Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas That Will Work for Anyone

Easy kitchen cabinet organization ideas that will work for anyone, with any size kitchen, and even with older cabinets. Tips, tricks, and inspiration that will definitely make you fall in love with your kitchen all over again!

white tulips in pitcher on kitchen counter

My kitchen cabinet organization project is finished! All my cabinets have been emptied, the contents purged, they have been cleaned, and order has been restored. I honestly can’t remember a time when I have been more at ease in my kitchen. I know exactly what I have, and I know exactly where everything is located.

I followed the same four steps with each cabinet I tackled. 

  • Empty the space.
  • Clean the space.
  • Edit the contents.
  • Restore order.

I also spent time shopping online for just the right organizational tools. I knew if this project was going to be a success, I needed help! I purchased clear bins, lazy Susans, storage containers, spice jars, and a few odds & ends. I had given myself a budget of $500.00 and I was pleased that I came in under budget at $447.00. 

See the entire kitchen cabinet organization series

kitchen cabinets with glass fronts in older kitchen

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

The set of cabinets I’m featuring today is on the opposite side of the kitchen from the cooking/baking area. This area is all about dishes and clean-up. There wasn’t much purging required for the cabinets that hold our glasses, plates, and bowls, but I did do a little re-arranging. I had a set of glasses we hardly ever use in the cabinet over the dishwasher. I re-located them and that left more room for the glasses and mugs we use every day, with room to grow.

organization ideas glasses in kitchen cabinet

Tip: Kitchen Cabinet Organization

Store seldom used items on higher shelves and in cabinets positioned away from the kitchen sink and dishwasher. Store items used every day in cabinets as close to the sink and dishwasher as possible. 

white kitchen cabinets in older kitchen organization ideas

Plates we use every day are stored in a plate rack over the kitchen sink. In the cabinet to the right of the sink we store smaller plates, cereal bowls, pasta bowls, and soup bowls. The little white cow creamer is one of my favorite pieces and even though it’s not used everyday, I left it front and center. We all need something to make us smile!

kitchen organization bowls plates cutting boards

The section of countertop pictured above is used for drying items that don’t go in the dishwasher. I just stack them there and when they are dry, I put them away. I gave up drying dishes a long time ago! The drawers store flatware and kitchen towels. 

kitchen drawer with dividers and flatware

On the bottom is perhaps the most efficient cabinet in our kitchen. It’s wide and tall, and has a pull-out shelf that allows me to store items all the way to the back but still access them easily. I store my Pyrex on the pull-out shelf, and on the bottom are more casserole dishes along with some odds and ends. You can’t see it, but I have a large basket on that bottom shelf that holds plastic lids.

pyrex in kitchen cabinet pull out shelf

Tip: Cabinet Organization Ideas

Take advantage of any “specialty” features that are included in your cabinetry. In an older kitchen like mine, sometimes these features are few and far between. I have two cabinets with pull-out shelves and that’s the extent of any specialty features. The large one pictured above holds items that are quite heavy, so being able to pull out the shelf makes access so much easier. 

Organization Ideas: Lessons Learned

When I started this kitchen organization project, I honestly had no idea if it would be a success. More than that, I had no idea if it would make a difference in the way I felt about the kitchen. As I explained in the first post, my frustration with our kitchen had reached a record high and nothing was functioning properly at all. Every minute spent cleaning and restoring order has been worth it, because now I can spend time in the kitchen without feeling discouraged. I still plan on getting new counters, along with a new back splash and sink, but the rest of the kitchen will remain as is. 

white kitchen cabinets with glasses organization ideas

Thank you all so much for following along during this journey, offering words of encouragement, and sharing your own tips. I hope you learned a thing or two that you didn’t know before. I also hope that I have inspired those of you who have kitchens you don’t love to look at them with fresh eyes. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that the glass is half full, and not half empty. 

See the other posts in the kitchen organization series:

Most items pictured in the cabinets are vintage, were family pieces, or are no longer available. All the organizational tools mentioned in the post are linked to in the individual posts. Feel free to email me at ann@onsuttonplace.com if you have a question about anything! Until next time…

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51 Comments

  1. I don’t dry my dishes either! It’s a waste of time! 🙂

  2. Cookie eddings says:

    Ann,
    You are so good at solving household matters, so I thought I’d come to you with a problem that I’m having with my “real” wood floors.
    Can you please tell me what products that you use to clean and shine your floors? I once used a polish that I bought online (my floors sparkled & looked beautiful). Suddenly thay weren’t there anymore! I tried to find them, but to no avail.
    Thanking you in advance,
    Coiokie

  3. very nice! We are tryng to decide what to do for our very small counter top/back splash. Since you say you will be changing yours, what will you use? The one you have looks very nice.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Sona…if and when it ever happens, we will be installing quartz countertops with a subway tile back splash. All neutral, hopefully a creamy white. I want something maintenance free and quartz is the best choice. At least in my opinion. I hope this helps!

