How to Organize Your Kitchen Layout

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 Moving with the military, I’ve organized over 20 different kitchens and have learned a few tricks principles along the way. I talked about how to set up the kitchen in a new home using the layout of my current kitchen last year.   If you want to understand the principles I use in planning be sure to read last year’s post
kitchen cabinets and counters with text over each cupboard and drawer suggesting where to put things with title text reading How to Organize Your Kitchen Layout
Here we are about to move again into a new home, so I have a whole new kitchen layout to plan.
During the home inspection I took pictures with the handy ol’ cell phone (so sorry about the quality) and took measurements of key cabinets and shelves.
On those sleepless nights when I wonder how in the world are we going to move all this stuff again, I use that energy to plan the layout of the new kitchen.

How to Organize Your Kitchen Layout

First to give you a big-picture kitchen orientation. 
a ktichen
Starting on the left and working our way around the kitchen….
You can’t see it on the left in the picture above, but there is a pantry
a pantry with text overlay on each shelf showing what items are on each shelf
I try to put lighter items on the top shelf and heavier items on the floor.  I put less frequently used items on the next lower and higher shelves, with the most commonly used items in the middle.  The one change in the pantry is that I may swap the canned goods and lunch items shelves to put the canned good down lower since they are heavier.
To the right of the pantry is the desk and a set of cabinets. 
kitchen cabinets and counters with text over each cupboard and drawer suggesting where to put things
You can see that I have question marks on some areas.  I will have to assess these drawers once I’m actually in the kitchen.  The biggest question for me is the location of the glasses,  plates and bowls and silverware drawer.  Usually I would want to put the glasses by the fridge, but I need the bigger cabinet for the plates and bowls (I don’t want to split them into 2 different cabinets).  And the silverware would usually be in a drawer closer to the dishwasher to make it easier to put away.  But the drawers by the dishwasher are smaller and I’ll have to see if my silverware tray will fit there once we’re in the house.
To the right is the refrigerator and another set of cabinets that are usually hidden by the door to the laundry room and garage. 
kitchen cabinets and counters, the refrigerator, with text over each cupboard and drawer suggesting where to put things
Since these cabinets and drawers are behind the door and less easily accessed, I’ll put items I don’t use every day in that area.
Moving to the right is the oven and more cabinets. 
kitchen cabinets and counters, the oven,  with text over each cupboard and drawer suggesting where to put things
You see that I have one entire cabinet with a question mark on it.  Don’t worry I’ll fill it, I’ll just have to see what items fit and don’t fit and then use this prime real estate once I’m actually in the house with all my stuff.  I’m saving this cabinet as my “ace up my sleeve” since it’s large and in a prime location.
The lower corner cabinet will have to be assessed once I’m in the kitchen.  What goes in that corner cabinet is dependent on what will fit in the island. 
the stove on a kitchen island with text overlay on the cabinets suggesting what can go in them
I’d prefer to keep the pots and pans in the island, but the hoses, wires and “stuff” from the cook top take up the middle third of the space in the island.  I’ll have to see if I can fit my pots and pans (I have quite a few) in the space.  I’ve been looking at 2-tiered pull-out shelves online to try to make it work.  If I can’t fit the pots and pans there then I’ll try the corner cabinet in the pic above.
There is enough space on the left (I think) for my cookie sheets, baking pans and cutting boards to stand vertically.
To the right of the corner cabinet is the sink and another set of cabinets. 
the sink, dishwasher, and kitchen cabinets with text overlay suggesting what can go in them
If the silverware will fit in that top drawer (which is my first choice)  then I’ll look at putting the plates and bowls in the cabinet above. I’ll just have to see how big the cabinets and drawers are when we’re actually there in the house.
In the space between the kitchen and the dining room, there’s a built-in buffet (I’m a little embarrassed to say that this is what clinched the deal on the house for me). 
kitchen cabinets and counters with text over each cupboard and drawer suggesting where to put things
We have been gifted with 2 sets of Christmas dishes (which I just love!) and I’ll finally have a place in the house to store them all year long (in the past the Christmas dishes have been stored in their boxes in the basement or attic 11 months out of the year).  I will probably store the coffee maker in the cabinet with the question mark.  We don’t drink coffee but keep a coffee maker for when we have guests.  I don’t want to use precious space in the kitchen for this seldom used appliance.  But it will still be readily accessible right there around the corner from the kitchen when we have guests.
This is just the first draft of my plans for my kitchen layout.  Once I’m standing in the kitchen with my stuff, my plan will change.  But this gives me a logical starting point.
Am I a crazy woman, or does any one else plan their kitchens like this?

