Sort and toss
Start the cleaning process by purging your cabinets and drawers of gadgets you hardly ever use. Hang on to the tools that do many things well, like your blender, and consider ditching the cumbersome one-trick ponies (like that regrettable hard-boiled egg cooker). Donate the things you don’t need, and place rarely used items in storage.
Once you’ve pared your inventory down, put items in places that make the most sense. Keep glassware and cups near the refrigerator or sink, utensils, spices and plates near the cooking area; mugs near the coffeemaker. You’ll not only save space, you’ll save steps, and that saves time.
Practice counter intelligence
Consider freeing up precious counter space by installing an under-cabinet coffeemaker, or one that installs directly into your cabinetry. Explore discreetly fitting microwaves, toaster ovens and can openers underneath your kitchen cabinets. Some manufacturers are coming up with even more creative solutions, like drawer-style microwave ovens and special fittings for cabinets that allow heavy stationary mixers to effortlessly swing down and out of the way when not in use.
Divide and conquer
Adding vertical dividers to your cabinets makes it easy to stack cookie sheets and cake pans. For lower cabinets, a simple spin of a Lazy Susan puts everything within reach. Small, inexpensive shelves can double your storage, allowing you to neatly organize the pantry. An under-the-sink caddy can store all your cleaning sprays and wipes.
Use “hidden” space
Free up valuable cabinet and drawer space by installing hooks for coffee mugs and utensils under cabinets. Hang pots from an attractive rack on the ceiling. Make use of blank wall space or a backsplash by adding a utensil rack. Nest and stack pots, bowls and pans to maximize your storage space.
Junk the junk drawer
With every item in a designated place, there’s no need for a “miscellaneous” catch-all space. Use small dividers to stop pencils, coupons and gadgets from jumbling together. Keep plastic grocery bags tidy by stuffing them into a dispenser.
If you can’t seem to eliminate the piles of takeout menus, recipes torn out of magazines and other such paper clutter from your kitchen, at least contain them. Sort them into categories, put them into colorful file folders and stow them in magazine binders near your cookbooks.
Group items by how frequently you use them. Put your favorite cookware, dishes and glassware in the front of cabinets; store specialty cookware and less-frequently used appliances and utensils further away but easy to find when you need them.
Look for space-efficient appliances such as refrigerators that maximize interior space through strategically placed compartments; they’ll make it easy to organize leftovers, large soda bottles and produce.