10 Quick Kitchen Organizing Tips

by Leslie on April 17, 2011

Hello, creative home makers!

This is my first post here at Pennies and Blessings! I’ll be here writing for the At Home column. I pray I can be of encouragement to you as you make your home and I hope we all become good friends!

As a professional organizer, I am excited that I get to share both my love of organizing with you today, as well as the tidy, frugal ideas that I use to simply keep my sanity in my own kitchen. Maybe you can use some of these solutions, too.

Here we go!

1.  To save drawer space, hang your oven mitts in a hook inside a cabinet door near the oven, and hang your aprons on the pantry door or a wall hook.


apron2.  Store like items together in zones. A common space for small appliances makes their access handy and easy for your dishwasher-emptier to put the accessories that belong to each appliance with its mate.


3. Store your utensils out in the open, in an urn, crock or ceramic pitcher, so that they will be easier to find and to use and to be returned after being cleaned.


4. If you can afford to do so, buy matching storage containers, like these jars from Ikea, and label them.


5. Remove a few cabinet doors to have easy access to dishes. Contrary to what you might think, these dishes don’t get dirty simply because they are out in the open. They are frequently used and don’t sit still long enough to gather dust.


6. Use baskets INSIDE the refrigerator to group like items. They keep those science experiments out of the rear of the fridge, make the good foods easier to grab, and shelves stay cleaner longer.


7. Use an ordinary plate easel as a cookbook stand. It keeps your book open, clean, and in view while you are creating your newest culinary masterpiece.


8. Keep daily-use supplies handy and corralled. This is my coffee station, resting on a marble cutting board.


9. Keep only the best of your kitchen helpers. These are literally all of my casserole dishes and pie plates. I never need more than a few of these at a time.


10. If you notice a “theme” in my kitchen’s gadgets, it is that of white, glass and silver. A simple, complimentary color scheme brings unity and harmony to the space and is easy on the eyes. This is the easiest way to “organize”.


May you be blessed as you make your home!

For more ideas on home staging, organizing, or redesign, please come visit me at my place Goodbye, House! Hello, HOME!

This post will be linked to Top 10 Tuesday at Oh Amanda and Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

This post could contain our affiliate links. Please refer to our disclosure policy for more information.


Kristi April 17, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Great post, Leslie! I was reading and had a few DUH moments such as saving space by hanging my oven mits. I actually have a drawer just for my two oven mitts and the bazillion hand-knit wash cloths. I can hang my mitts and figure out another spot for my cloths and then I’ll have a whole free drawer!

I have edited, but I still have WAY too many baking dishes. I need to edit again, I think.

Thanks for the tips!
Kristi´s last blog post ..Where to Get It – Shabby Chic Soap Dish

Ruthie April 18, 2011 at 12:33 AM

Love the refrigerator idea with the plastic baskets to hold things used in groups/like items together. Fridges here in Thailand are much smaller than American ones. That will be a lot of help! :)

Kathy Frost April 18, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Awesome thanks for sharing!

Jan April 18, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Thanks for the tips! My kitchen needs some help and these tips will surely get me started.

Rachel April 18, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Love the ideas…especially the plastic baskets in the refrigerator. I’m going to us this idea right away. Thanks for posting. Can’t wait for the next tips. I need them!

Mandy April 19, 2011 at 9:08 AM

I loved that idea as well!! Why did I never think to use my same baskets from the pantry in the fridge as well?! ;)

Jenny April 19, 2011 at 12:25 AM

Oh I like it! I’m encouraged to find that I already do a few of these things, but I never would have thought of using baskets in the fridge! That’s a great idea! You’re so good at what you do!
Jenny´s last blog post ..Creative Me Monday

Marci@OvercomingBusy April 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM

The baskets in the fridge…brilliant!!! And, I like the white and clear color scheme.
Marci@OvercomingBusy´s last blog post ..Busy Quotes

Rebekah from Simply Rebekah April 19, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Never in my life have I seen such an organized fridge. Very impressive, girl. Very impressive! (found you on Oh Amanda!)
Rebekah from Simply Rebekah´s last blog post ..10 Tips for a Successful Freezer Cooking Day

Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy April 19, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Wow, your kitchen is beautiful! Love the white, glass and silver (and sunshine!) I am thinking of using your hook idea to corral all my reusable shopping bags.
Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s last blog post ..Don’t Be a Drama Queen- and Other Lessons in Friendship from Anne Shirley

Sally April 19, 2011 at 2:25 PM

I love this post — especially the idea of white, glass, and silver for a clean look in the kitchen! The everyday dishes that we received as a wedding gift 18+ yrs. ago are scratched, faded, and well – many of them have broken over the years. I’m sort of left with a skeleton crew of dishes. I’ve been thinking about WHITE replacements, and after reading your post, I’m pretty sure I’ll go that way. Thanks for all of the great ideas! ~Sally

Jessica April 19, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Baskets in the fridge! That is genius! I hate visual clutter, so even when my fridge is clean, it doesn’t always look clean. This is a perfect solution.

