Free Tips for an Organized Kitchen

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An organized kitchen makes for a happy life. Really. An organized kitchen can save you time and stress and make it easier for your family to help out in the kitchen. Organizing your kitchen doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are seven free tips for an organized kitchen that will make your life simpler and better.

Modern white and black kitchen with stainless steel appliances

The kitchen is the heart of the home, so keeping your kitchen organized makes your entire life easier and reduces stress. Sure you can spend lots and lots of money to organize your kitchen, but you don’t have to. In my experience organizing kitchens with my 25+ moves (thanks to the military), I found these free tips for an organized kitchen work for my family. 

Free Tips for an Organized Kitchen

open cabinets next to refrigerator showing contents

Place items where you’ll use them in the kitchen.     Think about how you use your kitchen and plan how to layout your kitchen to make it work best for you and your situation. Put items near where you use them. For example, place glasses near the refrigerator and pots and pan near the stove.  I always place the my dishes and silverware near the sink and dishwasher to make it easier to put clean dishes away.

condiments inside refrigerator door

Place like items together.  In your fridge, drawers and cabinets keep all similar items together. This makes it easier to find what you need because all of that item will be in one place. It’s also easier for your family to put items away because each item is kept with similar items. It will also save you money because you won’t buy duplicate items just because you can’t find the one lost in your kitchen.

blue container holding chip clips

Use free and repurposed items to organize. In an effort to save money and save the landfill, I repurpose kitchen packaging like this mushroom container to organize my kitchen. I often use the plastic tray container that salad mixes come in to organize as well as lids and cardboard boxes.

overhead vies of contents of freezer drawer neatly organized

File items rather than stack them.  Whenever possible, file items rather than stacking them. When you file items, you can easily see and remove the exact item that you want rather than wrestling with a pile to figure out what’s hiding at the bottom. You’ll save money because you’ll be able to see exactly what you have and won’t unnecessarily buy duplicates.

glass bowl with blue lid and label with contents and date

Label leftovers.  Always take the minute to label your leftovers with the contents and the date. This makes it more likely that you’ll eat the no longer mystery left-overs and will encourage you to eat leftovers before they go bad. I keep a roll of masking tape and marker in a drawer near my foil and plastic wrap so there’s no reason not to label leftovers.

scissors cutting off top of chip bag

Consolidate items and reduce packaging.  Taking steps to reduce packaging like simply cutting the excess top of the bag off a bag of chips or cereal can increase the amount of room in your cabinets. Don’t keep two open packages of the same item – consolidated them into one container when possible.

Purge one cabinet each weekend and one drawer each day.  I’m willing to bet that you have items you don’t need in your kitchen. Those items are taking up space that you could use more effectively, so you need to purge them. Take the time to evaluate and purge one drawer each night. Critically evaluate each item asking:

Does it still work or is it still good (not past the expiration date)?

Do I use this item?

Do I need duplicates of this item?

Purge items that you don’t truly need or love. Keep working your way through one drawer a day until you’ve gone through every drawer. Each weekend tackle one cabinet and go through it using the same evaluation and purging process.

large modern kitchen with white cabinets and blue handing lights

Do you have favorite free tips for an organized kitchen?

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white modern kitchen with black counters and stainless steel appliances

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  1. Great tips, Susan. I always feel that the plastic storage containers should have some some of write on/wipe off labeling option on the lid. Once it goes in the freezer, it can be very hard to identify, right?

    1. Great point, Seana. I usually use freezer tape because I don’t like smudging. But labeling containers is key to organization in the freezer.

  2. This is a great post! Masking tape and the labeling are my favorites. When I get into a hurry and forget I end up with all kinds of things in the freezer and have no clue what they are.

  3. Susan, these are really great tips. I try hard to remember to dig in the back of my refrigerator and look at expiration dates. Ugh, I hate to throw away food, but at times I have to.

  4. When my kids were little, I always had a cabinet within their reach for their plastic cups and plates. This really helped them be independent and made my load a little bit lighter šŸ™‚

    1. Teaching independence is so important, isn’t it, Stacey? And of course, making our job just a bit easier is nice, too. šŸ™‚

  5. Hi Susan, I love your post, it is inspiring and boy do I need some inspiration and a boost to reorganize my kitchen cupboards.
    I would love to have you stop by and share them on my Friday Features this week!!

    Have a great weekend!

  6. Oh good advice on dating leftovers! I need to do that. I was just cleaning out mine today and had to think back, “how old is this?”

    1. We went through that so many times and it only get more complicated when you have tween and teen kids putting leftovers in the fridge, too.

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