After Christmas, all hope was lost. All the peace on earth came to a screeching halt when you got to my kitchen. My new bread maker sat in the middle of the counter, my tea drawer was bursting at the seams, spices were falling out of the spice cabinet—I’ve been putting off reorganizing the kitchen for a while, but there was no putting it off now. Reorganizing takes a lot of time and effort, but with these few tips and tricks, it’s totally worth it. Your kitchen will feel like new and cooking might not continue to be the bane of your existence—well, that part might still be true.
Note: Some of the links below may be affiliate links, should you choose to purchase through these links I will be compensated. This allows me to not charge for the high-quality content that you get to your inbox every week! Thanks for your support.
Where to Start
We’ve all been there: standing in the middle of a beyond-messy room, just not sure where in the world to start. Well, here is your starting point! Start condensing items that you have two of. You won’t believe how many empty containers you’ll have at the end of this step. If you have two boxes of toothpicks, dump the smaller one into the larger one. The same goes for straws, spices (a HUGE offender in my kitchen), teas—whatever you’ve got, condense it.
Use the Space You Have
I mentioned my spice cabinet disaster earlier, but I took the time and actually figured out why this problem kept happening to me. I had a small spice rack in a large cabinet. I used the rack for the spices I used most often and then crammed the others in the corner with all the other oddly-shaped bottles, boxes, and tins. I realized that by taking up the entire space with a spice rack, I would be able to fit all of my spices in that cabinet and they would all be easily accessible.
The search for an expandable spice rack was never-ending and expensive. I finally found my $6 spice rack solution! By using two wire spice racks (from Dollar General), I could overlap them and fill the entire spice cabinet…not one centimeter is wasted! A prettier way to do the same thing is to buy an expandable spice rack. The expandable spice shelves are much more sturdy and look much nicer than my version, but it’s a good option if you’re looking to save a buck!
An added bonus for spice shelves: you can store bulk containers underneath because they are hollow! Whoohoo for hidden storage!
Store Bulk Items
I totally understand—I’m always trying to save some cash, especially on groceries. A gluten and dairy-intolerant wife married to an allergic-to-everything husband is quite a mix. Add in a deep commitment to organic and non-GMO foods, and you’ve got a pricey bill and tons of odd ingredients overflowing from our pantry. Buying bulk allows us to eat the way we want & need to. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of storage space in our kitchen, so I’ve had to make the most of what I’ve got and store the excess elsewhere.
My bulk-storing secret is this: Put items that you use often in easy to reach containers and pull out racks. Store the refills, or excess, in the back of your deep base cabinets, over-the-fridge cabinet, or if you’re lucky enough to have a pantry, in the pantry. The pull out racks allow you to get to the back of the cabinet without digging everything out. There’s lots of different sizes, depending on your cabinet size, so make sure you measure carefully!
It’s really easy to lose track of all these items (you wouldn’t believe how many bags of sugar I discovered via this kitchen rearrange), so make sure to print out a cabinet inventory and tape it to the inside of the cabinet door. This will assure that you don’t keep buying items that you already have and avoid digging through all of your cabinets for that one item.
Make High Shelves Easy to Reach
Now that your base cabinets are packed-full, it’s time to address those unreachable wall cabinets. Sure, the first two shelves are reachable, but the top shelf? No way! Before you drag out the ladder or bring over the dining room chair, try this simple trick!
Storage baskets not only look pretty, but are perfect for top shelf items. Since the front of the cabinet is reachable, you can put all of your items in a basket, and pull it down when you need the items inside. I did this for my medicine shelf and it works like a charm! No more climbing up on the counter to get to my medicines! I also did this for my second-shelf tea supplies. There’s a lot of small items for teas, so placing them all in the basket makes them easily accessible. Make sure that when you buy your baskets, you have the opening measurements for your cabinet. Measure the space that you will be able to slide a basket in and out of and from front to back of the shelf. My opening was 9″ wide x 10″ deep. The dollar store is a great place to get lots of different sizes of matching baskets!
Group Like Items
The offense that finally put me over the edge and forced me to rearrange the kitchen cabinets was mugs and teacups. They were overflowing from their own shelf and finding their way onto my dish/bowl shelves and were bound to topple to the ground in a thousand pieces at any second! I had to find a shelf large enough to contain my many mugs and teacups safely. I discovered that those deep corner cabinets are perfect for us tea-sippers with too many mugs. Now all of my mugs are tucked into the corner and easily accesible!
When I moved the mugs, it gave me room to group more like items, and a sort-of domino effect began taking place! I then had room to group all of my dishes and bowls into one cabinet, and then all of my mixing and baking dishes in another. That gave me space to put all my drinking glasses together in another cabinet…it seems obvious, but when you’re moving in, you just want to get the job done and things get thrown wherever they fit, not necessarily where it makes sense. By the end of the rearranging, I even had an extra shelf, where I placed my small appliances that we use most.
With these simple tips, you’ll be able to whip your kitchen back into shape in no time! It might take a few days, arranging and rearranging, but you’ll get it just how you like it! If you have some storage or kitchen organizing tips, ideas, or products that you just love, be sure to share it in the comments below!