40 Kitchen Organizing Ideas That Will Save Your Sanity

The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but it can also be the most cluttered. Use these clever kitchen organizing ideas to bring order to chaos!

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Functional Décor

If you happen to have inherited your grandma's rolling pins, knotty wooden utensils, and/or well-worn cutting boards, you have a design opportunity waiting. Consider storing these beloved kitchen wares out in the open as authentic décor elements by hanging them on available wall space. Just make sure you mount them in such a way that you can easily take them down for use.

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Plastic Bag Holder

An empty rectangular tissue box makes a convenient holder for small garbage bags, plastic grocery bags and small rags. Simply thumbtack it to the inside of a cabinet door. It's one of our favourite kitchen storage ideas.

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HH Six Pack Organizer Fridge Door SrirachaPhoto: Family Handyman

Organize Your Fridge with a Six-Pack

Do all of your small bottles in the refrigerator door like to tip over after opening or closing the door? Fortunately, the answer to tidying those wayward bottles is just a recycling bin away. To keep all of your condiments under control, use an empty six-pack holder to hold and organize the condiments in your refrigerator door. Make sure you avoid these common kitchen organizing mistakes, too.

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Free Shelf Liner

Window shades make an excellent, wipe-clean shelf and drawer liners. Recycle an old shade or ask the shade department staff at a local home centre to go through their box of scraps. Heavy shades make the best liners. Check out more thrifty ways to repurpose common household items.

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Photo: Family Handyman

Get a Cooking Caddy for Convenience

Keep condiments and spices in an easy-to-carry rack to free up countertop space. You always want salt, cooking oils and your favourite spices next to the stove because you use them every day. But they don't have to take up valuable counter space full time. Place them all in a caddy that you can instantly stow in a cabinet after cooking. You'll find caddies in various shapes, sizes and prices at any store that sells kitchenware.

Find out how to organize your kitchen like Marie Kondo!

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HH Tension rod organize under sinkPhoto: Family Handyman

Tension Rod Storage Hack

It can be difficult to keep spray bottles and other cleaning supplies from falling over and making a mess under your kitchen sink. To keep your cleaning supplies upright, hang them from a short tension rod inside your cabinet. Another clever idea is to slide a paper towel roll through the tension rod for easy access. This tension rod organization hack is also a great place to hang dish-drying towels and rubber cleaning gloves. Find out more $1 solutions for common household dilemmas.

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dfh17may021_shutterstock_62997880-1Photo: Masterchief_Productions/Shutterstock

Spice Up Your Life

Surely you've heard of this revolutionary thing called a spice rack. Embrace it. When it comes to kitchen storage, all those little containers of cumin, oregano, and cinnamon can quickly overwhelm and confuse you. Stacking them in a cupboard without any logical order will only lead to chaos. The solution: spice rack. If you're extremely organized, you can transfer your spices to uniform jars and add printed labels. Depends on how often you find yourself reaching for these flavourings. A lazy Susan is another wise kitchen organization investment—here's how the lazy Susan got its name!

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shutterstock_487408141 kitchen island with integrated appliances wine fridgePhoto: Krista Abel/Shutterstock

Integrate Appliances into Your Kitchen Island

Integrating appliances such as a microwave, wine fridge, or installing a dishwasher into a kitchen island can be a real space saver. Especially if you otherwise lack counter space. And you can even install a sink to create a space that allows you to mingle when doing dishes.

Can't decide on a finish? Read on to find out the pros and cons of stainless steel appliances.

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cutting pool noodle to fit inside drawerPhoto: Family Handyman

Use a Pool Noodle Inside a Drawer

Reader Roy Allison found a solution for keeping his silverware drawer organizer from moving around each time he opened or closed the drawer: a pool noodle! He cut the noodle to size, so that it fits snuggly between the back of the organizer and the back of the drawer.

Our experts answer: Should you put your utensils in the dishwasher up or down?

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display storage shelfPhoto: Family Handyman

Add a Display Shelf

A simple addition of molding along the upper cabinets adds a decorative touch as well as more storage space for displaying favourite dishes. It's painted to match other features in the kitchen. Check out more kitchen upgrades that make your home look expensive.

