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This is how to organise your kitchen cupboards (and solve storage stress)

Modern Kitchen

A messy kitchen can be a huge source of stress. Having to spend five frantic minutes searching for the right spice can take all the fun out of cooking, and constantly cluttered countertops can leave you dreading the sight of the kitchen.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. By taking the time to organise your kitchen cupboards, you can take a lot of the hassle out of cooking and get back to enjoying the fun side of food prep.

When all your kitchen gadgets and gizmos are neatly stored away in your cupboards, it helps you to maintain clutter-free countertops and quickly find what you need.

If you want to put an end to kitchen chaos and help make cooking as painless as possible, simply follow the tips in this guide. Read on to find out:

  • How to set up your kitchen cupboards
  • How to organise corner kitchen cupboards
  • How to organise deep kitchen cupboards
  • How to organise small kitchen cupboards
  • How to organise kitchen utensils
  • How to tidy kitchen cupboards
  • How to clean grease off kitchen cupboards


How to set up your kitchen cupboards 

Kitchen Cupboards

Well-organised kitchen cupboards make it a whole lot easier to maintain a clean and tidy kitchen. Set your storage space up in a logical manner and you'll always be able to find what you need without having to rifle through pots, pans, and pastry cutters.

To help you set up your kitchen cupboards so they're easy to keep organised, we've pulled together these top tips. So, read on to find out exactly how to take your kitchen cupboards from chaos to completely uncluttered in a few easy steps.

Create a logical layout

Modern Kitchen Countertop

The things you use most often should be front and centre in your cupboards so they're always to hand. This is hardly a ground-breaking concept, but it can be deceptively hard to implement without a bit of planning.

To put an end to raking around for the utensil you need, set aside a few hours and empty all your kitchen cupboards.

Pick out the easy-to-reach shelves

Pick out the shelves that are easiest to access from the countertop you use for food prep. Designate these as the space for all the cooking equipment you use most often, such as oven trays, mixing bowls, and chopping boards.

Next, set aside a few other easy-to-reach shelves for your crockery and glassware. You'll be accessing these multiple times a day, so it's crucial that they're easy to get to.

What to do with your hard-to-reach storage space

Unless you have a particularly large kitchen, you should now be left with your harder-to-reach storage space. This is where you should put the things you don't use every day, like cake tins and your food processor.

Group equipment by purpose

If you can, it makes sense to place similar items near each other as well. For example, it's logical to keep your glassware and crockery together. As a rule of thumb, design your kitchen layout so guests who'd never been in your kitchen before could easily find what they were looking for.

Test your new set-up

It might take a bit of trial and error to get the right kitchen cupboard set-up. As you use your re-arranged kitchen, take note whenever it takes you more than a few seconds to find something you need. If this happens time and again with a particular item, find space for it on one of your easy-to-reach shelves.

Label your shelves

Once you've settled on a system that works for you, it's a good idea to label your shelves so every member of your household knows where to find and replace what they need. This will cut down on confusion when someone else unloads the dishwasher.

Contain the clutter

Organised Kitchen Shelves

A simple way of making your kitchen cupboards easy to navigate and clean is to store individual items together in containers. Tins, jars, and bottles can be a real headache if they're left loose on your shelves, and bringing them together in boxes will help you to stay organised.

Invest in plenty of plastic kitchen baskets to corral loose items like packets of crisps and chocolate bars. This will make it easy to quickly grab what you want from the cupboard, stop your snacks from spilling over into the rest of your storage space, and make it easy to see when you need to stock back up.

You can also use shallow plastic baskets to store jars and bottles that hang around loose on your kitchen shelves. This will make it easy to find whatever you need. It will also catch any drips, making cleaning up a cinch — simply empty the box and give it a quick wipe with soapy water. There'll be no more stains and sticky patches on your cupboard shelves.

It's also a good idea to pick up some plastic food boxes in various shapes and sizes to store things like your baking ingredients and accessories together in one place. Make sure to buy transparent boxes so you can find what you need at a glance, as well as clearly label them for good measure.

Containers that are specifically designed to store a certain kind of food, like this BPA-free cereal container and this airtight pasta storage box, also make fantastic space-savers.

You can get the most out of your available space by investing in boxes and baskets that all fit together snuggly in your cupboards. Stack baskets full of items you use a lot on top of boxes of things you only use once in a while to maximise storage.

Get savvy with your storage 

Hanging Kitchen Utensils

To get the most out of your kitchen storage, it's important to consider every inch of available space. Here are a few ideas to help you eke storage space out of places you might not have considered.

Use hooks

You can get lots more storage space out of your kitchen with some well-placed hooks. Attach them to the inside of your cupboard doors and hang light but awkward-to-store utensils from them. You can also attach hooks to the underside of your cupboard shelves for a space-saving way to store mugs.

Create another shelf in your cupboards

A great way to get maximum storage from your kitchen cupboards is to get wire shelves that can act as mezzanine floors for your cupboards. This will give you two layers of storage where you would usually have one, and it's a great way to fit all your glasses and mugs into one cupboard.

Space-saving ways to store your spices

Your jars of herbs and spices can become a constant cause of clutter if you don't organise them properly. A good way around this is to attach a spice rack to the inside of one of your cupboard doors or on a wall so they're always to hand. Another handy way to organise your spices is by investing in a lazy Susan spice rack, which will contain all your jars and make them easy to find in an instant.

Add drawers

Organise collections of small items like baking accessories in a set of plastic storage drawers. These can sit in a cupboard and, if you label each drawer, help you find exactly what you're looking for without any fuss.

Tame tea towels

You can also tame your tea towels by folding them up tightly and squeezing them into a plastic kitchen basket, which you can then neatly store away in a cupboard. Alternatively, you can pick up tea towel holders that attach to your walls or the inside of cupboard doors so they're out of sight but always to hand.

Pin down plastic food boxes

If you're not savvy about the way you store them, your plastic food boxes can become the bane of your kitchen. Follow these tips to prevent an avalanche of lids every time you go to grab a lunch box.

You can keep plastic food boxes organised by stacking them inside each other like Russian dolls. Store lids side by side in a kitchen basket so they don't clutter up your cupboards, making sure to store them from biggest to smallest so you can quickly find the one you need.

Get the most from the cupboard under the kitchen sink

Traditional Kitchen

It can be hard to get the most out of the cupboard under the kitchen sink because the plumbing takes up such an awkward space. However, with the right storage solutions, you can make the most of every last inch of this often-underutilised space.

The cupboard under the sink is a great place to store a plastic kitchen waste bin for your recycling, as it will keep it out of sight but close to hand when you need it.

Make the most of that tricky space under the U-bend by storing your dishwasher tablets and washing up accessories in plastic food boxes of various sizes and stacking them around the tricky bend. The bottom level is a good place to store things you rarely use, and if worst comes to worst and there's ever a problem with your plumbing, your things won't get ruined.

The last step in getting the most from the storage space in the cupboard under the sink is to attach hooks to the inside of its doors. This is a great place to store your dishcloths, tea towels, and marigolds so they're out of sight but always close to hand. You can also hang a sink tidy here to keep dingy dish scrubbers off your countertop.

Find a new home for headache items

Block of Knives

Some items aren't very well suited to being stored in a cupboard. Here's a few ideas to help you find a new home for those headache items.

Chef's knives

It's not just dangerous to store your chef's knives in a drawer or cupboard — it's a bad use of space, too. If you have the room to hang a magnetic knife rack on your wall, this will keep your knives sharp and within arm's reach whenever you need one. A knife block on your countertop is a good alterative if you don't have the wall space for a magnetic strip.

Frequently-used condiments

A savvy space-saving trick is to keep the seasonings and condiments you use all the time, like salt, pepper, and olive oil, on a cake stand that sits on one of your countertops. This will make them easy to find, and you can gather all the ingredients you need for a recipe around the base of the stand before you start a recipe.

Pots and pans

Pots and pans can take up a whole cupboard to themselves. If you have the space, attach a sturdy rail to one of your kitchen walls and hang them from it with hooks to free up a tonne of space in your cupboards. Store the lids from smallest to largest on a rack and keep this in a nearby cupboard so they're easy to find.


How to organise corner kitchen cupboards

Organising Corner Kitchen Cupboards

If you own a corner cupboard, you'll know that you need to organise it cleverly if you want to get the most from it.

Firstly, consider hiring a joiner to install a lazy Susan system in this tricky space. While this will cost you a bit of money, it will make it much easier to navigate your corner cupboard and quickly find what you want.

If this isn’t an option for you, it's a good idea to dedicate your tricky-to-access corner cupboard to big, bulky items you only use every now and then. This will make the most of its ample storage but also spare you from having to rifle around the awkward space on a daily basis.

Just as with your other cupboards, you should corral loose items into baskets and boxes to prevent them from cluttering up the space.


How to organise deep kitchen cupboards 

Deep Kitchen Cupboards

Deep cupboards are a great place to put those things you only use every once in a while, like your serving plates. It's also the natural place to put hefty appliances like the slow cooker, as well as all your pots and pans if you don't have the space to hang them from a wall.

