Stellar Ways To Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets, Drawers, & Pantry

Doing More With What You Have

Kitchens are sort of the heart of a property. Even when a kitchen is just some bare-bones solution filling out one wall of a break room in an office building, that area of the premises will almost always have people in it. Especially for homes, kitchen management, design, and organization are key.

To make your home’s kitchen “heart-healthy”, you’ll want to remodel it at intervals, refurbish it when the time is right, and assure everything is as organized as possible. Breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, midnight snacks—multiple occasions develop where individuals might have to make a meal or prepare an appetizer.

If your kitchen isn’t well-organized, you’re going to end up making a big mess every time you go to fix something up. But with organization, it’s not difficult to put things away, and you may just find you’ve got a heightened ability to prepare food. If you can find what you want when you want it, you don’t get frustrated pulling things out and putting them away.

With those things in mind, this writing will concern a few best practices pertaining to kitchen organization, storage, and overall management. These concepts are all symbiotic one to another. In a phrase, organize properly, and the rest will follow. So take stock of the information here—there may be some tips you hadn’t ever thought of before.

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Utensil Trays And Their Organization

This option is pretty straightforward, but it’s often incorrectly used. Most people are familiar with common utensil trays. But most people don’t use them correctly. For one thing, you have to designate clear spaces for unique utensils. You’ll want a fork area, a butterknife area, a cutting knife area, and a spoon area. Additionally, you’ll want a “special utensil” area.

Corn cob stickers, apple peelers, small spatulas, egg beaters, and whatever else fits the uncommon bill should have an area designated just for the purpose. Also, the deeper the drawers, the better. Now, you may not have a choice here, but consider stacking your silverware tray.

You can obtain a velvet-lined box for your best silverware, and usually, these boxes are about two and a half inches thick. You might put that in the bottom of the drawer, and put your traditional utensil tray atop the box. This will help you most effectively maximize drawer storage. If you can use multiple drawers that make sense as well, but for smaller kitchens, you might not have this option.

All these things being said, beyond having the utensil tray, you need to discipline those in your household to properly use those trays. It’s really easy to pull the items from the dishwasher and throw them in the drawer. That’s going to create a conglomeration of chaos unnecessarily.

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Vertical Storage: A Chandelier Of Pots And Pans

Now vertical storage is wise not just for pots and pans, though these items of food preparation tend to benefit most from the practice. Essentially, vertical storage is to home storage as skyscrapers are to real estate. Builders realized in the twentieth century that building up rather than out allowed them to get more storage in a smaller space.

Well, in your kitchen, storing vertically against the walls rather than horizontally along the plane of a countertop may just free up some space—especially if you’ve got high ceilings. Pots and pans have these little “chandeliers” which can be used to store them. Essentially it’s a circular conglomeration of hooks that are “anchored” in the ceiling.

You hang pots and pans on the hook. Now you can put this circular conglomeration of storage solutions in the middle of the kitchen, or you can relegate it to an empty corner where there are no other vertical options. There may very well be other alternatives for storage of this kind as well, depending on your kitchen. Nothing’s wrong with being creative here.

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Compartmentalizing The Pantry, Labeling sections

Many kitchens either include a small room to be used as a pantry, like a little closet, or they’ve got a floor-to-ceiling cupboard for the purpose. If your kitchen doesn’t have such an option, you can install it; but more on that in a minute. When you do have a pantry, you want to keep yourself from just throwing things in there willy-nilly.

First, determine what you want to store in your pantry. Then, segment the available space for storage. You might use baskets on shelves that can be pulled out, then pushed back in. For example, if you’ve got Tupperware, you might store all that in a wicker basket on the bottom drawer. Put a label on it so you don’t get confused if that ends up being an issue.

If you’ve got appliances, separate them and store them in designated areas. Dry goods, canned goods, utensils, appliances, receptacles, spices, treats, plastic bags, plastic wrap. All this can be compartmentalized in a tiny space with exceptionally organized harmony. Doing so merely requires intentionality and follow-through.

Here’s the big thing to be sure you do: avoid making anything in such spaces difficult to access. You want it to be easy to store things away, and just as easy to retrieve things when the time is right. If you stack things too tightly, you’ll make an unnecessary chore out of the retrieval process.


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Installing New Or Better Cabinets That Fit Your Space

New cabinets provide quite a lot of space, and there are quality affordable kitchen cabinets out there that can be fitted to your exact specifications. Have you heard of RTA options? Ready To Assemble cabinets work like this: you enter necessary dimensions online, then the cabinets are shipped to your home and you assemble them on-site.

