Keeping your kitchen organised is important as it allows you to find everything you need whenever you’re cooking, and helps your kitchen to look neat, inviting, and stylish. So, organising your kitchen cupboards is worth spending time on — as well as the overall design of your kitchen. If you’re unsure how to get started, read on for our guide to kitchen organisation. Our interior designers give their insight on how to best arrange your cupboards so that they are both fashionable and functional.
Follow our checklist below to get the perfect tidy kitchen cupboards:
- Declutter the kitchen
- Plan your kitchen cupboard organisation
- Organising kitchen cupboards: step by step
- Storage ideas for cupboards
- Tidy your kitchen cupboards
- Redesign your kitchen: prioritise storage
Declutter the kitchen
Before you start rearranging things, it’s useful to have a clear out so that you’re not organising cupboards full of things you don’t need. Take time to declutter the kitchen countertops, shelves and cupboards, and then remove everything you know you won’t use. Work methodically, one storage space at a time, as this should make it easier.
When doing your clear-out, ensure that you aren’t keeping endless equipment spares, such as tin openers or stirrers. Throw away any outdated food and organise any items that you want to move into containers, making sections for each type of item (such as tins, jars, or dried foods like pasta, cereals, and beans).
Plan your kitchen cupboard organisation
Before you dive into rearranging, it’s a good idea to plan out how you’re going to organise things. Split items into sections, such as food, utensils, cutlery, crockery, and others to ascertain how you can organise everything. If you have a lot to arrange, or a large kitchen, it’s useful to sketch a diagram of how everything will be stored away. Planning things out beforehand will allow you to move things around and change your mind before any physical activity has started!
Organising kitchen cupboards: Step by step
When you’re deciding how to organise your kitchen cupboards, it’s important to be methodical and organised so that you don’t end up making things messier.
When you’re ordering your kitchen cupboards, ensure any necessities are easily accessible when you’re cooking or baking. Consider adding some extra kitchen storage solutions such as under-sink storage, hanging racks, kitchen countertop storage, and other kitchen space savers to ensure that you are using your cupboard space to its full capacity. Deciding how to split up your kitchen cupboards can be tricky, so determine what to put in each depending on the shape of them and where they are situated.
Consider the layout of your kitchen
When arranging your kitchen cupboards, it’s useful to take note of the layout of the rest of the kitchen, as this makes a huge difference to what storage will work in your space, both aesthetically and practically. For instance, in more farmhouse-style kitchens, crates, natural wood shelving and more rustic finishes might look coordinated. But in a modern, sleek kitchen, you’ll need to consider neutral tones like white, grey, and black, as well as more integrated and innovative storage functionality. For ideas for kitchen layouts, check out our kitchen inspiration section, which includes white kitchen layouts, handleless kitchens, and wooden kitchens. Seeking inspiration can help you visualise how you can incorporate storage solutions into your kitchen in a stylish way.
If you have cupboards that are towards the back of your kitchen, in corners, or hard to access, consider placing bulkier, less used items in these. And if your kitchen is small, it might be time to declutter the work surfaces and invest in some vertical or wall storage options so that you can make use of the space this way, freeing up floor space and surfaces for other things.
Prioritise by use
When going through all the items you’ll need to put in your cupboards, first split them up according to how much you use them: every day, once a week, and once a month or less. The frequently used items will need to go in easy-to-access places, whereas less well-used items can go further towards the back of cupboards, or on higher shelves.
If you have objects that are bulkier, it might be worth sorting these into a separate pile so you can decide where to fit them into the cupboards later.
Plan for your lifestyle
The kitchen is often said to be the centre of a home, so plan it around your lifestyle as well as the kind of aesthetic you want. If you rarely bake, then you won’t need all your baking implements and ingredients out on the counter, and you can store them away instead. Always store the ingredients you use most so that they’re on-hand and easily accessible: having herbs and spices near the hob and oven is a good call, as is having your utensils like wooden spoons and ladles near the hob too.
