Organizing a Kitchen 101 -- Basic Kitchen Storage Ideas

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Organizing A Kitchen 101

The kitchen has long been considered the Heart of the Home. Whether you are an expert chef or just a freezer-to-microwave type of person, the kitchen still tends to be where everyone congregates.

It would be too exhaustive to give tip information for every type of cook and every kind of kitchen environment – there are just too many! This page will only cover basic information on organizing a kitchen.

Obviously, bachelors who only have beer and ketchup in the fridge probably won’t need this help (but they probably won’t be on this website anyway).

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So . . . what’s this page about?

Find general information on:

If you’ve reached this page directly (and not through the Home Page), you might be interested in some general organizing information before you begin. Click Start Here and read these informative articles. There are a lot of general organizing tips and tricks on this page that will help before you begin your project.

If that doesn’t interest you . . . then dive right into the general information below. Organizing a kitchen 3


For the same reason you spend time organizing anything else. It will save you time – part of your precious life you can’t get back! You won’t have to waste time digging around in the junk drawer searching for things. Also . . . organizing a kitchen helps with the following things:

  1. A cluttered kitchen kills the desire to cook so you eat out more (and spend more money). It’s less healthy – your body and your budget will be blessed by getting your kitchen organized!

  2. No one wants to help out in a kitchen that’s cluttered and disorganized. You’re more likely to get willing helping hands if it's neat, clean and orderly!

  3. Any cluttered area (kitchen included) makes you feel bad. Getting organized will lift your spirits!

  4. Safety and nutrition are important. If your kitchen’s dirty and cluttered, you probably will opt to eat out more. Lack of cleanliness and sanitation can also be a health hazard. No more salmonella!

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It’s best to have several zones in any room, especially a kitchen. Some experts say there should only be 3 zones, some say up to 5. Here are some basic zones to think about when organizing a kitchen:

  1. Cooking Zone. Stove, Oven & Microwave area (try to keep these items together in the same zone if space allows). Keep pots, pans, bake ware, potholders and baking utensils near this area.

  2. Prep Zone. This is an area where you will keep items needed for food preparation – bowls, whisks, kitchen knives, chopping board/blocks, etc. You should have everything you need to prepare food in this area.

  3. Clean Up Zone. This is where the sink and dishwasher reside – hopefully next to each other. Keep cleaning products, sponges, scouring pads, antiseptic popup wipes, dish towels, etc. in this area. You’ll make clean up a breeze!

  4. Serving Zone. This can be either in your kitchen, breakfast nook or dining room (not in front of the TV).

    Keep your plates, cups, drinking glass ware, forks, spoons, table knives here.

    Even in the tiniest kitchen, you can create zones by using some creativity and good tools.


  1. Use what you have. If you can’t afford expensive storage containers, recycle items you have on hand. Boxes that your checks come in can be used in drawers for small items (matches, rubber bands, etc.).

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  2. Contain yourself. Square containers take up less space in your pantry. They also fit your shelves better than round ones.

  3. Get hooked! Putting hooks inside cabinet doors and on walls near the stove, etc. will help hang items such as dish towels and your favorite cooking utensil.

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  4. Go vertical. Many people don’t utilize their vertical wall space. Consider whether you have walls that are not being used. Purchase (or make) a container to store items in plain site on the walls.

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  5. Bins and baskets. These are great tools to keep like things together. Bins and baskets tend to be under-utilized. If you need to be frugal, you can typically find good ones at garage or tag sales if you look around. For more general information on organizing, check out the Start Here section.

Find more pictures of kitchen storage ideas, tips and tricks on organizing a kitchen. Click on one of the links below to go to your favorite project area. You will get more in-depth information on organizing a kitchen.

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