OCD Kitchen Organization

I’m not clinically OCD, but I do exhibit many obsessive compulsive disorders, especially in my kitchen.  I disclosed this in my pantry post (My Corner Market: Tips for an Organized Pantry) and since it has been pinned over 47,000 times on Pinterest as of today, I figured there was something about my crazy organization skills my followers liked.  Today I am sharing a few of my favorite organization tricks from the rest of my kitchen (to see the open house of my Midnight Beach Kitchen, click HERE).

To start off, I like to keep everything in a handy place for where I might use it.  For example, my KitchenAid mixer sits in a corner with the flour close by.  In the drawer just below I have all of my measuring cups, spoons etc.  In the cupboard above are my baking supplies like salt, nuts, baking powder etc.  For my “wrap” drawer, I like everything contained to one drawer.  I LOVE Costco’s plastic food wrap and keep it to the front so I can pull, cut and lay it on the bar to wrap up individual servings of stuff (like to freeze individual tilapia portions).  I am a huge Ziploc bag fan, and always buy them when they are on sale at Costco.  Cooking utensils go right next to the cook top for obvious reasons, and I try to limit my selections to pieces that can go in the dishwasher.  If I haven’t used it in a year (not even Thanksgiving), I throw it out, or donate it.  Knives, oh how I love my knife block.  Silly right?  I used to have my knives sloshing around in a drawer, but once I invested in this baby, I could never go back.  Not having to open a drawer and dig around when you need a knife is a great thing.  The last picture below is of an empty drawer with organizers in it…I don’t know what to put in there!  Everything already has a place so for now, I enjoy knowing that I have space available (part of that OCD ya think?).

Kitchen Organization Tips

It’s no surprise that I organize my spices.  I’ve even taken the bullion out of the packs and labeled it with a C for chicken or B for beef so I don’t have to look at the ugly yellow packaging.

Kitchen Organization Tips

I am in the process of converting all of my spices over to Target’s Archer Farms, aren’t they adorable?  I keep them out by my cook top for now, sweet spices on one side, savory on the other.

Kitchen Organization Tips

The best tip I have for organizing your cutlery is to have 2 matching sets and only keep one style in your drawer.  Once I got rid of the mismatched, onsey twosies everything came together for me.  Another tip?  Measure your drawer and find the largest organizer you can fit, this one is from Ikea.

Kitchen Organization Tips

About six years ago I bought these white dishes at Mervyn’s for $20!  That was service for 12 mugs, mug plate, salad plate, regular plate, and wide bowl I couldn’t pass it up so I bought two.  It isn’t my favorite design of all time (fruit) but it is so basic and perfect for having a large family party.  I keep miscellaneous dishes up where I can’t reach and rarely even see.  In the next cupboard I keep my glasses, all clear and same shape from Ikea.  Both of these cabinets are the closest to the table for easy setting.

Kitchen Organization Tips

Bar Mops…these rocked my world when my husband brought them home.  Sam’s club carries them in their Baker’s and Chef’s line.  24 towels for $12.88.  They fit perfectly inside the drawer next to the sink.  No folding or fancy stuff here, just line them up and in they go.  Oh, did I mention they can be bleached?  What is grosser than a nasty old towel and not knowing if it is clean or not?  These are cheap enough that you can stock up.  Then after a few uses, throw it in the wash and grab another.  As for the towel bar on the end of the island?  Well, that was the genius of my neighbor Brittany.  After I saw hers, I put up a small towel bar there two and have loved it ever since.  The towels on the bar aren’t usually folded, but are used by everyone and not seen  since they are tucked on the side of the island.

Kitchen Organization Tips

I am a lover of glass cookware, mostly because it can be washed in the dishwasher, and who isn’t for easy clean up.  Instead of stacking them or nesting them, I found these really inexpensive brackets at Ikea that screw into the bottom of the cupboard.  Space them how you want and slide in your bake ware (of course this could be used for any type of bake ware, metal, ceramic etc).  You can see the metal bake ware and disposable above the glass is nested, that’s because I rarely use it.

Kitchen Organization Tips

In my pantry post I mentioned that I didn’t keep cans or bottles in there.  That confounded a few people.  You see, I can’t stand to see all of those miss matched labels so I chose to keep them in a cupboard behind a door that is rarely opened (I told you this was an OCD post).  Instead I have purchased three 18″ non-skid turntables and placed them in the awkward corner cabinet.  The lazy susans hold most of the cooking supplies that are canned, jarred or bottled.  If I have a multiple of an item like Prego sauce, I stand them up in a soldier row on the side since I know what is behind the first.  The top shelf (I’m short so I need a chair to reach it) holds my pitchers and other glass vases and such.

