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41 Kitchen Organizing Ideas You Won’t Believe You’ve Lived Without

A cluttered kitchen can be downright maddening. These tips will help you get the most-used, hardest-to-keep-clean room in your home organized for good.

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Functional DécorFamily Handyman

Functional décor


If you happen to have inherited Grandma’s rolling pins, wooden utensils, and well-worn cutting boards, you have primo décor at your fingertips. Store them out in the open on accessible wall space. Oh, and treat them well—vintage kitchen items are worth money these days.

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HH Six Pack Organizer Fridge Door SrirachaFamily Handyman

Organize your fridge with a six-pack

Want to corral small bottles in the refrigerator door and keep them from tipping? Try these steps for a zero-waste kitchen.

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Free Shelf LinerFamily Handyman

Free shelf liner

Window shades make excellent wipe-clean shelf and drawer liners. Recycle an old shade or go to your local home center where they cut shades to fit and ask if you can scavenge their remnants. And don’t throw away old blinds, either. Here are some kitchen products that people can’t stop buying.

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Get a Cooking Caddy for ConvenienceFamily Handyman

Get a cooking caddy for convenience

Keep condiments and spices that you use daily in an easy-to-carry tray and they won’t take up valuable counter space. You’ll find caddies in all shapes and sizes in any store that sells kitchenware. These cheap kitchen upgrades make a huge difference.

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swing out kitchen cabinetFamily Handyman

Swing-out pantry

A swing-out pantry makes the most of any wall cabinet, and this one only looks sophisticated. Learn how to create custom rollouts, swing-out pantries, and more at Family Handyman’s DIY University

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HH Tension rod organize under sinkFamily Handyman

Tension rod storage hack

Here’s an easy and inexpensive storage hack: Keep spray-bottle cleaning supplies organized using a short tension rod. Add another rod to hold your paper towel roll and you’ve got easy access when mopping up spills.

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dfh17may021_shutterstock_62997880-1Masterchief_Productions/Shutterstock

Spice up your life

Using same-size containers is an organization trick that definitely makes the most of your space. Decant spices in uniform jars—and even add printed labels if you want a professional touch. These 50 kitchen organizing tips from organization pros are so clever, you’ll wonder how you got by without for them so long.

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Integrate Appliances into Your Kitchen IslandKrista Abel/Shutterstock

Integrate appliances into your kitchen island

If you’re planning a new kitchen or just an upgrade, make the most of your space by integrating appliances such as a microwave, wine fridge, and dishwasher in an island.

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Use a Pool Noodle Inside a DrawerFamily Handyman

Use a pool noodle inside a drawer

Keep flatware organizers from rattling around with this clever pool noodle hack. Cut a noodle to size so it fits snuggly between the organizer tray and the back of the drawer and you’ll achieve a soft close. Here’s how you can clean your kitchen in basically 5 minutes.

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display storage shelfFamily Handyman

Add a display shelf

Add a strip of molding along the upper cabinets to create a space worthy of displaying your favorite pottery. Integrate it into your kitchen design, by matching it to other features in the kitchen. Try out these secret uses for ordinary kitchen gadgets.

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HH Secure Your kitchen towelsFamily Handyman

Secure your kitchen towels

Hanging kitchen towels on appliance handles is a no-brainer, but the towels do tend to slip. Keep towels from falling off by attaching two small Velcro strips.

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Jars on JarsZigzag Mountain Art/Shutterstock

Jars on jars

Create uniformity in your pantry, and make the most of your space, by decanting your dry goods to jars and canisters. Now you can see at a glance where your lentils, rice, and beans are stashed—and they’re pretty enough to display on open shelves for that rustic look. These items in your kitchen could be worth money.

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jim-gallop-4960 pull out kitchen counter cutting board spaceFamily Handyman

Pullout chopping board

Pullout solutions are perfect for small kitchens. A pull-out cutting board creates a food prep zone in even the smallest-footprint kitchen, where counter space is limited.

Photo: Courtesy of Dura Solutions

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Install a Kitchen Cabinet RolloutFamily Handyman

Install a kitchen cabinet rollout

Kitchen cabinet rollouts also make the most of cabinet capacity—and make it easier to store and use groceries.

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File Folders Kitchen Organization HackFamily Handyman

File folders kitchen organization hack

This kitchen organization hack is so easy and useful. Metal file folders can be used to corral kitchen cleaning supplies, and you can place most frequently used items towards the front. Find more money-saving ideas in our cheapskate’s guide to kitchen remodeling.

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Kitchen Window Plant PerchFamily Handyman

Kitchen window plant perch

Install a wire shelf between the upper cabinets flanking your kitchen window and your herb garden will get plenty of light without blocking the view. Watering is easy, and plants are readily available for snipping.

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HH Keurig pod organizationFamily Handyman

DIY coffee pod organizer

That Keurig or Nespresso may have changed your life forever, but keeping the pods organized can be total chaos.

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OCT_2006_005_T_01Family Handyman

Expand the counter with a kitchen cart

When kitchen space is at a premium, a rolling kitchen cart is the next best thing to adding cabinets and countertop space. The top provides extra work space when you’re prepping food. The shelves below hold items that would otherwise take up countertop space. Choose one with a durable work surface, such as butcher block, stainless steel, or plastic laminate.

