Keeping your kitchen clutter-free might seem like a never ending task, but with a few organization hacks you can keep your cabinets and counters looking clean and clear every day.

The kitchen should be the heart of your home, where the family gathers to spend time bonding over home-cooked meals. It shouldn’t be a chaotic mess that you seek to avoid at all costs. Kitchens become unorganized when space isn’t properly utilized.

Try these kitchen organization hacks contributed by some of our favorite organizers to clean up your space:

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1. Use Square Containers

If you want to maximize pantry space in a small kitchen, you should definitely use square containers. Square containers fit together better (like Tetris blocks!) and are easier to stack. Empty out dry food items and snacks into clear containers. Not only will they look better on the shelf, but your food items will take up less space because they are all uniform.

2. Designate a Space For Dishes

Do you have a hard time putting everything back in the right place when you are down washing dishes? Use cut out pieces of contact paper or rubber to mark the correct place to put pots, pans and Pyrex dishes. That way every item has a home, and you won’t waste time trying to remember how you crammed everything into your kitchen cabinets.

3. Use a Magazine Rack Into Water Bottle Storage

It seems every kitchen has a collection of water bottles, and they always seem to come in handy. Unfortunately they take up a lot of cabinet space. You can save a ton of room by repurposing a magazine holder to slide them in vertically.

4. Divide Your Drawers with Boxes

Sure you can drop some money on some plastic drawer dividers, but unused boxes will pretty much do the same thing and cost you nothing. Cut unused boxes down to size and arrange in your dreaded junk drawer. Using dividers will actually create more drawer space because your items will be arranged more efficiently. Put like items together in each section and suddenly you can actually find the things you usually spend 10 minutes frantically looking for!

5. Sort Cookbooks By Color

Put your cookbooks on display and organize them by color. This is a quick and easy way to create a visualize element to your kitchen. Your kitchen will look more organized as well, even if it is an optical illusion.

6. Use a Helper Shelf

A helper shelf will do wonders to add more counter space to your kitchen. Just don’t over use them or your kitchen will end up looking even more cluttered. Putting one next to your coffee maker is a good idea as a place to put cream and sugar, for example.

7. Use a Divider to Separate Pans

Installing a divider to keep your frying pans separated will make it easier to find the one you need when it’s time to cook. Mount it against the inside wall of your cabinet so that you can stack your pans vertically.

8. Install Pull Out Shelves

This trick might cost a bit more than the others, and take more time to install. But trust us, it will be worth the effort. You will be able to access items in the back of your cupboards without having to pull out a lot of pots and pans away. This is a good hack for stashing away rarely used appliances.

9. Use Lazy Susans

You can maximize cabinet space by using a series of rotating trays, also known as a Lazy Susan. This makes reaching frequently used items a snap, and is ideal for bottles of sauces, oils, vinegars and spice containers. If you have a small kitchen without a lot of wall space, a Lazy Susan is a good replacement for a spice rack.

10. Create a Grid for Baking Pans

Stacking baking pans can create chaos in your cabinets. With a little bit of handy work, you can create a simple dividing system to place your sheet pans and muffin tins.

11. Corral Container Lids

Container lids are one of the hardest items in your kitchen to keep in check. Use any shallow container to hold all of your lids together, and then nest your containers next to them for easy access.

12. Cut Fresh Flowers and Put Fruit in a Bowl

Keeping fresh cut flowers in a vase and a bowl of fruit on the counter will reminder you to keep your kitchen clutter-free. You won’t want to crowd the space with junk mail or other items.

Special thanks to our contributing organizers:

Practically Perfect
Moore Organization
Picture It Organized STL
Organize2Harmonize
Need Another You
The Organizing Lady
Good Life Organizing
Rachel & Company
Organize with Ann
The Dawn of Organization
Organized For Life

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Alexander Harris