Reducing Stress the Old Fashion Way - Part V: How to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

kitchen cabinet

General Rule:

So we are going to first touch on some general rules of thumb when it comes to organization of these areas of your kitchen. These are the basics, and some of which apply to other areas of organizational patterns we have discussed in the past, then we will discuss specifics for each area. 

a. Empty:

First things first, empty it all out. Don't leave anything in it's original place. You need to have a clear visual of the space(s) to better figure out how you are going to re-create your new dream space.

first step is to empty your kitchen cabinets

b. Clean like Nobodies Business:

This holds true for anything really, if we are going to be emptying out spaces like these and reorganizing or redesigning, it's imperative and logical to start with a good cleaning, so use some elbow grease.

kitchen cabinet cleaning

c. Devise a Plan:

So now your are standing in front of your completely gutted out cabinets, pantry and kitchen drawers. I know how you're feeling (been there), overwhelmed, right? What the heck am I going to do now? How am I going to organize these spaces? The answer is, breathe, take a moment and think...How can I make this area more functional? What items do I use the most? What items do I barely ever use? What items have I not touched in 10 years? What items can I donate? What items do I have the most of? What are my big items? What are items I use only during the holidays or get-together with family and friends? Define your spaces!

The first thing I always do when I am blankly staring at a space with no ideas, is walk away for a moment. Go through all of your stuff, what's junk and what's not? Taking time to plan is truly how you better organize your kitchen cabinets, your pantry and any other area for that matter in your home.

How to organize your cabinet pantry

d. Line them up:

A great way to add some protection to your kitchen cabinetry, drawers or pantry shelves is to use adhesive liner(s). Today there are so many options when it comes to shelving liners, the options are truly endless. These are a must have addition, as many of them are now stylish, water resistant and easy to clean.

Kitchen drawer liners

e. Make it Easy on Yourself:

This is a concept we've discussed on several of our posts on organization, but it also holds to true when thinking about how to organize or arrange your kitchen cabinets or how to organize your pantry, and that is to make everything you use often, easy to reach and eye-level. The concept seems easy, think about everyday accessories, or items like; glasses, plates, coffee, and spices, don't make it harder on yourself.

make it easy to reorganize your kitchen cabinets

Okay, let's get into the fun stuff. Let's discuss how (with ideas), and what types of cool gadgets we can use:

Ideas on How to Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets

a. Don't Risk It/Safety First:

So by this we simply mean anything like pots, pans, appliance items, large mixing bowls, cutting boards and large serving dishes, make sure you store these items on a low shelf. Don't risk trying to pull a heavy item from the top shelf while your are on your tip toes, and risk it falling on your head (been there, done that).

Safety in the kitchen

b. Lazy Susan Should be In!:

A lazy susan is great, they to me are not outdated at all. They serve an amazing purpose, specially for things like spices. You can legitimately purchase a lazy susan from places like Target, and Amazon, and they are not just built into you cabinets anymore, you can buy portable ones that can be used in different places around your kitchen. One of my favorites is using them for cleaning supplies. You can find simple and cheap ones, all the way to marble, wood and bamboo Lazy Susan's. These also work great for your pantry areas, so keep that in mind as well.

use a laxy susan to organize your kitchen cabinets

Lazy susan

c. Towel Bars in the Kitchen?:

That's right, use a towel bar and place it on the inner portion of your kitchen cabinet door. You can then hang things from them. This is truly utilizing all of your space. You can find these at Home Depot and Lowe's that actually hang right over the door, so you don't have to worry about any hardware, screws or holes.

d. Wine Racks:

By now everyone probably either has a wine rack or knows of them. Do a Google Search for them, and you can literally find any style, shape, and material you can imagine. Heck you can even DIY one, even if you don't have a ton of woodworking skills. Check out this wood wine rack. The idea here is not just to become more organized and functional, but also to to give your kitchen the look and feel that is unique to you.