Kitchen Organization Tips

Here you can see how I maximize one lazy susan with a lot of variety of cans.

Kitchen Organization Tips

There are a few products I can not live with out in my kitchen.  Disinfecting wipes for those messy moments.  I use denatured alcohol to clean stubborn grease and stains nothing else will touch.  Goo gone for all of those labels that won’t come off (I love to Recycle Bulk Packaging).  For the dishwasher I love the tabs by Finish and my all time favorite counter top and glass cleaner is Sprayaway.  It works great on glass and my black Corian counter top (and not much else does).  For the MOST important and useful tool in the kitchen I look to the….razor blade!  I can’t live with out it.  I mostly use it to scrape stuff off the counter top, works great with Corian, tile or granite.

Kitchen Organization Tips

And for my last tip, this one is especially for the kids, sort your silverware before you wash it.  I know it seems simple but it makes a HUGE difference.  My dishwasher has five sections so I have divided them out in to five categories: Knives & Scissors, Small Spoons, Large Spoons, All forks, Serving and Other.  This takes a little more time putting it in the dishwasher, but when it comes time to put them away it’s a breeze (especially when you make your kids empty the dishwasher like I do).  I have become so converted to this method, I usually refuse help loading my dishwasher since most people aren’t willing to participate in my methods, ahhhem husband, ahhem.  Please try this, “it’s the besssstttt” (a little Nacho).

Kitchen Organization Tips



Thanks for joining me in the quest for an organized kitchen!  If you are one of the few that hasn’t seen my Pantry post, check out what you’ve been missing, ha ha.

Tips for an Organized Pantry

Linked Up: Tatertots & JelloFunky Junk Interiors


  • Wow — love the organization and simplicity. My only question is about the dishwasher. I love the idea of presorting the silverware, but wondered if you have a problem with spoons nesting so they don’t get clean. How do you avoid this?

    • Suzanne, Although I didn’t take the picture like this, I usually split them, half of the spoons up and half of them down and it works great! Thanks for asking.

      • Im OCD with my dishwasher in the fact that i put, 1 fork, 1 spoon, 1 knife, etc in each slot to keep from like utensils from “nesting” as suzanne put it.

        • I put 1 of each also…I thought I was the only one!

  • I love the archer farms spice jars so cute. I love that everything you do is super attainable and doesn’t require a ton of money! My kids load and unload the dishwasher so I will have to suggest the sorting method to them and see if they like it. How many drawers and cupboards do you think you have? Just want to compare, if you don’t mind :)

    • Becky, I have 11 uppers and 11 lowers and 12 drawers. I use the two above my fridge for back up pantry storage (extra cereal, chips, oatmeal that I’ve bought on sale etc). I could honestly get away with at least two less cupboards and 2 less drawers and not miss it!

  • amazing
    you should offer your services for housewives to pay you for order their groceries! you’re becoming rich! I, if I lived near you, would contract you!

  • I think the key is making your OCD functional for yourself. :)
    Good post, I need to see if those lazy susans work for my cupboards!
    At least that what works for me! :)

    • I suggest before putting all your canned foods in your top cabinets you be certain they can hold the weight. Not all upper cabinets can hold lots of weight. Alot depends on how they are made or how they are attached to the wall. Please be certain they are attached well and are of very good construction and not of poor quality or material. Just be careful, I bought expensive cabinets and after the uppers were hung one of them started pulling apart at the seem of a corner and it never had anything put in it. This is sjust a warning. Even dishes can be too heavy.

      • Wow Sandra, I’ve never heard of cabinets coming off the wall! I guess that means we better check them before loading them up, thanks for the tip.

  • LOVE! Great work! Question about your spices. How do you get your spices all stacked up like that? Are they attached with magnets??

    • Dayna, They are laying down in a drawer actually, the photo must be tricking you!

      • I thought the same thing. I like separating the sweet from the savory.

  • I think we are twins separated at birth. I’m the same as you when it comes to organization. I did learn a couple new things. Thanks!

  • Love your tips and examples. I’ve done the silverware sort into the dishwasher for years and agree with you, it’s a real time saver.

  • I love your OCD-ness, it makes me feel right at home. And the tip about pre-sorting silverware, really good idea. Love your blog :) Tanya

  • never thought to sort the silverware before washing it!

