit: Kaitlin Garske

8. Store small appliances on rolling plant stands.

You might actually use your ice cream maker if you don’t have to haul out two rows of small appliances to get to it. Inexpensive rolling plant stands will turn your pantry floor into a functional appliance garage to expand and simplify storage. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

9. Use a dish rack to organize kids’ dishes.

A dish drying rack is perfect for storing and organizing dishes, cups, and utensils that you want to keep within reach. Plus, it allows your kiddos to have easy access.

Credit: Anik Polo

10.  Add shelf risers.

Shelf risers can double your usable cabinet space. To maximize the vertical space in your cabinets or pantry, add shelf risers. They allow you to store items on top of each other without having to stack them haphazardly.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

11. Adjust the height of your shelves.

Sometimes the most simple solutions are also the most elusive. Realizing that you can adjust your shelves can transform the inside of your cabinets into spaces that work for you and your personal kitchen cabinet storage needs.

12. Use magnets on the underside of your cabinets.

The surface underneath your cabinets can also be used to keep items organized and off of countertops or the floor. Here, spices are stored in jars and affixed with magnets to a strip on the underside of cabinets. Not only is this a great storage solution for spices, but it frees up interior cabinet space for housing other items.

13. Use a rolling cart to add even more storage to a pantry.

A rolling cart that fits into your pantry maximizes the space allotted to storage without sacrificing any functionality. To get to items either on the cart or behind it, all you have to do is roll. Store the same type of items on the cart, such as baking essentials or lunch box necessities, so that you can bring them all close to hand when you need them.

Credit: Devon Jarvis

14. Or, use a rolling cart to keep all your kitchen basics together.

If you’re really tight on storage, put your most-often used kitchen essentials on a rolling cart together, and move it to wherever you’re chopping, stirring, or washing at a given moment.

For DIY-ers

Love a weekend home project? Whether you have a whole day or 30 minutes, these ideas will inspire your next kitchen venture.

15. Build out the storage you really need.

Drawers were made for storage and organization, but that doesn’t mean they’re always well-suited to your needs from the get go. Blogger Adrienne of The End of the Gravel Drive shows how adding drawer inserts can turn things like topsy-turvy stacks of bowls and jumbles of cutlery into an efficient, streamlined setup.

Credit: Rachel Jacks

16. Eke out extra storage space by installing toe-kick drawers.

This storage hack is a bit more involved to implement, but if your kitchen cabinets are just too full, adding hidden drawers to your toe kick areas maximizes cabinet space and is the perfect solution for storing flat or rarely used items. Family Handyman offers an excellent how-to on building under-cabinet drawers.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

17. Create a “pantry” within a drawer.

You don’t have to be confined by where you’re supposed to store things. If it makes sense for you to put items that would typically go in a pantry in a drawer instead, try it out. These bins from The Container Store can be used to separate items in deeper drawers and keep them tidy and accessible. Labels keep everything where it’s supposed to be.

Credit: Devon Jarvis

18. Turn a pegboard into a pantry.

If you don’t have cabinet space for your dry goods, you can bring them out of the cabinets with this pegboard pantry scheme. Plus, it’s a fun way to bring a pop of color into your cook space. 

19. Add drawers to your cabinets.

Installing cabinet drawers will transform them into orderly storage units that will keep you better organized. Simple drawers, like the ones above, can house small, light items, while heavy-duty drawers can accommodate larger, heavier items, such as pots and pans. If you can’t install your own, find a free-standing drawer unit that will fit inside your cabinets.

20. Cover glass cabinet doors.

Glass cabinet doors can be a beautiful component of kitchen cabinetry except when what you see through those doors is in disarray. If you need to make utilitarian and unaesthetic use of a glass-fronted kitchen cabinet, consider covering it with attractive paper.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

21. Add a “shelf” with a tension rod.

Tension rods to the rescue again! Create an instant shelf for small items by placing one across the length of a cabinet. It’s perfect for housing spices, small jars, and boxes of specialty seasonings.

Credit: Rachel Jacks

22. Install a sink tip-out tray.

Create a spot for bottle brushes, pot scrapers, and sponges behind that vacant panel between your countertop and under-sink cabinet. Just look for a tip out tray kit that includes a tray and a hinge to install.

23. Create a pantry cabinet.

If you don’t have a dedicated pantry, you’ll need a way to store dry goods, oils, spices, and more without creating extra clutter. Installing pull-out drawers in a cabinet allows you to see everything you have while also maximizing your square footage of space.

For The Aesthetes

Turns out, an Instagram-worthy kitchen is within reach, no matter your budget. Use these ideas to showcase your personal design style and get organized for a satisfying kitchen.