If you enjoy making large meals and entertaining, you’ll probably want to maximise your storage so that you can free up countertops for food preparation and lay out food and drink for guests. To really maximise your kitchen space, consider adding a pantry, which will give you more room for storage and more space for entertaining! If possible, it’s best to get a bespoke kitchen design, as this allows you to get kitchen furniture, appliances and worktops that will work specifically for your home and requirements.
Organise each cupboard differently
It’s worth noting that you’ll need a different strategy for each cupboard that you reorganise, as the shape, size, and contents will dictate how they are best made use of. However, you can split your cupboards into size categories and use these tips to help you fill each one so that you’ll be able to find everything. It can even help to sort all your items into boxes, having a storage box for each cupboard. This way, you can decide what goes where before you spend time arranging it all inside the cupboards, saving you some valuable time if you need to swap things around.
How to organise small kitchen cupboards
If you have some small, narrow kitchen cupboards, use these as pull-out pantry spaces for your herbs and spices. Or if you are a big fan of sauces and condiments, dedicate this cupboard to the ones that don’t need to be stored in the fridge. This allows you to put all these smaller items in their own cupboard, meaning they won’t get lost in large storage spaces. Sliding wire shelving racks are ideal for narrow cupboards, as they are lightweight and perfectly sized for your herbs, spices, and condiments.
How to organise large kitchen cupboards
Large or deep kitchen cupboards offer a great opportunity for your space to work for you, but might require some planning to organise them. Depending on their location in context with the rest of the kitchen, they’re great for items you use infrequently, such as dinner sets used for entertaining. Alternatively, they’re perfect for bulkier items such as the slow cooker and rice cooker, as these can be difficult to place. Make sure to put the least used items in the cupboard first, to make access more convenient for other items.
These cupboards can often be dark due to their depth, so consider papering or painting the inside of these with a bright or light colour, such as blue, white, or even yellow, depending on what goes with your kitchen décor. Similarly, in-cupboard or under-cabinetry lighting will make it easier to identify objects as well as providing accent lighting to build atmosphere.
How to organise corner cupboards
While corner cupboards are great for making the most of all the space in your kitchen, you’ll need to carefully arrange things to ensure that hard-to-reach corner space is maximised. You might want to get rotating pull-out shelves installed, which make it much easier to navigate the cupboards and find everything you need quickly. These swivelling shelves are particularly useful for heavier items like pots, pans, and casserole dishes.
Corner cupboards are similarly great for that are too large and bulky to fit neatly into the other cupboards. This way, you can utilise the storage to free up space elsewhere and you won’t spend ages rooting around for small items.
Storage ideas for cupboards
It is worth investing in some clever kitchen storage ideas, such as pull-out shelving, to help keep things neatly organised. Think about how to arrange your kitchen cupboards to maximise space, and utilise pantry shelving and utility room cabinets to make your kitchen as convenient as possible. Adding these storage elements in can make a big difference to the usability and look of your kitchen, as integrating places to store things away will make a space look so much bigger and more modern. If your work surfaces are cluttered, now might be a good time to consider investing in some more ingenious storage options.
For a small kitchen, storage helps to clear enough space to make the room seem much bigger. In small spaces it’s essential to maximise vertical space, as well as that within cabinetry. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets will allow you to use every inch of space while wall-hung hanging racks are useful for small items, such as kitchen roll, utensils, or even fresh herbs.
You also might be interested in kitchen designs such as those from our ranges of Next125 and Schüller kitchen cabinets which offer a blend of style and function, with innovative built-in storage. We even offer appointment booking so that you can speak to an InHouse designer to plan your perfect space.
In the meantime, here are some other ideas for organising your kitchen cupboards:
- Jars: Decanting dry foodstuffs like rice, pasta, and oats into large storage jars will keep them neater and allow you to see immediately how much you have, rather than searching through half empty packets. Airtight jars also help their contents to remain fresher for longer than in packets.
- Boxes: Boxes are a simple solution to keeping things neat, and you can get some that fit into any kitchen style, such as wooden and wicker options. Wooden storage crates are available to fit alongside your traditional cabinetry, and these are ideal for storing fresh produce.