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HH Secure Your kitchen towelsPhoto: Family Handyman

Secure Your Kitchen Towels

Hanging a dish towel from an oven or dishwasher door makes sense. The towel is in a convenient location, and the oven's warmth quickly gets rid of dampness. However, the one drawback with hanging your towels here is that they are constantly falling off! Here’s a way to keep the towel from slipping off: Fold your towel into its desired form and attach Velcro strips in two spots, one on the front and one on the back, as shown in the photo above. Stitch in place, or use fabric iron-on Velcro strips and follow the directions on the packaging. Finally, hang your towel from the oven or dishwasher door and match Velcro ends together. Here are 40 more kitchen hacks you'll wish you knew sooner.

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Photo: Family Handyman

Jars on Jars

You can easily organize your dry goods by storing them inside jars and canisters. Not only can you create uniformity in your pantry storage this way, but you can also see at a glance where your lentils, rice, or oats are stashed. Arranging jars on open shelves can also give your kitchen a rustic, homestead-chic look. Check out more smart uses for mason jars.

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jim-gallop-4960 pull out kitchen counter cutting board spacePhoto: Family Handyman

Pullout Chopping Board

Pullout solutions are perfect for small kitchens as they allow a decent amount of extra kitchen counter space with a very small footprint. And a pull-out cutting board is perfect for food prep, cookbooks or for extra storage. Plus, when you are done, you can simply slide it back into the cabinet. Here are more organizational tricks that will save you tons of money.

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Photo: Family Handyman

Install a Kitchen Cabinet Rollout

A shortage of storage space in kitchen cabinets would sour anyone in need of maximum stowaway room. Kitchen cabinet rollouts give additional capacity to cabinets and make it easier to find items so you can smile while you snack.

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HH File folders under kitchen sink organizationPhoto: Family Handyman

File Folders Kitchen Organization Hack

File folders can be used for more than just organizing papers and magazines in your office. They can also be used for organization in your kitchen. We filled file folders up with the clutter that normally barricades the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Place all of your kitchen cleaning supplies into file folders, putting the most frequently used items towards the front.

Find out how to clean absolutely everything in your kitchen, according to Charles the Butler of CTV's The Marilyn Denis Show.

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Kitchen Window Plant Perch

Do you like having fresh herbs at your fingertips? Keeping them on your counter takes up valuable space and doesn't expose them to enough light. Try this easy storage idea: Install a wire shelf between the upper cabinets flanking your kitchen window. You can set your plants where they'll get plenty of light without blocking the view. This also makes watering easy and keeps them readily available for snipping. Make sure to install the shelf high enough so you don't bump into it when you're working at the sink. Here are more inspired indoor gardening tips that will keep you growing year-round.

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HH Keurig pod organizationPhoto: Family Handyman

DIY Coffee Pod Organizer

Coffee pods can be a disaster to keep organized. Use simple t-molding as an ideal organization system for your coffee pods (Keurig, Nespresso or any other type of coffee pod). Still using a traditional coffeemaker? Consider these clever uses for coffee cans before you toss them in the recycling bin.

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Expand the Counter with a Kitchen Cart

A rolling kitchen cart is the next best thing to adding cabinets and countertop space. The top provides extra work space when you're preparing that big Thanksgiving dinner. And the shelves below hold items that would otherwise consume countertop space. If you plan to use a cart for food preparation, choose one with a tough top like butcher block, stainless steel or plastic laminate. Some cart tops are glossy finished wood—beautiful, but not very durable. Carts come in a variety of wood finishes, so there's a good chance you can match your existing cabinets. Or you can go for an eclectic look with a shiny metal or painted cart.

Thinking of repurposing a piece you already own? Take inspiration from these genius DIY furniture hacks.

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Instant Kitchen Cabinet Organizer

A metal file organizer is perfect for storing baking sheets, cutting boards and pan lids. You can pick one up for a buck at a dollar store. 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.

Here are five simple tips to organize your home, room by room.

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takeout menuPhoto: Liz Van Steenburgh/Shutterstock

It's Time to Toss Those Takeout Menus

Though your takeout bag comes with a menu or two, the reality is, you end up stuffing all that wasted paper in a drawer. Then before you know it, menu after menu, it's hard for you to close your kitchen drawer. Toss those suckers in the recycling bin and stick to looking up menus online.

