Organizing the Kitchen

Posted on Monday, February 5, 2024
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
Organizing the kitchen

Enjoy these sensational tips, tricks, and suggestions from a former real-life professional organizer to organize in DIY fashion!

Get it done!

The kitchen is a frequently used area of the home. Though the use of this room is associated with meal preparation and serving, kitchens often become the hub of the home for hanging out. Families gather for meals, guests are entertained in this space, and kids may use the kitchen table or island to do homework. For this room to function well, it is essential to get it organized.

Declutter first

Decluttering is the act of removing unnecessary items from a space. One must decide which items stay or go. This task can feel overwhelming to some, but to make it easier, use our keep or release guide by clicking the link below.

Additional tips

Organizing and decluttering can be challenging for some individuals. There are numerous reasons why. Some people simply feel more secure by having things around them. Others may procrastinate, fail to prioritize the home, experience depression that impedes motivation and more. Individuals facing challenges often have trouble letting things go – even items that serve no purpose or lack genuine value. For organizing success, it’s beneficial to professionally address emotional or physical barriers that hold back progress. This can include seeing a therapist and/or hiring a professional organizer for guidance.

Some basic reasons why disorganization is undesirable:

Not only does too much stuff (aka clutter) make it hard to find things, but it also makes it more difficult to function and clean. Plus, it increases distractions, adds stress and discomfort, negatively affects mood, unfavorably impacts socialization, increases health risks such as slips and falls, and can lead to embarrassment and withdrawal.

Some popular misconceptions

Many people are hesitant to donate as they associate giving things away with “losing money.” Truthfully, the money was already “lost” when the item was originally purchased. Additionally, folks tend to think that their items are worth more than people are willing to pay for them. The truth is that most used things go down in value. However, antiques, designer items, unique products, and collectibles are generally some exceptions.

Put your best foot forward

Think of decluttering as “releasing” things that no longer serve you well.

Kick off the kitchen organizing process by establishing rules about what stays and what goes. Not sure what to do? Use our guide (click here) to decide what to keep or “release” in your kitchen space. “Release” refers to the act of letting go of items you no longer use, need, or want.

Moving forward

Decluttering is a process that requires time, attention, and some sensibility. It’s a good idea to wear comfortable clothing and shoes. It’s beneficial to have helpers for support and the following recommended supplies as needed:  

Suggested supplies

  • A folding table for sorting items
  • A comfortable chair
  • Beverages and snacks for breaks
  • Large trash bags
  • A bunch of sturdy empty boxes or containers for organizing
  • Labels (to identify goods) and colored markers (to write on boxes)
  • A labeler (to create storage labels)
  • A shredder (for unwanted personal documents)
  • Shelf paper liner or contact paper (if desired for shelving)
  • Cleaning supplies such as a dust rag (to wipe shelves, drawers, cabinets, etc.)
  • Organizing supplies such as lidded containers, cutlery storage boxes, spice racks, etc. (to manage products)
  • A pen and paper to use for checklists (or to map out storage ideas)
  • A boom box to play your favorite music (this often helps the mood)
  • A kitchen timer (to stay timely and on task)

But first…

  • Before starting, understand what donations are acceptable for your charity. This is vital as you do not wish to waste the organization’s time by delivering junk to them.
  • Peruse helpful websites like Pinterest for organizing ideas, inspiration, and motivation.
  • Pre-purchase organizing products that you deem useful for storage purposes. This includes baskets, bins, dividers, utensil trays & crocks, lazy Susans, racks, expandable shelves, coffee carousels, over-cabinet organizers, airtight food storage containers, etc.
  • While organizational products are beneficial, save space, and offer a streamlined look, they are not required to declutter or organize. If you are unsure of which organizing products will work best in your kitchen, declutter, then reevaluate your situation before purchasing anything.
  • Pre-arrange transportation to take donations over to your charity as soon as the boxes are packed up and ready to go. This includes knowing their location and hours of operation.
  • Understand that pulling things out of kitchen drawers and cabinets can feel chaotic. Trust that it is part of the process.
  • Always keep a positive mindset and keep the goal of an organized kitchen in mind.

Jumping into kitchen organization

  • Decide where to begin based on your available time. If limited, start in a small space of the kitchen such as a junk drawer. Should you have extended time, feel free to conquer larger spaces such as the pantry or kitchen cupboards first.
  • Remove all contents from the space you are organizing. As you pull items out, decide quickly whether it’s something to keep, donate, or trash.
  • Use the table to categorize items you’re keeping. Dedicate a box or several boxes for donations. Trash should immediately be thrown away in a bag or shredded and tossed. Items for recycling should be placed in a recycling bin.
  • Act practically. For example, printer paper is better off in an office space rather than in the kitchen. If you encounter misplaced items like this, label a box for them, and later move them to their proper place.
  • Should you prefer to give stuff to friends or family, create a “give to” box. Later, offer up those items.
  • To keep the sorting task from dragging on endlessly, make quick sensible decisions.
  • If you are truly unsure of what to do, set the item aside in the “undecided box.” Later, revisit the item when you have more time to reflect on its value to you.
  • Always clean your kitchen space well before reintroducing items. If desired, line cabinets, drawers, and shelves with shelf protectors before returning things to their space.
  • When reorganizing and reintroducing items back to their space, always group like items together in the place where they make the most sense. For example, drinking glasses go by the water dispenser, coffee mugs by the coffee maker, plates by the dishwasher, and bakeware near the oven.
  • As you organize, consider employing some basic ideas to help you find items faster, such as labeling and alphabetizing your spices.
  • Keep a reasonable yet limited amounts of things like coffee cups, wine glasses, plates, bowls and more. Remember that excess items, keeping more than what you need and use, can lead to clutter and disorganization.
  • Do not overlook the refrigerator and freezer. It is important to periodically clean these spaces as well as discard old food products and items with freezer burn.


In America, the kitchen is commonly described as “the heart of the home.” To make this frequently used space inviting and functional, organization is key.  Not only will you gain knowledge of your inventory and locate things in a snap, but you’ll also make food preparation and cleaning easier. Achieving organization in the home takes the cake in generating peace and tranquility. As icing on that cake, your sense of inner calm and pride in your achievements will make others feel truly welcome in your newly organized kitchen.

If this article interests you, check out our articles on organizing the bedroom and bathroom.

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