back to school

6 Brilliant Back-to-School Supplies That’ll Instantly Organize Your Kitchen

published Aug 25, 2022
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It’s back-to-school season! And you know what that means? It’s time for a shopping party. But here’s the thing: Classroom and office supplies also double as secret organizers, too. See, back-to-school supplies are great for keeping your kitchen in order, and this month is the perfect time to snag them.

Whether it’s a box of binder clips or a file holder, kitchen organizing supplies “disguised” as school supplies are on full display with bargain prices from August through September. Here are some easy but ingenious hacks for using back-to-school supplies to organize your kitchen.  

Credit: Sarah Crowley

1. Store your recipes in sheet protectors.

Not every recipe can conveniently be found on your phone. Every once in a while you still might use a printed-out recipe. If that’s the case, it’s important to keep them clean. Enter: the sheet protector!

That’s right. To solve this issue, keep your recipes — including the ones you rip out from magazines or those precious heirloom recipe cards from Grandma — in sheet protectors. The plastic protects them from chocolate smudges and oil splatters, and you can stash your collection all together in a binder for future use.

Once you have your recipes in sheet protectors, use washi tape to secure the recipe to the bottom of your cabinet. It’ll hang down right at eye level without taking up a bit of precious counter space!

Credit: Sarah Crowley

2. Get your freezer organized in zones with magazine files.

Whatever kind of freezer you have, it’s too easy for the space to become a jumbled mess of frozen veggie bags, ready-made waffles, and all of your overripe bananas you’ve saved for homemade banana bread.

Luckily, plastic or metal mesh magazine files in the freezer help create order. For example, put veggies in one and meat in another, so you can always find what you need. Magazine files can be placed side-by-side or one on top of the other horizontally. 

Plus, if you freeze leftover soup or sauces, and you use zip-top bags, magazine files can provide order here, too. Allow items to freeze flat in the bag and store right in the magazine file. That way you can avoid your collection of frozen food from becoming a toppling tower. 

There’s one more use: Mesh magazine files are also perfect for storing potatoes and onions in the pantry. They not only keep produce contained while offering airflow, but they also allow the use of vertical space for an unlikely item.

3. Stock up on lots of rubber bands.

One of the best ways to keep freezer items fresh is to use inexpensive rubber bands to seal bags. They don’t take up any additional room, and they don’t require you to use extra plastic bags. Having rubber bands on hand and within easy reach in the kitchen is an organizer’s secret!

Credit: Sarah Crowley

But that’s not all rubber bands are good for. Wide rubber bands are also perfect for helping to open stubborn jar lids. Keep them directly on your lids for as long as you have your jar of pickles or Grey Poupon or whatever the case may be. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

4. Organize your pans and more with a file sorter.

A metal file sorter is a kitchen cupboard’s best friend. You can use it to separate pans so that you don’t have to unstack and stack a pile of cookware to get the one you need. You can even use it horizontally so you can store muffin tins and baking sheets on their sides. 

Credit: Patty Catalano

5. Label with masking tape.

Labeling brings next-level order to every part of your kitchen — especially in the fridge and freezer, where “mystery” items take up space and, more often than not, get thrown away.

Masking tape makes the best quick label in the kitchen. Cut off a piece and use permanent marker to write contents or a use-by date on whatever you need to label. When it’s time to take the label off, you won’t have to deal with any residue. It’s cheap, effective, and super quick. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

6. Discover the power of a binder clip.

Binder clips are superstars when it comes to kitchen organization. They can be used to hold a wet sponge vertically so that it can dry. They are small enough to seal cereal bags closed without adding bulk. Or you can use them to hang and seal bags of chips or snacks from wire shelves.

And packets of ranch dressing or taco seasoning that get lost in the pantry can be easily corralled with binder clips, which can then be hung on a hook affixed to the inside of a cabinet door.

The uses are endless. Here are a few more ideas: A pyramid of water bottles or cans of sparkling water can be kept contained using binder clips to keep them from rolling (you just need wire shelves). You can also create zones in your fridge or freezer by attaching binder clips to various shelves and adding labels.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Plus, they come in handy for cleaning supplies, too! Attach one to a pair of rubber gloves and neatly hang them on a hook on the inside door of a cabinet.

How do you use office supplies in the kitchen? Tell us what we missed in the comments below.