Kitchen Organization 101

For many homeowners, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house and the center of daily life. Families gather here to eat, socialize and cook together. That’s why it’s great to have a kitchen that’s not just appealing to the eye but also organized and practical.

Ellen Delap, a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of, shares a number of ways you can turn your kitchen into a welcoming and functional space for everyone.

Set aside time to organize.

This isn’t a five-minute project, so be ready to dedicate some time to getting it right. “This is why you need to literally set appointments with yourself to get started and move forward,” says Delap. “By setting up that time, you’re committing to rearranging the kitchen, which sometimes gets put on the back burner.”

Arrange the kitchen one section at a time.

It’s called “chunking.” Some people may want to work on organizing the pantry first or the area by the stove or the drawers. “I try to break it into manageable chunks at a time. Then I try to assign spaces, which I call zones, to different designations throughout the kitchen,” says Delap. For instance, create a coffee area on your counter or island where the coffee maker can sit, with mugs, filters and supplies in a cabinet nearby.

Try decanting food and ingredients.

Have you ever stored flour in a glass canister? Or dumped snacks into a basket? That’s decanting. Basically, it’s removing food from its original packaging and putting it into a more permanent, and often clear, container. From pasta and rice to coffee and spices, you can neatly stack canisters and jars to make your kitchen feel and look more organized. Add labels to the containers, and if you want to be creative, decorate the canisters or buy colorful ones to match your kitchen.