How to organize kitchen cabinets – 15 tips to declutter your cupboards

Our guide to how to organize kitchen cabinets will have you living your Home Edit dreams...

How to organize kitchen cabinets
(Image credit: Ikea)

Want to learn how to organize kitchen cabinets like a pro? Good, you are in the right place. We all want to open up our kitchen cabinets and be wowed by our organizational skills right? With a little help from our ideas, yours can be spick and span in no time! 

Firstly, you need to have a clear out - all those bits and bobs that you haven’t used for years, and the spaghetti that’s two years out of date, all need throwing out. Be ruthless, you’ll be amazed to see how much room you can make simply by seeing what you haven’t used for a while. Then, invest in some great organizational pieces that will help you with your cupboards - dividers, shelf risers, put dry goods in storage jars and use baskets. 

Keep scrolling to be inspired to have a declutter this weekend, and head to our kitchen storage ideas feature for more.

  • 45 kitchen ideas – new trends, quick updates and stylish makeovers

1. Make the most of the cupboards under the sink

Kitchen cupboards

(Image credit: B&Q)

The space under our sinks is always awkward, we have those pipes to deal with and the smaller storage area due to the depth of the basin. Putting an extra shelf in can work wonders, this is easily achieved if you buy some runners and a cabinet liner from your local DIY store and it will immediately give you two sections to keep washing powder, cleaning products, pegs and a dustpan and brush all neat and tidy. 

2. Organize extra kitchenware into display cabinets 

Kitchen cupboards

(Image credit: Cuckcooland)

If your kitchen cabinets are already full (with many useful things of course) then you could overspill into a display cabinet. Whilst looking gorgeous and stylish, they also, quite rightly offer some fab storage and if you choose one with clear glass you can easily see your tableware, vases and glasses – and a great reason to keep them tidy too! We love this design as it has sliding doors instead of the trad pull out option, making it perfect for smaller spaces. 

3. Make use of kitchen drawers

Kitchen cupboards

(Image credit: Mereway)

One can never have too many drawers. These beautifully crafted drawers will store all manner of kitchen paraphernalia, from the kid's snacks to napkins, linens, table mats and cooking items. The different depths is useful, and always worth opting for if you can during the design process. And the three shelves at the top mean you can put those items you don’t want to be eaten straight away out of the way of hungry hands!

4. Imagine the insides of your cupboards

Kitchen cupboards

(Image credit: Ikea)

We all yearn for this kind of joy don’t we, to open up our cupboard and find everything in its place, perfectly arranged. Well, you can have this too! All you need is the right tools for the job so to speak – shelving, storage jars, small hanging racks and a desire to keep things neat and tidy. Then, spend an afternoon reorganizing and getting your cupboards in order, it will be worth it! 

5. Create a stylish cluttered look (that's still organized)

Kitchen cupboards

(Image credit: Kitchen Makers)

Although you can close the doors on these cabinets, the tableware and jugs have been stylishly arranged so that they look beautiful when on show. This can be a clever option, as if you do want your pieces to be on display, then you will need to keep them organized - bit of a win win, and they look great contrasting against the navy painted units. 

6. Create the perfect set up in your drawers

Kitchen cabinet organization ideas

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

Oohh, isn’t this just so joyful? Tableware neatly piled up and knives all in a row. You too can create this heavenly view by buying some extra compartment sections to keep your items ship shape. Or, if you’re about to have a newly fitted kitchen then ask your designer to give you some fabulous built-in sections to keep your tableware neat and tidy. 

7. Reconfigure inside your cabinets

Kitchen cabinet organization ideas

(Image credit: Kitchen Makers)

We love how the interior of this cabinet is not conventional – no evenly spaced shelving for a start! The zig-zag style wine rack is genius and the glass section is perfect for both wine glasses hanging and tumblers below. The bottom section allows you to use it as a worktop where you can mix and prepare your drinks. 