You can also install non-RTA options if that’s more amenable to you. Additionally, it’s possible to buy used or to have cabinets built-to-order, but these options are different polarities of the same problem. With used cabinets, structural stability wanes, and the cost of their installation collaterally is high, as you may soon have to replace them.

Conversely, made-to-order options can be much more expensive than those available via RTA or elsewhere; so though you get something that works well, you pay way more than you have to. A balanced alternative is, say, white shaker cabinets from a well-known provider, or RTA options that can fit into a specific area.

Even small kitchens generally have some segment of space which can be augmented positively with cabinetry options. Look at the space you’ve got, and consider whether replacing existing cabinets, installing new ones, or some hybrid between these alternatives best matches what you’ve got to work with.

Downsizing: What Food Preparation Items Do You Never Use?

A very wise way to upgrade your kitchen is to find where you’ve got things you don’t need, and get rid of them. Oftentimes some appliances end up just taking up space in a kitchen. Have a garage sale, donate these items, or throw them out. Sometimes there are even broken appliances just collecting dust in a corner. Why keep them; for posterity?

The truth is, life is so hectic, such items tend to be put aside and forgotten. If you’re not going to use them decoratively, cannibalize them, or put them to their intended purpose, find a way to get rid of such unnecessary space-monopolizing devices.

A great way to do this is to keep tabs on the sort of meals you prepare for over a month. Do you use that blender…ever? How about the waffle iron? Is that toaster just a delayed rust machine? Do you have boxed appliances from your wedding you never opened? Most couples tend to have something like that lying around; get rid of it and reclaim the space.

Adding A Repurposed Wardrobe As A Mobile Pantry

A wardrobe is made to store clothes, but you can put some shelves in there and make a pantry out of it. If you’ve got a wardrobe in the house you’re not using, you might move it to the kitchen corner where a pantry would go. Some kitchens don’t have pantries and desperately need them.

Beyond a wardrobe, there are pantry storage options available at varying furniture stores and home betterment facilities such as Menards or Home Depot. If you need more space and don’t have a pantry, find a way of making one. Cabinets can be stacked on one another, wardrobes can be repurposed, and specific furniture options are out there.


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Kitchen and House Renovation

Getting The Most Use Out Of Your Kitchen

Regardless of the size of your kitchen, you can probably get more storage out of it through the implementation of these strategic options. Repurpose a wardrobe or add a pantry another way, downsize where appropriate, install some new cabinets, compartmentalize pantries or other storage areas, utilize vertical storage, and get your utensils squared away.

When you implement tips like this, even a small kitchen can see storage space expand notably. Provided you’re creative, you’ll likely find a way to use the space available with the greatest efficiency


Featured Projects

Urban Luxury Kitchen renovation in Parnell

This townhouse was centrally located in Parnell but the kitchen was tiny and lacked counter space. We completely changed the layout of this kitchen by first moving it from the left side of the area to the right. We then added cabinets in the dining area as an extended storage space. This cabinet featured shelves with internal lights which could be opened when required. To see Before and After pictures and project specifications ….  see more

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Entertainer’s Dream Kitchen and Bar 

Guru and Neeta from Massey had a closed off kitchen which did not let them enjoy an open plan living. They wanted to renovate to introduce a feel of luxury but also make it an open space which could double as an entertaining space. We opened up the space for them and also extended the kitchen counter towards the lounge to act like a bar. The black and white ….  see more


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Kitchen, Lounge and Dining room renovation in Massey

Cottage Style Kitchen in Mangere Bridge

This was a special kitchen as it was about incorporating natural elements into the kitchen to reflect our client’s country surroundings. The kitchen was dated and was transformed into a chic country style kitchen complete with treated real wood as bench-tops, butler’s sink, floating shelves and cabinets that were wrapped in Dezignatek Thermoform with a ‘Ronda’ pattern to give them cabinets a vintage look …. see more

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Full kitchen renovation in Mangere Bridge, Auckland


Further Resources 

  1. Ideas for Bathroom renovations in our bathroom renovation gallery of bathrooms we have renovated in Auckland
  2. Ideas for Kitchen renovations in our kitchen renovation gallery for kitchens we have renovated in Auckland
  3. Featured projects and Client stories to see specifications on some of the projects.
  4. Real client stories from Auckland


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