Come organize with me! I’m sharing all my kitchen organization ideas for under the sink, kitchen linens, pantry organization and our cleaning cupboard!
Today I’m so excited to give my kitchen a good ol’ declutter and organize in partnership with the ladies from our Modern Handmade Home series and Kitchen Stuff Plus. It’s just in time for their Organization Event which is going on right now (with tons of great sales!). We did this last January as well and it feels so darn good to start the year off with an organized kitchen. I actually have gone in and decluttered and organized every single cupboard in my kitchen this month but for the sake of post / video length… I’m just sharing a few of them today!
In this post, I’m sharing how I organized my under sink cupboard, our kitchen linens, my cleaning cupboard (in my kitchen) and one of my pantry cupboards. I know everyone uses their kitchen differently and I had a ton of comments about that when I shared our kitchen reveal just over a year ago. With no upper cabinets where the heck do you store your mugs? What about your toaster? Microwave? Why is your broom in your kitchen? I get it. So consider these organization ideas not rules.
But before you go and think your way is the best way… might I suggest some things to think through? I read the book ‘Design Mom’ a few years back and it challenged the way I think about where I store things. We have things we store certain places because we think that’s the only place for them. But what if we moved them to where they are used? Or what if we tried something completely untraditional but practical for your family? It’s your house, you guys! You get to make the rules.
Also… do you need that thing? I’ve been decluttering for years (you can check out Allie Casazza for amazing tips on this) and every year, I get rid of a little bit more. By doing this big kitchen organization every January, I can clearly see what things I haven’t touched since the last time I organized. And if you haven’t touched something in a year… you probably don’t need it.
Okay… with those in mind! Let’s check out under the kitchen sink!
If you’d rather watch me organize instead of just hear me talk about it… you can watch the video right here! While you’re there- I’d so love if you subscribed to my YouTube channel!
How to Organize Any Cupboard
Honestly, the steps are the same to organizing any cupboard. Here’s what I do when I’m tackling a cupboard- whether it’s in my kitchen or a drawer in the bedroom dresser.
- Empty the cupboard / drawer completely. Take everything out to make sure nothing is hiding in there and you can see everything clearly.
- Clean the drawer or cupboard. I vacuum it out, then wipe it with a damp cloth.
- Evaluate what is necessary. This is huge! Throw out anything that’s expired, put everything you don’t use in a donation bin, and put anything away that belongs in other spaces.
- Put large things in first. Under our sink- I needed to fit our Instant Pot, it’s giant and needs to go in first to make sure it fits.
- Put organizers in next. This means baskets, bins or whatever you’re going to use to section out your space.
- Put your things away! Simple, simple.
- Enjoy your organized drawers!
Organizing Under The Kitchen Sink
Under the sink is totally a catch all area. I don’t know about how you use it or how you used it in your childhood home- but it’s usually not the most clutter-free area. However- when we built our kitchen, we included a drawer above our pull out garbage can for things like a measuring tape, garbage bags, light bulbs… stuff we’d had under our sink in our previous house.
This kitchen also has the under-sink challenge of a garbage disposal system and a hot water dispenser heater. I LOVE these things, but they definitely eat up your storage space in this cupboard- you really lose the back half of your cabinet.
First thing you’ll probably notice is that I have appliances under here. What? I know, it’s weird. But these things are TALL and how many cupboards do you have that have this tall of space?! I don’t like to keep these things on my counter since I don’t use them every day. It’s the perfect spot for my Instant Pot but I was able to re-evaluate my coffee maker and after decluttering my coffee/tea etc. cupboard I was able to move that over there, just laying down since it’s an occasional use appliance.
You might also notice we don’t have many cleaners/chemicals under here. That’s what we used under the sink for growing up. But we have toddlers and one that’s still in the ‘dump all the things’ stage and we wanted them out of reach. We have a cleaning cupboard in our kitchen that I’ll share later in this post. I just keep one all natural cleaner, dishsoap, and disinfectant wipes under here. I corralled it all in a deep clear bin to make it easy to find and to keep anything from getting pushed to the back of the cabinet (and lost for another year).
I also got a paper towel holder for my paper towel. I’d always told myself there’s no need for one since I hide it under the calendar, but this way I don’t grab the whole roll out and leave it laying around the house- I can easily grab one or two sheets. We also have our dishwasher pods in this glass canister because it’s more difficult for the toddler to get into than the standard child proof containers they come in! Also… it’s prettier when I forget it on the counter!
