7 Kitchen Organization Problems and How to Solve Them

Decluttering and Kitchen Cabinet Organizing Ideas

Do you ever feel like your kitchen is a black hole that swallows everything and now it’s beginning to swallow you too? Most kitchen organization problems come from just a few issues that, once out of hand, can seem insurmountable. Here are the seven biggest issues and how to solve them painlessly.

Problem 1: The Storage Container Jungle

How many times a day do you find yourself rummaging to find a lid that fits the container you want to use? Even once is too many.


First, go through your storage containers and get rid of anything that doesn’t have a mate. You may even want to consider streamlining your selection of containers so you aren’t overwhelmed by too many containers.

A basket or other in-cabinet box is handy for keeping all the lids in one place. Take the time, when you put lids away, to ensure they are arranged in order from smallest to largest. That way it’s easier to find what you need when you need it.

Cabinet organizers for the kitchen including spice rack, pull out cabinets, and back of door racks.

Problem 2: Can’t Find It

You’re pretty sure you have one more can of anchovies but maybe they’re lost somewhere? Why is the scrub brush always buried at the bottom of the drawer when your hands are dripping with dirty, greasy water? This is the classic case of can’t find it-itis.


A place for everything and everything in its place. Make sure everything in your kitchen has a home and don’t change it. You’ll always be able to lay hands on it if you know where you can expect it to be.

Put the most important stuff in an easily accessible place. Sponges, brushes, other dishwashing items are best kept at or near the sink and in a place you can get to them without any fuss. Sink front trays (the narrow trays that go on the dummy drawers in front of the sink) are a great place to put these items.

Storage bins often help you make better use of space in cabinets and pantries. Use clear bins or wire boxes so you can see what’s in them without having to rummage.

Deep cabinets often become caverns for items that you either have to go spelunking for or just decide it’s not worth the effort and make do with whatever you have handy. One of our favorite kitchen cabinet organizing ideas help you regain the full use of all your kitchen gadgets with glideware organizers. They allow you to use the full depth of your cabinet but make it as easy for you to get to the stuff in the back as in the front.

Problem 3: Plastic Grocery Bag Conundrum

We all do it. We collect those plastic grocery bags to reuse them, but they are so unwieldy. They always seem to end up going everywhere and there’s really no easy way to corral them.


There are gadgets you can spend less than $20 on to contain your plastic bags that have easy-to-use dispensers. Or you can get creative and make one of your own out of a tissue box. They’re easy to put in and easy to take out. They also have the added benefit of letting you reuse something that might otherwise end up at a landfill or recycling center.

Kitchen island with lots of cabinet storage space.

Problem 4: Not Enough Storage Space

For too many people, “not enough storage space” is really about a lack of organization. So think through whether you really lack storage space or you just need to maximize what you already have. If the latter, skip to problem 5. If the former, here’s one big idea that won’t require a total kitchen remodel.


If you don’t have a kitchen island, get one. Islands can be all sizes and shapes and nearly every kitchen has a space for one. Even if it’s a small kitchen cart, it will increase your kitchen storage space.

You can use pre-built islands, furniture, carts, industrial kitchen workspaces, a table, and many other things to create an island. Whatever you use, ensure an island introduces more storage into your kitchen. Given the opportunity to install a larger island, be sure to put in plenty of cabinets to give your storage a boost. Learn more about what kind of cabinet options you have for an island.

Cabinet and drawer organizers to increase organization and storage space.

Problem 5: Poor Use of Storage Space

Maybe you have plenty of storage, but it just doesn’t seem like any of it works that well. Maximize the space you’ve got with our best kitchen cabinet organizing ideas that turn poorly planned spaces into storage dreams.


Cabinets take up a lot of real estate in your kitchen and they should offer you a lot of storage. If that’s not the case, you’re probably in need of a few accessibility tweaks and a bit of creative thinking.

Install cabinet racks (horizontal sliding drawers or vertical sliding racks) that help you both divide up the space and make it easier to see and get to what’s in the back. Use dividers to designate slots of different items so they don’t end up mingling into a mess.

Mount storage on the backside of cabinets or pantry doors so you’re using every available space. Place a spice organizer in a drawer or cabinet to keep smaller items organized.

Problem 6: Utensil Drawer Chaos

Almost as bad as the junk drawer, the utensil drawer can become a catch all. You’ll find yourself searching for a spatula or vegetable peeler for twice as long as it would take to peel the potato. Luckily the answer is simple with a few kitchen drawer organization ideas.


The drawer organizer will end all your woes. It slides right into your drawer and provides separate spaces so you can put all the spatulas together and keep small items in one spot. You’ll at least know where the item you’re searching for is supposed to be. Whether the kids put it back in the right place after unloading the dishwasher is another problem entirely.

Problem 7: The Case of the Cluttered Counter

A natural consequence of kitchen organization problems is that stuff starts piling up on the countertop. If you barely have space to work, it’s definitely time to rethink what belongs on the countertop.


Many of the other hacks in this article will help you make space so you can more some of the stuff above counter to under it. Keep things that you use every day, like the toaster, on the counter and stuff you use less frequently, like the blender, below.

Medium-sized appliances that you don’t use regularly will be right at home in the pantry or a larger cabinet. Use sliding shelves to make this work like a dream. Get rid of your countertop knife block and move knives into a drawer with drawer knife block. Lose the out-in-the-open spice rack in favor of a spice drawer insert. It’s easy to move stuff off the counter with the right kitchen drawer organization ideas.

Reform your kitchen into an organized and easy-to-use wonderland. A few of our accessories can help you do it.

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