Organize Your Kitchen With These 10 Steps

organize your kitchen

You can organize your kitchen with these 10 steps.

Have you ever been digging in your kitchen cabinets and thought to yourself “I know it’s in here somewhere?” Do you sometimes feel like an explorer, on your knees with a flashlight, trying to locate a long-lost item?

A little organization can end these scavenger hunts in your kitchen. Here are 10 steps you can use to organize your kitchen.

  1. Have a plan focusing on how your kitchen functions. Set prime space for the items you use every day and move the occasionally used things farther away.
  2. Start with the most visible area, the countertops. Work one area at a time, before moving on. You will help alleviate any overwhelming feelings.
  3. Focus on the items you love and use. This will make organizing a positive experience. It will be easier to let go of things if you know what you are keeping because you love it.
  4. Divide your drawers. Instead of a jumble of utensils inside the space, use drawer dividers to make homes for like items. This will make it easier to find what you are looking for.
  5. Designate an official “drop zone” for keys, cell phones, purses, and mail. For instance, assign a space that is away from the cooking area in the kitchen to avoid having to move or work around items.
  6. Create storage to contain odd kitchen items. Collections of cookie cutters, cocktail napkins, whatever you have – contain these items together and create a home for them.
  7. Add extra shelves to your pantry. Often wasted space between pantry shelves can be used by adding an extra shelf or stacking boxes. Every little bit helps.
  8. Add task lighting. Install lights under your kitchen cabinets for task lighting. You don’t have to hire an electrician. You can buy battery-powered lights that stick underneath kitchen cabinets.
  9. Designate a junk drawer. Not all drawers should store junk. After that, assign like items to certain drawers (and cabinets). If you are lucky enough to have an extra drawer, let it be the junk drawer, but cull it often.
  10. Organize your kitchen as a routine. Just a few minutes each day (say after the dishes are done) of reorganizing will keep the space an efficient and effective work and family space.
A little organization can end these scavenger hunts in your kitchen. Here are 10 steps you can use to get started. Click To Tweet

For more information on kitchen organizing, check out some of our previous posts:

Organizing a Kitchen Drawer Video

Making Space For Kitchen Essentials

Container Your Tupperware

Organizing Paperwork in the Kitchen


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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Linda Samuels on September 27, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Drawer organizers work wonders. And what a great suggestion about using battery-operated lights for under cabinet lighting! Kitchens are one of my favorite rooms to organize because when you get the flow right, it makes it so much more useable. I love all of your suggestions!

    • Janet Schiesl on September 28, 2021 at 7:23 am

      Thanks Linda. I love organizing kitchens as well. We use them all day long – they get a lot of ware, so they need some love.

  2. Lucy Kelly on September 27, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Smart suggestions for kitchen organizing, Janet! Love #10 – I think of it as “closing”. Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant or bar knows you have to have the space ready for tomorrow before you leave. You don’t leave the mess for tomorrow because then the clients next day will have to wait while you clean up before you can take care of them. Thinking of my kitchen the same way has helped me take care of the evening snack dishes before I go to bed so I don’t have to face them in the morning.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 28, 2021 at 7:22 am

      I very much agree. Just a minute of clean-up in the evening has me ready for the next day. Last thing I do is turn my dishwasher on in the evening, and the first thing I do in the morning is empty it. Ready for the day.

  3. Seana Turner on September 27, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    I am laughing as I read #6 because cookie cutters actually take up a lot of space! My Dad once got me these giant ones, which make fun cookies, but are a challenge to store. I generally move those out of drawers because they just end up jamming the drawers, and most people don’t use them very often. I’m thinking about reorganizing my own pantry with some of the attractive products on the market today.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 28, 2021 at 7:19 am

      I used to make cookie-cutter cookies, but no longer do, so I donated my collection. Good for you! Organizing yourself.

  4. Julie Stobbe on September 28, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    I like #6 to create an odd kitchen items drawer. I have never thought of doing that. I usually put each odd item in the drawer that it is most closely related to.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 29, 2021 at 8:25 am

      It’s a good idea if you have an extra kitchen drawer. If not we sometimes use a lower cabinet or the top shelf in an upper cabinet, but that usually means “out of sight – out of mind” and those items are forgotten.

  5. Julie Bestry on September 29, 2021 at 1:30 am

    I love all of these tips, but I think my favorites are #s 3 and 6. So many kitchens are full because of “someday, maybe” and “just in case” items, but if you focus on what you love and use, the kitchen will be so much more inviting. And having a cabinet for just the weird or rarely-if-ever used stuff? So smart!

    As always, your video is a delight. I saw that cat cameo!

    • Janet Schiesl on September 29, 2021 at 8:23 am

      Just for you! I agree that kitchens are full of “someday, maybe” items. If you just move those out you are doing much better.

  6. Deb Lee on October 1, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    Great timing on this post as I’m currently renovating my kitchen and need all the help I can get. LOL My favorite is #5. Having a designated space for things we reach for all the time is really helpful. #6 comes in a close second.

    • Janet Schiesl on October 1, 2021 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks Deb. I love an organized kitchen.

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