- Cupboard interior shelves: When stacking things in your cupboards, shelves have been the traditional option – for good reason. They make items easy to access, and many can be adjusted inside your cabinets to fit the height of the items you’re storing.
- Open shelving units: As well as shelving within your cupboards, you can also install deep, open shelving units that make use of vertical space. Shelves that are sloped down towards the back can offer space for drinks crates to store bottles horizontally, while a fruit crate can house potatoes, apples, and other produce within easy reach.
- Closed shelving units: Closed storage units are a great way of storing items away in order to have a sleek effect, and can be a great option for those rarely used utensils.
- Drawer organisers: As well as your cupboards, it’s important to keep your drawers organised too. Use dividers and organisers that can be inserted straight into your drawers to ensure cutlery, utensils, and any other items stay in their correct place. Deep drawers are also widely available, which are ideal for stacking crockery or storing saucepans – with the lids securely slotted against the drawer front.
- Spice and beverage racks: These are useful for making the most of narrow spaces, as well as organising bottles that in particular can take up a lot of space.
- Wall panel organisers: You can also make use of vertical space in your kitchen with innovative wall panel tidying solutions that can store utensils, knife racks, kitchen towels, phones and tablets, or even fresh herbs. Taking the place of a splashback, these keep essentials within each reach – and tidy.
- Ceiling-hung racks: These make eye-catching centrepieces, especially when hung over a kitchen island. They are perfect for hanging pots, pans, and wineglasses, but can also be configured with built-in shelving if required.
- Vacuum cleaner garages: While vacuums are some of the largest, most bulky items that you’ll need to store in your kitchen, a vacuum garage can easily be built into a kitchen to allow a bit of room to store a robot vacuum cleaner under the kitchen cabinet itself.
When investing in tools for organising your kitchen cupboards, always ensure that they work for you, your kitchen, and your cooking and dining needs. Don’t feel tempted to follow the latest storage trend: just those that are most appropriate for you.
Tidy your kitchen cupboards
When you’ve decided how to organise your kitchen cupboards, it’s important to keep them tidy and give them a regular clean out. It’s easy to let things build up and get messy when you’re regularly cooking and buying ingredients. So, here are some rules to keep your cupboards organised.
- Put things back in the same place: You should put items back in their appointed place when you’ve used them, to keep your storage solutions neat and help you find them next time.
- Replace items when they’re finished: To keep your cupboards useful, replace things when they get used up and make sure you’ll have the ingredients you need next time.
- Check the cupboards once a week: Ensure that your kitchen cupboards are neat by checking them once a week. Just giving them a once over and a quick tidy will make a big difference.
Redesign your kitchen: prioritise storage
As well as maximising and rearranging the storage space you have in your kitchen, there’s always the option of upgrading it by redesigning your kitchen altogether. This might be particularly worthwhile if you’ve recently moved into a new property, or have found that your existing kitchen isn’t keeping up with your needs. You can take inspiration from German kitchen design in your interior plans: these kitchens are designed to bring maximum storage space, but also to maintain a sleek, modern look that minimises clutter.
Some styles of kitchen cabinet are much more tailored to offer maximum storage with a modern style too, such as Schüller kitchens which are designed to make optimum use of your available space while maintaining a sleek, ergonomic look. They also allow you to choose the height of the cabinets, the amount of workspace, and the depth of the units, allowing for a fully customisable kitchen design that can offer you so much more storage potential. If you are thinking of a redesign, it’s worth taking into account your storage needs.
Use these tips to learn how to organise your kitchen cabinets and rearrange your kitchen so that it’s easy and convenient to use. Once your kitchen is organised properly, you’ll find that not only is everything easier to get to when cooking, but also your kitchen will look more up-to-date and sleeker.
If your kitchen space isn’t quite working for you, why not give it a refresh? Head on over to our full collection of German kitchens for everything you need to revitalise your space. For more kitchen design ideas, check out our kitchen inspiration section, where you’ll find inspiration on how to revamp your kitchen.