  • Yay! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who sorts the silverware before washing them in a dishwasher for the same exact reason. It just makes sense to me but my family just likes to dump it in so I make them take it out lol

  • TONS of great tips here! I too MUST sort my silverware in the dishwasher. Mu husband thinks it’s anal, but doesn’t seem to realize that it saves so much time in the end and so easy to do in the first place. I’m still working on all the other stuff though…

  • Thanks so much, this is exactly what I was looking for. And it makes such good sense!

  • Love your organization! I also presort the silverware in the dishwasher, it saves time when emptying. I love that you gave reasons for why you put things in certain cabinets – this is just the sort of direction I need to get my kitchen organized!!

  • I am smitten, completely & totally by your pantry and organization skills. You rival that of my OCD, but I think you took the prize! I have everything very neat in my pantry, but I couldn’t figure out why I felt it was off. The labels! You have everything in uniform containers which gives it that clean feel I love. I intend on doing that as well as purchasing the turn tables. Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  • I am smitten, completely & totally by your pantry and organization skills. You rival that of my OCD, but I think you took the prize! I’m a military wife and I recently got stationed in Holland where kitchens and cabinet space is TINY. I have everything very neat in my pantry, but I couldn’t figure out why I felt it was off. The labels! You have everything in uniform containers which gives it that clean feel I love. I intend on doing that as well as purchasing the turn tables to get maximum use out of my space. Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  • Where did you find your lazy susan’s and what brand are they?
    Thanks, Sharon

    • Sharon, there is a link to them in the post. I bought them at my Bed Bath and Beyond, but the link shows the exact ones I purchased available on Amazon.

  • Although I am not OCD, or obsessed with organization, I do love an organized pantry and kitchen. I too, sort my silverware when loading the DW but not because I want to. My hubby insists on it, or he will not unload it! But after doing it his way for many months, I agree it is better. One thing I love is my Miele Dishwasher. It has a flat rack above the glass/cup rack for the silverware to lay parallel in. I hardly ever have a problem with junk staying on them because they cannot nest. I love this dishwasher. It is the quietest thing and I never rinse my dishes anymore. They just go in there filthy, and come out sparkling. So if you need a new dishwasher, check out the Miele brand. The best dishwasher I’ve owned in my 30 years of marriage.
    Also, I was glad to see someone else had appliances in the pantry. My microwave is in there, and we love it.
    I am having my hubby make some lazy susans for the corner of my pantry. My pantry is much like yours, in that it has that darned dead corner space. So I am installing lazy susans on each shelf in the corner to use that space. I can’t wait till they are done. I will pin photos so all can see. Thanks for the great post.

    • Leslie,
      I’ve had lazy suzans in the corner of my pantry too! It works great. I’ll check into a Miele when this dishwasher goes kaput.

    • I love the Miele too. Verrry quiet and cleans everything well. The interior is bigger than most because someone had their thinking cap on when they designed motor placement.

      I keep my microwave in my pantry too(always). When I had a walk-in all of my plug-in appliances lived there as well, on a counter with plug molding running on the wall behind. I also had a piece of marble dropped into a butcherblock counter in there and that met all of my mess-making needs for baking. So nice just to walk out the (screen) pantry door back into a clean kitchen!

  • I cannot believe that i have found someone else that separates her flatware before washing…..aaahhhh, i feel like i have found a kindred soul…lol. My pantry looks a whole lot like yours as well. I will have to go to Target now for my spices, i also hate the labels….Thank You for the feeling of being vindicated! :)

    • Margaret,
      We should really have a retreat, all of us flatware sorters together. We would probably all have a really nice organized planed vacation that we would all follow :)

      • It’s like I tell my mom, you sort it going in or you sort it coming out – either way, it takes time. She sorts on the front end ~ me, I like to organize as it comes out. Potaytoe~Potahtoh

  • I’m pretty sure I need to print this post and use it as a road map!

  • Love all your Ideas- I have a huge kitchen but not enough cabinets so I may have to do some rethinking of how I have things set up and use some of your ideas.

    On a second note- keeping your spices by your stove makes them loose potency quicker- they need to be stored in a dark -cool location- drawer or cabinet are a good spot.

  • I totally sort my silverware when I put it into the dishwasher! I thought I invented it myself! It absolutely doesn’t add a second to loading it up, but not only saves me time when I unload, it makes me much more likely to unload the thing right away – because I know I’m not going to spend all day sorting out all the utensils. Win!

    Great post, thanks for the cheap storage container ideas. I get so disheartened when I see everyone’s beautiful pantries with all the pricey containers… :)

  • LOVE your ideas – At my house it is not OCD it is CDO as that way the letters are in order..lol!

