couple unloading the groceries on their well organized kitchen counter top

15 Ways to Organize Your Kitchen for Cooking Efficiency

If your mornings feel like a chaotic dance between finding the coffee filters and avoiding last night's leftover pizza box, then fear not – I'm here to help you transform your kitchen into a well-oiled machine. 

As a self-proclaimed “organizing freak” and avid home chef, I've perfected the art of kitchen organization to save time, reduce stress, and make cooking a breeze. Use a few of these practical tips to streamline your cooking routines.

Inventory and Declutter Your Space

Organized pantry with clear containers and labels.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Every organizing effort, whether it's the garage, basement, or kitchen, starts with taking inventory and decluttering. While this may be the least fun part, it ultimately has the greatest return on your time and effort.

Declutter your kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. Start with the pantry, toss out expired items, and invest in clear storage containers for bulk items such as pasta and cereals.

Strategic Shelf Placement

Kitchen with similar items stored together.
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Organize your kitchen by grouping similar items together. Prioritize frequently used items at eye level and create zones for baking, cooking, and snacking. This will save you time and make your cooking and entertaining experience more efficient and enjoyable.

Efficient Drawer Organization

Organized kitchen utensil drawer
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Ask yourself, do you really need five different stirring spoons or thirty forks? Get rid of extras and you'll have a much easier time finding what you need. Use drawer dividers to keep everything in its place and arrange drawers based on functionality. No more rummaging through a sea of ladles – just grab what you need and go.

Clever Cabinet Solutions

pots and pans pull out drawer
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Install pull-out shelves for easy access to pots and pans, and utilize vertical storage for baking sheets and cutting boards. Your cabinets will become much quicker to find things in with well-organized kitchenware.

Labeling System

clear and labeled spice containers
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Mistaking cinnamon for cumin mid-recipe? Implement a labeling system for spices and pantry items. Clear containers are your allies here – easily identify ingredients without any kitchen mix-ups.

Streamlined Refrigerator

Person organizing the refrigerator
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Tired of playing Fridge Jenga? Arrange items by categories like vegetables, dairy, and condiments. Regularly clean and purge expired items to maintain freshness. You might tie this task to the day you go grocery shopping.

Arrange items in the refrigerator to let the light shine. Put clear drinks on the top shelf to allow light to reach lower tiers easily.

Time-Saving Meal Prep

Woman holding a few prepped meal containers.
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Transform your mornings with batch cooking. Spend a little extra time on Sunday preparing meals for the week, and invest in quality storage containers for organized meal prepping. Your future self will thank you.

Tip: When learning how to meal prep, make meals for the next three days; don't worry about the whole week. This will let you figure out the process without wasting food. 

Kitchen Gadgets and Appliances

Decluttered kitchen counter top.
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Declutter your countertop by keeping only the essential gadgets. Prioritize versatile appliances and move the less frequently used ones out of the way in a designated spot.

I use my coffee machine, blender, and toaster daily, but I only use my slow cooker, air fryer, and food processor once a week. I store the less frequently used items in my dining room hutch.

Efficient Workstations

chopping board area in the kitchen with person prepping vegetables.
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Create dedicated workstations in your kitchen for chopping, prepping, and cooking. Optimize counter space by keeping only essential tools within reach.

I store extra cutting boards in the cabinet and only keep olive oil and salt within reach. We like to prep food at the sink or garbage space for easy disposal of unwanted pieces and less mess.

Smart Storage Solutions

hanging hooks in kitchen for various utensils.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Free up cabinet space by utilizing under-cabinet storage for pots and pans. Install hooks for hanging utensils, saving precious drawer space.

Menu Planning and Grocery Organization

Person shopping for food using grocery list.
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Make your grocery run a breeze by planning weekly menus. Organize your shopping list based on your store's layout – you'll be in and out in more quickly without the stress of last-minute decisions.

One way to easily build out your weekly menu is to go with cooking catchphrases like ‘Taco Tuesday' or ‘Fish Friday'. We eat pasta on Sunday and make a big slow-cooked soup or stew on Wednesday, effectively eliminating the need to ask, “what's for dinner?”

Time-Optimized Kitchen Cleaning Routine

person doing daily cleaning in kitchen and running dishwasher.
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Maintain a tidy kitchen with a quick and effective daily cleaning routine. Schedule deeper cleaning tasks on a weekly or monthly basis to keep your kitchen in top-notch shape.

Tip: Wait to unload the dishwasher until cooking. You are already in the kitchen, and while waiting for your water to boil, you should have enough time to put away the clean dishes, making for a true rinse and repeat process.

Tech Integration

Screenshot of the KitchenPal App in use.
Image Credit: KitchenPal.

Make your kitchen smarter with tech integration. From meal planning to inventory tracking, these digital apps can turn your smartphone into a personal kitchen assistant. 

I have a stand for my iPad so I can easily access recipes and cooking videos. We like to use the KitchenPal app to make our grocery lists and plan our meals. Paprika is another highly recommended recipe and grocery app you can try.

Create a Morning Routine

Person pouring hot water into drip coffee setup.
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There is nothing like waking up to coffee utensils already being cleaned, set up, and ready for use. It is five minutes of effort in the evening that I swear will save you fifteen in the morning and might just give you a few extra “brownie points” if your partner is an early riser. 

Prepping ingredients the night before and optimizing breakfast preparation will set a positive tone for the rest of your day.

Wrangle in the Containers

outdated plastic containers that need to be organized.
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Start by getting rid of any containers that are stained, cracked, or don't seal properly. Then, use one of the many specialty dividers available to help you sort and separate your lids and containers by size, making your storage space more manageable and less chaotic.

Simplify Your Kitchen

couple standing in organized kitchen having a cup of coffee.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

These practical tips will transform your kitchen into a well-oiled machine, making your morning routine a breeze. Adopt these strategies and watch your kitchen become the heart of your home.

Minor Activities Stealing Time From Your Day

women shopping at grocery store.
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Some mundane tasks can take far too much of our time if we let them.

 

Author: Corey Turner

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Pets, Nature, Project Management

Corey Turner is a journalist, conservationist, outdoor enthusiast, and passionate pet owner. Corey founded FurBallFun in 2022. He's known for his honest pet product reviews and guidance for navigating pet behavior, health, and nutrition.