How to organize your kitchen: A comprehensive checklist

Birds-eye view of a stove top and the open drawers below

The kitchen is one of the busiest areas of the home, so it’s important that the space works for you! One of the main ways to optimize your kitchen is by implementing the right organization systems to keep clutter at bay. 

If you’re planning on redoing your kitchen you can make sure it's organized from the start! For the most optimal kitchen layout you want to ensure that the high traffic areas are spread out. One way to spread out is by using the kitchen triangle rule, which focuses on having the main kitchen appliances at different points of an imaginary triangle. One point is your sink and dishwasher, another is the stove, and lastly the fridge. Inside this “working triangle” is where you will do the most activity, so the more you can spread out the appliances, the more working space you will have.

Kitchen organization list: 5 areas to focus on

If you’re not planning on a full kitchen renovation, there are still some easy ways that you can make your kitchen more organized! Keep reading for five areas in your kitchen that you can easily improve to make the space more efficient.

1. Fridge

When you’re starting to reorganize your fridge, take everything out so you can wipe down the shelves and any bottles or containers that might be messy. Before you put everything back in check the expiry dates and throw out anything that has gone bad. 

When placing items back in the fridge try to create designated sections and group like items together. If your fridge doesn’t already have labels, create some of your own! You can also buy fridge organizers, like a small lazy susan or clear containers. 

Clean stainless steel fridge

2. Pantry

Similar to organizing your fridge, you should remove everything from your pantry so you can wipe down the shelves and get rid of anything expired.  Anything you use regularly, such as oil and spices, should be kept near the stove so you can access it easily.  Similar items should be grouped together on different shelves; one shelf for canned goods, one for snacks, another for breakfast foods, and one for dried cooking ingredients.

If you’re finding it difficult to see everything at once, use storage containers and consider installing sliding shelves. You can also create more space by storing extra non-perishables in the garage. 

Woman reaching into a pantry for flour

3. Cookware and appliances

The best way to keep your cookware organized is by placing pots and pans inside each other in a drawer. Ideally they will be stored near the stove so they are easy to access when you need them. If you have any pans where the finish is starting to wear off, get rid of them. Not only have they lost their functionality but they are taking up unnecessary space. 

When sorting appliances like blenders and stand mixers, put the heaviest items underneath the counter.  As you sort, make sure to get rid of anything you have duplicates of or don’t really use. As a good rule of thumb for cookware and appliances, group them based on their use, such as baking or grilling.

Pots and pans organized in a drawer

4. Cutlery and dishes

It’s so easy for cutlery and dishes to accumulate and create cluttered drawers. To limit that from happening use cutlery inserts and drawer dividers. If you have too much cutlery or dishes, anything chipped or mismatched, should be donated or thrown out. Large knives should be stored separately, either in a knife block or on a magnetic strip. When sorting through tupperware, any storage containers without lids, or vice versa, should be thrown out as they no longer serve their purpose.

Utensils neatly organized in a drawer

5. Under the sink

The space under the sink is usually underutilized. Create the most of this awkward space by storing separate garbage and recycling bins, as well as spare garbage bags. Use a caddy to store cleaning supplies and attach small plastic containers to the back of the cabinet door with velcro to store smaller miscellaneous items. Not only does this make the space more organized but it makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. 

Young girl putting an empty bottle into the recycling under the sink

To keep track of all the organization improvements you’ve made to your kitchen, refer back to our kitchen organization checklist. You can even print it out and check off your accomplishments!


Printable kitchen organization checklist


If you need help creating the organized kitchen of your dreams, call 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. We can quickly and safely remove any of your unwanted items with our No Contact Junk Removal service. 

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