Joelle April 19, 2011 at 8:19 PM

I love these ideas, Thanks for sharing.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates April 22, 2011 at 1:59 AM

I am in love with your kitchen!! I actually do a couple of these ideas, but am happy to hear the others. And baskets in the fridge – so clever! Wonderful post! :)
Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates´s last blog post ..Spring Breakin

Bette May 10, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Love the idea of baskets in the fridge and also the IKEA jars! However, there is one thing you need to change in your fridge……milk should never be stored in the door because it doesn’t stay as cold! Milk should always be stored on the top shelf!! Hope this safety tip will help!

Bette May 10, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Love the idea of baskets in the fridge and also the IKEA jars! However, there is one thing you need to change in your fridge……milk should never be stored in the door because it doesn’t stay as cold! Milk should always be stored on the top shelf!

Kathie May 10, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Excellent post!
Kathie´s last blog post ..Almost No Rules Blog Tour!

Ashley@DesignBuildLove.co May 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM

LOVE it! Thanks for the tips. Can’t wait to do some kitchen clean-out!

Kristen May 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been editing the kitchen in baby steps, and this gives me new direction for the next step. :)

Robin Baez May 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM

I can’t wait to clean my kitchen again…for the million and 1 time this year alone. But I would have to say..for the baskets in the fridge, EVERYONE has to be on board with that idea. I put everything in bins last year, and well it worked until the kids couldn’t find the sandwich meat, or my dear husband couldn’t find his summer sausage. After I explained and put pictures on the bins…even though they were see though. So think that one out for your family first. I mean I wasted $20 or more on bins and supplies.

Mandy May 12, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Lol! That sounds so much like my family! It’s been over 6 months since I added various baskets to our pantry here, and everyone is still struggling… gradually improving, but still struggling! ha For my little OCD mind though, it’s worth the trouble just to be able to have a somewhat more organized pantry! ;)

Bridget May 10, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Love all the cute, little tips! I have to ask where we might be able to find the basket’s that have handles like that?

Mandy May 12, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Bridget, I’m thinking I have seen those baskets at Wal-Mart before. They stack a bit differently than some of the other baskets too – more room in between (when stacked), which I like! :)

Rosario May 11, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Love your style and organization ideas. I have darker colors in my kitchen but I am sure I can still follow some of your tips, thanks.

Jeanine May 31, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Can I ask where the baskets are from? Great idea!

Kathryn June 9, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Love this, thank you!!!

Eden June 19, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Love your ideas. In fact I spotlighted your post in my SkinnyScoop list called Favorite Organizing Products and Decluttering Tips – http://www.skinnyscoop.com/list/eden/favorite-organizing-products-and-decluttering-tips

Keep up the good work!

Jen June 28, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Hi- I also wanted to repeat that Milk should never be stored in the fridge door… it’s a couple of degrees warmer there. Always store dairy products in the main part of the fridge.

That said? LOVE your ideas and I look forward to implementing them!!! Thanks!

Ani August 1, 2011 at 4:38 AM

Hi, Your ideas are brilliant, especially the storage boxes in the refrigerator. I love the last few lines of your ‘about me’ column too.

Leslie, the Home Maker August 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Hi Ani!!
Thank you!
I would be nothing without my Jesus.
Blessings to you today!

Paula @ The Tween & Me August 19, 2011 at 5:11 PM

LOVE this! Featured the potholder-inside-the-cabinet tip (and your site!) on my Five Fantastic Friday Finds this week! http://www.thetweenandme.com/2011/08/19/five-fantastic-friday-finds/
Paula @ The Tween & Me´s last blog post ..Dash 4 Cash 8/19—Twitter version!!

Mandy August 20, 2011 at 11:13 PM

So glad you found us! And thanks for spreading the word! Leslie is fantastic! Be sure to check out her personal site as well!

Lynna October 5, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I love what you said above “(she) “loves turning ugly and unwanted things into beautiful ones: for this is what Jesus’ love did to me”. Great comment. Good ideas about baskets in the fridge. I have done that with my pickle & relish jars for awhile now. Works great.

patsy February 1, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Love the small crates in the refrigerator. What a good idea! Dollar General has a nice selection of those and at rock-bottom prices. WILL do this!