Credit: Dusk2illdawn

24. Rethink your refrigerator.

When it comes to organizing with style in mind, the refrigerator is usually the last place anyone wants to tackle. There’s nothing pretty about packages of produce and cheese, right? Instagrammer Amira of Dusk2illDawn has proven that even the shelves holding this week’s grocery run can still be beautiful with the help of baskets, clear food containers, and thoughtful arranging.

Credit: Taryn Newton

25. Declutter for happy hour.

Your butler’s pantry or home bar doesn’t have to display all your goodies. Select a few special glasses or prized items to highlight, like Taryn Newton did here, to create a clean, minimalist cabinet look that’s equally stunning and well-organized. Stash your more utilitarian items neatly behind non-glass front cupboards.

26. Experiment with color coordination.

Focus on curating a color story for tea towels and utensils so you’ll feel invested in keeping your kitchen tidy for the long haul. Blogger Megan of Sugar Color House exemplifies this idea perfectly with her drawers, which are filled with pastel colored linens, measuring cups, and serving pieces. When things look this visually organized, you’ll be more motivated to keep them that way!

27. Become your own barista.

Don’t relegate your snazzy coffee or espresso machine to the back of the cupboard. Make your own chic little coffee bar in an empty corner with a freestanding cabinet, just like blogger Kristen Garaffo did here. With a setup this good, you’ll be looking forward to that homemade caramel macchiato every morning even more, and you’ll likely save some extra cash along the way.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

28. Decant your staples.

By pouring pantry staples like sugar, pasta, and grains into uniform containers, you’ll not only maximize storage space, but you’ll also be able to get rid of unsightly boxes and bags while keeping everything airtight and fresh to boot. Make sure to add labels!

Credit: Joe Lingeman

29. Organize drawers with adjustable inserts.

Adjustable drawer organizers make tidy cubbies for both your oddly shaped cooking tools and everyday utensils without wasting space and they fit a range of drawer sizes.

30. Store like with like.

Storing similar things together serves aesthetic and practical purposes. It will please the eye, help you stay organized, and be better able to take inventory of what’s clean or missing.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

31. Label everything.

It can be visually and mentally overwhelming to look a a sea of disparate containers filled with all kinds of different contents in a cabinet or pantry. Investing in a label maker can restore calm and will ensure you’re always well-stocked on the right grocery items.

32. Go mostly neutral for basics on open shelving.

Clear glasses and white dishware give the eye a place to rest on open shelves. By avoiding eye-catching patterns and colors, you avoid creating a busy, cluttered look that open shelves can fall prey to.

33. Or, embrace color completely.

This kitchen proves that drawing attention to the utilitarian objects that are visible in a kitchen with open shelves can be beautiful. It’s just all about striking a balance between well-collected and kitschy clutter.

Credit: Erika Tracy

34. Rainbow-ordered books look good anywhere and everywhere.

Arranging cookbooks in rainbow order on open shelves makes everything feel deliberate and tidy. Plus, it will enliven your kitchen!

35. Leave space between sets of items on open shelving.

Allowing space between items will actually give the illusion of having space and prevents open shelves from looking cramped and cluttered. Breaking up stored items with art also creates a beautiful scene. 

Credit: Cambria Bold

36. Store messy items on saucers.

If you store things that tend to drop debris or leave messes, set them on top of small plates or shallow bowls. This will keep messes from spreading all over your pantry or cabinet interiors and will keep neighboring items clean as well.

Credit: Leela Cyd

37. Employ the pantry “golden rule.”

The pantry golden rule says that you must be able to see everything that’s inside. This can be applied to the interiors of your cabinets and drawers as well. The benefit is that you’ll always know what you have in stock, you’ll be forced to edit what you keep, and it makes putting items away so much easier.

38. Arrange items by height.

Little changes can make a big difference when it comes to storing a collection of items. Just like arranging children’s books by height on a bookshelf looks tidy, placing items in a cabinet or pantry according to height creates a pleasing sense of orderliness.

39. Add a bunch of containers to your junk drawer to contain smaller items.

Corral little kitchen items in sections prevents the development of a junk drawer. Now, even the smallest of items will have a place in the kitchen, and you’ll be less tempted to store them in random places. 

40. Line up your labels.

Not only can labeling make a difference in organizing the kitchen, but going one step further to line up your jars will make all the difference. In this open-shelving kitchen, the lined-up, uniform labels add to an overall sense of orderliness, even when many disparate objects are on display.

41. Apply styling principles to items on shelves.

When collections are grouped together rather than scattered throughout a space, they look intentional and artistic rather than junky.

For a Five-Minute Fix

Who doesn’t love a little instant gratification? Get to improving your kitchen cabinet storage ASAP with these simple yet clever tips.

