Kitchen Cabinet Organizers

Kitchen cabinet organizers can make the difference between a jumbled mess and a clean, efficient, highly functional kitchen workspace.


Do you dream of such organization? This French phrase means "everything in place" and making it a reality is easier than you think. Sensible storage planning puts everyday items neatly near where they're used most.

Photo by: Kimme Persson

Kimme Persson

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From horizontal pullouts to supercabinets with lots of dividers, pockets and adjustable shelving, kitchen cabinet organizers are the finishing touch to updating your kitchen cabinets and creating a well-organized kitchen.

Small Kitchens: 8 Design Ideas to Try

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Focus on Function

A small kitchen cannot accommodate homework, mail storage, laundry duties and recipe hunting. Unless you don't cook at all, the small kitchen's main chore is meal prep. So focus first on function, making sure you have the appliances and work areas you need. You may be able to save a bit of space by using scaled-down or innovative appliances, including refrigerator and freezer drawers and pint-sized microwaves, stoves (some with just two burners) and single sinks. If workspace is at a premium, consider a small-scale island or a counter-topped cart that can be rolled into a closet when not in use.

Open Up Cupboards

Tiny kitchens can feel claustrophobic when cabinets are towering overhead. Many cooks can't reach what's in them and the overall feeling is boxy and closed in. Get organized and trade the top cupboards for open storage. Consider shelving, pot racks and magnetic knife or spice holders instead. Your kitchen will look more spacious and serve up display space for your favorite dishes, shiny pots and pans, or artwork.

Mix Up the Materials

Because your kitchen may be short on interesting architectural details, it's up to you to add the all-important style via compelling countertop surfaces, cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting and color. To ensure a cohesive look, create a mix board with samples and swatches of materials under consideration. One tip: Using the same color and style of fixtures and cabinet pulls can help unify a look.

From: Ammie Kim

Go for Glass

One of the easiest ways to visually expand a kitchen is to incorporate glass. Try a glass counter or tabletop, tile, door cabinets or kitchen doors that lead to the outside world or to the next room. Mirrors, in a backsplash or strategically placed around a room, or pass-through windows into the next room, also lighten up the look.

Visually Expand With Lighting

A small kitchen requires a combination of task and atmospheric lighting. To counteract the bluish cast of fluorescent lighting and add drama, install pendant lights in the eating area, incandescent lighting underneath upper cabinets and incandescent spot lighting above cabinetry. Lighting can also be installed under base cabinetry so it shines down onto the toe plate.

Invest in Flooring

Where does the eye go when one walks into a room? Often it goes down — right to that dust bunny or scuffed floor. That's why flooring in a small kitchen is so important. Linoleum in a checkerboard pattern can be really eye-catching and relatively inexpensive. Since square footage is small, you may be able to afford a beautiful tumbled marble. Marble tends to be cold and hard underfoot, but the impact may be worth it. Or try cork, a beautiful — and eco-friendly — choice.

Go Bold With Color

The color of walls, appliances, counters, stools — even the dishtowels — can change the atmosphere and perceived size of the kitchen. Pastels or light colors, with good doses of white, reflect light and draw the eye up, making ceilings appear higher. Bold colorations can be very effective in smaller kitchens. How about some Porsche red metal cabinets with celery green walls and a banana-colored concrete countertop?

Embrace the Space

Rather than using tricks to visually enlarge the space, consider embracing your kitchen as-is. Instead of going light or sleek, opt for country cozy. Make sure there is a little nook where you can sit with a visitor knee-to-knee. Or choose a rich dark color that creates a sophisticated feeling — and use accessories that emphasize that look. The kitchen is small, yes, but it sure is inviting.

An organized, efficient, highly functional kitchen is the difference between art and chaos when it comes to creating culinary masterpieces or throwing together a simple family meal that doesn't leave you feeling like a frantic wreck.

Rolling shelves are great for very deep-set cabinets because they pull out towards you. So you'll easily be able to see anything you have stored in the very back of the cabinet without having to dig through or remove the items in the front. Rolling shelves can be added to any cabinet and can be as small as one or two shelves in an end cabinet—or as large as a two-door cabinet in the middle between horizontal pullouts and recyclable storage bins.

Extreme lazy Susans work really well inside corner cabinets for easy access to any item as the shelves rotate from front to back. A bit of a twist on a popular classic, the corner lazy Susan often has pullout shelves for even more convenience and ease of access.

Horizontal column pullouts are great for storing and organizing spices, jars and cans; they blend easily with the rest of your kitchen cabinets.

One organizer that is essential to well-organized kitchen cabinets is the pots and pans organizer, which is a pullout drawer with a deep pocket for the pots and pans, and a separate compartment for the lids. Actually, any organizer that has a compartment to manage lids, whether they are for plastic storage containers or pots and pans is a must-have for any kitchen.

Wire racks and baskets attached to the inside of cabinet doors or placed on gliders as rollout drawers are wonderful for storing fruits and vegetables and assorted canned goods, jars and bottles.

The most important thing to remember is to create divided space that separates items and makes them easy to see and access. I like wire, stainless steel and metal more than wood because it's so much easier to see at a glance exactly what's inside.

Grouping like items together also makes it easier to know where things are at a glance. A fun thing I really love are cabinets with pullout mixer shelves and cutting boards. Spice racks, cookbook racks or sets of built-in open shelves, cleaning caddies and messaging centers all work together to make your kitchen functional and easy to navigate while leaving your countertops free from clutter.

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