8 Brilliant Organizing Ideas We Learned from Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, and Other Celebs This Year

published Dec 18, 2021
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While it’s endlessly fun to watch Ina make a giant cosmopolitan, that’s not especially useful for our everyday lives. For the most part, though, our favorite celebrities tend to give us lots of brilliant takeaways that can improve our daily stints in the kitchen. Whether they mean to or not!

This year, we got lots of aha moments from our favorite celebrities. We stole some tricks to organize our pantries, set up our countertops, beautify our under-sink areas, and more. Wanna know the very best lessons we learned? You’re in the right place! Let’s take a look.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

1. Decant dried goods into special containers.

Martha Stewart gave us all a tour around her renovated kitchen and had a few smart tips to share (hang your pots! Get rid of cracked rubber spatulas! Make a knife drawer!). In the video, she told us to decant pantry goods into special containers. We tested the tip with Martha-designed storage containers to great success. Not only did it keep our snacks fresher for longer, but our cabinets have also never looked tidier (or more Pinterest-y.)

Read more: Martha Stewart Inspired Me to Buy These Brilliant Storage Containers — And I Have Zero Regrets

2. Use a pickle crock as a trash can.

The best part of that kitchen tour video from Martha was when she revealed that her trash bin is actually a repurposed GIANT pickle crock. By putting a lined plastic bin inside the crock, you’ll cut down on garbage smells and add vintage charm to your kitchen. No worries if you can’t find a huge crock like Martha’s — small ones do the trick for compost, and can even be displayed on your counter.

Read more: Martha Stewart Has a Brilliant (and Unexpected) Kitchen Trash Can Solution

Credit: Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

3. Store utensils in TWO crocks.

Earlier this year, we realized that Ina Garten has a great method for organizing utensils and tools. She keeps hers in two separate crocks: one for metal tools and one for wooden and rubber utensils. By corralling fish spatulas, tongs, and whisks in one crock and, say, spoons and spatulas in another, you’ll avoid overstuffing and becoming disorganized.

Read more: Ina Garten Inspired Me to Change How I Organize My Kitchen Tools. And You Should Take Note.

4. Use a fabric skirt to beautify your under-the-sink area.

This summer, we noticed that Oprah’s under-the-kitchen-sink area is hidden with a decorative fabric curtain instead of doors. So smart! So lovely! It’s a great way to add a little personality to an otherwise boring space. This tip inspired a heated debate in the comments section, but we totally stand by it. If it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for us.

Read more: Oprah Has the Most Brilliant Solution for Her Under-the-Sink Area

5. Hang a magnetic knife strip vertically.

Julia Child is certainly a food celebrity. After all, we’re still learning things from the kitchen queen. There’s a whole wealth of knowledge nuggets in this article about how Julia organized her kitchen (she was a fan of utensil crocks, too), but our favorite was how she hung her knife holders. Instead of attaching them on the wall horizontally, she always put them up vertically. That means knives hang horizontally. And that means they’ll be more equally balanced, and easier to grab.

Read more: 8 Clever Organizing Ideas I Learned from Looking at Julia Child’s Kitchen

6. Keep a jar of tasting spoons by your stove.

This tip comes from Ina, and it’s also a restaurant-chef secret: Keep a little jar of spoons by your stove. As Ina explains, “I’m always picking up something and stirring or tasting something,” so it makes sense to have the necessary utensils close by. We, too, are always tasting things! While Ina’s spoons are antique and lovely, any spoons will do.

Read more: The Little Organizing Trick I Stole from Ina Garten That’s Totally Made Me a Better Cook

Credit: Ashley Abramson

7. Store spices in a drawer.

Marie Kondo’s new line at The Container Store certainly sparked joy for us. We loved pretty much everything in the line (and we still do!), but the one thing that stood out the most was her in-drawer spice organizer. It’s gorgeous, of course, and it also displays all your spice jars, so that everything is easy to find and grab.

Read more: Marie Kondo’s $30 Spice Organizer Solved My Biggest Small-Kitchen Storage Problem

8. Use drawer inserts.

Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin might not be as well-known as, say, Oprah, but the women behind The Home Edit are celebrities in our eyes. And, during an interview earlier this year with our friends over at Apartment Therapy, they touted the benefits of drawer inserts. Use them for your junk drawer, your utensil drawer, or even the drawer that holds all your tea packets.

Did you pick up any celebrity-sourced tips for organizing or cleaning your kitchens? Let us in on the secrets!