If you have a lazy Susan turntable in your kitchen, it can be the perfect place to store kitchen supplies. But without an organizational tool or system in place things can also get messy—fast.

“It is very hard to see what you have in the space and oftentimes items get lost and end up expired,” says Kim Jones, author of “The No-Nonsense Home Organization Plan” and founder of Lock and Key Home.

To make the best use of space, and ensure canned goods and other food items are used properly, follow this DIY plan to organize a lazy Susan.

1. Survey the Area.

Some kitchens have one lazy Susan cabinet, while others have two or more. Look at your current setup.

If you are using one or more built-in lazy Susans for storing items, evaluate what you have. Compare this to how you work in the kitchen. If you have a corner cabinet with a lazy Susan that holds baking supplies but you generally mix cakes on the other side of the room, you may be creating extra, unnecessary steps to gather ingredients. Cleaning supplies in a space that toddlers can easily grab might be better stored in a different, out-of-reach area.

If you have turntables in your cabinets or on the counter, look at the items stored in them. You may find some are past their expiration dates or are no longer used in your household.

As you look around the room, think through how you usually prepare food and clean up. You may have to shift items out of certain cabinets and place them in others to create a better arrangement.

2. Remove Items and Clean.

If your lazy Susan is full of dirt, bits of food or grime:

  • Take everything out and place items on the kitchen counter.
  • Wipe down the cabinets, shelves and turntables.
  • Look in corners for any lurking small packages or bags of food that may have fallen off a spinning unit.
  • If the items you removed are dusty or sticky, clean them with a rag or sponge dipped in warm water.
  • If you find a shelf is broken or an area has a spill that won’t come off, fix the space before organizing it.

If you need a new lazy Susan, measure the spot before looking on Amazon or at home decor stores to make sure the new one will be a good fit.

3. Identify Supplies to Store.

“Basic organization principles suggest grouping like items,” says Andrea Walker, a professional organizer and the owner of Smartly Organized, LLC.

In the kitchen you might place all of your vinegar bottles on one turntable and all of your oils on another one. If you have a built-in lazy Susan, you might store all of your baking supplies in it. Consider placing all of your plastic containers together, stashing canned goods on one shelf, or keeping a coffee station you don’t want crowding the kitchen counter in the lazy Susan cabinet.

If it’s a bit tricky to reach into your lazy Susan, avoid using it for everyday items like drinking glasses.

“I typically avoid using this space for frequently used items because access can be tight with a narrow opening in the corner,” Walker says.

Also be aware of how much food items, Mason jars, and other supplies weigh. Avoid putting heavy or bulky items like small appliances on a plastic or lightweight lazy Susan shelf.

“They make turning the unit tricky as you have to worry about balancing the shelves for smooth rotation,” Walker says.

4. Set up a Storage System.

If you decide to keep canned goods in the storage space, they may do well on a bottom shelf, due to their weight. For multiple cans of the same type of food, create an order for storage so items don’t get lost or spoil. One way to do this is the last-in, first-out strategy.

For instance, perhaps you have a line of several cans of corn. When you buy a new can of corn, place it in the back of the line, closest to the center of the lazy Susan. Push the older cans to the front, or outer edge of the shelf. For a meal that will use corn, reach for the front can.

To store different categories of items in one lazy Susan, consider creating zones and separating them.

“It will help corral all items and keep them in their designated home,” Jones says.

Use containers or baskets for lighter items that could easily topple over, such as water bottles or salad dressings. Wedge-shaped storage organizer bins are designed specifically for lazy Susans.

Before purchasing any:

  • Measure the sizes you’ll need to fit your space and accommodate the goods you want to store in the units.
  • Small containers could be used for spices and seasoning packets.
  • Larger containers might work better for dried goods like flour and beans.
  • Clear storage items like Oxo containers make it easy to see what’s inside.
  • Mason jars can be used for nuts, chocolate chips and dried fruit.

“Labeling the various sections will help maintain the organization,” Walker says.

If you have a plastic container for condiments, add a label to the container’s side so you can easily spot where to put items. Clip a label on stainless steel baskets to identify baking supplies or other goods stored inside.

5. Revisit the Arrangement.

Over time, you may use your kitchen differently and spend more – or less – time in the space. It can be helpful to look at your organization system once or twice a year.

If your family’s diet has changed and you no longer eat certain foods, canned goods that you won’t be using could be donated to charity. The same is true for other packaged goods that haven’t expired. If you take gluten off your family’s menu, the boxes of pasta in the lazy Susan could be handed out to friends or others in need.

Rachel Hartman