How to Keep Clutter Out of Your Kitchen

Everyone has to eat, and whether you’re a committed chef or only an occasional cook, you and your family probably spend a lot of time in the kitchen. When you spend a lot of time in a space, it’s easy for the clutter to get out of hand.

Cupboards begin overflowing with dishware, the “miscellaneous item” drawers get too full to close, and boxes of cereal start falling from their precarious perch over the fridge. So what do you do when you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of stuff every time you enter the kitchen?

Hokulia, Hawaii
Image credit: DesignMine Private Gallery

The only way to get your kitchen under control is to do some serious de-cluttering. It might seem like a daunting task at first, but if you follow these tips it will be totally manageable—and you’ll have an easier time keeping clutter out of your kitchen in the future.

Tuck Spices Away

Any good amateur chef worth his or her salt has to have a bunch of spices in the kitchen (yes, that was sort of a pun). Unfortunately, spices tend to come in lots of little bottles that can easily start to make your kitchen look messy really fast. There are all kinds of spice racks out there designed to sit on your counter – but what if you don’t want them out in the open? You could dump them in a cabinet or drawer, but hiding a mess doesn’t make it go away, and you don’t want to do anything that’s going to make it difficult to find the right spice quickly. Instead, try this tiered spice rack that can sit neatly inside any cabinet or this drawer spice organizer. Both items will keep your kitchen nice and tidy while ensuring that you can find whatever spice you’re looking for at a glance.

Hide the Trash

No one wants to have their trash can just sitting out in the middle of the kitchen. Not only does it look messy and kind of tacky, you’re probably going to notice the smell more than if it was tucked away. But what can you do if you don’t want to remodel your kitchen to install a sliding trash cabinet? Surprisingly, there are a number of options. You might try looking for a cart/island that blends in with your cabinetry and has a hidden trash cabinet. Or you can select from one of the several different kinds of cans and bags that can be installed so that they hang on the inside of one of your cabinet doors. Pretty nifty!

Use Drawer Dividers – Lots of Them

If you have junk drawers in your kitchen, invest in a couple of cheap drawer dividers so you can sort the items in the drawer by purpose or category—once you’ve cleaned out all the unnecessary items, of course. For example, you might divide one drawer into categories like writing utensils, erasers, and craft supplies. But don’t stop there! Instead of using a canister that sits on your counter for larger cooking utensils, get some expandable drawer dividers where you can manually adjust the size so that there are longer sections for the bigger tools and smaller ones for things like everyday cutlery.

Embrace Your Shallowness

People who don’t have a lot of cabinet space in their kitchens often end up leaving more things out on the counter than they’d like or stacking baking sheets, pots, and pans on top of each other to squeeze them into cabinets. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult when cooking because you have to pull out everything to find what you’re looking for. One solution for thinner items like baking sheets and serving dishes is to install a few shallow shelves underneath the ones you already have in your cabinets. This allows you to make use of the space you have while still keeping things separated so they’re easy to find and move in and out.

Add a Mudroom

This requires bigger home changes than the above tips, but if you find that your kitchen is the place that your family is constantly dumping shoes, jackets, backpacks, and more, it may be worth it to add a mudroom to your home in order to create a “buffer” between the kitchen and the outside. If you don’t already have a space that could easily be converted to a mudroom, KSI Kitchens recommends converting a closet or pantry, renovating an attached porch, or adding a small addition.