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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Kitchen Organizing Tips

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The summer is almost over, which means fall is right around the corner. Now is a great time to get the house back in order, before fall is in full-swing and the holidays are upon us. The kitchen should be the room you start with, since it's the center of most living spaces. The most common problem with kitchens is that there is never enough space for everything. However, there are so many ways to optimize what space you do have without creating a mess of stacks and impossible-to-close cabinets. Below is a comprehensive collection of tips that cover all aspects of the kitchen, from your cabinets to the sink.

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Silverware organizers don't always fit larger items, so Martha likes to lay these flat in a drawer lined with protective material.

1 Silverware organizers don't always fit larger items, so Martha likes to lay these flat in a drawer lined with protective material.

Martha collects Japanese knives, which she stacks neatly in their own dedicated drawer.

2 Martha collects Japanese knives, which she stacks neatly in their own dedicated drawer.

These wooden boxes, in different shapes and sizes, make great drawer and cabinet organizers.

3 These wooden boxes, in different shapes and sizes, make great drawer and cabinet organizers.

Cake decorating supplies are often easily lost or misplaced because they are small. Create a drawer just for them and place the smaller icing tips and frosting combs in plastic containers.

4 Cake decorating supplies are often easily lost or misplaced because they are small. Create a drawer just for them and place the smaller icing tips and frosting combs in plastic containers.

It is smart to have a utility drawer in your kitchen. You never know when a light bulb will burn out or an appliance will run out of batteries. Keep all the essentials in one place, separated with plastic containers.

5 It is smart to have a utility drawer in your kitchen. You never know when a light bulb will burn out or an appliance will run out of batteries. Keep all the essentials in one place, separated with plastic containers.

Organize napkin rings into plastic containers, so you'll never have to worry about losing or misplacing any rings.

6 Organize napkin rings into plastic containers, so you'll never have to worry about losing or misplacing any rings.

If your kitchen is the hub of your home, chances are you're constantly using it as a second office. Keep all of you labels, stationery, and other supplies in a drawer. Mesh organizers work just as well in a kitchen drawer as in a desk drawer.

7 If your kitchen is the hub of your home, chances are you're constantly using it as a second office. Keep all of you labels, stationery, and other supplies in a drawer. Mesh organizers work just as well in a kitchen drawer as in a desk drawer.

Instead of simply tossing tea packets and strainers in a drawer, keep them organized with a compartmentalized space like this one.

8 Instead of simply tossing tea packets and strainers in a drawer, keep them organized with a compartmentalized space like this one.

In my kitchen, I use expandable organizers to store my cooking tools. They're great because they adjust to fit each drawer perfectly.

9 In my kitchen, I use expandable organizers to store my cooking tools. They're great because they adjust to fit each drawer perfectly.

Martha loves these jadeite containers, and she puts them to good use in this drawer. The small dishes hold all the elements of a well-prepared first-aid kit.

10 Martha loves these jadeite containers, and she puts them to good use in this drawer. The small dishes hold all the elements of a well-prepared first-aid kit.

Bins and baskets are a great way to organize cookbooks and other items on exposed shelves.

11 Bins and baskets are a great way to organize cookbooks and other items on exposed shelves.

No need to clutter counters with mail. Simply peg these personal mailboxes to the wall to free up more space.

12 No need to clutter counters with mail. Simply peg these personal mailboxes to the wall to free up more space.

Instead of using magnets to hang up kids art and calenders to the fridge, tack them on linen bulletin boards which are sturdier and more aesthetically pleasing.

13 Instead of using magnets to hang up kids art and calenders to the fridge, tack them on linen bulletin boards which are sturdier and more aesthetically pleasing.

Wire racks make a great under-the-sink storage solution. You can keep all cleaning supplies in the drawer and rags and scrubbers piled neatly on top.

14 Wire racks make a great under-the-sink storage solution. You can keep all cleaning supplies in the drawer and rags and scrubbers piled neatly on top.

I use easily installed metal dividers to keep flat items organized vertically.

15 I use easily installed metal dividers to keep flat items organized vertically.

You can also use tension rods for the same effect.

16 You can also use tension rods for the same effect.

A kitchen island can make the perfect storage area. Here, baking sheets are sorted vertically, mixing bowls sit on shelves and towels can be both folded on shelves or hung from a hook.

17 A kitchen island can make the perfect storage area. Here, baking sheets are sorted vertically, mixing bowls sit on shelves and towels can be both folded on shelves or hung from a hook.

Use all of the available vertical space in your cabinets by investing in some wire racks.

18 Use all of the available vertical space in your cabinets by investing in some wire racks.

This double turntable is great because it has two levels, and everything is accessible with a quick spin.

19 This double turntable is great because it has two levels, and everything is accessible with a quick spin.

This wire rack is usually used as an inbox in the office, but it works great as an shelf accessory to hold mugs.

20 This wire rack is usually used as an inbox in the office, but it works great as an shelf accessory to hold mugs.

Wire racks are an alternative option to stacking, which can damage and scratch dinnerware.

21 Wire racks are an alternative option to stacking, which can damage and scratch dinnerware.

Not enough shelves? Make your own by stacking a serving tray between sets of glasses.

22 Not enough shelves? Make your own by stacking a serving tray between sets of glasses.

See-through containers are a storage solution that add a decorative element to your kitchen. They protect dried goods from the humidity and pests as well.

