How To Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets

Meredith Raico
Last Updated on April 29, 2024
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Don’t let clutter dampen your passion for creating culinary masterpieces in your kitchen. Organized kitchen cabinets can increase your storage space. Furthermore, you’ll save time and frustration every time you cook and clean.

cluttered kitchen cabinet - Sand and Sisal

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Where to start

Downsize your kitchen inventory by decluttering your cabinet and drawer space.  You can go about this in two ways:

A – clear out one to two cabinets at a time

B – take everything out of every cabinet at once

Option B will probably require a full day to get it done.  Go with option A if you only have an hour or two at a time to spend doing this.  Grab a large bag for garbage and a box for items to donate or sell.

Option B is also better if you plan to reorganize your storage and move items from one cabinet to the next. Throw out any broken or damaged items.  Donate or sell duplicate items and items that you don’t need or use.

How to Group Items

Interior designers follow a rule that states, “form must follow function.” Organize kitchen cabinets with function in mind first. Store rarely used and special occasion items in hard-to-reach cabinets or on high shelves behind more frequently used items.

Place larger items behind smaller items. Where to place items will also depend on the design of your kitchen.

Upper Cabinets

Glasses, cups, and mugs – store items of similar material together such as glass stemware, plastic cups, and ceramic mugs. Choose a cabinet near the sink, refrigerator, or dishwasher.

Plates and bowls – group items together by size, color, and material. Frequently used items should be in the front. Choose a cabinet near the glasses, sink, or dishwasher.

Food storage containers – this includes Tupperware and other plastic containers with lids. Most are designed to stack. Stack the lids nearby for convenience. Store near the refrigerator if possible or right above the counter workspace.

Spices and oil – a cabinet near the stove is ideal if you don’t have space for a spice rack. Store cooking oils on one shelf and spices on the other.

Products to Organize your Upper Cabinets and Awkward Spaces

Lazy Susan 2-Tier Turntable – perfect for spices, seasoning packets, and toothpicks or vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements, it holds a lot and keeps small stuff organized and easy to reach.

Under-shelf basket – store twice as much with these handy baskets good for items like aluminum foil, plastic wrap, wax paper, napkins, and plastic utensils, or use them in the pantry for bread products.


Group these items together on shelves. Place larger items behind smaller items so you can quickly find what you need. Put the most frequently used food in easy reach.

Canned food – fruit, vegetables, canned meat, beans, soups, and jars of pasta sauce

Pasta and dry goods– dry pasta, macaroni, rice, and dry beans

Breakfast food – boxed or bagged cereal, oatmeal, and cream of wheat

Snacks – cookies, crackers, nuts, popcorn, and chips

Bread – buns, rolls, muffins, and tortillas

Condiments and baking goods — honey, peanut butter, syrup, flour, sugar, cornstarch

Products to Organize your Pantry

Stackable Can Rack Organizer – stores up to 36 cans or jars. Organize cans by content and give your pantry a clean, spacious feel.

Airtight Food Storage Containers – these see-through labeled containers are not only pleasing to the eye, but the airtight seal also greatly extends the shelf life of food such as cereal, pasta, cookies, crackers, nuts, sugar, and flour.

Lower Cabinets

Pots, pans, and bakeware – nest pots and pans according to size and keep the frequently used items near the front. A rack to store lids vertically makes them easy to grab. Store near the stove and check for additional storage under the oven.

Mixing bowls, colanders, and cutting boards – all food prep items should be stored under counter workspace with frequently used items in front.

Small appliances – such as crock pots, grills, blenders, and mixers should be stored wherever you can find leftover cabinet space or on the counter if frequently used.

Cleaning supplies – under the sink is the obvious choice for cleaning supplies that can be grouped together in clear plastic bins labeled by use.

Products to Organize your Lower Cabinets

Mounted Stackable Pan Racks – a brilliant space saver for your collection of cast iron skillets, it keeps each pan perfectly suspended and ready to grab.

Adjustable Bakeware Storage – a simple yet intelligent space-saving design that keeps awkwardly shaped items like muffin tins, pie tins, cookie sheets, casserole dishes, and pizza pans stacked vertically. It can also hold your cutting boards.

Final Thoughts

You might want to include new drawer organizers for better storage solutions for utensils, recipes, and measuring tools. Or, put the drawers off until you feel inspired to clean and organize again.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 18, 2022 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Meredith Raico

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About the SpareFoot Blog

The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
Contact the editor: [email protected]

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