Let me start this off by saying…. letting someone into the cabinets and cupboards of your kitchen is super intimidating! But, if I’m being honest with you guys, I did it, because this is one of the areas in my home that I actually feel like I have a handle on! (Don’t even ASK me about bathroom/medicine cabinet organization……yet). I’ve lived in my current (and only) home for nearly TEN (whoa) years and in that time I’ve been able to work – and rework – the way my kitchen is organized, which has made it feel manageable and efficient!
I also want to emphasize, you DO NOT have to have fancy organizers to keep your kitchen or home running smoothly! Even though I’m sharing some of my favorite items, I’ve got some tips that don’t involve spending all your moo-lah, too!
In fact, my NUMBER ONE TIP to making your kitchen work for you, is this: adjust your shelving in your cabinets and don’t be afraid to use a space creatively! If you do nothing else, do that!
(If possible) Spend some time Marie Kondo-ing your items, and then, once they are paired down, group them into like categories and begin choosing which cabinets/drawers they should be stored in. I like to put items near the location they are needed most. For example, I put cups and glasses nearest the sink and I put pots, pans, and baking dishes near the stove. If an item is rarely used, I store it in a cabinet up high, like above the microwave or above the refrigerator. Another game changer for me has been adjusting the shelving within my cabinets. My cabinets aren’t very old (in the scheme of things) and the shelving within can be lowered or raised to suit my needs. I’ve changed the shelving configuration in every one of my cabinets and it has made ALL the difference! In the pic below you can see how I’ve stored rarely used cook books above the microwave and I used the neighboring cabinet (where many might feel inclined to store spices) as coffee storage. Because my kitchen has limited counter space for food prep I prefer to keep all of my appliances tucked away and this made so much more sense for us and our coffee! ( I removed one shelf completely to allow the height of the coffee maker and stored it in my basement.)
If, after you have your things re-homed, you are ready to purchase a few products to help things stay organized here are my top 10 FAVS that I use in my kitchen:
1.) Contact Paper: Each of my cabinet bottoms, some drawers, under my sink, and even my refrigerator shelves are lined with contact paper. I do this so that I’m able to quickly vacuum and wipe down the shelves; but also, to preserve the quality of the shelving. I can’t tell you how many times this stuff has saved the wood underneath our kitchen sink in ten years! For that location I prefer the thicker protective plastic mat but, everywhere else I use a standard contact paper with an adhesive backing. There are SO many cute and affordable options out there but here are a few of my favorites.
2.) Drawer Trays and Organizers: I imagine most of you already have a tray for your silverware. But, until I started using the various configurations of trays in all my drawers with all of my utensils things always seemed to get haywire! I’m currently using one bamboo tray and an old metal adjustable organizer (circa 1967…jk, but for real) but I have my eye on the CUTEST little floral lined trays from the Pioneer Woman’s line at Walmart (which is super affordable)! I purchased my knife dock several years ago and I really love it(since I prefer to keep the counters, mostly, clear)! Here is a slightly different in-drawer knife organizer, same idea, different design.
3.) Acrylic Trays and Bins: I use these things, literally, everywhere! In the pantry, in the fridge, under the sink, and inside drawers! You don’t have to buy anything fancy or expensive, I’ve seen some at places like Dollar Tree. But, my favorite are from Target. And, personally, I think they are worth every penny! I really like the single large tray, I use mine inside the fridge to put things like ground beef or chicken breast on, if they leak, the mess remains contained. I also use the large bin to hold kid snacks like apple sauce and jello and the medium size to keep condiment jars organized.
4.) A Lazy Susan: You can also use these almost anywhere that you need to keep things corralled. I have one on the top shelf of my fridge that holds condiments. I love this clear Lazy Susan from Walmart that has a lip to hold your items in.
**And, while we are on the subject of the fridge! To maximize your space, rearrange and adjust your shelves to suit your needs, like you have with your cabinets. The entire bottom shelf of my refrigerator used to have crisper drawers that I removed because shelf space was more important for us. I haven’t looked back! (And, I have a sneaking suspicion my husband may have “de-cluttered” the actual drawers right on out of our house.)
5.) Medium and Large Sized Bins: I prefer these Y-Weave baskets from Target. They are durable and come in a variety of sizes and colors. I use them in my pantry to make kid snacks easily accessible but also tidy (and cute). And, I use them under my sink to hold often used cleaning supplies and extra dish soap.
6.) Canned Goods Rack: I snagged this rack on Amazon – because, Amazon Prime!!!!! Whether you keep your canned goods in a pantry or cabinet, I find, this keeps them organized and neat. Also, it prevents me from over buying products I don’t need. Once cans start to pile around the rack, I know it’s time to use something or check dates.
7.) Glass Dry Goods Containers: I currently have two large clear jars that I bought ages ago and made my own labels for. But, I really dislike them because they don’t have a rubber seal and are too large. I don’t bake near enough to keep that much sugar and flour! I have my eye on this smaller set that has great reviews!
8.) Glass Food Containers: We use these NON-STOP! They help keep our fridge organized and can be put in the microwave and dishwasher! Need I say more?!?!
9.) Glass Spice Jars: I find that spices are another area that can easily get out of control. One day you have 5, and the next, you have 50! I purchased these air tight glass containers and used my Silhouette to make the labels for the lids back when Amazon Prime was in its fledgling stages. Now, I’m drooling over this Libby Vibe set. And, if you prefer one with a shaker top, these are fun! I’m able to keep better track of my spices this way. And, when the jars are so darn cute, I can also add them to my decor from time to time!
10.) Cake Stand, Pedestal, or Tray: One of my favorite way to use these items, besides the traditional way, is to use them next to my sink to hold things such as dish soap, hand soap, lotion, paper towels, etc. These items are used several times a day and the pedestal is a fun way to display them and keep them neat. My tray is no longer sold online but I’ve linked a couple super cute options!
As always, if you implement any of my ideas into your spaces I’d love to hear about them! You can always send me an email or tag me on Instagram @thejesswalkermomspot