Three strategies to organizing your cupboards.

By Kelly Tagore and Linda Rothchild
Updated August 30, 2004
Pots and pans on a rolling cart
| Credit: Paul Whicheloe

1. Sort: Pull things out one at a time and sort similar items into piles. Pots and pans in one pile, bakeware in a second, small appliances in another.

2. Purge: Cast a critical eye over each item as you sort. Discard anything that's broken and can't be repaired or is missing parts, like a pot without a handle or storage containers without lids. Eliminate duplication. If you have three frying pans of the same size, put the most worn one in the donation box, along with anything you haven't used in more than a couple of years (like a plastic Jell-O mold that is taking up valuable space).

3. Store Smart:
Keep things you use all the time close at hand. Keep things you use every now and then, like muffin tins and cookie sheets, in a less accessible cabinet. Move items you use only once a year, like holiday china and the roasting pan for the turkey, out of the kitchen altogether. Storage containers can be placed in an upper cabinet, leaving the base cabinets to comfortably accommodate pots, pans, and casseroles.