Want to organize your kitchen and not spend a fortune?
I think we’d all like to be more organized, and to spend as little cash as possible to get it done. Don’t get me wrong, if I had my dream kitchen and unlimited funds, I’d probably put a big dent in those organization stores. But let’s get real – we ARE on a budget, and we need to make those dollars count!
No matter what, the first step should be to pull everything out of the section that you want to organize. Clear the shelf, drawer or cabinet. Purge anything that is expired, dispose of broken items that can’t be repaired, and donate things you no longer use. It’s easier to organize when you have fewer things and you get rid of any clutter first.
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The kitchen has a lot of places that need organization! If you’re planning on organizing he entire kitchen, break it down and so it systematically. Unless you have the tiniest kitchen in a studio apartment, you’re probably not going to be able to do it all in one day (…and if you have a giant kitchen and you CAN do this all in one day from scratch, I don’t know if we can truly be friends).
You might start at one side of the kitchen and slowly work from the left to the right, going one cabinet at a time. Or you might tackle things by category – first the pantry items and canned food, then the spice cabinet, followed by the flatware and serving/cooking utensils, etc. If you break it down and do a little bit each day, you’ll see progress and you’ll have the visible reinforcement to keep going.
Once you’ve done your donate/toss/replace exercise, then you can tackle organization. Here are a few budget friendly organizing things I’ve been using over the years that have really helped-
White Plastic Baskets
These things are great for so many purposes! Back when I had to deal with our first ever leak under the kitchen sink, I discovered how much easier and faster it is to pull things out of a puddle in your cabinet when they’re in one of these plastic baskets. Plus, it keeps my liquid dish soap, trash bags and specialty cleaning items all in one place.
Since I’ve got mine set over to the side of the cabinet, it has so far been out of the direct path of any dripping water – and the paperboard box of those steel wool scrubbing pads has been unaffected by minor leaks. Depending on how you set up your recycling, these baskets can also be useful for keeping cans and bottles contained while they’re waiting to go to the curb. They’re easy to wipe clean!
I use plastic baskets for pantry organization, too. Use a plastic basket to keep chocolate chips, powdered sugar and other baking items together, or have another one dedicated to packages of dry pasta. This makes a pantry shelf full of baking items look so much more organized, and it’s easy to slide it out to check and see what you need when making a shopping list, or to pull out like items when you’re doing your holiday baking.
Clear Acrylic Organizers are Great for Fridge & Pantry
I use acrylic organizers both inside the fridge and out! There’s one that’s perfect for holding all of our pet medications, another that holds my flavored seltzers in the refrigerator, and a third that I use to store all of our sandwich meats and cheeses.
I can’t tell you how convenient it is to just pull this little bin out of the fridge when we’re packing school lunches! The soda can organizer can also serve as a soup or vegetable can organizer in the pantry. I’ve found these on occasion at Costco, but you can always find the clear organizers online at Amazon.
Use Magazine Holders for Cookbooks
I have a few “go-to” cookbooks that I keep in the kitchen all the time. One is in a binder and will stand up on its own, but the others are paperbacks. To keep them standing upright in the corner, and looking nice and neat, I use a simple white magazine holder that I got years ago from Ikea (look for the “Tjena”).
You can always pick some magazine holders up at your local big box store or online. I even found the ones below at Amazon, with multiple colors in the set – how cute are they? You could really tailor your organization to fit your kitchen color scheme, and use the others in the home office.
I’ve found multiple uses for magazine holders though – I even store the kids’ coloring books and writing notebooks in them – and we keep them in their rooms!
Use a Lazy Susan for Spices (and for Kids’ Cups)
I’ve used a lazy susan forever to organize my spices, and it looks just like the one below – except that it has a gray mat instead of teal (I’m super jealous of the teal, not gonna lie). Your spices are easy to reach, and you can fit twice the number of little bottles and tins in your cabinet when you have a double-decker spinner.
But these things aren’t just for spices anymore! When the kids were younger and they were drinking out of plastic cups at every meal, I figured out I could use a lazy susan to store those cups! No more having to move things out of the way to reach the favorite red one they’re requesting.
Do you have one of those corner cabinets that is just a big rectangle and isn’t cut on the angle for the corner? Believe me, a lazy susan makes reaching those items in the back SO SO SO MUCH EASIER. It can actually make that space useful back there, even though you still have to bend your arm at the elbow to reach to the back of the cabinet. You still have to reach a little, but you can spin that little thing and get access to ALL of the things at the back, rather than just a few.
Now go get started, and let’s get your kitchen looking great this year!
Watch for my other organizational posts coming this month as we start to get organized in the new year! You may also be interested in these other helpful organizational posts from the other bloggers in this month-long organizational challenge:
- Have an Organized Kitchen You Can Be Proud Of – Sunflower Mom
- My Favorite Kitchen Organizing Tools and Tips – Busy Lifestyle Gal
- Eight Weird Ways to Organize Your Kitchen – Single Girls DIY
- Efficient Kitchen Organization Ideas to Maximize Space – Love Our Real Life