8. Fill an awkward space with a slim line cabinet

Kitchen cabinet organization ideas

(Image credit: Life Kitchens)

These slimline units can be a godsend, they use up those awkward nooks and crannies that can be hard to fill and allow you to store away numerous kitchen items like oils and packets of bits and bobs. They are designed so you quickly see what you have in stock and can keep them super-organized so the most used is at the front - definitely worth investing in.

9. Make use of your cabinet doors

Kitchen cabinet organization ideas

(Image credit: Mereway Kitchens)

What’s fabulous about this cabinet is that you can spend hours organizing it and then shut the doors. Of course, you don’t need to use a space like this just for drinks, it could be for pulses and pasta, and your spices could sit in the side shelving units. Or, if you’re a coffee connoisseur it would be ideal for storing your favorite blends and you might just squeeze in a coffee machine too. 

10. Go for organized open storage

Kitchen cabinet organization ideas

(Image credit: The Main Company)

If you love the open-plan look and don’t care for fitted base units and cabinets then you do need to be super organized. But it can be a fabulous style statement and it does mean you can find items easily. The only rule of thumb is you must keep neat and tidy to make it work - and the pieces you choose will give your space its own character which is a great look to have. 

11. Create an organized breakfast cupboard

Kitchen cabinet organization ideas

(Image credit: Mereway Kitchens)

As mentioned above, these nifty cabinets with folding doors are great for hiding away certain things when you want, or you can open them up for when you’re entertaining and needing that extra bit of worktop space. This fitted cabinet is perfect for keeping the kettle, toaster and coffee out of the way until you need them. 

12. Keep everything accessible

Kitchen cabinet organization ideas

(Image credit: Eggersmann)

You can organize your kitchen cabinets even if you don’t have doors! For minimalists who love the industrial look this style is perfect for you. Kitchen islands are fab for storing your pots and pans in and it frees up space in your wall and base units for food storage. This clever design allows you to keep your pot lids on the end rack and your pans and bowls in the shelves below. 

13. Create a period feel (that's still organized)

Kitchen cabinet organization ideas

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Beautiful vintage pieces like this antique cabinet will add a characterful appeal to a traditional kitchen. Weathered and worn, old furniture is ideal for keeping all of your kitchen essentials in and it works particularly well if your kitchen style is more freestanding rather than fitted. You can even paint the inside of the door with blackboard paint so you can list what you need to buy every week!

14. Make corners work harder

Kitchen cabinet organization ideas

(Image credit: B&Q)

One of the issues with fitted kitchens is the awkward spaces that can literally be dead space or hard to get too - like the back of the cabinet that’s right in the corner! But help is at hand with these fabulous space saving storage solutions that give you the flexibility to store things right into the corners that would otherwise be tricky to access. 

15. Add shelf inserts to double up on space

Kitchen cabinet organization ideas

(Image credit: Lakeland)

Bring order to your storage chaos with these awesome extra shelves that will sit on your existing shelves to give you that extra bit of space. You can store items on top or underneath so you can squeeze in some extra food tins or packets so you don’t need to put up an extra shelf. They are also stackable so if you have the height you can add upwards and maximize your space in no time. 

How do you decide where to put things in kitchen cabinets?

Think about how you use your kitchen. You want everything to be in a place that makes sense and makes cooking, prepping and serving as easy as possible. For example, your spice cupboard you want to be near your hob, coffee mugs to be near    the coffee, plates near the surface you serve up on. You'll know best how you work in your kitchen so plan what's in your cabinets accordingly.

Also think about what you use most in each of you cupboards and keep those up front, and things that get used less can stay at back. That way you aren't reaching past the rose harrisa to get to the salt or the spiralizer to get to the Instant Pot.

How does Marie Kondo organize kitchen cabinets?

Ofcourse, we couldn't talk about kitchen cabinet organization without mention the queen of decluttering herself. Marie Kondo's tips on how to organize kitchen cabinets according to her Instagram is to decant all you can into containers, baskets and jars – label them, that was you can see everything at a glance. Oh and one of her top tips is to keep heavier things on lower shelves and light items up top, totally makes sense.

Sophie Warren-Smith
Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 18 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie has a passion for flowers and colour and has recently launched an online styling course, Style with Blooms.