Clutter Control - Tips for an Organized Kitchen

April 20, 2011 at 9:38 AM


“Organized” and “kitchen” -- two words rarely used together, unless prefaced by the words, “I wish”. The kitchen is the hub of the home and typically looks that way. The reality of our daily lives is we rush to put groceries away, get meals made and cleaned up; we set papers down to be dealt with later. Before you know it, clutter reigns. You CAN win the battle, however, it takes time, a critical eye and willingness to be ruthless. Let’s begin, shall we?

Here are five key steps for organizing anything:

  1. Remove – Clear all items out of the space.
  2. Purge – It’s time to sift through your stuff. 
    • Are there items that are broken beyond repair or have missing pieces? 
    • Do you have duplicates? 
    • What about items you bought thinking you had to have but haven’t touched in years? 
    • Don’t skip this step!
  3. Organize – Sort items by category, i.e. 1) pans 2) bakeware 3) small appliances, etc…
  4. Clean – Now that the space is empty, give it a good wipe down.
  5. Reload - Return categorized items to areas where they are most used. 
    • Put items less frequently used in higher or harder to reach spots.
    • Keep necessities within easy reach.
    • Items that are used together should be stored together.

Cabinet Tips

  • Purging is especially important when it comes to cabinets. If you haven’t used it in the past year, you’re probably safe to toss it, donate it or put in basement or attic storage.
  • Similarly, items used infrequently can be stored in the basement or less convenient storage space.
  • Remember, reload by category. This helps improve efficiency of time spent in your kitchen.
  • Learn more about potentially harmful plastics and purge accordingly. provides detailed information.


Countertop and Drawer Tips

  • Reserve countertop space for frequently used kitchen items and minimal décor.
  • Deep corners can be used to store heavier small appliances. Purchase a small trolley designed to move potted plants for ease in moving in and out.
  • Visit The Container Store for inspiration. Drawer Dividers are a great way to help de-clutter.
  • Install a retractable book stand for cookbooks to keep counter space available.

Refrigerator/Freezer Tips

  • Keeping your refrigerator and freezer clean reduces clutter and helps to ensure food is used before going bad.
  • has reusable mesh produce bags ideal to prolong the life of fruit and veggies.


Pantry Tips:

  • Place products used frequently upfront and other items up higher or towards the back.
  • Place foods you want your kids to eat at convenient heights for them to reach.
  • Wire baskets make great storage compartments and make more sense than wicker because you are able to see inside easier.
  • Use the pantry door to hang shoe pockets for storing “shoe sized” items.
  • Make baking quick and convenient. Create a baking basket and fill it with the items most commonly used in baking: flour, sugar, baking power, etc…

We’d love to hear your great ideas for organizing your kitchen in our comments section.


Susan Klimala, Certified Kitchen Designer

Co-owner of The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn


Tags: organized organized kitchen
Category: Article

Please add a comment

Posted by Tetsuharu on
The tray ceiling with the rope lihtging is a nice effect. But the Kitchen in my opinion looks cold and dull. The flooring does not go with the kitchen's modern design ( should have been set in a diamond pattern) and white walls need to be dressed up with some kind of a back splash. Also, in my opinion, white appliances, faucet and fan are outdated. Stainless steel appliances and brushed nickle or rubbed bronze are in even in modern kitchens the job was good, but the design/feel was lacking
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