How to De-Clutter Your Kitchen Cabinets

By Colleen Donnelly,

De-cluttering your kitchen isn't as painful as you may think..
De-cluttering your kitchen isn't as painful as you may think..

Tired of your pantries being a mess? Here are some great, expert tips to help de-clutter your cabinets.

Plan Ahead…

One of the most common organizational mistakes is not making a plan before buying products. Korinne Kubena Belock, owner of Urban Simplicity , a professional organizing company based in New York City, recommends tackling the problem of cabinet clutter by planning.

Before moving things around, Belock suggests writing out the different types of items, or categories of items in your cabinets on sticky notes. Start assigning a new home to items by moving the sticky notes around as needed. She recommends using the back of a door as a chalkboard, corkboard, or magnetic board to stay on track of grocery items or hang clippings.


To make easy access for the items you use most often, Sarah Hayon and Stacey Platt, the ladies at DwellWell and the authors of What's a DisOrganized Person To Do? suggest storing those items on shelves on eye level. For items you don't use as much such as spare ketchup, mustard, jam, and salad dressing, make use of the less accessible shelves. They recommend making use of deep shelves for storing paper towels. According to Lisa Zaslow, organization expert and founder of, using lazy susans, tiered shelves and handled baskets allow you access to important items that would otherwise get hidden in the back of a cabinet.

Related: 4 Quick Fixes for the Kitchen

Spice Jars
Spice Jars


Belock believes that to maximize organization, it is important to sort items into categories such as grains, pastas, canned goods, snacks, kids' food, and sweets. Make sure that the items you use most are easily accessible. Use containers to save space excess packaging takes up and easily stack items.

Don't Be Afraid to Throw Things Out…

It seems that all too often we go to the grocery store only to return and realize that we came back with a pile of food that is already in the cabinets. Tracy McCubbin, owner of dClutterfly (, maintains that the best way to keep an organized cabinet is to purge. Take the time to get rid of items that you don't like or won't eat anymore by donating canned goods and non-perishable items. Not only will it help you see what you actually need and don't need, but it will also save you money so you're not doubling up on items.

Related: Making Your Living Space Organized AND Clutter-Free

Maximize Space…

According to Zaslow, the key to de-cluttering your cabinets is thinking like a New York real estate mogul and going vertical. To avoid wasting this unused vertical space, adjust your shelves or add more. If you can't adjust your shelves, use shelf doublers to maximize cabinet space. Belock recommends using dividers to keep cutting boards, bake ware, and platters lined up and easily accessible. This will allow for much more storage area.

Spice Things Up…

One of the biggest problems with cabinet organization is spices. Because they are in such small containers and tend to look the same, Hayon and Platt recommend alphabetizing spice racks to find what you are looking for. They believe that making labels clearly visible avoid the potential mess when finding the right spice for your dish.

Finally, take some time each day to tidy up and make sure everything is in the place you want it to be. All of the experts we spoke to say that taking a few minutes daily to clean up and stay organized prevents a full-fledged kitchen disaster.

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