To make it easier to see what's at the back of your deep kitchen cupboards, consider painting the inside a bright colour or cover it in a vibrant wallpaper. This will make the items stored at the back stand out more clearly, making it easy to find what you want.

A great way to maximise storage in your deep cupboards is to have slide-out shelving installed. This will allow you to utilise the space as effectively as possible, as you won't have to worry about items at the back being crowded out by larger items at the front. Placing items into storage boxes is a good alternative if pull-out shelving is out of your budget, as you'll be able to pull them out and onto the counter to quickly find what you need.


How to organise small kitchen cupboards

Organised Condiments

With small kitchen cupboards, it can be hard to get the most out of this space. Your best bet is to transform your small cupboards into a pull-out pantry for your spices and condiments. This will allow you to utilise the height of the space rather than be hampered by its width.

How to organise kitchen utensils

Kitchen Utensils in a Pot

A drawer full of loose utensils is a sure-fire recipe for headaches every time you cook a meal. Follow these savvy utensil storage tips to save yourself the stress.

Declutter your utensils

The first step to an organised utensil collection is decluttering. Lay all your spoons, whisks, and spatulas out on a countertop, grouping them by function. Over the years, you might have accumulated several potato mashers or pastry brushes without even realising it. Keep your favourite one or two and chuck the rest away to free up room in your kitchen.

If you need help deciding which utensils to ditch, wrap a bit of masking tape around the handle of each implement. When you use a utensil, remove the masking tape and discard it. After six months, you can offload all the items with masking tape still wrapped around their handles in the knowledge that you haven't used them for half a year.

Find the right storage space

Once you've gotten rid of all the utensils you don't need, it's time to find the best place to store them. Even if you've streamlined your collection, piling it into a drawer isn't a good recipe for kitchen harmony. Instead, keep your utensils in a couple of containers on your countertop. Keep these next to your hob and you'll always have the right item to hand when you need it most.

If you have the wall space, another great space-saving idea is to install a rail to hang your stainless steel utensils from. If you can find (or build) a shelf with dowelling running underneath it, you could hang your utensils from this and keep small items on the top for a smart bit of kitchen organisation.

A clever way to organise the utensils you don't use as much is to hang them from hooks attached to the inside of your cupboard doors. This will keep them out of sight but close to hand whenever you do need them. You can double up with thin utensils like fish slices to get even more from your space.


How to tidy kitchen cupboards

Plates in a Cupboard

Reorganising your kitchen cupboards is only half the battle — the rest is keeping them tidy. Once you've found a place for everything, you need to make sure everything stays in its place.

As a rule of thumb, make sure to replace items whenever you're done with them. If you frequently leave certain items out on your countertop, as yourself why that is. Is it especially awkward to return to its rightful spot in your cupboards? If this is the case, it might be worth rearranging things so this frequent offender is less of a hassle.

It's tempting to shove ketchup or cereal to the front of a shelf once you're done with it, but it's important to put them back in their own spot each time. It can also be worth checking your cupboards once a week to make sure everything's in the right place, because clutter can become a real pain if you let it build up for a few weeks.

If you've followed our advice and contained all your loose items in baskets and boxes, your cupboards should be easy to clean and tidy. Simply remove the containers from your shelves and empty them one-by-one before giving them a quick wipe clean.


How to clean grease off kitchen cupboards

Clean White Kitchen

Your kitchen cupboards are right in the firing line of grease and grime — especially the overhead cabinets near your hob. If you don't have an effective method for removing kitchen grease, it can build up and 'yellow' your cabinets.

To help you maintain clean and tidy kitchen cupboards, we've put together this quick and easy guide to getting them looking good as new again:

  • Run a sink full of hot, soapy water. The heat and the alkaline-based suds will work together to break down the grease.
  • Soak a sponge or dish cloth in the water, ring it out, and attack greasy spots with a firm circular motion.
  • If any spots remain, dampen a clean dry cloth with white vinegar, as the acidity should remove all but the most stubborn of stains.
  • If there are still grease marks on your cupboards, mix a solution of one-part vegetable oil and two-parts bicarbonate of soda. Rub the resulting paste into the stain with a clean, dry cloth and leave it to lift the grease for 5 minutes before scrubbing the area firmly with a damp cloth or sponge.
  • Lastly, thoroughly rinse and dry your cupboards, which should now be spotless.

Follow this advice and your kitchen cupboards will be as organised as possible, helping you to make the most of whatever storage space you have. This will take the stress out of cooking and make it easier to maintain clean and tidy countertops.

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