This is in the same area, so I wanted to mention the kitchen sink! I try to keep the countertops clutter free and one thing we just switched to is this little scrubby that holds the soap in it so we don’t leave out the dish soap on the counter in between washes. So handy! We are usually only washing a handful of larger dishes that didn’t fit in the dishwasher so this is perfect for us. Except right now… our dishwasher is broken. One week and counting! Ouch!
We also added this little sponge holder to hold our scrubby and/or dish cloth when not in use. I love that it doesn’t fall down to the bottom of the sink and get dirty any more. Less laundry! Lastly here, we switched to this low profile in sink dish rack. This keeps clean dishes drying in the sink and not on the counter!
Organizing Kitchen Linens
Next up is our kitchen linens. I grew up storing these in the linen closet down the hall from the kitchen. In our last two homes, that’s where they lived as well. But after reconsidering what is convenient… why wouldn’t we store them in the kitchen? We dedicated one deep drawer to kitchen linens. We store tea towels, kitchen towels (bar mop type towels), dish cloths, scrubbers (we love these ones), stainless steel and window cloths, linen napkins and table runners. If we used table cloths on the regular, we would store those here too.
I had been using smaller dividers in here but with the amount of linen we wanted to store, they weren’t effective. They weren’t deep enough and the drawer itself was so much deeper it felt like a waste of space to only stack towels 4″ high. I chose these deep acrylic bins like I’m using in my fridge and under the sink- I love how these aren’t too tapered so they hold just as much in the bottom of the basket as they do in the top. These are the small ones (I also have a few for sprinkles, birthday candles and such).
I used one for my decorative linens, one for towels, and then small ones for specialty cloths (stainless steel, glass, and scrubbies), and one for dish cloths. This left extra space for me to fold my floor mop pads beside the big bins and extra space that I later added my heating pads to.
I wrote an entire post about pantry and fridge organization last year so I’m going to highlight that RIGHT HERE if you’re looking for tips specifically on that. But after a year of using that system, we had to replace one of our cereal containers and decided we didn’t go through ground coffee fast enough to put it in a canister and went through whole bean coffee too fast to bother put it in canisters. We used those canisters for popcorn and steel cut oats. We also got larger pop top canisters (these things are the bomb!) for our spaghetti since we buy it in bulk and our rice. These containers keep them fresh and I don’t spill as much (pouring out of a bulk bag of rice is a pain!).
We empty cereal boxes straight into these plastic cereal containers when we unpack from the grocery store. These OXO Good Grips containers not only take up less space than a cereal box but are airtight so keep fresh longer. But the biggest benefit for me is that my kids can pour their own cereal. I have 4 kids aged 6 and under and all except the youngest (and he’s actually getting pretty good too) can pour their own without spilling- so I get to clean up less messes on busy mornings.
I moved all the snacks for kids I’d had in this cupboard to the top cupboard since the littlest one discovered them- he doesn’t understand waiting yet- maybe once he does, I’ll move them back down- ha!
Cleaning Cupboard Organization
This section could also be- how we store chemicals out of kids reach. This little hidden cupboard is one of my favourite features we built into our kitchen (you can read why in our kitchen reveal post), but it allows us to keep all the chemicals out of little ones’ reach. We were using wicker baskets for these because that’s what we’d had on hand but they were so tight in there, they broke pieces of wicker off every time I pulled them down and they didn’t contain any leaks. I switched for a plastic basket that is a better fit in the space for chemicals and by ditching any we haven’t used in the past year, they all fit back in here with plenty of room.
The bottom half of this cupboard is for brooms and such. We had just been shoving things in here for the past year with no organization. Our mop and vacuum handle don’t have small enough handles to fit in traditional wall mount holders and don’t have loops for hooks. This mop insert basket fit perfectly in the bottom of the cupboard to hold them in place and keep them from sliding out when we open the door.
On a side note- we got this broom last week and two family members used it over the weekend while visiting and both of them made a point of asking where we got it because they loved it that much. Who knew brooms were such a hot ticket item. Ha!
I also put these adhesive stainless look wall hooks on the side of the cupboard for aprons and our broom. This cupboard feels so much more functional. We also removed a stack of kids art (why?!) from the cleaning cupboard. Gotta love decluttering- ha!
Phew! That was a lot of information. I am so happy walking into a cleaned and organized kitchen. Every january when we do this, it’s like a fresh start. Do you have any tips for organizing these spaces in your kitchen? I’d love if you shared them!
And if you’re looking for more ideas for organizing your kitchen- the lovely ladies from the Modern Handmade Home series have some inspiration for you! You can check out their posts below.