how to organize you kitchen cabinets with wine racks

wine rack on shelves

e. Hooks, Hooks and More Hooks:

Hooks are great these days because you can purchase Command Hooks that have the non-stick adhesive backings and they work really well. Place them on the inside of you kitchen cabinets and store things like measuring spoons, measuring cups, mixing spoons and accessories, the options are endless. Organizing and arranging your kitchen cabinets has never been easier, the hardest part is that there are just so many choices nowadays, it can be overwhelming.

utilize kithcne hooks

f. Vertical is our Friend:

So in past posts we discussed the idea of "going vertical". In previous posts on How to Organize your Closet and How to Organize your Bedroom, we discussed how using vertical shoe racks and such not only helps you organize, but saves space because you are truly taking advantage of every square inch. Well when we discuss organizing your kitchen cabinets and kitchen pantry for that matter this concept holds true. You can purchase really cheap risers for your cabinets that allow you to use more vertical space, so try them out!

g. Pull out Organizers:

Another great options when arranging kitchen cabinets is thinking about pull-out cabinet organizers. Again these range from extremely simple, (no hardware needed), to a little more detailed and pricey, so do what works for you. These are great for cleaning supplies, spices, even a hidden away trashcan, Tupperware and Tupperware lid organization. Another great idea I've seen is purchasing a cutting board organizer and then placing that in one of these pull-outs. Again, the ideas are endless. You can even purchase two tiered pull out cabinet organizers so to use all of your horizontal and vertical spaces.

pull out drawer organizers

h. Use every Space:

Even small, awkward spaces, you may have in your kitchen cabinets. Find something small, or a group of items that you will not need anytime soon and place them in this space. Utilize a basket in that area and store medicine or extra baby food (not together!), etc.

use every space

Ideas on How to Organize your Kitchen Pantry

So remember the basics that we discussed above. There are also some ideas that are similar to that of arranging kitchens cabinets that can apply here as well, such as using vertical spaces, safety tips for heavy bulky items, as well as sprinkling in a hook here and there for some added hanging storage. But we want to focus more on the pantry in the next few tips:

a. Cohesiveness:

So this first point deals with design more then storage or utilization of the space. So whether it's a walk in pantry or you simply have a closet type pantry, try and maintain your kitchen design within the pantry as well. Use similar items, adhesive liners, bins, baskets, containers, try and keep or maintain that cohesive feel in both places. This will help provide a better flow in the overall design of the kitchen.

create a flow to the kitchen

b. Use of Baskets:

Get the most out of this storage space. One of the best ideas for when you have a bunch of smaller, but similar items, is to use a small basket or multiple baskets of similar design and function. Check out the image below, see how the bins are arranged, it makes the space seem less cluttered and more organized because of the consistency of items used throughout the kitchen pantry.

basket for pantry

c. Labeling, an Essential Step:

So some people have a huge pantry with tons of stuff. Some things are used every day, others may be used weekly or even monthly. A great idea is to use labels. You can buy cheap label makers, you can even buy baskets or bins with pre-made labels. How about the containers that come with the ability to write with chalk on them, that way you can change things up from time to time and you're not committed to one thing. Be creative, but have a method to your madness and a purpose with everything you do, this will inevitably make you a more organized person and make your day flow better, in the kitchen.

Labels for containers

d. Keep it Air-Tight:

Simple, if you want to keep things fresh keep, the air out! Purchase some air-tight containers!

Air tight containers

The last tip on how to arrange and organize your pantry, pertains to a cool little trick...

e. Corral Canned Goods with A Magazine Rack:

This is a cool little trick I picked up from You can go to the dollar store and pick up a magazine rack and place canned goods in it. It keeps them neat and orderly.

How to organize your pantry

Thanks so much for coming to visit us at RN to Zen. We hope this has been another helpful post for you! Please feel free to share any of our post and material on our site, on any of your social media platforms, this really is a huge help to us! Hope to see you again soon!

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