42. Swap out boring bins.

Cat of Modern Boho Cottage found a more stylish alternative to your classic plastic bins, which can look a little plain to those that have an eye for design. She opted for opaque black and white storage containers to make her pantry pop and keep her snacks tucked away.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

43. “File” your baking sheets and muffin tins.

No one wants to pull a cookie sheet out from under six others. Store your baking sheets vertically instead of piling them on top of each other with the help of a tension rod to give you instant, usable slots so you can slip bakeware in and out with ease.

44. Take things out of the cabinets.

One of the keys to successful organizational systems that can actually be maintained is creating spaces that aren’t overcrowded. If you’re short on kitchen cabinet space, consider taking some items out of your cabinets and storing them elsewhere in your kitchen. Taking pots and pans out of your cabinets and hanging them frees up valuable cabinet space and will look pleasing to the eye.

Credit: T

45. Forget classic cabinet storage.

Why, yes, cutting boards most definitely can be wall art! Just look at blogger Christine Sentz of The Gray House Design Co. and her wall of pretty wooden pieces. Not only does this free up in-kitchen space in your cabinets for other items, but it’s also a perfect way to organize your prep tools in a way that doesn’t feel like a basic storage setup.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

46. Store small pantry items in a sponge holder.

Those kitchen sponge holders that suction on to the side of the sink can actually be a sneaky food storage hero. Simply stick those onto the sides of your pantry storage or the back of a cabinet door with adhesive strips. We love how these adhesive sponge holders are wide enough to store items, but doesn’t interfere with fully closing the cabinet door.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh/Kitchn

47. Hang cleaning sprays with a tension rod.

Maximize awkward cabinet space beneath your kitchen sink by hanging your cleaning sprays from a tension rod affixed across the cabinet. Now, all your go-to products will become both out of the way and within reach.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

48. Or, try out an over-the-cabinet towel bar.

Those small cabinet door towel racks can be flipped around so the rung is on the inside of the cabinet instead. The rung, like the tension rod, provides a perfect handle for hanging your cleaning bottles.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

49. Hang snack bags with pants hangers.

This tip is genius, and it gives wire shelves their one redeeming quality—you can hang things from them. Pants hangers can serve as clips to keep contents fresh and hangers while keeping bags from flopping everywhere and chips from getting crushed.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

50. Make your own pot lid hangers.

Use Command hooks to make instant, custom pot holders that live on your cabinet doors. Hold each lid up to the cabinet door and place Command hooks at 8:00 and 4:00 (pretending your lid is a clock face). Easy as that!

51. Hang a curtain rod below the cabinets.

Mount a curtain rod below your cabinets to hang your utensils (with S hooks or just hooked on) and free up a drawer or two. You can mount it to the backsplash or directly to the bottom of your upper cabinets.

52. Create instant storage with stick-on shelves.

For organizing small items that you need quick access to, Command strip-mounted caddies are an excellent solution. Just stick them on the inside of cabinet doors to streamline storage in seconds.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

53. Use a toilet paper tube to keep baking mats tidy.

Baking mats prevent stuck-on cookies and we love them. But they’re floppy and not so easy to store. Rolling mats and inserting them in a toilet paper tube allows you to store them neatly in just about any kitchen drawer or cabinet.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

54. Install a magnetic knife strip on the side of your cabinets.

If there’s no room in drawers or on a countertop for a knife block, and no room on the walls for a knife strip, you can mount one on the side of your upper cabinets to keep important tools in easy reach of adult hands and away from little fingers.

55. Or, put a magnetic knife strip inside your cabinets

Shuffling around for sharp blades isn’t safe. A magnetic knife strip makes excellent use of otherwise wasted space and keeps blades stored safely.

Credit: Erika Tracy

56. Go through your food storage containers.

Streamlining food storage container organization can be overwhelming. There are so many shapes and sizes to sort through, between the lids and containers themselves. Save yourself the extra hassle by going through your entire collection to see what you have, what you can get rid of, and what you might need to invest in.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

57. Then store the lids with a roll-up drying rack.

Combine a roll-up drying/cooling rack and a plastic storage bin to store all those messy, mismatched food storage lids in one tidy, easy-to-grab spot. We tried this roll-up drying rack and were amazing at how multi-purpose and durable (it holds up to 70 pounds!) it was.

Credit: Rachel Jacks

58. Use a cabinet door to hang paper towels.

The inside of a cabinet door is an excellent place to hang a paper towel roll. Get one that mounts more permanently to the door like this stainless steel option that can actually be mounted using adhesive or a screw. Or try a paper towel holder that hangs off the top of the cabinet.

Credit: Kelli Foster

59. Label the tops of spice jars stored in drawers.

Are you driving yourself crazy playing spice jar roulette every time you make a batch of curry? Save yourself the hassle by adding simple labels (masking tape and Sharpie are fine, too!) to the tops of your collection.