If you open your kitchen cupboard and it feels like Armageddon, it might be time to organize your cabinets. The kitchen can be a hard place to organize because there is just SO much stuff in a small space. We all love our kitchen gadgets and morsels of seasoning, but the truth is most of us have too much stuff to even use (or see).

If you have time and space, you can clean out all of your cupboards at once. Otherwise, do one cupboard or one section of your kitchen at a time, accomplishing a little bit each day. The process works the same whether you’re organizing an entire kitchen or just one cupboard.

organize your kitchen pantry

Step 1: Empty

Yup – empty the entire cupboard. Top to bottom, side to side. Don’t just move things around, actually take it all out and put it on the counter or floor.  This really allows you to actually see how much stuff you have.

Step 2: Purge

organize kitchen sink

I know you love that panini maker you bought in college and swore you’d use every day. But it’s time to get rid of things that just take up space. Anything that is broken or you no longer love or use needs to go.  If you haven’t use it in the pat 6 months, it needs to go. For items that you use only once or twice per year, think if you could just borrow a similar one from a friend or family member rather than keep it around your own home.  If you are not sure if you should keep it or not, set the item aside into a “maybe” pile, and see if there is space left for it.

Step 3: Create Zones

Try to group all similar items together and closest to the area that you will be using them.  Keep dishes, glasses, and silverware close to the dishwasher for a quick and easy put away. Keep pots and pans near the stove. Put baking things together near the mixing bowls, etc.

If you have kids, you might want to have their own cupboard with cups and bowls they can easily find, reach, and use.

Step 4: Put it back. Carefully

Now you should have half as much stuff, and it should be organized by zones. As you begin to put things back in the cupboard, make sure it’s accessible. Each cupboard should be easy to get things in and out of. If you have to take out 4 or 5 items to get to what you want, chances are that you are either not going to use it or that it will not get put back properly.

If you need to, consider using slide out bins, built-in drawers, or other items to help reach the back of deep cabinets. Use the high cupboards or shelves for things you don’t use very often.

For small or uncommon drawer sizes, you can purchase interchangeable drawer dividers or small containers to organize little items.  

kitchen pantry organize

Step 5: Label

If you live with other people, everything should be organized. This ensures everyone understands where things belong and how to put them back correctly. Even if you live by yourself, labels can help you remember the system you put in place.

An organized kitchen creates a well-oiled machine in the heart of your home. There is so much that goes on in the kitchen. Eating, gathering, cooking, homework, school projects, parties, holidays, and more. Make sure your kitchen works for your home, your family, and your lifestyle.