How to Organize Your Kitchen

As part of the Get Organized Early series, Real Simple and CBS's The Early Show tackled one chaotic kitchen.

Photo by John Gruen

As the hub of the household for most modern families, the kitchen can be a real clutter magnet. With so many activities going on in one space (cooking, cleaning, serving), it’s essential to set up the right systems.

The first step to getting organized is to assess what you have, edit down to what you really need, and arrange it in an efficient setup, the primary goal of which should be accessibility. Here are tips for creating a more functional kitchen.

Get Everything Off the Counter

Make the space under your cabinets work for you. Under-cabinet storage pieces can hold items like knives, utensils, and even cookbooks. You can easily mount them under the cabinets and free up valuable counter space. Our favorites:

Simplehuman Wall-Mount Paper Towel Holder
This wall-mount paper towel holder from Bed Bath & Beyond lifts your paper towels off your counter and onto your wall.
To buy: $26,

Undercabinet Hide-Away Cookbook Holder
Cookbooks can get in the way (and get dirty!) if you leave them sitting on the counter. This space-saving fold-down rack will reduce clutter and has a clear acrylic surface.
To buy: $99,

12" Magnetic Knife & Tool Bar by Magna Grip
To buy: $20,

Micro-Organize Drawers and Cabinets

A drawer can quickly become a black hole if it’s not organized properly. In order to maximize space in crowded drawers, you have to categorize and sub-divide.

Everything Organizer
It features two stacking levels and 23 compartments. It’s perfect for storing small items (like stamps and paperclips) that would otherwise get lost in your junk drawer. Because the compartments vary in size, you can keep everything from change to thumb tacks safe and easily accessible.
To buy: $23,