Our Best Kitchen Organization Tricks of All Time

Mini moves to make your kitchen exceptionally tidy.

Over the years, Real Simple editors have heard about, written about, and tested countless kitchen organization ideas. Over time, some of these kitchen organization tricks have stuck with us—making it onto the list of organization secrets that actually work. To last in our kitchens for years, these had to be simple ideas that didn't require too much time or money, yet help keep our kitchens tidy every single day. No renovation or major DIY necessary, here are our 10 favorite kitchen organization ideas that you can add to your kitchen this weekend.

01 of 08

Use Trays to Corral Countertop Clutter

Countertop Tray
Turn your head for one second, and chances are your kitchen counter will collect some new clutter. The best way to contain the assortment of utensils, spices, canisters, and oils is to find a tray that can hold it all. Start by choosing a tray that’s pretty enough to leave on display. Laura from Inspiration for Moms used a rustic wood and metal one, but we also love this chic gold and marble option ($35). Next, she decanted oil and vinegar into glass bottles with gold spouts and added canisters for stashing the utensils she uses every day. Not only will the tray make your counter look neater, but when the collection starts to spill over, it’s your cue to tidy up. Inspiration for Moms

To wrangle all of the condiments, kitchen tools, and canisters that are currently cluttering up your countertops, follow Laura from Inspiration for Moms' advice and use a tray to contain it all. When every jar and canister is corralled on the tray, your kitchen will not only look much neater, but it will also be easier to move the tray out of the way when you need the extra counter space.

02 of 08

Add Turntables to Your Pantry Shelves

Shelf Storage
Your kitchen pantry only has so many shelves, but with a couple smart organizers, it’s possible to double your storage space. Shawn from I Wash You Dry uses expandable spice racks to hold her stash of sprinkles and food coloring. This three-tier system ensures that each bottle is visible, so she’ll never have to search the back of the shelf for a lost bottle of blue sprinkles. Small turntables hold pantry staples that are reached for often—extracts, salt and pepper, soy sauce—so she can spin the base and grab what she needs quickly. Rather than leave small appliances out on the shelves creating clutter, Shawn corrals them together inside plastic bins. When each item is awarded its own spot, they won’t have to fight each other for shelf space. I Wash You Dry

If your pantry is a cluttered mess that makes it difficult to see the condiments and box mixes hidden near the back of the shelves, invest in a set of turntables. Place condiments and hot sauces on one, baking supplies on another, and spices on a third, as Shawn Syphus from I Wash You Dry did here. Now when you're searching for the nutmeg, you can spin the turntable rather than moving all of the spices on the shelf.

03 of 08

Invest in a Pan and Pot Lid Holder

Best Kitchen Organization Ideas, Metal Pot Lid Holder

The cabinet of pots and pans is likely one of the most cluttered spots in your kitchen. If reaching for your favorite cast iron is always a clumsy maneuver, order a simple metal rack that fits inside the cabinet and provides a spot for each pot and lid. Amazon reviewers agree: they wish they had ordered this solution sooner.

04 of 08

Categorize Your Refrigerator

Best Kitchen Organization Ideas, Clear Plastic Fridge Bins
Container Store

Marie Kondo will tell you (and the founders of The Home Edit agree): boxes and bins are essential to a tidy home. And that includes a tidy fridge, too. Instead of leaving food out on the shelves, make it easier to find what you're looking for by grouping food into clear plastic bins. Stash cheese in one, yogurts in another, condiments in another, so your refrigerator looks cleaner and is easier to navigate.

05 of 08

Establish a Kitchen Hierarchy

When organizing expert Chip Cordelli taught us the right way to organize our kitchens, one idea stuck with us. Create a hierarchy in your kitchen cabinets, placing the most commonly used plates and cups on the bottom shelves, and stashing infrequently used serving pieces on the higher shelves. This way, everyday essentials are within reach and the kids are more likely to help set the table.

06 of 08

Get an Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack

We've said it before and we'll say it again: an over-the-sink drying rack is a serious space-saver in a small kitchen. It won't take up precious counter space, and it lets water drain right down the sink.

To buy: Chrome Dish Rack, $24, amazon.com, or Tamazaki Home Dish Rack, $68, ahalife.com.

07 of 08

Maximize Vertical Space (Even in the Pantry)

Best Kitchen Organization Ideas, Pantry Organizer with steps
Bed Bath and Beyond

When the Neat Method taught us how to declutter our pantries, they recommended utilizing vertical space with tiered shelf organizers. The levels make it easy to see every single spice, jar, and bottle of sprinkles hiding in your pantry.

To buy: Copco Non-Skid Shelf Organizer, from $7, bedbathandbeyond.com.

08 of 08

Install Suction Hooks

When Donna Garlough, the style director at Joss & Main, decorated the kitchen of the 2018 Real Simple Home, we learned the importance of suction hooks. These removable hooks can easily be added to almost any wall, cabinet, or backsplash in our kitchen, offering another spot to hang a dish towel or oven mitt.

To buy: Strong Hold Suction Hook, $10 for 2, wayfair.com.

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