Organizing Kitchen Cabinets in Five Easy Steps

January is “Get Organized” month according to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing. I didn’t even know there was a thing called NAPO and always wondered why people organized their homes during January. Now I know. So I thought I’d jump on the organizing bandwagon and today I’m here with five easy steps to organizing kitchen cabinets.

I love my built-in cupboard; it was a selling point when I bought the house. But lately it’s been a mess with too much stuff crammed inside.

Easy Tips to Organize Kitchen Cabinets


The first step in organizing kitchen cabinets is to pull everything out so you can see what you’re working with. Step two is to get rid of stuff you no longer need. I found I had three – yes three – opened bottles of barbecue sauce in my cabinet! And honestly, I’m too embarrassed to show you the before pictures – this pic shows after I threw stuff out but before I reorganized my canned and dried goods.

Easy Tips to Organize Kitchen Cabinets


Step three in organizing kitchen cabinets is to store like items together.  Boxed items are on the bottom shelf, along with the vinegar and cooking sherry. The next shelf has canned goods and liquids like soy and Worcestershire sauces. Next are dried goods like spaghetti, rice, quinoa, etc.

Breads are on the upper shelf, and I placed lesser-used glasses (like holiday tumblers) on the top shelf.

Organizing Kitchen Cabinets


Once the pantry items were good to go, I tackled the dishes and glasses which were quite the mess. I had a lot of mismatched items that I was hanging onto, without good reason. After pulling everything out, I got rid of one-fourth of the items. Sets of three glasses that used to be sets of four, chipped single dishes that didn’t match anything else, and so on.

Here’s the trick to tossing your items – if you have to think for a while on whether to keep something – get rid of it. Hubby kept saying “but we could still use this glass.” I had to send him out of the room because he wanted to hang onto things we didn’t need. I sent him in search of a box so we could pack up the better items for the resale shop.

Organizing Dishes in a Kitchen Cabinet


The inside (and outside) of the cabinet needs to be painted which will get done sometime soon. But for now, I’m so happy to get this cabinet organized. Step four is adding organizational elements to your kitchen cabinets. The true lifesaver for me are the coated wire shelves I added.

Organizing Kitchen Cabinets


My dishes were stacked so high and if you tried pulling a plate out from under the bowls stuff would start to topple. The coated wire shelves make it so much easier to pull dishes out when you need them – and they only cost $5 each!

Organizing Dishes in a Kitchen Cabinet


Step five is an ongoing process – putting things back where they belong. My mother always told me it doesn’t take much extra time to put things away properly and I have to admit that she’s right. I smile every time I open the doors to my built-in kitchen cabinet.

Easy Tips to Organize Kitchen Cabinets


Izzy got a little nosey about all the commotion going on in the kitchen. It didn’t take long for a squirrel outside the window to distract him.

Easy Tips to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

I’m still in the process of organizing more of my kitchen – I’ll share those projects soon.

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  1. I love your built in cabinet. Reminds me of one (although ours was smaller) that we had when I was a child. Isn’t it interesting, though, how we empty nesters seem to stockpile more dishes than we do pantry items to serve on those dishes? I have enough dishes to serve a dozen people but if a dozen people came to my house, I would have to go to the grocery for pantry items. It’s a hard habit to break to not think of having dishware for everyone we might possibly entertain, all the time. Just one of those thoughts that rumble through my mind …… 🙂

  2. The wire coated shelves are the bees knees! I bought mine at Meijer. Putting things back where they belong is key to organization. There are only two of us in this house and guess who doesn’t put things back? Hmm…think he’s too old to train…ha! I keep telling him he would be upset if the stores had things willy-nilly, all over the place. The older I get, the more I love organization and tidiness. Happy New Year!

  3. I love using those wire shelves! Your built-in cabinet is beautiful now ~ and it’s stunning just open like that! If Izzy would stay out, it’d be fun to take the doors off for a while so you could enjoy a different look. 🙂 I am helping a friend with special needs to organize her tiny trailer home and tomorrow we will be organizing her kitchen more. Shouldn’t take too long and I already started pics for a post. In fact, I just picked up white wire shelving at Wal-Mart for her yesterday. She is sooo excited to have help organizing and was just attacking the cleaning of her home last evening when I dropped off the new supplies! Enjoy your newly cleaned and organized kitchen! It’s turning out beautiful!!! 🙂

  4. Love the contrast of Izzy’s black fur in your creamy kitchen. Things happening in cabinets might be interesting, but the lure of squirrels (& birds) far surpasses dishes & pantry items. Personally I like the organized cabinets, but I tend to procrastinate and, like Izzy, am drawn to what’s going on outside. Love the cabinet hardware.

  5. 10yrs ago I started keeping my plates and large baking bowls directly across from my dishwasher. Above which I keep all of my silverware and backing utensils in large drawers. It is so much easier this way. I soon figured out that this is why chefs keep their plates under the counter. Handier. They are usually heavy and trying to put them in an upper cabinet just seemed silly. I only keep glasses and bowls along with all my spices in the upper cabinets. Every time someone new comes in and sees where my dishes get put they say, well why aren’t I doing that. They laugh!! P.S. Keeping some glasses at a lower level helps my grandkids get their own water. Why didn’t I think of that when my kids were younger. Keeps them off of the counter tops which can lead to accidents and from destroying my cabinet doors. I also keep all of my baking stuff under the counter where I do all of my prep work. Oh, one more thought. My husband built a copper pipe shelf for my bread rising area right above my stove. The shelf fits right between the two cabinets that are on either side of the vent. The pans fit on it nicely there.