5 Tips for Organizing your Kitchen

When you begin to organize your kitchen, think of dividing it into centers.   Here are some suggestions.

The area with the most counter space 

1.Use the cupboards above and below the counter as the meal preparation centre.  It is the home of items needed to prepare and cook food – cutting board, knives, bowls, graters, pots, pans, casserole dishes, strainer, etc.

Store everything you need to make your meals in one area.

Store everything you need to make your meals in one area.

The area with a smaller amount of counter space near the fridge

2. The drink centre contains coffee, tea, hot chocolate, drink mixes, cups, glasses, sugar/sweetener, coffee maker, kettle, tea pot, etc.  Try storing your glasses and mugs in this area instead of with your plates and bowls

Plan a drink center in your kitchen

Plan a drink center in your kitchen

The area near the dishwasher or sink

3. The dish centre contains dishes and cutlery and should be near the dishwasher for fast and easy unloading.  Aim to store items at an age-appropriate height so children can participate without needing assistance.  If you like thinking outside the box, store your dishes in the base cabinets until your children are tall enough to reach the cabinets above the counter.  Some homes have a pantry.  Instead of storing food try storing your plates and bowls in it.  Everyone will be able to reach them and it may help to have less traffic near the food preparation and cooking areas.

Dishes in cupboard in the kitchen

Area with counter space 

4. The baking centre contains food items and utensils specifically for baking – spices, flour, nuts, chocolate chips, spatulas, cookie sheets, casserole dishes, pie plates, cake pans, etc.

Recycling area

5. Establish a recycling/garbage centre for easy collection.  There are great products that fit under the kitchen sink and hold 2 or 3 container to make recycling easy.

Make recycling easy.

Make recycling easy.

Paperwork area

6. The desk/paperwork centre, can be located near the telephone or computer, holds recipe,, notepaper,  a white board or bulletin board, a charging center for cellphone.

Miscellaneous Drawer

The miscellaneous drawer contains small tools and items  which you need quick access in the kitchen – screwdriver, tape, twist ties, scissors, pen, marker, etc.   Don’t let the one miscellaneous drawer turn into 2 or 3 drawers.

Use one drawer to store items that are handy to have close at hand, marker, tape, screwdriver

Use one drawer to store items that are handy to have close at hand, marker, tape, screwdriver


Determine what centers you need in your kitchen and plan your space to hold everything so it is easy to reach and use.

How do you store your plastic food containers?

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  1. Janet Barclay on September 16, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I keep the large ones on a top shelf, out of the way, but accessible when I need them. The smaller pieces are in a large drawer along with freezer bags, plastic wrap, etc.

    • Julie Stobbe on September 17, 2016 at 5:45 am

      Keeping things accessible is the best way to make sure you can find things easily and put them away fast.

  2. Seana Turner on September 19, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Very smart to mention paperwork. While this isn’t a kitchen supply, it always ends u there, right?

    • Julie Stobbe on September 19, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      Mail, office work, school work all seem to make it into the kitchen when people arrive home at the end of the day. Having a place to put it during the rush of getting supper ready makes it easier to find it when you need it.

  3. Stacey Agin Murray on September 19, 2016 at 9:33 am

    The kitchen is the ‘heart’ of the home so it’s important that it’s organized! You’re wise to advise that there should only be one miscellaneous drawer because it is very easy for all that miscellaneous stuff to multiply and migrate to another drawer…or cabinet…or countertop!

    • Julie Stobbe on September 19, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      The other interesting thing about organzing kitchens is to think about traffic flow. Sometimes things are stored so everyone needs to be in the same area bumping into each other. For families I usually suggest that plates and glasses etc are located in an area away from the food preparation center.

  4. Janet Barclay on October 18, 2021 at 11:57 am

    Since I last commented, my plasticware collection had grown to be in two or three different spots, and that’s not counting the small items in the drawer. I’ve reorganized all my cupboards, and although it takes up three shelves, it’s all together so it’s much easier to find and put away. Yes, I do use most of it!

    • Julie Stobbe on October 21, 2021 at 9:19 am

      Plastic collection ware seems to grow so quickly. There are always new products in that category. They make them very visually appealing. That is one area of the kitchen that seems to need decluttering and reorganization often. I am glad you are getting it all in one area on 3 shelves.

  5. Cathy Borg on October 20, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Love to organize by zones too.
    Your suggestion for storing dishes so that children could reach them was spot on. Thank you.

    • Julie Stobbe on October 21, 2021 at 8:05 am

      Zones really help to make it easy to remember where things are in a kitchen. There are so many large and small items that it can be next to impossible to remember where each thing is individually.

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