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Cheap Kitchen Organization Ideas

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We’ve been busy and I have a lot of projects (and some updates) to share, but I know that it’s the season for organizing so I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents with a few of my favorite cheap kitchen organization ideas.

Our house is small so I’m forever trying to keep it organized and neat. The kitchen is one room that’s especially difficult. We have limited cabinet space and no pantry so we really have to be careful what we bring in.

galley style white kitchen with granite countertops

I’m not one to have things on my countertops, I don’t like clutter and I don’t want to clean anything extra, but, with this kitchen, we had no choice. After the remodel of our kitchen in Illinois last year, I had enough cabinet space so our counters were almost bare. I even got a few comments about how bare they were.

This kitchen though, doesn’t have all of that lovely hidden storage space.

Sniff…I still miss our Illinois kitchen. All that hard work…

picture of outside of house and windows

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small kitchen and gray kitchen island with butcher block countertop

Anyway…I’ve found that if I corral my things in a pretty basket, jar or tin, I can have stuff out on the counters and I don’t feel like they’re (too) cluttered.


Next to the stove I use a simple crock for a lot of my tall cooking utensils, that are too big for my short drawers.

small ceramic crock with cooking utensils used for cheap kitchen organization

Decorative Metal Bins

Also by the stove, I keep a pretty metal bin with the salt and pepper, a potted basil plant and a couple of cutting boards.

small metal bin with basil plant and wood cutting boards used for cheap kitchen organization

Glass Jars for Food Storage

Now this is something that so many of you do and I have never, ever done it. Never…in any house we’ve ever had. I’ve never kept my flour and sugar on the counter before (it’s that clutter on the counter thing) but I’m ok with this arrangement. I have to be totally honest and say that although I like it now, it may not always stay this way.

large glass jars with sugar and flour in them plus wood tray with cooking oils

Tray for Oils and Vinegar

I found this vintage wooden tray at an estate sale and knew I would use it somewhere in the kitchen. It’s a little wonky but it does what its supposed to do…corralling the cooking oils.

Large Woven Round Tray for the Dining Table

We have a round dining table so, when I found this large round woven tray, I knew it would be the perfect centerpiece. Now I can have flowers, fruit and dishes on the table and when it’s time for a meal, just pick it all up and move it until we’re done. I’ve tried other things in this spot but I always seem to go back to this tray.

woven tray with white dishes, container of oranges and pitcher of daisies

Besides having pretty vessels to hold my kitchen things, to keep my small kitchen from getting cluttered, I watch what I bring in (including food) and purge when necessary.

There’s no sense in having something on the top shelf, all the way in the back of the cabinet, that you never use. It’s ok…you can get rid of it. Donate it to someone who can use it.

None of this is earth-shattering or life-changing, but it helps me stay organized, and sane, in my small kitchen. What are your cheap kitchen organization tips?

Source List

(Affiliate links used. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Please see my Privacy Policy for more info.)

  • Metal bin for storage – H&M Home
  • Crock – Bed, Bath and Beyond (3 years ago)
  • Black and white striped pitcher – Target Dollar Spot (2 years ago)
  • Cutting boards – HomeGoods
  • Large glass jars – Target
  • Round wood tray – estate sale
  • Mason jar lamp – DIY by me 
  • Preserved boxwood topiary – West Elm
  • Round woven tray – HomeGoods (several years ago)
  • White dishes – William Sonoma Apilco
  • Wire dome – thrift store
  • Ceramic fruit container – Target


  1. Love all your ideas for organizing a small kitchen, that crate is adorable! xo

  2. Kristi, I’m with you. I don’t like clutter, it makes me feel, I don’t know, like everything is closing in on me. Maybe it’s because I have a small home and the clutter just makes it seem smaller. Not that I never have clutter. You should have seen my house Christmas Eve with seven adults and five kids having an indoor snowball fight! I put a time limit on it for 5 minutes. The kids had a ball and the adults kids got in on it. I can handle little things like that because I know it’s only temporary and the kids don’t remember the mess, they just remember Nana let them have an indoor snowball fight. (If you’re wondering, they were batting snowballs, light and won’t break anything if they hit it). I painted a basket red and had a sign in it that said, “You’re never too old for a snowball fight.” I can’t take credit for it, I found this on Pinterest. Love your ideas!

    1. I have never liked clutter but it seems to be harder avoid it with the blog. I feel I’m constantly purging and organizing.

      It sounds like you had a great holiday with your family. An indoor snowball fight…so fun!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much Christine, I appreciate it! πŸ™‚

  3. You already know how much we love your kitchen. We are definitely in the camp of have less counter clutter. We love how you have beautifully corralled everything into beautiful bins and trays! Looks fabulous.

    1. Thanks so much Vicki and Jenn! πŸ™‚ I have never been one to clutter up my kitchen but when your space is small, you really have to really keep it under control.

