5 Ideas for Organized Kitchen Storage

Once or twice a month, I like to spend a weekend morning or afternoon deep cleaning, reorganizing and reevaluating my kitchen workflow. If you’re anything like me, the ingredients in your cupboard tend to double, even if your pantry is stocked with cooking and baking essentials. I catch myself at times stuffing some of my spices where I know they don’t belong, muttering to myself that I’ll ‘reorganize it later.’ Next thing you know, your refrigerator, cabinets and countertop are disheveled with items that don’t have a place. 

Thankfully, when you take the time to reorganize and rethink your kitchen workflow, it allows you to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Plus, nothing feels better than cooking in an organized kitchen- it’s like the beginning paint strokes on a blank canvas. I’ve come up with a few tips I’ve learned along the way and I hope they inspire you spend some time in the kitchen this weekend! 

1. Smart Shelving Solutions

Image photographed by Janae Hardy for A Beautiful Mess

Ideally, wouldn’t we all love to have spacious cabinets and open shelving? (If you have these already, when can I move in? A girl can dream!) In the meantime, use the space you do have smartly. Let’s talk about workflow. Think about how you move around your kitchen daily- are you constantly reaching for your spices while cooking? Besides prepping your ingredients ahead of time, it might make sense to keep your most used ingredients readily accessible- whether that’s on an open shelf near your stovetop or in a nearby cabinet space. Do whatever would make sense for your workflow in your kitchen.

The benefit of having open shelving (if you prefer the look) goes beyond storage of your most used culinary items- it also is a great way to display your favorite cookbooks, houseplants and kitchen-related trinkets. Even if it’s only a pair of shelves, the way your organize them could become one of your new favorite parts of your kitchen. 

2. Organized and Functional Countertop Space

image via A Bowl Full of Lemons

The countertop is usually where you store your most-used appliances. However, if you need the extra storage space, try displaying some of your cookbooks, cutting boards or dish towels in an organizational tool like wire baskets. Also, rethink your appliances; for example, I haven’t been baking as much lately and have been using my blender more for morning and post workout smoothies. Naturally, replacing my Kitchen Aid with my blender on the counter just made sense.

3. Glass Ingredient Storage 

image via My Name is Yeh

I truly am a sucker for glass ingredient storage (you have no idea how much joy I get from printing out my adhesive ingredient labels.) Not only is it an easy way to spot the exact ingredient you need, it’s easy to remember where you put it too. Also, let’s be honest, glass storage has a more organized look. Mason jars are my classic go to for ingredient storage and so are these glass spice jars from Crate & Barrel. 

4. Additional Surfaces

image via Mary Made This

Somtimes you just don’t have enough counterspace or shelving- that’s where kitchen or bar carts (often equipt with plenty of hangers, knobs and extra hidden drawers) come in handy. The nice thing about these carts is that they’re mobile- so you can move them around with ease.  

5. Good Habits

image via A Bowl Full of Lemons

Like I mentioned in my opening paragraph, a good deep clean does a kitchen well. Taking the time to thoroughly clean and reorganize your kitchen also allows you to do an inventory of what ingredients you need to restock so you aren’t accidentally buying multiples. Cleaning or picking up my kitchen every night before bed has become one of my favorite habits; something as simple as wiping down the countertops, loading the dishwasher and putting everything in its place gives your morning a fresh, clean start.

  • caylery

    After learning about how glass is not really that recyclable, I’ve been doing everything I can to save jars that food has come in (salsa, jam, pasta sauces) and repurposing those as kitchen storage. Not as pretty, but they’re free and won’t just end up being used to pave the road at a landfill! It’s working out better than I even planned, and it’s also cheaper for me to buy salsa in the bigger, plastic, recyclable containers 🙂

    • You know I do the same thing!! But sometimes I’ll accidentally through away the tops, so then I just use those jars as pen holders on my desk or as makeshift flower vases (I’ll split up a bouquet and spread them throughout the house.) Thanks for reading, and great tip!

  • Oh, Cassandra. This is making my organization-loving heart swoon! My mom actually did what Caylery (below) talks about and saved up jam jars when my parents moved in together and in just over a year had enough to store all her dried spices… she still has them today!! PS – I’m loving that first photo of all the white dishes + green. All these are wonderful tips! x

    • Thanks for reading Supal! Love that your mom still has all of those jars, what a cool tradition to pass on too!

  • Thanks for reading, Danae! I usually bake so much so having my flour, whole wheat flour and sugar in large gallon jars makes sense for me too.

  • So many good tips! I really can’t say enough about creating good habits and keeping them! I love to buy pretty organizational items for our fridge so that I will be determined to keep it clean enough to see them.

  • Ana Fernandez

    Additional surfaces are a must if your kitchen is the size of a New york closet. I just bought a rolling cart from ikea and now I have what I call a Baking Central. Loved your ideas!

  • I love those white cabinets with the blue inside. Such a cute idea!