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Instant Kitchen Cabinet OrganizerFamily Handyman

Instant kitchen cabinet organizer

Here’s another trick from your local office supply store: A metal file organizer is perfect for storing baking sheets, cutting boards, and pan lids. To keep the organizer from sliding around, use rubber shelf liner, or attach hook-and-loop tape to the cabinet base and the bottom of the organizer. Watch out for these common kitchen items that are crawling with germs.

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Takeout menuLIZ VAN STEENBURGH/SHUTTERSTOCK

Toss those takeout menus

Junk drawer overflowing with stuff? Toss takeout menus in the recycling bin. You’ll never miss them; you can always look up menus online. Here are more items in your kitchen you need to throw away pronto.

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C-Clamp Paper Towel RackFamily Handyman

C-Clamp paper towel rack

Create an instant paper towel dispenser using two C-clamps. It’s a perfect solution for a rustic kitchen.

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Wine StashAfrica Studio/shutterstock

Wine stash

No wine rack; no problem! A deep kitchen drawer makes for great bottle storage—just alternate the direction of the bottles so they nest well together.

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Easy-to-Build Knife BlockFamily Handyman

Easy-to-build knife block

Display your knives in style with this handsome DIY knife block. It’s a fast and fun project, plus organizing all your knives in one place will make food prep easy.

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Family Handyman

In-wall pantry

Even the smallest kitchen can get a little bigger if you make use of the space hidden between the studs in your walls. Avoid these ways you could be cleaning your kitchen wrong.

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pansvia amazon.com

Space-saving nonstick stackable cookware set

Cookware takes up a ton of cabinet space, so don’t overlook creative solutions for storing pots and pans. There are also products designed to take up less space, such as these stackable cooking pans.

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Decorative Backsplash RackFamily Handyman

Decorative backsplash rack

Backsplash racks are a stylish kitchen storage solution, and they’re easy to install. IKEA sells them as a set, and their prices are hard to beat. If you want to get yours at an even greater discount, check out these insider secrets about the IKEA kitchen sale.

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Concealed Message CenterFamily Handyman

Concealed message center

When you need a place for shopping lists, phone messages, and to-do notes but you don’t want to clutter up counter space, mount a dry-erase board and a plastic bin on the inside of a cabinet door using double-sided foam mounting tape. Voila!—instant message center.

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Family Handyman

Better in a basket

When there’s zero counter space available for stashing fresh produce, hang a tiered wire basket. It’s a great way to store apples, bananas, and oranges as well as potatoes, onions, and garlic. Plus, the hanging basket adds visual interest to your kitchen.

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can rack storage kitchen cabinetFamily Handyman

Racks for canned goods

Upcycle leftover closet racks to use as can organizers inside your cabinets. Now you can easily check inventory at a glance when making up your shopping list or locate the food you’re looking for while cooking.

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dfh17may021_shutterstock_468239051-1Family Handyman

Chalk it up

A chalkboard or chalkboard wall can be as useful as it is decorative. Frame a small section of your wall and paint the inside with chalkboard paint. Or repurpose an old bulletin board. Check out some of the most inspiring home organization makeovers.

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Install Expandable Shelves in CabinetsOmiStudio/Shutterstock

Install expandable shelves in cabinets

Expandable or pullout shelves are the key to making the most of a blind-corner cabinet. There are blind-corner pullouts designed for this purpose, and every well-organized kitchen should have them. Putting function first is one of the top 10 kitchen design tips from kitchen pros.

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via amazon.com

Stackable nesting kitchen caboodle

It’s way too easy to toss mismatched bowls and other kitchen gear in a drawer and forget about them. This stackable option is affordable, space-saving, and bound to make your life just a little easier.

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Plastic bag dispenser

An empty rectangular tissue box makes a convenient plastic-bag dispenser; simply thumbtack it to the inside of a cabinet door. It’s one of our favorite thrifty kitchen storage ideas.

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dfh17may021_shutterstock_185407175-1Family Handyman

Embrace the openness

To optimize your storage space, embrace the open shelving trend. And don’t miss these other kitchen design upgrades that only look expensive.

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dfh17may021_shutterstock_109064612-1Family Handyman

From office to kitchen

Wooden magazine holders make for clever kitchen storage. Use as many as you need to organize aluminum foil, parchment paper, freezer bags, and more.

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via amazon.com

Refrigerator/freezer stackable storage bins

Clear plastic bins are great for keeping pantry, refrigerator, and freezer tidy while ensuring everything remains in sight. These bins are BPA-free and feature built-in handles.

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A view looking down on a group of onions and a large knife on a worn butcher block cutting boardhawkeye978/Shutterstock

Prep station

Butcher block counters look amazing, but they do take care—and you still will need a cutting board. 

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dfh17may090-1-kitchen fruit storage rackFamily Handyman

Get produce off the counter

This creative way to store fruits and vegetables is inexpensive and attractive and it will free up valuable counter space.

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JunkPIXSOOZ/Shutterstock

Don’t let the junk drawer overflow

When you have a small kitchen, don’t waste space on junk. Go through your junk drawer quarterly, making sure everything in there is something you truly use. 

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Pantry Cabinet in a ClosetFamily Handyman

Optimize pantry storage

Moving seldom-used items like wine glasses into a nearby pantry can free up cabinet space. You can order closet organizers like these online at most closet stores.

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Kitchen Cabinet Cache secret hiding placeFamily Handyman

Emergency cash stash

Everyone needs to stash a bit of emergency cash. Reuse an empty tin can and you can hide yours in plain view. Stash it in the back of your pantry and save it for a rainy day. Now, read up on these secrets a personal organizer would never tell you for free.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman