How To Successfully Organize & Declutter Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cupboards

Kitchen cabinets are the perfect space for those who don't have much legroom on their countertops. However, if your kitchen is cluttered and you realize that you can't find anything in it because it's all over the place, then this article will help!

In this post, we'll talk about how to organize kitchen cabinets so that everything has its spot and is easy to access when needed. This will make your life easier and save time too!

Decluttering Kitchen Cabinet Items

There are many ways to declutter your kitchen cabinets. One way is to go through each item and ask yourself if you use it or not; depending on the answer, either put it in a box for donation or keep it.

If you have broken items, then these need to be thrown away as well because they're taking up space that could otherwise be used by something more meaningful in your kitchen. Let's do a deep dive on how to start small and eventually find yourself with a more streamlined kitchen cabinet.

Step 1: Remove Everything You Don't Always Use 

Woman standing next to a window in an old narrow cluttered kitchen

The first step to organizing kitchen cabinets is removing everything you don't use. Make sure you ask yourself, how often do we buy items that later sit around in our cupboards, never being used?

If your cabinets are large enough, this should be done section by section (i.e., baking dishes, pots, and pans). If not, remove the contents of each drawer or cabinet and sort them into three piles:

  • Things you regularly use
  • Items that are used occasionally
  • Items that never get put to good use

The latter two groups will most likely be the largest ones you end up with at this point in your decluttering process. You may want to discard these or give them away.

If your dishwasher consistently uses 5 of the 25 plastic kids cups you keep, don't keep them all. Take out any broken or chipped dishes and pair down the Tupperware that is rarely used for coffee-to-go cups instead.

Step 2: Relocate Seldom-Used Appliances and Special Occasion Ware

A Man Putting a Toaster in the Cabinet

Image by The Spruce

The second step is to check if you are left with things you want to keep but do not use very often. Your waffle maker is only used on Christmas morning, and your bread machine makes it difficult for you to part ways with them because they're still in good condition!

Apply the 80-20 rule where you keep 20% of what you frequently use every week like coffee mugs, espresso machines, and oven toasters and get rid of 80% of the kitchen items and appliances you've received as gifts and used only twice in the last five years.

You can go from towers of Tupperware to neat shelves stocked with used and loved things. Be ruthless during this process! The less stuff one has, the easier it is to keep everything tidy so all attention can be given to cooking great food.

You could store these items either in a dining room buffet or even the attic; however, this would be an inefficient way of storing your appliances if all that's available is extra storage space (which might happen). Keep these significant small appliances like the coffeepot out on display while keeping everything else stored inside living room buffets.

Step 3: Try to Reinvent Your Cabinet Space

Reinvented Cabinet Interiors And Organizer

Image by The Interior Editor

It is essential to organize your kitchen cabinets to make sense for you and how you use them. Consider where on the countertops each dish or appliance goes if it's far from the sink and whether other items will interfere with its space when deciding placement.

For example, placing daily dishes next to the dishwasher because it is used often by most people. In contrast, entertaining collections can go further away or be stacked higher up, so they don't get knocked over as much while cooking food at home.

Most of us sort our cupboards based on type (plates versus cups), but sorting them based on usage allows more room for everyone depending on what appliances they have available, like large pots vs. small saucepans, which are less common than plates; thus generally take up more storage space.

Step 4: Revamp Your Drawers

Modern kitchen top view, opened drawers and stove with cooking pan

Organizing kitchen cabinets usually mean sorting out drawers as well. They are often the forgotten storage space in the kitchen and since it's usually a dump-zone for all the miscellaneous items, like cookie cutters or even a sewing kit for Thanksgiving turkey, the drawers are typically overlooked.

If you have a drawer full of junk and useless items that aren't being used, then it might be time for an overhaul in how you arrange your cutlery or utensils, depending on what cooking tools you need daily versus weekly. 

Consider getting drawer organizers or liners to create space and zones for smaller kitchen items. This is a clutterless way to make room for everything vital since you already know which areas you've designated for them.

Step 5: Execute and Organize!

utensils properly organized

Proceed with wiping all items down, then decide whether you can part with more things by taking them all out. Once done, put the items back in according to their new locations, so they're easy to grab whenever needed. 

It will always be an ongoing game where sometimes there's not enough space for everything but once completed, both drawers and shelves should look neat and functional.

This is where the color coordination and size alignment comes in. You have the freedom to categorize your kitchen appliances and items. From cookbooks to baking items to utensils, all items should have their area. 

An excellent drawer tip is to use a pegboard for dishes and ceramics. Another outstanding hack is to utilize a file organizer for your chopping boards and cookie sheets. The possibilities are endless - all you have to do is take a look around your kitchen and get creative!

The last step is to take the time to find what works for you. The more you declutter, the easier it will be to maintain cleanliness without any added stress. After all, no one likes spending their weekend cleaning!

Streamline the Rest of the Kitchen

After taking the first five steps to organize the kitchen cabinet and declutter them, it is essential to look at the rest of your kitchen. You don't want all this hard work going down the drain because you missed something that was gradually becoming a mess!

The next step is to tackle any other areas of clutter and cleanliness, such as under-sink cabinets and abandoned pantry spaces. Here are a few different ways to create a fine line between neat and organized.

Tackle the Inventory

After removing everything from your kitchen cabinets and sorting out a new way to organize each item, best to start making lists. Craft an inventory for items you kept and consider the following:

  • Kitchenware and appliances you stored away in high places
  • Bulky glasses and party cups
  • Expensive Chinaware you're safekeeping
  • Everyday utensils and ceramics
  • Collectibles or souvenirs from travels

On the alternative, an inventory of the items you're giving away or selling, categorize it into the following:

  • Items and appliances for sale
  • Kitchenware and appliances for repair
  • Ceramics and glassware you no longer want
  • Bakeware and accessories

Creating an inventory sheet for every single item from each shelf. This will help prevent clutter from sneaking up on you since there's a list of things you're getting rid of and keeping. As an alternative, organ applies to items you buy from grocery stores stored in the pantry or kitchen cabinets or categorized according to expiration dates easy spot-checking. You can also arrange things from most frequently used to least frequent by positioning them towards the front so that they can be easily accessed when cooking or preparing meals.

Take on the Cleaning Supplies 

An Organized Cleaning Supply Cabinet

Now that your pantry or cabinets are free from old food, dirtied dishes, and expired products, it's time to get more organized. How? By streamlining all the cleaning supplies in one place, so you don't have to waste time searching for them every single day. The result: an uncluttered kitchen cabinet!

A lazy susan is an excellent way to keep all of your cleaning supplies tidy. You'll want to clean more since it will be easier for you, too! Put sponges in a plastic bin so that the trash bags stay dry. Put them on top of each other with towels slightly apart from each other, so they don't get damp stuck together either.

Play Around with Label Makers

If you're into label makers, making your labels is a great way to create a leveled and customized cabinet or pantry. These labels are great because you can have a list of all the items in your cupboard or pantry and even create a master list, so you don't forget anything.


The way you organize your kitchen cabinets and declutter them is a great way to make sure your kitchen is running smoothly. 

If you don't know where anything goes, then it's more likely that the first place people will look for things is in their designated areas rather than searching through the clutter on top of other items. 

Ensure you're finding efficient and customizable ways to keep your kitchen, especially your kitchen cabinets, in a way that best works for you and the people you live with.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published