Organize Your Kitchen: Storage Solutions and Decluttering Tips

Reader Contribution by Susan Melgren
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by Unsplash/Jason Briscoe

The kitchen is one of the easiest places to find clutter. With a myriad of drinkware, all-occasion dishware, utensils and appliances, it’s not hard to overdo it in this room of the home.

The first step to organize your kitchen should be to analyze what you can get rid of. Do you really need a food processor, Panini maker, deep fryer and electric juicer? Probably not. Many appliances can do double duty, allowing you to purge your stash of underused utensils and free up storage space. (For a list of kitchen appliances that do double duty, see the article “The Minimalist Kitchen.”) This might also be a good time to go through refrigerator and pantry and throw out or donate any expired or unused products.

Some kitchen goods are just too good to go without, however. And if your kitchen is like most, you probably feel like you don’t have enough storage space–or that the space you do have isn’t being utilized well. Don’t feel overwhelmed! Organize your kitchen utensils, cookware and dishes and maximize your storage space with these handy decluttering tips and storage solutions.

Utilizing hanging storage and storing food in clear glass jars are two ways to help declutter and organize your kitchen.

• Make use of turntables and Lazy Susans in both the pantry and refrigerator. These tools will help you to easily find what you need without removing everything in front of it.

• Tall cupboards? Make use of their height by placing a serving tray between two stacks of glasses.

• Cutting boards and cookie sheets will be both easier to store and access if you stand them on their side. Use upright office folder storage to organize these kitchen tools, or place tension rods vertically in under-counter storage spaces to create handy nooks where cutting boards and baking sheets can slide in. (Note: tension rods can be used elsewhere in the kitchen with great success. Try hanging one horizontally in under-counter spaces to hang spray bottles and pots and pans from.)

• Store bulk items in the pantry in clear glass jars with labels. Tape any cooking instructions that came with the product to the outside of the jar so you don’t lose them. If you don’t want to purchase new glass jars, repurpose old jelly, pickle or condiment jars.

• Hang an over-the-door, see-through shoe organizer on the inside of your pantry to create additional storage space that lets you quickly see where each item is kept.

• Save countertop space by using cake stands or multi-tiered dessert stands for storing common counter hogs such as salt, pepper, olive oil, soap, sponges and any other small tools that you regularly keep on the counter.

• Save under-counter storage space by installing a peg board with hooks from which you can hang not only pots and pans but aprons, oven mitts and even baskets full of produce or commonly used kitchen utensils.

• And although it’s a no-brainer, don’t forget that canisters and baskets on the countertop are a great way to organize and store utensils and oft-used items!

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