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C-Clamp Paper Towel Rack

Create an instant paper towel dispenser for your garage or workshop with two C-clamps. Position and clamp them a roll's width apart in a convenient spot, hold up the roll and push in the handles to hold it. Buy slick-looking C-clamps and install them in the kitchen, then fib to visitors about your chic designer hardware.

Here are more thrifty shed storage ideas to organize your space at last.

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wine in a drawerPhoto: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Wine Stash

What, no wine rack? No wine cellar either? No problem! You can just as easily store your wine collection in a deep kitchen drawer, if there's one that's vacant. Just be sure to alternate the direction of the bottle so that they nest well together. If you're feeling ambitious, you could try making your own roll-out drawers to house your wine supply within a more spacious cupboard instead.

Don't let a half-bottle go to waste! Here are eight smart uses for leftover wine.

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Easy-to-Build Knife Block

Display your kitchen cutlery in style with this handsome DIY knife block. It's fast, easy and fun to build, and includes a 6-in.-wide storage box for a knife sharpener.

To build one, you only need a 3/4-in. x 8-in. x 4-ft. hardwood board and a 6-in. x 6-1/2-in. piece of 1/4-in. hardwood plywood to match.

Begin by cutting off a 10-in. length of the board and setting it aside. Rip the remaining 38-in. board to 6 in. wide and cut five evenly spaced saw kerfs 5/8 in. deep along one face. Crosscut the slotted board into four 9-in. pieces and glue them into a block, being careful not to slop glue into the saw kerfs (you can clean them out with a knife before the glue dries). Saw a 15-degree angle on one end and screw the plywood piece under the angled end of the block.

Cut the 6-1/2-in. x 3-in. lid from the leftover board, and slice the remaining piece into 1/4-in.-thick pieces for the sides and end of the box. Glue them around the plywood floor. Cut a rabbet on three sides of the lid so it fits snugly on the box and drill a 5/8-in. hole for a finger pull. Then just add a finish and you're set for years of happy carving!

Feeling crafty? Here are 10 more indoor DIY projects you can tackle right away.

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In-Wall Pantry

In almost every room of your house, you can find tons of storage space hidden between the two sheets of drywall. Simple stud-space cabinets like the one we show here are great for capturing some of this wasted space. Check out more clever home organizing hacks you need to try today.

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pansPhoto: Calphalon

Space-Saving Nonstick Stackable Cookware Set

This stackable storage solution will free up some valuable space in your cabinets. Some cookware sets stack and nest in any order, feature a flat, tempered-glass cover to save even more space, and are made of durable anodized aluminum and are metal-utensil safe, so you can bet it can withstand your cooking trials and tribulations.

Here's exactly how to clean a greasy, dusty oven hood.

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Photo: Family Handyman

Decorative Backsplash Rack

Backsplash racks offer easy access and stylish kitchen storage solutions. Most versions take just a few minutes to install. Backsplash racks have a few disadvantages, though. All your kitchen utensils have to look good, since they're on display. And if you ever decide to remove the rack, you'll be left with screw holes in the backsplash; not a big problem with drywall, but ugly and unfixable in tile.

Don't miss the little-known trick to cleaning your oven without scrubbing.

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Concealed Message Centre

Don't let shopping lists, phone messages and to-do notes clutter up counter space. Mount a dry-erase board and a plastic bin on the inside of a cabinet door with double-sided foam mounting tape. The bin will protrude into the cabinet, so be sure to position it where it won't collide with shelves or the stuff inside. Get the board, bin and tape at a discount or office supply store. Here are more secrets personal organizers would never tell you for free.

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Better in a Basket

You come home from the grocery store with an armful of fresh fruit, but lo and behold—there's no spare fridge or counter space available. (Psst—you should never store these foods in the fridge.) A stylish solution for this storage problem is to hang a single or tiered wire basket from the ceiling. You can store your apples, bananas, and oranges as well as potatoes, onions, and garlic here. Plus, a hanging basket adds visual interest to your kitchen.

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can rack storage kitchen cabinetPhoto: Family Handyman

Racks for Canned Goods

Use those leftover closet racks as cabinet organizers. Trim the racks to length with a hacksaw and then mount screws to the backside of the face frame to hold the racks in place. The backside of the rack simply rests against the back of the cabinet. Now you can easily find your soup and check the rest of your inventory at a glance with this pantry organizing tip.

