Finally tackle that rat's nest of pots and pans

By Maxine Builder and Maxine Builder
Updated February 13, 2018
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Credit: Photo By kazoka30 via Getty Images

Working in a disorganized kitchen can sap any motivation you might have to cook. After all, what's the point of trying out a new recipe if you're also worrying about whether or not you can find your vegetable peeler. But organizing your kitchen doesn't have to be a herculean task, especially if you follow these easy kitchen organizing tips and take it one step at a time. And, really, organizing your kitchen can be surprisingly easy when you have a game plan. You don't even need to have a lot of space to have a well-appointed kitchen; these easy kitchen organizing tips are just as relevant for tiny kitchens as they are for larger rooms.

The first thing you to do before anything else? Get rid of the kitchen gear and ingredients you never actually use, like that vegetable spiralizer your aunt got you for Christmas, or those spices you bought to make exotic curry once to impress that person you dated for a week an a half (and never ventured again). When you've pared down your kitchen to the essentials, you have to give each tool a specific spot to live, so you know exactly where to put it away so can easily find it the next time you want to use it.

OK, that admittedly all still sounds pretty daunting. But, I swear that it's actually not that bad! So if you're ready to finally tackle that rat's nest of pots and pans in the cabinet under your sink, here are eight easy things you can do to organize your kitchen in no time at all.

Organize Your Forks and Knives

Credit: Photo Courtesy Ikea

The absolutely easiest thing you can do to organize your kitchen is get a flatware tray to organize your drawer full of forks, knives, and spoons if you don't yet have one. You could always DIY your own drawer organizer if you're feeling fancy, but if you don't have the patience, you could also get this one from IKEA for less than a dollar.

SMÄCKER Flatware Tray in Gray, $0.99,

Place Oversized Utensils in a Canister

Take any tools from that rat's nest of a utensil drawer that won't fit in the flatware organizer—like spatulas, wooden spoons, and whisks—and put them in a canister on your counter. The canister can even be visually appealing, like this marble utensil holder from Crate and Barrel.

French Kitchen Marble Utensil Holder, $24.95, <em></em>

Put Dry Goods in Clear Canisters

Credit: Photo Courtesy Oggi via Amazon

Instead of letting your bags of flour and boxes of sugar loll about on your pantry shelves, get a set of clear, air-tight containers and move all your dry goods into them. These containers will save space, since you can stack them, and you'll be able to easily and quickly gauge how much of each ingredient you have on hand at any moment. It's also good for keeping out mice that might've nibbled through the paper or cardboard. (It's gross, but it happens.)

Oggi 4-Piece Acrylic Canister Set with Airtight Lids and Acrylic Spoons, $23.78,

Stock Up on Chip Clips

Credit: Photo Courtesy OXO via Amazon

You don't need to move dry goods that you're going to consume relatively quickly—like granola, cereal, and, well, chips—into clear canisters, but it is helpful to stock up on chip clips to prevent those dry goods in bags from spilling out into your pantry and to keep them fresh for as long as possible. The tiniest clips in this set are great as replacement twist ties, which always get lost.

OXO Good Grips 8-Piece Clip Set, $9.95, <em></em>

Throw Out Old Spices

Credit: Photo Courtesy Bekith via Amazon

Spice racks are one place where clutter can accumulate quickly, but if you have two bottles of cumin, there's little harm in getting rid of one. So clean our your spice rack, only keeping the spices and herbs you actually use regularly. If you're looking to save space on your counter or in your pantry, consider storing those spices in magnetic spice tins that'll stick to your fridge.Bekith Stainless Steel Magnetic Spice Tins, Set of 6, $10.99, <em></em>

Install a Magnetic Knife Strip

Credit: Photo Courtesy Norpro via Amazon

Speaking of magnets, installing a magnetic knife strip on your kitchen wall is a space-saving way store your knives that'll also keep them sharp. But there's no reason that you can't use a magnetic knife strip as a way to store other metal utensils that didn't fit in your utensil canister, like a pair of kitchen shears, a pizza cutter, or even a vegetable peeler.Norpro 18-Inch Aluminum Magnetic Knife Bar, $15.74, <em></em>

Corral Your Pots and Pans

Photo Courtesy [tempo-ecommerce src="" title="Deco Brothers via Amazon" context="body"]

Organizing the pots and pans that accumulate in your cabinets can seem like an impossible task, but it's not impossible when you've got a rack on which you can neatly stack your pans rather than stacking them on top of each other. This pan organizer is a bestseller on Amazon for a reason. If this one organizer isn't enough for your cabinet needs, there's also a wider version for pots.

Deco Brothers Pan Organizer Rack in Bronze, $16.87,

Get a Portable Utility Cart for the Weird Stuff

Photo Courtesy Ikea

There will always be weird, oversized gear that needs to be in your kitchen. (I'm looking at you, stand mixers and food processors.) If you've run out of counter space and room in your cabinets, consider getting a utility cart. It might not be super organized, but keeping everything corralled in one place can be just as satisfying—and practical—as organizing it all. So feel free to let those unruly things live, unorganized, on a utility cart so that you can get back to what really matters in the kitchen. (That's cooking, for the record.)

RÅSKOG Utility Cart in Beige, $29.99,