The Very Best Kitchen Organizers and Cleaning Supplies for 2021

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Credit: Courtesy of Joseph Joseph

A few weeks ago, we launched Kitchn Essentials: Our guide to the must-have tools and cookware for home cooks in 2021. The list included eight different categories (including knives, cookware, bakeware, etc.) and we devoted an entire section to cleaning and organizing products.

You might be asking: Are cleaning and organizing items really essential for home cooks? We think so. While a pot organizer might not seem as crucial as the actual pot, it can make your life in the kitchen a whole lot easier. The same logic applies to a spice organizer. And dish soap is essential for cleaning pretty much everything. With all this in mind, we rounded up our very favorite cleaning supplies and organizing tools for today and the rest of the year to come.

Note: We’ve indicated which ones are “repeat winners,” meaning they were also chosen as our top picks in last year‘s Kitchn Essentials!

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Drawer Organizer
Bed Bath & Beyond

“I bought this because Lisa Freedman, our Lifestyle Director, got it a few years ago and wouldn’t stop raving about it,” says Lifestyle Editor Lauren Masur. “I totally get why she’s so obsessed with it.” It fits in even the narrowest drawers (it’s less than six inches wide) and still holds a full set of flatware. And it’s just $10!

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Pot Organizer
was $39.99

Hunting for the right pan or its matching lid is probably the least fun part of cooking. This adjustable organizer makes that task a little easier. It has 10 adjustable dividers, expands to fit your cabinet, and is sturdy enough to hold cast iron skillets and giant sauté pans.

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Lazy Susan

Show us a pantry that can’t benefit from a lazy Susan and we’ll close up this site right then and there. You can’t do it! Because lazy Susans are miracle workers — especially this one, with its wide rim and non-slip bottom. Use one for spices and specialty bottles in the pantry, and get a second one for the fridge.

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Dish Cloths
Sur La Table

Editor-in-Chef Faith Durand has a giant stack of these and swears by them for drying dishes. "They're super absorbent and don't leave any lint behind," she says. "Plus, they're still just as fluffy now, years later, as they were when I first got them."

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Side Towels

Two towels on one list? Yes! These are the ones that you're gonna put to WORK. They're what you'll use to clean up spills, wipe your sticky hands, pick up pot lids, and more. Pro chefs love these things because you can get a lot for just a little bit of money. Tip: Keep one on your counter when you work and one tucked into your apron or pants pocket.

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All-Purpose Cleaner
Grove Collaborative

Because cleaning supplies (and too many other things) come in so much unnecessary plastic! This set comes with two concentrated solutions (an all-purpose cleaner and a glass cleaner) in minimal plastic. Just dilute a few drops with water in the glass spray bottle and you're good to go. When you run out of concentrate, you can re-up and keep using the spray bottle and cloth from the starter kit.

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Dish Brush

While we would have loved to suggest a gorgeously designed brush with a sleek wooden handle here, we just couldn’t. Because this is one of the many times when you need function over form in the kitchen. This brush holds a good amount of dish soap, which you can easily dispense with the press of a button.

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Bottle Brush

When you need a bottle brush only a bottle brush will do. This one has a generous amount of bristles that really do hit all the spots, a comfortable handle, and a long neck that reaches into deep water bottles and narrow, insulated travel coffee mugs.

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Dish Soap

“Whether you’ve got a baby in your house or not, I strongly recommend this dish soap,” Faith says. “Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s scent-free (I hate when dishes smell faintly like lavender or basil!). And it doesn’t leave a trace of film behind the way some other popular soaps can.”

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Dishwasher Detergent

Faith was the first to try this dishwasher powder and she’s since converted many Kitchn editors. If you have issues with cloudy or streaky glasses coming out after you’ve run the dishwasher, try one load with this and you’ll be hooked, too. Faith’s tip: Use less than half the recommended amount for each load.

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Kitchen Mat
House of Noa

Fun fact: Kitchn inspired this company to start making kitchen mats! They used to only make play mats for kids’ rooms, but Lisa said she wanted to use some tiles in her kitchen and the idea spiraled from there. The company now makes gorgeous mats that look like vintage rugs but feel like cushy mousepads for your feet! We couldn’t stand in our kitchens for as long as we do without these.

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Stick Vacuum

A stick vacuum is key for quick, nightly cleanings as you shut down your kitchen. If you want something long-term, we say go with a Dyson. This model has a good battery life, gets every last crumb, and is easy to maneuver. Plus, you can almost always find it on sale.

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Dish Drying Rack

This dish drying rack is so great. It has spots for drying untensils, glasses and mugs, and stemmed wine glasses. It has a swivel spout to ensure water drainage actually goes back into your sink. And it doesn't get gross (thanks to an anti-residue coating!), however, when you do need to clean it the utensil holder and wire frame are even dishwasher-safe.

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Trash Can
was $249.99

We think that your recycling bin is just as important as your trash bin, so we like that this simplehuman can has compartments for both. It also has a wide steel pedal, a soft-close lid, and liners that will keep your bags from slipping into the can. It's a lot of money to spend on a trash can, yes, but we've found that we almost always end up hating less expensive trash cans.

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Compost Bin

We don't care that much about charcoal filters, but what we really care about when it comes to compost bins is that they can go in the dishwasher. Because you're going to want to clean it between pickups and you're not going to want to do it by hand. This one has a charcoal filter and is dishwasher-safe. Plus, it's not half bad to look at.

Credit: Kitchn