  4. Botanic Bleu says:

    Ann,
    Your blue and white kitchen is beautiful. I love your navy accent tile stripe on the backsplash and as the countertop edge.

    Thank you for the tips on organization. I need to purge many things, but find it hard to let them go.

    Judith

  5. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    Hugs from Northern Spain.,
    Charo.

  6. Love the kitchen storage ideas..and yes, the cow pitcher..we indeed all need a mood booster at times! Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas, recipes and words to live by! I look forward to each and every email. And a belated Happy Birthday! ..the 60s are great years!!💙💛

  7. Your house/kitchen look so incredibly clean!

  8. Just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your blog……and most importantly a very Happy 60th Birthday . Health & Happiness.

  9. Maureen Provost Ryan says:

    Ann, I followed your lead and cleaned out two cabinets in the kitchen! They really had been neglected for decades so I unearthed many cleaning supplies that were hiding under the sink. It looks so much better with the handled plastic bins holding the essentials so attractively. THANK YOU for the inspiration you provided!!!

  10. Your beautiful sunny kitchen inspired me to reorganize – my pantry, under sink area and lazy susan cabinet are now looking…well organized! An affordable project, perfect for a blustery, snowy day here in Pennsylvania.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. These posts have been great. You inspired me…I finally organized my spice cabinet…and a couple of others. Your kitchen looks so warm and cozy…I can’t imagine anything changing. Now, you know it’s well organized as well. Looking forward to seeing your new ideas, however. Although…I think your kitchen, as it is, is lovely! ;)

  12. It’s always such a great feeling when you declutter, reorganize, rearrange and start fresh! Love your blue and white with little pops of yellow and I love the lazy susan idea and need to see where I can implement it to create some more space in my cabinets.

  13. Your kitchen is lovely! I love the blue and white combo!

  14. Mary Alice Kenley says:

    Ann, I have enjoyed this series. I’m a pretty organized person, and I’ve used lazy Susans in lots of areas (including my fridge). But I never thought of the “pantry.” Pantry’s in quotes because it’s really just a 10″ deep bottom cabinet. (We have an OBK–one butt kitchen!). I found some on Amazon that were small enough to accommodate my skinny shelves, and it’s been amazing. A good example: I have snack stuff–peanut butter, raisins, dried cranberries, etc. on one, so there’s no digging around. Great tip–thanks!

  15. Omg-read your post first thing this morning and it was soooooo perfect. Been promising my husband I would clean out and declutter. I went to target, purchased plastic bins and cleaned under the sink. Not only is it all organized but it looks pretty and my hubby is very happy! It’s a great start. Thank you!

  16. Love the organization.If you are pleased with the results,you have accomplished your goal.The cow pitcher is a happy touch.

  17. Lea D Harper says:

    beautiful. could I ask where you got the cute basket on your counter? the one with the lid.

    thank you.

    lea

    1. Camille Bauer says:

      Longeberger baskets

  18. Heather Taylor says:

    Hello Ann,
    I have so enjoyed your kitchen re-organisation. You have made it look so clean, colourful and organised.
    Your kitchen looks really beautiful and kudos to you for making the most of what you have!
    I enjoy your emails immensely because they are full of totally doable ideas.
    Keep up the good work
    Kindest regards
    Heather

  19. Great posts! The older I get the more I purge those items I bought but never used. LOL the power of advertising!

  20. Ann, I know you find your kitchen leaving much to be desired, but in all the photos you show of it I find it just lovely! I love your blue dishes and those beautiful blue and white mugs – where are those from? Thanks for all you share. You have inspired me to “get busy”!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Thank you! The blue and white mugs were from Hobby Lobby a few years ago so they are no longer available. Happy Spring!

  21. Beautiful ! I love your existing counter top and back splash , too!

  22. Reading this has me geared-up to tackle my kitchen – you describing the great feeling it brings! Am envious of your plate rack & lovely plates.

  23. Congratulations on a well – organized kitchen. I have made some notes from all that you did. I love all your blue and white. I especially love your plate rack.

  24. Your kitchen is beautiful! I love your blue and white theme; it makes everything so cohesive. I would love for my kitchen to all go together so well. I understand not wanting to keep tile counters, but they look amazing and it gives your kitchen the perfect feel of being a teeny bit older but still gorgeous and welcoming. Thank you for this post, I would love to get a pull out shelf like yours for Pyrex, and seeing yours solidified the idea in my head. Thank you!

  25. Connie Campbell says:

    Love the organization tips! We just finished a kitchen remodel that included completely reconfiguring everything and adding an island. I did the same as you and even bought all new organizational items. Specifically we have and use a lot of knives, and I found some awesome knife holders that fit in our drawers. Oh, we also used to have the EXACT counter and backsplash as you, right down to the decorative blue “rope” tile!