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Chalk It Up

If you're someone who likes to keep a running grocery list or piles of clipped recipes and coupons in your kitchen, then you might want to consider adding a coat of chalkboard paint to one of your walls. This idea allows you to get rid of the paper and pen clutter by utilizing wall space and chalk as your new canvas. (Check out more DIY painting ideas for a dramatic focal wall.) If you're nervous about committing to painting an entire wall, try just painting a small section of it. Or, simply hang a chalkboard for notes and other great kitchen storage ideas.

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Install Expandable Shelves in Cabinets

Expandable or pullout shelves are an easy way to add extra room to your kitchen without changing anything else. This is a relatively small project and you can typically find a very good pullout shelf accessory for around $50—or you can make your own!

On the other hand, here are 12 home improvement projects you should never DIY!

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Photo: Mexcallen

Stackable Nesting Kitchen Caboodle

It's way too easy to toss mismatched bowls and other kitchen gear in a drawer and forget about them until the next time you need something. Avoid wasting time digging around for what you want while saving space.

Check out more smart home improvement ideas under $200!

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Embrace the Openness

Cupboards are so passé; the latest trend in kitchen storage is to embrace the openness of basic shelving. This puts your pretty dishes on display and instantly invokes a sense of coziness to your kitchen. Note that you don't need to fill every shelf with plates, bowls, and coffee mugs. Rather, you can integrate a little greenery here and there with potted plants and succulents.

Don't miss these genius design tips from Brian Gluckstein—Canada's most in-demand interior designer.

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dfh17may021_shutterstock_109064612-1Photo: Family Handyman

From Office to Kitchen

You see an empty file holder, we see an opportunity for some clever kitchen storage. If you have an orphan file holder lying around, try converting it to the upright storage space where you arrange your aluminum foil, your parchment paper, your plastic bags, and more. Find out 15 ways to squeeze more storage out of small spaces.

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countertopPhoto: Kitchen Design Ideas

Mixed Materials

While the most common countertop consists of just one material, modern kitchen trends are seeing a spike in designs that feature more than one. So why not integrate your cutting board into your countertop? Looks amazing (and super-useful) to us! Don't miss HGTV star Bryan Baeumler's best kitchen renovation tips.

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dfh17may090-1-kitchen fruit storage rackPhoto: Family Handyman

Get Produce Off the Counter

Sometimes all that's needed to spruce up a space is organization. This creative way to store fruits and vegetables is inexpensive and attractive. It's also a bonus that this project will free up valuable counter space. Here are 10 more things you should never store on the kitchen countertop.

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JunkPhoto: PIXSOOZ/Shutterstock

Don't Let the Junk Drawer Overflow

It goes without saying that a junk drawer goes from being a place for miscellaneous items, to an overflowing space that has more non-essential items in it than ones you actually want to get easy access to. Go through your junk drawer quarterly, making sure anything that's in there is something you truly need. The rest you can toss, like extra rubber bands, plastic bags, chopsticks, business cards, and more. Here's more advice on what to toss, according to a professional organizer.

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Photo: Family Handyman

Pantry Cabinet in a Closet

Moving some of your bulkier or seldom-used items out of the kitchen and into a nearby pantry can free up a lot of space. Look around. You may have extra space in a nearby closet or hallway where pantry shelves would fit. A pantry could be as simple as adjustable shelves on wall standards or a more elaborate built-in cabinet. You can order closet parts like those shown here online at EasyClosets.

Looking for more inspiration? Marvel at these before-and-after shots of impressive home organization makeovers.

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Kitchen Cabinet Cache secret hiding placePhoto: Family Handyman

Emergency Cash Stash

You never know when you'll need a bit of emergency cash (or maybe just some fun spending money). Inside an empty tin can is the perfect saving spot. Stash it in the back of your pantry for a rainy day. Find out more clever places to hide your valuables.

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Photo: Courtesy of Greenco

Refrigerator/Freezer Stackable Storage Bins

Clear plastic bins are great for keeping your pantry, refrigerator or freezer tidy while ensuring everything remains in sight. This will keep you from buying things when you don't need them! The bins are BPA-free and feature built-in handles.

If you loved these clever kitchen organizing ideas, you won't want to miss these home organizing hacks.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman