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40 Unique Kitchen Organization Ideas for Easy Access and Clutter-Free Storage

Creative tips and tricks for your pots, pans, spices and pantry items.

kitchen organization ideas
Aaron Colussi / Thomas Loof for Country Living

When you're the chef of the house, the kitchen can become cluttered and overwhelming, especially if you have a small space. If you're looking for smart and efficient ways to store your essentials, browse through our roundup of unique kitchen organization ideas. We're sharing clever ways to make use of your cooking area, including a few DIYs and useful installations.

From finding the best racks to store your spices and ingredients to the best drawers and countertop ideas to corral utensils, our list will help you tackle everyday cooking items and appliances you can never find a place for. And as an organization tip, Nicole Papantoniou, Director of Good Housekeeping's Kitchen Appliances & Culinary Innovation Lab, suggests grouping items together to make them easier to find and store. "The most accessible things should be the things you use most often," she says. "Use high cabinets and hard-to-reach places for things you rarely use." For instance, if you're not a huge baker, keep those baking essentials above your fridge.

Ready to get organized? Say goodbye to the messy drawers and pantries (check out our best kitchen cabinet drawer organizers and clever pantry organizing tips for more ideas) and say hello to the clean, sleek and glamorous kitchen you designed when your family first moved in.

kitchen organization ideas labeled bins
Settled
1 of 40
Add Bins to Your Bottom Drawers

Reserve your bottom kitchen drawers for jars and cans. Use 16"-deep bins to keep them organized and label each bin so you know where to find what you need quickly.

SHOP DRAWER BINS

kitchen organization ideas sliding drawers
Bakes & Kropp Photography
2 of 40
Store Pots and Pans in Sliding Shelves

If you can't fit your pots and pans into your square cabinet, consider installing a corner pullout cabinet system. It'll easily open and close, while making those pots accessible.

kitchen organization ideas pullout pantry
Bakes & Kropp Photography
3 of 40
Install a Pullout Pantry

Pullout cabinets are sneaky ways to keep your kitchen organized. They allow you to grab items from both sides, plus it gives you easy access to what's hidden in the back.

kitchen organization ideas bar area
Eric Piasecki
4 of 40
Design a Bar Area

If you're a wine lover, add slide-in trays to your cabinets to store your drinks. You can also use drawer dividers.

SHOP DRAWER DIVIDERS

kitchen organization ideas pot rack
Art Streiber
5 of 40
Add Pot Racks to Your Walls or Inside Your Pantry

Pot racks are great for hanging pots and pans that can't fit in your drawers or oven. Use racks to hang them in an empty space on your wall or inside your pantry, where they'll be hidden yet secure for grabbing.

kitchen organization ideas corner shelves
Lauren Pressey
6 of 40
Add Corner Shelves in a Small Kitchen

Fill that empty corner with functional accents. Designer Kate Lester upgraded this kitchen with reclaimed barn wood shelves — perfect for a farmhouse flair.

SHOP CORNER SHELVES

kitchen organization ideas island storage
Jason Hartog
7 of 40
Utilize Your Island's Storage

Your kitchen island can be a great place to store most essentials — at least the heavier ones. Purchase an island with hidden cabinets on both sides to place your pots, pans, linens and single-use items.

kitchen organization ideas  beverage nook
Margaret Rajic
8 of 40
Design a Beverage Nook

Similar to this look by designer Kate Marker, you can upgrade your kitchen with a pantry cabinet that's functional and eye-catching. This one includes a beautiful counter workspace that's brilliant for prepping your morning coffee and storing your mugs and cups.

kitchen organization ideas organize your spirits
Eric Lawler
9 of 40
Design a Wine and Drinks Section

An ordinary closet in your kitchen can become the ultimate drinks station, where you store your favorites and separate them by type. Installing motion-sensor lights is another great addition.

kitchen organization ideas spice rack
Danielle Occhiogrosso
10 of 40
Attach a Spice Rack to Your Walls

Keep your condiments away from your counter space with a spice rack. Attach the rack to one part of your kitchen wall or use a hanging rack on your pantry's door.

SHOP SPICE RACK

kitchen organization ideas tiered shelving
Mike Garten
11 of 40
Install Bracketed Shelves

If there's an open space you haven't yet designed, install bracketed shelves for a practical look. They're not as bulky as cabinets and they'll make great storage for your colorful and cute glassware.

kitchen cabinet with organizers
Erika LaPresto
12 of 40
Create a Command Station

Stick chalkboard contact paper and adhesive pockets to the inside of one of your cabinets, so that everyone in your household knows where to look to find the grocery list, coupons, recipes and WiFi password.

kitchen organization ideas  hanging cutting boards
Lucy Call
13 of 40
Mount a Double-Duty Shelf

Here, one shelf gives you two smart ways to store your kitchen essentials: Stick seasonal platters and pretty dishes on the top shelf for all to see, and hang cutting boards and oven mitts on the lower hooks.

kitchen organization ideas
Aaron Colussi
14 of 40
Arrange Baskets High and Low

Fill the lower baskets with anything safe for your kids to grab hold of and reserve the higher shelves for gadgets, spare linens and your secret chocolate stash.

RELATED: 12 Storage Bins to Make the Most of Your College Dorm Room or Small Space

organized kitchen drawers compartmentalize
Trevor Tondro
15 of 40
Make the Most of Your Drawers

Find ways to make your drawers work for you. Carve out spaces to hold your most-used utensils, baking supplies and spices. In this case, an ice cream-obsessed family dedicated an entire drawer to their sundae-making essentials.

kitchen with open shelving, open shelfs
Thomas Loof for Country Living
16 of 40
Fill up Clear Canisters

When done right, your pantry staples can make an eye-catching display. Transfer all of your nuts, cereals, pastas and baking ingredients into glass jars, marking each and every one with a custom chalkboard label.

knife drawer
Mike Garten
17 of 40
Add a Built-in Storage Block

Build a knife block into a narrow drawer to keep your knives sharp and secure — and your hands safe.

pegboard kitchen organizer
Annie Schlechter
18 of 40
Arrange Utensils on a Pegboard Wall

When pegboards are painted in a bold accent color, they become a functional focal point. Screw in a range of angled, straight and curved hooks to hang mugs, measuring cups and other cookware.

plate drawer organizer
Mike Garten
19 of 40
Designate a Drawer for Dishes

Keep your dishes protected and in place with adjustable plate holders, perfect for deeper drawers. Opt for holders with carrying handles, so you can lift them out of the drawer when it's time to set the table.

SHOP DISH HOLDERS

kitchen with character by texas designer grace mitchell of hgtv’s one of a kind sliding pantry doors
Courtesy of Grace Mitchell
20 of 40
Use Sliding Doors to Conceal Mess

If you opted for an open shelving system, consider installing a sliding door, like this farmhouse-inspired barn door, to easily conceal the inevitable mess.

circa 1800s farmhouse home of jennifer and dave dawson in cashiers, north carolina appalachia kitchen
Ali Harper
21 of 40
Keep Pots and Pans Nearby

It makes the most sense to keep your pots, pans and cooking utensils right near the oven. Attach a magnetic knife bar to the left of your stovetop and a rod to hold your most-used pots and pans to the right (or vice versa).

1870s barn house renovated by jenni yolo milwaukee, wisconsin butler's pantry
Kim Cornelison
22 of 40
Get Creative With Shelf Storage

Even if you don't have a separate pantry, you can incorporate these organization ideas into your kitchen. Take the wine glass storage, for example: Mount a hanging wine rack under a cabinet to save space and prevent glasses from knocking into one another.

SHOP HANGING WINE RACKS

bamboo utensil organizers
Mike Garten
23 of 40
Give Everything a Place

Fora seamless look, use dividers that match your drawer's interiors, often made out of different variations of bamboo.

SHOP DRAWER DIVIDERS

kitchen organization ideas  towel bar over sink
Aluxum/ Getty Images
24 of 40
Hang a Towel Bar Over the Sink

Nail a metal bar to the blank wall above your sink and use it to store whatever you need to keep within arm's reach: soup spoons, cheese graters, spices and so much more.

kitchen drawer for bakeware
Mike Garten
25 of 40
Use Inserts to Maximize Space

You lose so much space when you stack platters and casserole dishes on top of one another. Reclaim precious kitchen drawer space with a set of plastic or wood customizable drawer dividers.

small kitchen storage
Amy Bartlam. Design: Jenn Feldman Designs
26 of 40
Create a Slide-Out Prep Station

Here's a clever solution for a kitchen short on counter space: Build a butcher block board into a drawer like designer Jenn Feldman did here. With a hole right over the trash can, it's easy to dump peels and pits as you go, using a scrapper-chopper.

small kitchen storage
Sugar & Cloth and Jeffrey Phillip
27 of 40
Turn One Shelf Into Two

With wire shelf risers, you can multiply vertical storage space, giving you even more room to store all of your dishware. See? Just because you're short on space doesn't mean you have to compromise your love of cute mugs and dishes.

SHOP STACKABLE SHELVES

small kitchen storage
Alison Gootee/Studio D
28 of 40
Organize Your Pantry Like a Store

Give your pantry a supermarket makeover by following the "first in, first out" rule. Basically, put the newest boxes and containers behind what's already open. Keep things organized with bins, labels and clear storage containers.

SHOP PANTRY DOOR RACKS

small kitchen storage
Sugar & Cloth and Jeffrey Phillip
29 of 40
Add "Drawers" to Deep Cabinets

Store your table linens — placemats, cloth napkins or even the table runner you only use on Christmas — in durable plastic pins. The best part? They pull out, so you won't have to dig for anything in the way back.

Watchtower Interiors food storage drawer
Watchtower Interiors
30 of 40
Ditch Countertop Produce Bowls

Pack a deep drawer full of removable bins (like in this custom cabinet from Watchtower Interiors). If you use them to sort produce that doesn't need to be refrigerated, you'll never lose precious counter space to a fruit or veggie bowl again.

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