Nichole February 8, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Your kitchen looks organized and pretty. Thanks for sharing!

Leslie, the Home Maker February 10, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Thank you!
It is a constant battle since there are 6 of us!
I have to be organized or I’d be crazy!

HUGS and blessings to you as you make your home :)
Leslie, the Home Maker´s last blog post ..Real Life Spaces :: My Friend Char’s Home {Part 1}

Jenn February 13, 2012 at 12:55 AM

What brand/modal refrigerator is pictured there? It looks so big and spacious! I need a new frig!!

Leslie, the Home Maker February 13, 2012 at 11:22 AM


It’s just a simple Frigidaire, this one:

It’s all we need.
Hope that helps!
HUGS and blessings to you!
Leslie, the Home Maker´s last blog post ..Real Life Spaces :: My Friend Char’s Home {Part 2}

Michelle March 2, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Hi there! I have a suggestion for matching spice jars–I currently use the exact Ikea jars as pictured above, but will soon be switching to pint and half-pint sized Mason jars. The lids on the Ikea jars are plastic, which tends to crack after a while. Plus, the little mason jars are super easy to find and inexpensive, so when you expand your spice collection, you can very easily pick up more jars. (My nearest Ikea is two hours away, so it’s been a problem for me :o)

Great post!
Michelle´s last blog post ..Free Printable! The ever-so-reasonable Cleaning Checklist

Leslie, the Home Maker March 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Thank you, Michelle, for the info!
I have seen those tiny mason jar…AND I’m going to IKEA on the 17th–down to Atlanta… EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeee!!!
Shall I pick up some for you? (I’m not joking :)
HUGS, me
Leslie, the Home Maker´s last blog post ..YOU are invited to a Spring into Organization Blogger Home Tour

Michelle March 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Thanks for the follow-up Leslie, I just sent you an email :o)

Also, I just checked out your boards on Pinterest and left a few comments–I think you and I have similar taste in a lot of things, particularly at Ikea!
Michelle´s last blog post ..DIY Gunk Remover: Non-toxic recipe to remove sticky adhesive residue

Kris March 4, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Where do you get those white baskets with the handles?

Leslie, the Home Maker March 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I hope you get this info, Kris…
I found the handled baskets at, of all places, Walmart.
I hear tell that Target now has them in their $1.00 and $2.50 section in the front of their stores.
Blessings as you make your home!
Leslie, the Home Maker´s last blog post ..YOU are invited to a Spring into Organization Blogger Home Tour

sabs March 9, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Some lovely little ideas here. The IKEA jars are my favourite used that way. :)
sabs´s last blog post ..10 Contemporary Kitchen Designs:

Kristen March 10, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Thanks for telling me where to find these baskets! I got them at Target and just love them!! I want to go get a couple more!

Candiss March 29, 2012 at 6:49 PM

We are kindred spirits! Your kitchen is like a carbon copy of mine and I only use white and glass as well! Our fridges are organized in the same manner too. I never even let people help me clean up after a party because I cannot stand things going back into the fridge in the wrong place.

Kerry April 26, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Where did you get the refrigerator baskets

Leslie May 7, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I got the baskets at Wal-Mart of all places!
Leslie´s last blog post ..Organizing Made Fun :: 10 Causes and Cures for Clutter

Debra Richards June 10, 2012 at 6:41 PM

The door is the warmest spot in your fridge milk and eggs should never be store there.

Karin July 11, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Love those baskets in the refrigerator I wish I knew where to find those exact ones because of those handles…awesome. The IKEA jars are nice and matchy but I don’t know how that would help with organization because how do you tell them apart?

Angela August 25, 2012 at 11:08 PM

We soooo need to talk. I have adhd as does my son and I can use ALL the help I can get your blog looks great.

Katie August 27, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Im totally getting those Baskets from the fridge if wmart still has them. I’ve been looking for something forever so thank you! Do you have an inexpensive way to organize the freezer?

Mandy October 13, 2012 at 9:54 AM

You can actually use some of the same baskets in the freezer as well, maybe just a bit smaller version, depending on your freezer size. I do a lot of freezer cooking and store things in freezer bags – the trick is to lay each bag flat while it freezes so that they can be neatly stacked together. We use stackable baskets in our large chest freezer as well.

Brooke Abney September 18, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Baskets in the fridge…brilliant. I am going to done with all my sandwich fixings in it. Hurrah! Making lunches just got easier.

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