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9 Simple Ways to (Finally) Organize Your Kitchen

Save space—and your sanity—with these clever tricks that really work!

Splattered pots sharing a shelf with fine china. Kebab skewers in a drawer alongside measuring cups. The insanity ends now. Follow these nine steps to a well-organized kitchen.

1. Keep the items you use every day front and center.

If your family eats cornflakes every morning, why are the cereal bowls on a high shelf and the holiday dishes on a low one? It’s time to put things in a more logical order. Follow this mantra: the higher the usage, the lower the shelf.

2. Eighty-six the fondue pot and other dust collectors.

Admit it: You haven’t used certain cookware or appliances in two years. Consider them the perfect candidates to give away, and be ruthless. But if you can’t bear to part with Grandma’s old waffle maker, store it with other mementos in the basement or an out-of-the-way closet.

3. Hang as much as you can.

Decluttering your counters will lend a visible sense of sanity and increase your prep space. Put dishtowels and large utensils on a bar with hooks; calendars and to-do lists on the fridge or pantry door; and the phone on the wall. Another good “hang up”: pots and pans on a wall or ceiling rack can really open up kitchen storage space.

4. Create more kitchen storage with open shelving.

This is the place for cookbooks, oversized bowls, trays and vases. Use uniform rattan baskets to stash small items (garlic press, chip clips) on shelves and keep them tidy.

5. Display dishes and bowls on the counter.

If your cabinets are bursting at the hinges, move the dishes and bowls you use most frequently to a small free-standing shelf on a counter.

6. Install a lazy Susan in a corner cabinet.

A lazy Susan guarantees two things: You’ll be maximizing every inch of space, and you’ll never have to blindly reach your hand into the dark recesses of your kitchen cabinet.

7. Group like items together.

Organize the food items on your pantry shelves by category—cereals; pastas and rice; baking needs; oils and vinegars; spices; snacks. Adopt the same “divide and conquer” mentality when you store bakeware, serving pieces, glassware and dishes.

8. Get matching containers.

Even if you usually steer clear of anything that matches, this is the time to make an exception. When containers are the same size and brand, they’ll stack easily and look consistent. You know what to do with your old containers, right? (Answer: Give them away!)

9. Organize cleaning supplies.

Give them their own home under the sink away from food and dishes. Put sponges, brushes and gloves in clear plastic containers for easy access.