Mistakes You're Probably Making in Your Kitchen Cabinets

Mistakes You're Probably Making in Your Kitchen Cabinets

Keeping a kitchen clean is simple enough, but what about making sure your kitchen is organized in the best way possible? Storing items in the wrong spot or not having thought-out organizational systems in place can be detrimental to the overall function of the space.

Consider your kitchen layout and find out if you're making any one of these common kitchen cabinet mistakes. No matter how many cabinets you have, there are creative solutions to make everyday kitchen processes more streamlined.

  • 01 of 10

    Owning Too Many Disorganized Cleaning Supplies

    Owning Too Many Disorganized Cleaning Supplies

    The biggest mistake people make under the sink is stuffing the cabinet with too many cleaning supplies. If you can't see everything you have, it’s easy to buy duplicates and create more waste.

    Solution: First, remove all products. Next, discard any duplicate, broken or unused supplies. Clean the cabinet thoroughly, then install a roll out caddy. Place your most used items near the front and lesser used items in the rear. This organizer makes use a vertical space and allows for much easier access. Limit supplies to this area to ensure the cabinet remains clutter-free.

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  • 02 of 10

    Storing Dishes Far Away from the Sink

    Keeping dishware in a cabinet that is more than a few steps away from the sink and dishwasher is not ideal. Those few extra steps might deter you from putting dishes away in a timely fashion. This layout also mistake makes it difficult for more than one person to be working in the kitchen without bumping into each other.

    Solution: Utilize the cabinet above and directly next to the sink for plates, bowls, glasses, mugs and silverware. Just be sure whatever cabinet or drawer you choose is not blocked by the dishwasher door when it’s open.

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  • 03 of 10

    Having Too Much Wasted Space Inside Cabinets

    Having Too Much Wasted Space Inside Cabinets

    If you open your cabinet and there is a ton of unused vertical space on the first two shelves, you may not be making the best use of your space. This mistake is especially unfavorable in small kitchens because every inch of cabinet space is vital.

    Solution: Add another shelf space to your cabinets without any construction by using affordable cabinet risers. Not only is it easy to stack mugs above glasses, but you can also use risers to organize awkwardly sized casserole dishes or cans in the pantry.

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  • 04 of 10

    Storing Lids On Top of Their Designated Pot

    Storing Lids On Top of Their Designated Pot

    Storing pots and pans upright with the lids on top leaves wasted space around each item. Keeping the lid on top of the pot makes it impossible to nest other pots on top of that one, which also wastes space.

    Solution: The same size cabinet can store many more pots and pans if they are stored separate from the lids and on their side. Install a cookware organizer with slide-out compartments so you can realistically position pots and pans on their side and save space. Use the top shelf to keep all the lids together close to the pot or pan beneath it.

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  • 05 of 10

    Utilizing an Organizer for Silverware But Not Cooking Utensils

    Utilizing an Organizer for Silverware But Not Cooking Utensils

    It’s smart to store commonly used cooking utensils in a nice container on the countertop. However, there are a ton of unsightly cooking utensils that will make your kitchen look cluttered if you leave them out. Tossing them in the drawer is not the best way to handle these miscellaneous items.

    Solution: Resist the urge to just toss these utensils into a drawer and organize them instead. By adding an additional utensil organizer, It will be much easier to find what you’re looking for in the middle of cooking a meal.

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  • 06 of 10

    Stashing Take-Out Condiments and Utensils

    Sometimes hanging onto to-go products makes sense, like if you’re an avid camper or you reuse take-out cutlery in your kid’s lunch boxes. But if you save items like ketchup packages, salt and pepper packets, and plastic cutlery every time you go out but haven’t used any of it in more than six months, it’s time to toss it.

    Solution: Consider recycling or donating wrapped cutlery (or bring it into your work lunchroom) and toss all those soy packages and condiments. If you find yourself using these products more regularly, only keep enough on hand to fill a mug and label it. Challenge yourself to get rid of the rest.

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  • 07 of 10

    Stacking Bakeware Instead of Storing It Vertically

    Stacking Bakeware Instead of Storing It Vertically

    If you stack bakeware one on top of the other under the stove or on a shelf, you’ll have a hard time getting what you need out without disrupting the entire pile.

    Solution: There are a lot of ways to store bakeware vertically, like lining them in a decorative basket or wooden crate. Another viable option is to convert a plate rack to keep these items upright inside a kitchen cabinet.

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  • 08 of 10

    Hanging Onto Items Instead of Throwing Them Out

    While you’re decluttering your kitchen, consider other items you’re hanging onto that prevent you from having a clean, organized space.

    Some examples include:

    • Plastic bags — Only save bags from your most recent grocery shop. Toss the rest to prevent hoarding.
    • Tupperware — If you have a family member who always gives you leftovers in Tupperware, wash then toss the plastic containers into a reusable grocery bag. Return them to their owner at least twice a month.
    • Expired / Unused Spices — We might all have master chef intentions, but if spices are left unused for more than a year in your cabinet, consider donating them if they aren’t expired. If expired, toss!
    • Mismatched Glassware — You might want to hang onto your “World’s Greatest Mom” mug, but consider recycling or donating other mismatched glassware like labeled beer steins and wine glasses from wine tours or other events.
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  • 09 of 10

    Randomly Storing Items in the Pantry and Fridge

    Don’t make the mistake of randomly shoving groceries into the fridge and pantry without any rhyme or reason. If you don’t store your items in the same spot every time you restock, finding what you need in the moment is much more difficult.

    Solution: In the pantry, create sections and label them. Keep items you use more often on the lower shelves and label upper shelves with items you use less frequently. Pantry sections to consider labeling include: Pasta, Breakfast, Snacks, Baking, Spices, and Canned Goods. In the fridge, label zones for items you commonly stock and get in the habit of putting away your groceries and leftovers in these zones every time.

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  • 10 of 10

    Not Designating a Cooking Station Near the Stove

    One of the most common ways people underutilize their kitchen is by not creating designated stations for prep, cooking and cleaning. Keeping cooking items far away from the stove makes cooking a much more cumbersome and less enjoyable process.

    Solution: Organize the cabinets closest to your stove with cooking-related items. For example, keep a canister of wooden spoons, spatulas and whisks on the counter directly next to the stove instead of next to the sink or anywhere else on your counter. In this same area, repurpose a utensil organizer or tray to keep all the spices and oils you use more than a few times a week on the counter. All pots and pans and casserole dishes should be stored as close to the cooktop and oven as possible.