The 10 Most Essential Tips You Need If Even ONE of Your Kitchen Cabinets Is Messy

updated Jul 16, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

Even the neatest people among us have ONE cabinet that’s kinda, well, a hot mess. Or, at the very least, not perfect. So we figure everyone can benefit from a quick look at 10 of our best cabinet-organizing tips of all time. These are the tips and tricks that we consider absolutely essential … for anyone with a single kitchen cabinet or 20.

Credit: Diana Liang

1. Readjust your shelves.

Too often we try to work with what we’ve got. But don’t forget your cabinet shelves are likely adjustable! If it’s been a while since you’ve really thought about your setup, you’re struggling to make taller things fit, or you’re wasting space in some cabinets, consider moving some shelves up or down. You’ll have to take things off the shelf, but then all you have to do is move the pegs.

2. Get a lazy Susan.

Maybe you’re tired of hearing us rave about lazy Susans? Sorry, not sorry! These things are just so great, we refuse to stop talking about them. Get one (we’re huge fans of these single- and double-tiered options from Copco) and then you’ll always be able to see what’s in the very back of your cabinet.

Credit: Amazon

3. And a shelf riser.

A simple shelf riser can help you create more storage space out of thin air. Put one in the cabinet where you store you dishes and you won’t have to pick up all the bowls every single time you need a plate.

Buy: DecoBros Expandable Stackable Kitchen Cabinet Shelf Organizer, $15

Credit: Dana McMahan

4. Install some pull-out shelves — or, at the very least, baskets.

Fact: Drawers are always going to be better than shelves, because they help you see what’s tucked all the way in the back. If you’re able to add some actual hardware to your cabinets, we absolutely recommend it. If you’re a renter, not all that handy, or on a tight budget, we suggest big baskets, which you can also slide in and out.

Read more: The Best $100 I Spent During My Kitchen’s Gut Renovation

Credit: Cambria Bold

5. Store messy containers on a plate.

That jar of honey that drips goo all over your shelf? And the pepper mill that leaves little pieces of pepper in its wake? Put them both on a little plate and it’ll contain the mess!

Read more:

The One Thing I Started Doing That Immediately Made This Kitchen Cabinet Neater

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

6. Store your lids on the cabinet door.

While we’re firmly against storing your measuring cups and spoons on your cabinet door (read this to find out why!), we are huge fans of this little hack. You just need a few Command Hooks and you can get your pot lids, which just might be the most annoying things anyone has to store, up and out of the way.

Read more: The $8 Trick to Miraculously Making Space for Your Pot Lids Where You Thought There Wasn’t Any

Credit: Coco Morante

7. Skip the shelf paper.

Turns out, cockroaches love to eat paper and glue. So a self-adhesive shelf paper (plus any sort of crumbs or open packaging in a messy cabinet!), could attract these unwanted buggers. If you want to line your shelves, consider one of those rubber-like grippy options out there.

Read more: The Horrifying Reason You Shouldn’t Use Contact Paper in Your Kitchen Cabinets

8. Find a new home for all your mugs.

Even just a few mugs take up more cabinet space than you realize. Find somewhere else to stash them (like on hooks under a shelf) and you’ll free up some valuable real estate, which you can then use for something else.

Read more: Boot This One Thing from Your Kitchen Cabinets to Free Up Some Major Space

Credit: Joe Lingeman

9. Use a dish drainer as an organizer.

If you have little kids in the house, we’re guessing you struggle with organizing all their little plates, cups, and utensils. Try a dish drainer! We’ve found a cheap wire one is the perfect solution — and it fits in a cabinet nicely.

Read moreThe Surprising Trick for Actually Keeping Kiddie Plates Organized

Credit: Joe Lingeman

10. Add tension rods.

Instead of stacking baking sheets, cutting boards, and bakeware on top of each other, set up a few tension rods (running vertically in a cabinet) and file these items on their sides. This way, you’ll be able to pull one out without sending the rest toppling over.

Read more: The Most Clever Solution for Storing Your Baking Sheets