Make Life Easier: 21 Clever Kitchen Organization & Hidden Storage Ideas!

Today we’re sharing the best 21 kitchen organization hacks, storage ideas, and extra tips on items every kitchen needs—and we’ve done every single one of these in our very own kitchen! So we can tell you all about our now-going-on 7 years of experience with each of these firsthand.

Complete photos + details on each one below (along with a couple bonus ideas + a video at the end!).

KITCHEN ORGANIZATION HACKS

#21: Built-in Countertop Drainboard!

This built-in drainboard was made by cutting grooves into the quartz countertop. We figured we’re always drying dishes at some point in the day, so why was a removable dish rack necessary? We’d never be moving it! So why not make it prettier and more built-in looking?

For full details (plus how to make yours easier to clean!), click HERE!

kitchen countertop drainboard runnels kitchen organization hack in quartz countertop

brush

Whether it’s pots and pans or flowers, this simple countertop hack comes in handy and has saved us THOUSANDS of hours every year that we’ve had it. (Yep, thousands. Read the post to see how!)

woman at kitchen sink with drain board in countertop kitchen organization hack

Read the full post: “Dry Me a River: 7 Perks of a Built In Countertop Drainboard.”

KITCHEN STORAGE IDEAS

#20: Extra Deep Appliance Storage Drawers!

These are NOT to be confused with our gorgeous appliance storage cabinets, which we talk about further down below.

See the post with ALL the details on our extra deep appliance drawers HERE!

kitchen organization hack with appliances in kitchen drawer storage

drawer | blender | slow cooker

See full details in the post: “Kitchen Appliance Storage: 3 Genius Steps To Help You Live Longer!”

You can also see a quick video of these drawers in action in our video here!

SMALL KITCHEN ORGANIZATION HACKS

#19: Solid Surface Backsplash Behind Stove!

We’re working on an upcoming post all about our solid surface quartz backsplash behind the stove!

For now I’ll just share three of my favorite words ever:

EASY!

TO!

CLEAN!

***UPDATE: That post is now live here!***

small kitchen organization idea with drawers under stove

drawer dividers | drawer | serving tray | cheese board | serving board

See more in “How to Create a Timeless Kitchen (That’s Never Out of Style)!”

KITCHEN ORGANIZATION TIPS

#18: Do Drawers Instead of Cabinets!

Can you believe we installed 45 drawers and ZERO lower cabinets in our kitchen? It’s true and it’s been life-changing!

See exactly how we did 100% kitchen drawers instead of cabinets here!

woman in kitchen opening kitchen drawer storage

drawer dividers / drawer / side table | pendant light | bowl

See why I did this in “5 Genius Reasons To Choose Kitchen Drawers Instead of Cabinets”

(And yes, you might have noticed from the above photo that we have two kitchen islands!)

KITCHEN ORGANIZATION HACKS DIY

#17: Tea Drawer!

The full details on our easy DIY tea drawer organization and dividers is HERE.

kitchen organization hack diy tea drawer with tea boxes

drawer dividers / drawer

See the post: “Tea Drawer Organization DIY: Our #1 Tea Trick!”

If you want to organize your kitchen the smartest way possible, you’ll need THIS!

If you’re remodeling (or even thinking about remodeling!) your kitchen, you need THIS!

KITCHEN STORAGE IDEAS

#16: Pull Out Trash Can & Recycle Cabinet!

Those of you who’ve read about our mudroom renovation may remember how I love to hide trash cans.😆 (And you can just see our hidden cutting board above it, but that comes next!)

Well, in this case we’ve hidden both our garbage and our recycle. Simple but highly effective and used approximately 18,092 times per day.

If you’re not sure if this type of garbage bin is for you, check out our post comparing pull-out trash cans to freestanding ones!

kitchen storage idea with trash and recycle pull out bin drawer
Why you should avoid under sink trash

We put this pull-out to the left of the sink because that’s the most common place we knew we’d need to access the trash and recycle bins.

We also built them into a box so any small bits of food wouldn’t fall below—they just fall onto the top wood section and we can retrieve them easily.

It’s all about cleaning shortcuts, people! Really does make life easier! (Find out what your shortcuts are here!)

KITCHEN ORGANIZATION HACKS & ideas

#15: Cutting Board Drawer!

See the full post HERE. (Including why we think putting a hole in the middle of this cutting board is foolish, and note the extra drawer under the cutting board as well!)

kitchen organization idea with pull out cutting board made of wood above trash can

cutting board | slides

Read further in “Slide Out: 3 Genius Tips for Your Pull-out Cutting Board Drawer” (includes what to avoid!)

KITCHEN ORGANIZATION HACKS

#14: Under Sink Drawer!

What we love about this hack is that it enables you to utilize the often-unused space below the kitchen sink. Because other appliances usually hang out down there (such as our garbage disposal and water heater do), many builders and contractors just put a dummy drawer there. Or a shallow depth drawer, if anything. (Or those awful drawers that angle out—ick! Were they just super popular in the 1990s and never died out? Well, it’s time for those to die.)

Matt and I are always into creating drawers that still work where possible. We’ve done this on bathroom vanities as well to maximize the space.

Here you can see we’ve cut out a space for what’s needed below our particular kitchen sink, which is room for the garbage disposal. This drawer is HUGELY used in our home. (We’re always needing more hand towels, for some reason. Maybe because we have kids? Very possible.)

kitchen storage idea under sink with cut out

drawer dividers / drawer

Here you can see another angle of the water heater around which we built the drawer to maximize storage!

How do we build drawers? This is how!

kitchen storage idea under sink with cut out for water heater

drawer dividers / drawer

If you have cabinets under your current sink, we 100% recommend converting them to drawers for max functionality and storage. We show you how easy it is to do it here!

storage ideas for small KITCHENs

#13: Hidden Appliance Cabinets!

Now you see them…now you don’t! (Or vice versa.)

See complete details (with don’t-forget-these-tips!) on our hidden kitchen appliance cabinets HERE.

Closed vs open

espresso machine

We share full details in “3 Irresistible Benefits of Kitchen Appliance Cabinets!”

KITCHEN ORGANIZATION HACKS

#12: Sliding-level Spice Drawer

You can get this yourself here!

kitchen storage idea with spice drawers with clips

Why did we do it this way? See “5 Brilliant Kitchen Organization Ideas That Make Life Easier!”

kitchen organization hack of tri-level sliding spice drawers

spice drawer | spice jars

Get full details on our one-of-a-kind, 3-level spice drawer in this post!

KITCHEN MUST HAVES

#11: Instant Hot Water Dispenser!

If you think it’s impossible for anyone to get extremely excited about an instant hot water dispenser, then you’ve clearly never had one! (Or you’re in a rare group of people that don’t ever drink hot beverages at home.)

I have lived in homes with instant hot water dispensers. I have lived in homes without them. And I will tell you,

life was meaningless without it.

(Yes yes, I may become dramatic when I feel things passionately. Which is almost always.)

Our hot little companion is so beautiful, it warrants a beauty shot:

new kitchen must have of hot water dispenser on side of sink

hot water dispenser

Want tea even faster than Starbucks can give it to you? You’ve got it. No waiting for some kettle to heat up like a chump. (Thaaaaaat’s the blog post title I should use if I ever write one solely on my love for my instant hot water dispenser–which I could write in a hot minute! Yes! “No More Waiting Like a Chump.”)

Nearly every morning, I make myself an espresso and turn it into an Americano via my instant hot water dispenser. Matt makes himself a nice hot tea instantly as well.

Forget hot drinks—even the times there’s some dish I forgot to wash and has something particularly difficult stuck on it, I don’t worry. I just run the hot water over it and…magic. It’s instant boiling water for SO many of our family’s cleaning needs.

One last photo of this champ before we check out the next one…

hot water dispenser on kitchen sink idea

hot water dispenser | air switch

You can add this to an existing kitchen or account for it during a makeover/renovation. If you’re remodeling your kitchen (or even thinking about it!), you need THIS!

BASIC KITCHEN ORGANIZATION

#10: Pots & Pans Storage!

Nothing irks me more than having to dig around in cabinets for pots and pans. They (of course) have to be stacked on top of each other to make use of all that square cubic footage in the cabinet, and let me tell ya, STUFF STACKED ON TOP OF EACH OTHER IS LIKE NAILS ON A CHALKBOARD. (Unless it’s a stack of items that are exactly the same, like a stack of plates…but they must all be the same size or else it’s back to nails on the chalkboard for me.)

Our most-used pots and pans live in two luscious drawers below our stove—right where we need them and use them. They don’t get stacked on top of each other because there’s no need.

(And if you’re looking to convert your cabinets to drawers, we show you how HERE!)

kitchen storage ideas with stove with drawers underneath storing pots and pans

vase | pan

Our less frequently used pots and pans live in another couple drawers in our island right there behind you as you’re standing at the stove. So they’re all in the same area, they all have a designated home, and NO ONE has to bend over or kneel down on the floor to pull out something they need.

And they all lived happily ever after.

UNIQUE KITCHEN ORGANIZATION IDEAS

#9: Hidden Stove Utensils!

Speaking of the stove area, let me say this:

Stove utensils out on the counter is just unnecessary clutter, people!

Do you really love the look of your spatulas and spoons? Personally, even the nicest-looking wooden ones just don’t quite do it for me out on display. Hence, I hid them. You can read more about that in this post.

Want one of your own? We showing you how to do it here and here!

vertical kitchen storage for cooking utensils in drawer

drawer dividers / drawer

Get full details in our post “5 Brilliant Kitchen Organization Ideas That Make Life Easier!”

NEW KITCHEN MUST HAVES

#8: Motion-sensor Faucet!

Hands messy? Save yourself cleaning time (plus contamination from things like raw meats) and get a motion-sensor faucet in your kitchen! It’s easy!

I share the full story in our post, “Can’t Touch This: 3 Reasons to Get a Touch-free Faucet!”

motion sensor faucet at kitchen sink idea

faucet | air switch

Want to make sure you’re not missing something important like this in your kitchen? We created The Ultimate Kitchen Checklist to help you avoid exactly that!

small KITCHEN ORGANIZATION HACKS

#7: Easy-Reach Storage Above Fridge!

See details of our one-of-a-kind magnetized above-fridge storage cabinet in this post! (We did this almost seven years ago and still we’ve never seen this done anywhere else the way we did it.)

man opening kitchen storage cabinet above fridge

Read further with “The 3 Bonus Cabinet Storage Ideas Every Kitchen Needs!”

KITCHEN STORAGE IDEAS diy

#6: Baking Tray Storage!

Convert your hard-to-store-things-in high cabinet spaces to tray storage! (We did ours right above the oven where we need it most.) You can get the details on our hidden tray storage here!

If you’re looking to organize your kitchen once and for all, you need THIS!

Read more about our baking tray storage in “5 Brilliant Kitchen Organization Ideas That Make Life Easier!”

KITCHEN MUST-HAVES

#5: Garbage Disposal Air Switch

Solving the problem of an inconvenient outlet switch for your garbage disposal is this air switch. No need to mount a switch or have an additional switch in the wall…

…plus Matt and I have both found it a lot easier to reach and turn on and off when standing at the sink (versus having to lean over to one side of the sink to reach a wall outlet).

These can be retrofitted to a kitchen really easily! Quick and easy on all counts. Which is what more of us need in the kitchen, right?

garbage disposal air switch in new kitchen must haves

air switch

A popular question when people see this photo is “What material are your countertops?”

KITCHEN ORGANIZATION HACKS

#4: Plate Drawer Storage!

First, let us SAVE you a lot of effort and money on unnecessary plate drawer organizers or peg systems. We’ve found they are unnecessary!

Why? All our plates and bowls (even the smallest, tiniest ones!) just don’t shift around in drawers as you open/close them! It’s simply not a problem!

Another reason we don’t like the organizers is that with most of them, once they’re set, you can’t shift them around! (And you know we like to stay flexible in design!) Maybe you buy new plates, or maybe you realize you want your bowls on the left instead of the right, or something that was in the back needs to move to the front?

No problem, mon!

kitchen drawer storage drawer with plates inside

drawer

We’d never had our plates and bowls in drawers before, but we now LOVE it! No more stretching up to get them out of high cabinets—they’re there, right in the center of the kitchen and by the countertops where we usually set them! SO much more efficient!

So put those plates and bowls stacked in your drawers with no fear. You just might love it!

Speaking of proper placement of your kitchen items, if you’re looking to organize your kitchen once and for all, you’ll need THIS! (95% of people have kitchen items in the wrong places!)

KITCHEN MUST HAVES

#3: Cordless Window Shade Above Sink!

Do you want cords hanging down into where you’re cleaning dishes, setting dirty ones, or putting clean ones out to dry? We sure didn’t!

Thus I searched high and low to find the perfect cordless window shade for above our sink, and we get asked about it via the blog and social media a lot! Here’s the link to where you can buy our cordless shade.

kitchen sink with cordless window shade above, and hidden countertop appliance cabinets to side
Click here for our FREE Interior Design Guide!

If you’re interested in kitchen trends to avoid, you’ll find “How to Design a Timeless Kitchen That’s Never Out of Style!” here!

CHEAP KITCHEN ORGANIZATION IDEAS

#2: Silverware & Kitchen Tools Drawer Organization!

organized kitchen drawer with utensils inside, DIY wood dividers

drawer dividers / drawer

See how we created these custom wood dividers—specially built for each of our silverware and kitchen tool drawers—in this separate post about drawer organization!

kitchen organization hack DIY with drawer dividers and kitchen tools

drawer dividers / drawer

We also show you how to not only make these drawer dividers but also how to make the drawers themselves, what hardware to use, our “secret” wholesale supplier for drawer fronts…everything & anything you could ever want for your drawer situation is in here! 🙂

REAL-LIFE KITCHEN IDEAS & TIPS

#1: Raised Countertops!

Read our full post about how we customized our countertop heights for more ergonomic comfort HERE!

man at kitchen sink with double islands and kitchen drawers below

“3 Reasons to Avoid the Standard Countertop Height!”

If you’re remodeling (or even considering a makeover of your kitchen), you need THIS!

REAL-LIFE KITCHEN IDEAS & TIPS

BONUS #22-23: Double Islands + No Pendants!

This isn’t something you can buy in a store, but we felt it was worth mentioning as one of the cool things we did in our kitchen: double islands!

You may also have noticed that we chose to AVOID pendants above our kitchen islands!

Next…

Since we’re booked with clients through next year, we created a printable kitchen organization guide and a printable kitchen remodel guide you can use TODAY!

To see The Complete List of all our kitchen tips and tricks, go here or if you’d like to shop our kitchen go here. You can also choose from one of our three most popular kitchen posts below:

  1. Why we ripped out our new kitchen.
  2. How we did 100% drawers and ZERO cabinets in our kitchen!
  3. See 3 perks of removing a wall in your kitchen (and why we did it!).

PS: Our complete list of every single home project is viewable HERE!

PPS: If you’re new to us or our blog, you won’t want to miss grabbing our Free Design Mini-guide!

To see some of our kitchen organization hacks in action, check out this short video we made for you guys! 🙂

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Cathy

    Thanks for sharing kitchen hack organization and storage list, well written blog.

  2. Elaine Buttacavoli

    Dream kitchen! Everything looks beautiful. Would you please share the brand & color name of your countertop?

  3. Lynette P

    I just discovered you on Pinterest, but I already can tell that we think alike! Only drawers? Absolutely. Nothing on the counter? Taught that to our kids 40 years ago!
    One big question: does your instant hot water dispenser get the water boiling? I’m a tea drinker, and I want my tea HOT! A friend has a dispenser and the tea she serves is tepid. Bleeech!
    We’re designing a new house, and I’d love the convenience of a dispenser, but not at the cost of lukewarm tea! Thanks for your post. I’ll be using some of your ideas.

    1. Jess

      Hello again, Lynette! 🙂

      YES, the hot water dispenser keeps it BOILING! You can adjust the temperature, so perhaps your friend has hers turned down.

      Glad you’re finding helpful ideas for your build! We run our blog for free, so please share our site with others who would enjoy reading as well. 🙂

      – Jess

    2. Tina

      It depends on the dispenser; some dispense properly boiling water (100 degrees C; 212 F), but others can be as low as 97 C (~207 F), and that is way too low for decent tea.

      1. Jess

        Our dispenser is adjustable to whatever temperature we choose! 🙂

        – Matt & Jess

  4. Judy

    When I helped my fiance remodel the kitchen in his 130 year old Victorian, I told him only drawers on the bottom. I had some lower drawers in my current house and loved the convenience. We’re too old to crawl on the floor to find stuff in the back of cabinets! I liked the outcome so much that we’ve done the same thing in the 50 year old house we just bought together. I can hardly wait to move in and have room for all of our combined kitchen items!

    1. Jess

      Awesome, Judy! So smart! 🙂 Congrats on the new house!

      Jess & Matt

  5. Jody

    Are your kitchen cabinets custom made or from ikea?

    1. Jess

      Hi Jody! Our kitchen cabinets are custom.

  6. Emma

    So many clever designs! I think the hidden stove utensil drawer is my favourite! 😀

    1. Jess

      Thank you so much, Emma! I have a certain fondness for that one too! 🙂

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