Five Clever Ways to Organize the Odds and Ends in Your Kitchen

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It can be notoriously difficult to keep your kitchen organized—the room is nothing but a collection of odds and ends, all of which need to be fairly easily accessible at all times. If you’re struggling to cook through all the clutter, here are several ways you can use ordinary objects to keep clutter down and counter space clear.

Store canned goods (and more) in vertical file folders

Standing file folders can be used to help organize multiple common kitchen items. Soup cans—which can take up a lot of space if stored standing up, but can also be unstable when stacked—will fit into magazine folders sideways quite well. In addition, mesh magazine folders can be a great solution to store onions and potatoes in cabinets and keep them from rolling around without trapping moisture and encouraging mold. Water bottles and travel mugs can be stored on their sides in a stand-up file folder so they can be stacked and accessible without rolling around or lost at the back of a shelf.

Use hooks in surprising ways

Hooks can be used to organize your kitchen as well, but they’re not just for cups anymore. While hooks can be good to hang coffee or tea cups from the bottom edge of a cabinet, they can also be used to hold pot lids to the back of a cabinet door. Attaching two hooks, spaced out about two inches smaller than the size of your lid with the hooks facing up will give you a tiny rack to keep your pot lid on the inside of a cabinet door. You can also use hooks to hang measuring cups and spoons to the inside of your cabinet door. If you don’t have enough surface to use a screw-in hook, a self-stick version can work well.

Hang up some file baskets

Using a hanging file basket for storage can save lots of space and hassle dealing with saran wrap, tin foil, and wax paper. Hang the shallow basket from hooks on the inside of a pantry or cabinet door and store the boxes of food storage there. Using this type of file basket can also work for the lids of plastic containers. Keeping the lids together in one place without having them on the shelves can keep cabinets neat and make the lids much easier to find. A hanging file basket is also a great spot for folded cloth napkins, dishtowels, and dishcloths.

Repurpose a paper towel holder

A paper towel holder can be used to store trash bags. Mounting a metal paper towel holder on the inside of a cabinet door or in the inside of a pantry wall will give you a perfect spot to keep garbage bags accessible. You can also use a paper towel dispenser to hold rolls of butcher paper or waxed paper for baking.

Mount a towel bar (or several)

Towel bars are good for more than just towels. A wall mounted towel rack has just enough space behind the bar to slide a pot lid in behind it. The handle on the lid will keep it from sliding all the way through. These could be mounted to the wall, or they could be used on the inside of a pantry door to store lids for pots and pans. A towel bar can also be used for storing trash bags or paper towels by sliding the roll onto the bar. “S” hooks can be added to a towel bar to hang utensils or oddly shaped parts for appliances.


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