23 See-through containers are a storage solution that add a decorative element to your kitchen. They protect dried goods from the humidity and pests as well.

Spices have their own shelf in Martha's home. These narrow shelves can be bought almost anywhere and they will make a huge impact on the storage space in your kitchen.

24 Spices have their own shelf in Martha's home. These narrow shelves can be bought almost anywhere and they will make a huge impact on the storage space in your kitchen.

Use your walls as storage space. Install hooks and items like graters can find a permanent home.

25 Use your walls as storage space. Install hooks and items like graters can find a permanent home.

Even if you don't have the space for regular-sized cupboards, smaller, shallow cupboards are perfect for stacked cups.

26 Even if you don't have the space for regular-sized cupboards, smaller, shallow cupboards are perfect for stacked cups.

Martha wastes no space in her kitchen. Even the space between refrigerators is used for more shelving.

27 Martha wastes no space in her kitchen. Even the space between refrigerators is used for more shelving.

Create a perfect prep area by buying products that can be stored away when not in use. An improvised shelf keeps counters clean of rolling pins and dry-food canisters. A compact cookbook stand rests on the window ledge.

28 Create a perfect prep area by buying products that can be stored away when not in use. An improvised shelf keeps counters clean of rolling pins and dry-food canisters. A compact cookbook stand rests on the window ledge.

Store and display china with platter guards (top shelf) and dish ledges (middle shelf). Platter guards are created using dowels and curtain fittings. Dish ledges are achieved with quarter round molding fixed to the shelf with wood glue.

29 Store and display china with platter guards (top shelf) and dish ledges (middle shelf). Platter guards are created using dowels and curtain fittings. Dish ledges are achieved with quarter round molding fixed to the shelf with wood glue.

Protect china or everyday tableware from damage with guards cut out of felt or acid-free paper.

30 Protect china or everyday tableware from damage with guards cut out of felt or acid-free paper.

To hide glass-cabinet contents, create miniature curtains in a color that goes well with your kitchen decor. All you need to do is custom sew a curtain and install a small curtain rod on the inside of the door.

31 To hide glass-cabinet contents, create miniature curtains in a color that goes well with your kitchen decor. All you need to do is custom sew a curtain and install a small curtain rod on the inside of the door.

Martha likes to keep metal and wooden utensils separated. In this case, they are in different pots, within a woven tray.

32 Martha likes to keep metal and wooden utensils separated. In this case, they are in different pots, within a woven tray.

If you don't have enough counter space to keep cooking utensils in plain sight, make space by bringing in a rolling cart. Large pans, ramekins and jars for utensils fit easily, and can be moved around the kitchen easily.

33 If you don't have enough counter space to keep cooking utensils in plain sight, make space by bringing in a rolling cart. Large pans, ramekins and jars for utensils fit easily, and can be moved around the kitchen easily.

Keep all of the spices you need on hand next to the stove or a prep area with a cake stand.

34 Keep all of the spices you need on hand next to the stove or a prep area with a cake stand.

I use this wire pullout in my kitchen to store small appliances for everyday use.

35 I use this wire pullout in my kitchen to store small appliances for everyday use.

This thin pullout is the perfect place for lids and spices needed near the stove.

36 This thin pullout is the perfect place for lids and spices needed near the stove.

This wooden box makes an easy pullout by adding surface protectors or rolling tracks.

37 This wooden box makes an easy pullout by adding surface protectors or rolling tracks.

I love the way these shelves pull out.

38 I love the way these shelves pull out.

Most people don't think of protecting skillets, but these items need the same attention as fine china. By nesting pots and pans between large coffee filters and paper plates, you'll keep your saucepans scratch-free.

39 Most people don't think of protecting skillets, but these items need the same attention as fine china. By nesting pots and pans between large coffee filters and paper plates, you'll keep your saucepans scratch-free.

Martha likes to hang her pots and pans from hooks on an overhang. This frees up storage space in her kitchen while also adding a chandelier-like element to the room.

40 Martha likes to hang her pots and pans from hooks on an overhang. This frees up storage space in her kitchen while also adding a chandelier-like element to the room.

The shelving in my kitchen extends all the way to the ceiling, which makes some of the shelves nearly impossible to reach. Martha had me install a drawer beneath one of my bottom cabinets to house a step ladder.

41 The shelving in my kitchen extends all the way to the ceiling, which makes some of the shelves nearly impossible to reach. Martha had me install a drawer beneath one of my bottom cabinets to house a step ladder.

De-clutter the sink area by storing soaps and scrubbers in pretty dishes.

42 De-clutter the sink area by storing soaps and scrubbers in pretty dishes.

Martha collects these vintage enamel containers, and they make perfect holders for scrubbers, sponges, or soap next to the sink.

43 Martha collects these vintage enamel containers, and they make perfect holders for scrubbers, sponges, or soap next to the sink.

Underneath my sink, I've installed hangers and racks to add more storage space for scrubbers, towels, and other small items.

44 Underneath my sink, I've installed hangers and racks to add more storage space for scrubbers, towels, and other small items.

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Comments (1)

  • Kevin, you are a dream! I so enjoy your radio show--wish you were on every day, and online, too, so I wouldn't have to go drive around in my car to listen! And your blog is the best. This article, with all the photos of kitchen organization, made me happy just imagining all the possibilities. Thanks for bringing a spot of possibility and decorating excitement to my day, every day! I appreciate you lots! What a guy! :-)

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