  • Love your tips, but as a mom w a little girl who has suffered from true OCD since age 2 (she is now 13), it’s hard for me to see ppl use the term lightly or as something positive. Ppl with true, clinical diagnoses of OCD live in torture. I promise I’m not trying to ruin the mood here, and I hear ppl joking about being OCD all the time. But being of mom of a sufferer, I want to put a word out there that: (1) yes, lots of us may hv a touch of it that can be managed, but (2) be careful about using the term lightly as there truly are those out there suffering daily w a debilitating illness. Thanks for listening!

    • Laurie, Thanks for putting the word out there. I’m so sorry for you and your daughter. I do feel that I have many symptoms of OCD but not to a debilitating extent and try to keep things light for my own sanity. Good luck managing her symptoms.

  • Do you happen to remember the name of the brackets you got at Ikea? I can’t seem to find them on their website. Thanks!

  • That’s funny. I sort my silverware in the dishwasher, too.

  • LOL ….wow….YOU are my hero!! I have been dying to organize my kitchen better, since I have a tiny galley kitchen and NO PANTRY. Yeah – you read right. NO PANTRY. You are the answer to my prayers!!! Thank you so much!!

  • Wow! I’ve never encountered anyone who put as much thought into their kitchen organization as me. I organize by “zones.” All my “storage” supplies (pyrex storage, plastic storage, ziplocs) are all next to each other. To the right of my stove, in the drawer and cabinet, you will find “stovetop” equipment (utensils in the drawer and pots and pans below). To the left “oven” equipment (oven mits in the drawer and baking dishes in the cabinet. Another column of cabinets contains “food prep” equipment (mixing bowls, measuring cups, strainers, spatulas, misc). I know I save a lot of time by not having to walk back and forth all the time. Thanks for the great tips. I love the lazy susans!

  • I love the organization tips! Your kitchen looks great. Unfortunately, I don’t see any mention of my biggest problem: the refrigerator. I always find myself digging through it to find something. Next post, perhaps?

  • I tried to find those brackets on the ikea website and had no luck. I have been searching for just that for another project for quite some time now! :-)

    • Rachelle, Unfortunately I can’t find them in the store either. Maybe they discontinued them. Total bummer.

  • I too like an organized kitchen. After looking at and reading this post, I am going to make some changes.. As of right now, I have used my lazy Susan to hold all all of my storage containers instead of my canned goods.. I will be switching these out from my pantry and to the Lazy Susan, so much closer to my can opener, stove, sink, etc. Thanks for they eye opener

  • Re the silverware…I do exactly the opposite of this. Turning spoons & forks various directions to avoid allowing them to nest in each other. Otherwise the water may not get between them to get them clean!

  • The dishwasher utensil rack hit home for me in a really round about way..LOL You see my dishwasher is 25 yrs old and doesn’t to the clean thing to suit me anymore so I was by hand. However, I have found it to be a great drying rack for my dishes! I also separate my forks/ sharp knives/reg knives/serving spoons/teaspoons/cooking utensils(spatulas,etc)
    I think it works great!!! With everything else….as a person who’s hobby is art……..nothing is in its right place! LOL

  • I purchased two 18″ turn-tables for my corner cabinet, but, can’t figure out how to insert them without taking the cabinet apart. They don’t fit if I just try to slide them in on an angle. If I remove the two shelves (leaving the bottom of the cabinet itself for storage), I could probably slip one in, but, then I’m still left with one. Any suggestions?

    • Melissa, I had to remove the shelf holders inside the cabinet, then layer the turntable, shelf, turntable, shelf, turntable. After they are all layered then raise them up to the height you want and slip the shelf holders back into place. I hope that helps!

    • I know this is probably too late for you, but may help someone else. Take the upper shelf out. Then, slide BOTH lazy susans in at the same time—BUT with the upper shelf between them. Make sure that they are both sitting in their upright position, and sit the lower one on the lower shelf. Screw the upper shelf back on, and the upper lazy susan will be in place.

  • What an awesome article! I absolutely love the ideas so much. These ideas could really help me in organizing my kitchen this weekend. This is indeed perfect! I do believe the statement in one of the article I read today, that “homes should work, so we can play”, and these ideas are incredible for letting the kitchen work for us. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post!

  • However, I have found it to be a great drying rack for my dishes! I also separate my forks/ sharp knives/reg knives/serving spoons/teaspoons/cooking utensils(spatulas,etc). What an awesome article! I absolutely love the ideas so much. These ideas could really help me in organizing my kitchen this weekend.

  • When I buy any new food items especially cans I rotate the new to the back and pull the older ones up front I don’t know if this OCD or just from working in a grocery store when I was young, that is what most stores do. Just wondering if you also do that?

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