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17 Easy To Follow Cabinet Organization Ideas For Small Kitchen

This guide to the 17 easy to follow cabinet organization ideas for small kitchen is about different ways to utilize efficiently every inch of your precious cabinet space, especially for small kitchen.

The fact is, your kitchen, no matter if it’s big or small, is without a doubt one of the most significant areas in your home. It not only holds everything you need to cook and eat at least three excellent meals a day, but your kitchen is the most expensive room and is an important focal point of your house. This is the reason why your kitchen helps you to create infinite memories and delicious recipes that you and your loved ones will never forget. Therefore, it is necessary to have and maintain a well organized kitchen. You can only achieve that if you are able to manage your kitchen cabinet space effectively.

Whether you have open shelves, glass-front cabinets or all cabinetry, your kitchen organization system can make a huge impact especially when you only have a limited time to prepare for dinner. If your space is not efficiently organized, instead of devoting your time preparing and cooking food you end up spending your time rummaging through cabinets looking for just one particular spice that you know you have. What a waste of your precious time! However, this problem can be easily solved by following a few kitchen cabinet organization ideas that I am going to share with you to manage your cabinets space. This will help to give you more time on the things that matter to you.

Below are the cabinet organization ideas that are easy to follow in order for your small kitchen to function according to your needs.

17 Easy To Follow Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas

1. Allocate The Upper Most Shelf For The Rarely-Used Items

In every kitchen, it is necessary to utilize every inch of cabinet space, most especially for a small kitchen. Doing this will help to avoid unnecessary movement, stretching and use of a step stool every time you prepare your meal. If your space is unorganized, the unnecessary movement can often cause frustration and accidents. That’s why it’s best to allocate your upper most shelf for the rarely-used items such as serving bowls, cake stands and other items that you only use when you are entertaining.

2. Save The Most Accessible Parts Of Your Cabinets For The Most Frequently-Used Items

small kitchen arrangement

I placed all of high usage items such as plates, bowls, mugs, cups, glassware and food containers in the most accessible part of the upper cabinets. I strategically designated cabinets near the dishwasher for those items.

It is only right and appropriate to place all your frequently-used items in the most accessible location of your kitchen cabinets. This will offer you easy accessibility, comfort and increase your efficiency in preparing food because you will minimize the back and forth movement as well as the unnecessary bending or stretching just to complete one task. It also helps to eliminate the time searching for items. It is therefore recommended that rather than putting your kitchen gadgets in these cabinets, that you dedicate an area on the accessible shelves of the upper cabinets to the ones you use the most, aside from the other kitchen items such as plates, mugs, etc.

3. Store And Keep All Similar Items Together

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A rule of thumb to any organizing system is to group and store all items with similar functions together. This will definitely save time as you will minimize looking for items and it encourages you to maintain the organizing system. All carbs should be grouped together with other fellow carb items, snacks with snacks, spices with spices and so on or better yet, ask this question to guide you on how to group your kitchen items effectively:

  •  What items do I have of similar use of function?
    • By answering this question you will able to know items that need to be grouped and stored together. For example, all spices should be stored in one location, everyday dinnerware should be placed in a specific cabinet, and so on.

4. Store Items Where You Need Them

I store all my spices where I can easily reach them when I am cooking.

If you have a small kitchen, almost everything is within close proximity, right? But it does not mean that you can store things anywhere in the kitchen. So when deciding what to keep in each of your cabinets, ask the following questions to know what item to place where:

  • Question no, 1 – How often do I use this item?
    • The question no. 1 will help you know the specific shelf within the cabinet that will be allocated. The most accessible shelf of a cabinet should be allocated for items that you use the most while the uppermost shelf will be allocated for the rarely used items.
  • Question no. 2 – Where do I use it?
    • This question will help to identify the specific cabinet to allocate for the storage of similar items or per group of item with similar function.

      To know more about the 7 Steps To Know What Item To Place where see, How To Organize Your Small Kitchen.

5. Utilize Your Pantry Effectively

kitchen cabinet organization ideas

Although the pantry area is not actually part of a kitchen, it is one of the key cabinet organization ideas that you need follow. A well organized pantry is a prerequisite to having a well organized kitchen or vise versa.

To avoid putting food items and other things that do not belong in the kitchen, use your pantry space efficiently by managing and organizing your pantry staples inventory effectively. Lets face it, an unorganized pantry where there are a lot of overflowing items will force you to put your newly purchased things on your kitchen counter or any available space within your kitchen cabinet.  Therefore, if you want to have a well organized kitchen, you need to also organize your pantry or the other way around. Read my guide on Small Pantry Organization: From Unorganized Mess To Organized Bliss. This article will not only give you an idea about how to organize your pantry but will also teach you how to have a well stocked pantry.

6. Use Labels

kitchen cabinet organization ideas

Labels not only help you to identify the content of each container but they also remind you where you need to put them back when you restock. In this way, you will able to sustain the organization system that you have created. To know more about the essential uses and benefits of using labels, see Pantry Organization Labels.

7. Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas: Keep Everything Out Of Sight

Avoid turning your kitchen counter space into a storage area. Once you have decided which items to put inside your kitchen cabinets, you and your loved ones should always stick with it. You need to remind yourself that your kitchen counter should be treated like a work space and therefore it is important to always keep the space clean and organized at all times. Define a few items that can be stored on your kitchen counter such as a toaster oven, coffee maker and beautiful containers containing items that you cannot avoid putting on your counter such as olive oil, salt and pepper shakers and cooking tools. All other the items that you identified that can be stored on your kitchen counter should be placed in their respective places. Read my guide on Kitchen Counter Organizing Ideas: How To Keep Your Small Kitchen Counter Clear At All Times for more details.

8. Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas: Allocate Drawer For Your Cooking Spices

kitchen cabinet organization ideas

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You know that there are a lot of ways to organize your spices and in fact, you can buy a lot of organizing products to help you achieve your goal. However, I really like the concept of using a drawer nearest to your stove (not any drawer in your kitchen) rather than storing them inside the cabinet or your pantry. This not only allows you to see all of your spices without having to search around, but it also puts them all at a convenient height for simple grab-and-go while preparing a meal.

9. Use Of Cabinet Risers

Stacking your precious dishes high can put you and your loved ones into danger because there is a big risk of them falling.  A cabinet riser or a shelf riser is an excellent way to make the most use of your upper cabinetry space plus it will allow you to grab items easily stored above or underneath the shelf riser, eliminating the risk of falling items.

10. Invest In Lazy Susan Turntables

kitchen cabinet organization ideas

Lazy Susans are really a great investment because they can help you arrange and organize mostly everything. A turntable in a cabinet is an excellent method to create additional usable space while also making it easier to access all of your kitchen items. For example, if allocating a drawer for spices is not a good option for you, place all your spices and cooking sauces on a turntable in the upper cabinet near the stove.

11. Use Of Baskets

Smaller kitchen items can be grouped and organized together, if they’re placed inside a basket. Baskets can be considered the most common and effective storage products in any space of your home. It is also advisable to use baskets to store items that you place on upper shelves. This will allow you to pull everything out at once. See also Small Kitchen Organization Products.

12. Organize Your Utensils Using A Cutlery Tray

kitchen cabinet organization ideas

Utensils are the kitchen items that cannot be organized without the use of organizing products specifically without a cutlery tray. There are actually a lot of cutlery tray designs that you can buy on the market and in a range of prices. However, most of the standard utensil organizers typically would not fit your drawer precisely, jumble up your utensils and even waste some space in your drawer. Just like what I currently use to organize my kitchen utensils but it still serves its purpose and meets my needs. The good news is that there are a lot of space saving, expandable and customizable cutlery trays that you can buy on the market to fit your drawer perfectly and, most importantly, hold everything you need.  This item, Maglady Expandable Silverware Organizer, will definitely be added to my “things to buy list”  because it utilizes the space of your drawer and it’s also so affordable.

13. Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas: Designate A Permanent Place For Cutting Boards

If you have a small kitchen, avoid putting cutting boards on your kitchen countertop. Your beautiful large cutting board may look great but it is better to store it away so it does not clutter your countertop. Also, avoid owning too many cutting boards because these are one of the items that will occupy a lot of space even if you just store them in a flat position. Because of this, you end up stacking cutting boards with baking sheets and therefore making these items difficult to access. It is recommended to designate a permanent location for your cutting boards and place them in the most accessible part of your kitchen cabinet since you use them frequently. In my case, I store my cutting boards in the upper cabinet where I can easily access them.

14. Avoid Stacking Glasses

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Allocate enough space for your glasses like wine glasses and avoid stacking them because these items should be left alone.

15. Keep Plastic Containers Organized

kitchen cabinet organization ideas

If you have cupboards or drawers full of plastic containers that have not been used for who knows how long, this is the right indication to regain control over those wasted spaces. Invest in an organizer to keep smaller items together and sort them by size. You can also stack all containers alike and place their corresponding lids on the side, so you don’t need to look for lids when you need them and at same time, you can keep them organized without using any organizing products. However, if you find yourself constantly looking for lids, try storing plastic containers with the lid on all the time.

16. Organize Your Kitchen Appliances By Utilizing Blind Corner Cabinets Effectively

kitchen cabinet organization ideas

Do not make your small kitchen counter look like a storage space for your kitchen appliances such as your slow cooker, rice cooker, air fryer and so on. If you do this, it will make your kitchen look even smaller, cluttered and will cause you to barely have a space to work with. Instead, give them a permanent home by utilizing effectively your blind corner cabinet. There are a lot of great organizing products that you can choose from to effectively use those “hidden spaces” of the blind corner cabinet like the Circular Lazy Susan, blind corner pull out and more. However, if you do not have a budget for that, you can use old baking trays and Teflon Coated sheets as an improvised pull out system to store your appliances in your blind corner. See How to Organize Your Blind Corner Cabinet for more details.

17. Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas: Get rid of the packaging

kitchen cabinet organization ideas

If you like buying those big packages of cereal, rice and other food items and you store them in one of your kitchen cabinets, the simplest way to organize them is to put them on sealed stackable containers. This will not only maximize your cabinet storage but also help you to keep away unwelcome guests a.k.a. pests.  However, when buying containers, you need to consider the following kitchen cabinet organization ideas:

  • The size or amount of your pantry food
  • The weight of the pantry item
  • How you want to access your food
  • The dimension of your cabinet
By considering the above items, you will be able to avoid buying  containers that are too small or too big. Buying containers too small or too big can result in under cabinet space utilization and will create additional work and take too much time just to keep up with them. See my article about why Size of Pantry Container Matters for more details.

I hope my Cabinet Organization Ideas For Small Kitchen inspires and helps you to have a well-organized kitchen. It is definitely worth of your time, money and effort as the kitchen is the heart of every home.

More Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas

7 Steps To Know What Item To Place Where

4 Organizing Steps To Help You Get Organized and Stay Organized The Japanese Way


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