  26. One take-away that I got from your reorganization posts is the calming effect of limiting options and the power of a color pop. In your case, clear & whites with blue.

    I’m reorganizing with the “aging in place” concept in mind, so I am looking at everything with respect to ease and safety in access as well as frequency of use. Sometimes, I wonder why something was stored in a location and it’s fun to readjust to where things are now placed.

    I’m checking out my refrig now, wondering how to use it more effectively. It would be interesting to see how you have organized yours.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Liz…I will work on a post featuring my refrigerator. It’s very small compared to some so I have to get creative!

  27. Mary from Virginia says:

    You do everything so well. Good for you making your kitchen work. We gutted our kitchen 15 years ago, and there are many times I miss the original layout.

    1. I enjoyed following along on your kitchen reorganizing adventure!
      I have a separate pantry and don’t use my lower corner cabinet. It is so deep 3 small grandkids use it for their “hide out”! It definitely needs some sort of pull out feature!

      1. Helen, I wonder uf you went to your local Home Depot or Lowes if their kitchen department coukd help you. I redid my kitchen a few years ago and ine if the options from Kraft Maid was a pull out that was made for those corner cabinets. You just might be able to order something that will fit.

  28. Wow, looks great! And, thank you Ann, for the inspiration to act once again! I so appreciate your practical advice and your easy directions and research for any projects you do. I have now organized under my kitchen sink and bathroom cabinets, and rewarded myself with the brownie from your recipe! Delicious, by the way!

  29. Love your flatware. Can you
    Provide a link for it?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Patty…the flatware is several years old and it was from Pier 1. It’s no longer available. I’m sorry!

  30. Hi Ann, your kitchen organization posts are so helpful…you continue to be my favorite blog, your home is understated, classic and gracious…I love your down to earth approach …your kitchen sparkles…! Well done… Thank you for your continual inspiration…wishing YOU laughter and grace !

  31. Lovely, peaceful! Looks like your happy place!

  32. Looks lovely Ann…I have done some organizing as well. It makes my heart sing when everything has a place and things look orderly.😍

  33. Just love the little cow creamer. Mine is polish pottery and a favorite piece! I’m now inspired to tackle my big pantry. Thanks for sharing!
    xoxo

  34. I love your home. It reminds me of a different era, not because it’s dated or old, (so fresh and updated!) but the atmosphere is of a different time in America. 😍

  35. Cheryl Ann says:

    Ann, this is absolutely beautiful and functional! Thanks so much for sharing this project. I’m inspired to really tackle mine! You made an ok kitchen very nice! I love your blog and have for many years. You are a blessing, and I wish we were neighbors!

  36. Just love the new look – you probably do also. Want to thank you for all the precious pictures that I make copies of to give out to members of the garden club I belong to. We have monthly meetings 9 months of the year and they all seem to enjoy the lovely little garden pictures they get at those meetings. Print them in a 4 x 6 so they can easily place them where they want.

  37. Ann, thanks so much for this inspirational series! I laughed out loud when reading your description of living with a dysfunctional space!!! It’s just the project I needed to tackle during this dreary Ohio winter. We have a very similar kitchen configuration, but I’m envious of your pull out shelves! I’ve already re-organized spices, oils, vinegars & love the turntables for oils & vinegars, Taking on pot/pan/casserole dishes cabinet today :)
    Thanks again.

  38. Really loved all the kitchen organization posts. Our kitchen is new, but it’s smaller because the old kitchen had homemade cabinets that were huge. The new cabinets are not as deep. I was really looking forward to seeing what you were able to accomplish. Just yesterday I put all our under-the-sink items in two storage baskets; I could not believe what a difference that made. Will be tackling the spice cabinet soon. Thank you for these posts; I love everything you do.

  39. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Good job, well done!
    You mentioned yesday you do not move your furniture around only accessories.
    Why is this?
    Also, about the blue tunic you are wearing in your introduction, what is the fabric?
    You look lovely!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Nan…I don’t move the furniture because of the TV…and also because it fits best just like it is. I have a huge window and two large doorways so there’s a lot to work around. The tunic is Tencel denim. It’s from J. Jill. Thank you!

  40. Maureen Provost Ryan says:

    Ann, This has been a super-helpful and relevant series. Thank you!
    Just putting my two cents in, I love your countertops and backsplash. Just saying.
    Have a wonderful day!

    1. I agree! I love the countertops and backsplash!

  41. Ann, your kitchen looks great & even better it is now functional! You did a wonderful job & provided much inspiration!
    I have never cared for tile counter tops but yours are the prettiest I’ve seen. You manage to keep them spotless. Can’t wait to see what you replace them with.