More Kitchen Organizing IdeasKitchen organizing ideas that you can do today. There are even free ideas for an organized kitchen.

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  1. Great tips! Now if only I had more cabinet space! One of my goals is to go through and totally organize my kitchen. It will happen soon!Stopping by from Make It Pretty Monday. Have a great week!Julie @ This Gal CooksPS, I have a fab giveaway going on over at my blog. Enter to win a Canon DSLR Camera OR a KitchenAid Mixer!

  2. Oh, absolutely! I had our entire house (not just the kitchen) all planned out and some of it actually on graph paper before we moved in — yeah, I’m that kind of person! Your new kitchen looks pretty nice. Good luck with the move and getting settled!

    1. Carol, I’m impressed with graph paper! The kitchen get lots of sunlight which is why I like it.

  3. Wow, you are so many steps ahead of me! I try to think of glasses and plates and then the rest is a free for all! After a few months of living in the house, I switch it all around. I guess I need to have a feel for the house. Your kitchen is great! I love the stove in the island. What a great space!

  4. Susan, you amaze me. I am the opposite of a planner. I unpacked my kitchen without a plan 3 years ago and still haven’t corrected it!

  5. Lot’s of great cabinet space in your kitchen. One thing I’d like to suggest is, you could put the dish towels in the drawers next to the dishwasher and grilling utensils could go under the oven in drawers. All your baking pans, cake pans could be placed in the cabinets below where you store the measuring cups/spoons. The appliances could go where you have the question mark cabinet near the oven. All pots & pans you could place under stove in cabinets. I do enjoy organizing also. Many blessings in your new home.


    1. Mahina, thanks for the great suggestions. I’ve added your ideas to my layout plans. I’m itching to get into the kitchen and get to work.

  6. I love how you plotted out your kitchen. It really makes a difference and requires some serious thought. Good luck with your move!

  7. So jealous of all of your cabinet space! Your new home looks like it’s going to be beautiful. Good luck with the move! {Though it sounds like you’re a pro at it by now and may not need luck’s help! ;)} I popped over from Practically Functional–thanks for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

  8. We will be (fingers crossed) moving soon and I am so stealing this idea!! I love it! Thanks for sharing this at my party this week! This post was the most viewed last week and you are being featured šŸ™‚ So, stop by and pick up a shiny button. I can’t wait to see what you share this week!

  9. well, not everyone has had 20+ moves under their belt! my daughter is a military wife, too, and I’ve been amazed at how quickly she sets up her new home and is ready to roll!thanks for this spotlight!Linda

  10. Great post! I absolutely love the ideas so much. These ideas could really help me in organizing my kitchen soon. I do believe the statement in one of the articles I read, that “homes should work, so we can play”, and these ideas are incredible for letting the kitchen work for us. Organizing a kitchen is never that simple. This takes so much to consider to make it work just right. Kitchen drawers, pantries and kitchen cabinets must be properly in place for convenience and easy access to utensils.


  11. Pingback: Kitchen layout for best usage - Feeding Big
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  13. Organizing kitchen layout can be very good idea and can make things a lot simple for you. Thank you for sharing such great content. Very Helpful for me.

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