If there’s one room that absolutely needs to be organised, it’s the kitchen. And yet, so often, kitchen storage solutions elude us. But getting your kitchen back on track is actually pretty simple. We’ve got some handy hints — and excellent product suggestions — that’ll transform your kitchen from cluttered and chaotic to serenely organised.
1. First, think about how you use your space
Whether you’re planning a kitchen from scratch, or overhauling an existing space, think about how you use your kitchen. Chances are, it’s a room you use at least twice a day, and possibly more. So above all, your kitchen needs to be functional, and storage is a key part of that. Think about your kitchen in terms of zones — a cooking zone (where your stove and oven are), a prep zone (usually your largest open bench space) and a food storage zone (your fridge and pantry). Think about the way your kitchen is now, and how you could move items around to make it work better for you. Do you store your utensils near your stove, so it’s easy to reach for a whisk when you’re making a sauce? Where are your chopping boards? Ideally, they’ll be right under your largest bench space, so you can grab them easily as you prep food. For many of us, it helps to do a ‘full Kondo‘ and take everything out of our cupboards, and reorganise from here (you may also find items you no longer need — chuck them out for bonus storage space!).
2. Drawers before doors
Ask pretty much any kitchen expert and they’ll tell you: drawers are king when it comes to storage. With drawers, you can easily see what’s in each space, and you can use the entire space (with cupboards, we tend to only use about half to three-quarters of the space — such a waste!). You can re-fit existing cupboards with drawers fairly simply, as a DIY job or by seeking out a professional.
3. Make your pantry work
For many of us, the pantry is like the Bermuda Triangle of kitchen storage: if we ignore it, it doesn’t really exist. But organising your pantry and adding a few nifty features to help it work harder for you will make prepping and cooking so much easier — we promise.
There are plenty of products on the market now to help you get your pantry in better working order. Think about rolling or sliding shelves that draw dry goods right out to you, two- and three-tier shelving units that can double your usable pantry space, over-the-doors hooks and rails, and baskets that clip onto the bottom of shelves to add extra storage and make reaching for that can of chickpeas a little easier.
4. Use every bit of space
Chances are, your kitchen has at least a little space that’s currently going unused (or at least underused). Have you got those odd tilt-down drawers (like these) just under your benches? Use them for sponges, spices, and cling wrap and foil. Got space above your cabinets? Place less frequently used items up there, like cookbooks, cake stands and large pots. How about the inside of your cabinet doors — reckon you could find space to hang a magazine file, to ‘file’ away your cling wrap, baking paper and foil there? Or maybe you could mount a magnetic strip for spices, or hang a chopping board.
And if you’ve been ‘blessed’ with awkward corner cupboards, think about using them in different ways. You could install a pull-out cupboard systems, such as Blum’s Space Corner, which brings the entire contents of the unit into view when you open the door. Have a look around and see how much space you’re not using — and then think about ways you can put that space to work.
And don’t forget to make the most of vertical space! You could hang chopping boards on walls, pot rails (which work for utensils and also small baskets which can hold fruit and veg), shelves for cookbooks, and even a peg board for miscellaneous items.
5. Install lighting inside your cabinets and drawers
Kitchen lighting isn’t just about those exxy downlights you installed. Nope — installing proper lighting in your pantry and other cupboards (or under cupboards) will allow you to see the entire contents of your cabinets at a glance. You can buy inexpensive battery-operated LED sensors lights from that emit very little heat and are therefore safe around food.
6. Not everything has to go in the kitchen
If you’re short on space, think about items that don’t necessarily have to live in the kitchen. Barware, for instance, might make more sense living in your bar cart. Cookbooks can go on a bookshelf in your living room. Cleaning items, like mops, might be better stored in the laundry. Again, it pays to be thoughtful about how you’re currently using your space, and whether you could put it to better use.
7. Hide clutter (hello, junk drawer…)
Look, there are some things you simply can’t get rid of — your toaster, your kettle, your utensils — but you can hide them away. Banish clutter from the benchtop by tucking everyday appliances such as the kettle and toaster behind sliding doors or inside discreet breakfast nooks (providing have enough properly located electrical sockets; if you don’t, these can be added by a qualified electrician). You could also cut down on bench space used by using a folding dish rack, a magnetic knife strip (eliminating the need for a block), or magnetic spice racks on the side of your fridge. And of course, the third drawer down is every Aussie’s junk drawer.
8. Use organisers and dividers in your drawers
Save time scrambling through drawers for that elusive utensil by adding drawer organisers and dividers to all your kitchen drawers, not just your cutlery and junk drawers. Find inexpensive drawer inserts at and . Look for inserts that are modular and expandable to fit your drawer size and requirements exactly — and don’t forget non-slip drawer inserts that keep the contents of your drawers secure.
9. Get stackable containers + dispensers
Don’t forget to find a home for all the little things that can quickly clutter up your benchtop. Clear glass containers allow you to organise and label your dry food and leftovers with ease, as well as keep tabs on how much you’ve got left. Square, stackable containers make the best use of space, and are available at and .
Renovating? Check out our 11 top tips for kitchen renovations below: