17 kitchen organizing solutions

Simple tips will help you organize your kitchen, and yourself, in the new year.

Story highlights

  • Organize wayward lids and baking pans with specialized storage systems
  • Keep cutlery together with expanding drawer caddies
  • Use storage trays to keep your kitchen cleaning products together
Afraid your leaning tower of pots is bound to collapse? Try these tips and products.
Containers, Storage Systems
1. Store flour, sugar, and more in OXO Pop containers. Press the lid's button for an airtight seal.
To buy: from $8 each, oxo.com.
2. Rather than splurge on a pricey spice rack, label the tops of spice jars and place them in a drawer to easily find what you're looking for.
3. The SmartSpin Storage System comes with 24 plastic containers in three sizes, with one-size-fits-all lids. A carousel keeps the sets together.
To buy: $16, target.com.
Cutlery Drainers, Cabinet Organizers, Soda Storage
4. Place the cheery Avant Garde cutlery drainer in the sink to drain and organize utensils as you wash them.
To buy: $16, conranusa.com.
5. Access pot lids stowed in the back of a cabinet with the nine-inch slide-out Cabinet Organizer.
To buy: from $40, simplehuman.com.
6. Never rummage through the refrigerator looking for a Diet Coke again. The 12 Can Dispenser, made of easy-to-clean plastic, fits inside most refrigerators and holds 10 12-ounce cans with ease.
To buy: $8, organize.com.
Menu Organizers, Cutlery Trays
7. Tuck all your takeout menus -- arranged by type of cuisine -- inside the handy Takeout Menu Organizer.
To buy: $20, uncommongoods.com.
8. The plastic Expand-a-Drawer cutlery tray maximizes usable space by adjusting to fit the width of your drawers.
To buy: $20, containerstore.com.
9. Mark the contents of plastic food-storage containers with a dry-erase pen. The "labels" will come off when you wash the items.
Cupboard and Cabinet Organizers
10. Attach the Rationell Variera rack to the inside of a cupboard door to keep lids in order.
To buy: Unfortunately this item is no longer available, but find similar products at amazon.com.
11. Store sets of place mats and napkins together in zippered plastic bags and label how many are in each set.
12. No more moving the bowls to get to the plates. The Corner Dinnerware Cabinet Organizer separates tableware and maximizes vertical space in even the tightest of cabinets.
To buy: $11.50, organize.com.
Storage Trays, Candle Holders
13. Find a place for soaps, sponges, and even your wedding ring while you do the dishes with the space-saving acrylic Pivo storage tray.
To buy: $20, umbra.com.
14. Fill empty votive-candle holders with small things that tend to get misplaced, such as paper clips, bobby pins, rubber bands, and pieces of ribbon, and keep them on a desk or inside a drawer.
15. Eggs stay freshest when they are kept in the carton they came in, so don't bother housing them in your refrigerator's plastic egg compartment.
Muffin Tins, Packet Bins
16. Separate muffin tins from cutting boards with the MadeSmart Housewares space-saving bakeware holder.
To buy: $15, sears.com.
17. Stand up soup and seasoning packets in a packet bin and they won't get lost in the cupboard.
To buy: $13, webstaurantstore.com.