  4. You’ve done very well with the space that you have. Hopefully one day I’ll achieve a clutter free counter so that I have more room to work on it. Love your ideas and I think it’s time for me to purge!

    1. Thanks Sandra! I don’t like clutter and it’s sometimes hard for me to keep the counters clear. It’s amazing how quickly they can get out of control and it feels like a never-ending job. πŸ˜‰

  5. MaryJean Zajac says:

    Yes, that “small kitchen” thing can really be a bummer. Believe it or not, we actually increased the size of our kitchen by bumping out a wall to add all windows and took out a door that was eating up space. It’s still small, but much better than before and we can now look out to our beautiful woods and the deer who loves to eat my plants!
    I try to keep things off the counters as much as possible, but I don’t have a lot of cabinet space so some things are necessary on the counters.
    There is a rule about only moving something once. You know, the salt goes in the cabinet, but we move it from the table to the counter and then again to the cabinet. I’m trying very hard to get my hubby to learn this rule . . . sigh.
    I love the corralling things with bins and baskets and trays. Works for me! I have a wicker tray with all my pods for the Keurig with sugar and creamer. Looks nice and neat and still easy access.


    1. I think we handle our small kitchens similarly. I don’t like stuff on the counter either but, with minimal cabinet space, it’s unavoidable. You do what you have to in the space you’ve got. πŸ™‚

  6. I have very, very few things on my countertops, like you, I’d rather have it all tucked away. Sometimes there’s no choice and you’ve come up with some great ideas.

    1. Thank Kim. I wish I could have it all away but…oh well…
      The fun of having a small kitchen, right? πŸ˜‰

  7. Have a quick question: Like most of us who use Smart Phones where do you keep and recharge yours? Ours has landed up in the kitchen on the end of the counter only because it is the handiest place. Have you any suggestions?

    1. Phone chargers are a constant headache in our house. I keep mine in my nightstand, out of sight.

      My husband keeps his in the kitchen but it is kind of hidden behind the flour and sugar. I put the glass jars on a small wooden shelf, so the phone can sit under it and it’s out of the way. Maybe not a great suggestion, but maybe it will give you an idea. I’ll update if I come up with anything else.

  8. I’ve been thinking about the minimalism movement where you only have those things that are functional and do away of the rest of the clutter. I like the idea of no clutter too, and your color schemes help to define that. I have a small pantry and LOVE it. It helps to free up my cabinets for dishes, etc while the food products are stored there and most all at eye level. The best part is the ability to store crock pots, over sized pans, etc there. Whites and neutrals help to enlarge and open spaces. And I love the large window for light and the view, and simple window treatments you have. I like having hidden lights under the cabinets, do you have them? Your new home is shaping up really well.

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Sue. I’m sure you enjoy your pantry. It’s been a long time since I had one and I really miss the storage space. I guess you do what’s necessary with the space you have, right? πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for visiting, Sue. Hope you have a great week!

  9. Pam Kaufman says:

    Mine are pretty similar to yours. I use an old crock for large utensils and another for my rolling pins. I have a wood tray for my salt, pepper and napkins. I use glass jars for sugar, rice, cornmeal. I keep my flour in a large vintage tupperware container in a cabinet. I’ve recently added a hanging ladder for my pots and pans to free up cupboard space for my new electric pressure cooker. It sounds like a lot but I have quite a bit of counter top so it really is not as cluttered as it sounds.

    1. Wow Pam, it sounds like you have some great kitchen storage ideas. It doesn’t sound cluttered to me, it sounds organized. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  10. I like the metal basket you use for cutting board etc. I also use a crock or vase for my utensils, especially the ones I use almost daily. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks Debbie. It always takes me a while to find the right piece (a piece that I think is perfect) but I think I’ve found a few good ones. πŸ˜‰

      Hope you are well. Happy weekend!

  11. It ‘s hard to properly stock a kitchen without clutter and you’ve done a good job. I have limited counters also but am lucky that I have a small pantry where grocery items can be stored. Still, counters seem to be catch-alls regardless of what we do. Thankfully, there are decorative things that can help. Regardless of some of the down sides, I still love your little stone cottage.

    1. You are so lucky you have a pantry, Pat. I would love one but I guess that’s the price you pay for an older, small house.

      Thanks so much for reading and for your comment. Have a great weekend!

  12. Margaret Robinson says:

    Agree – no “clutter” is great! No need for a lot of stuff on the counter. This makes not only cleaning difficult, but I think having to move things all around to get one of two things just makes another mess.

    Love your blog and all your wonderful ideas and great ways to make a house look comfortable and well put together.


    1. I always think about what needs to be cleaned when I put it out anywhere in the house. No one wants that extra work, right? πŸ˜‰ If I love it that much it’s worth the time to dust.

      Thanks for stopping in to read about our little house. I appreciate your support, and your sweet comment.

  13. Kristi, I’m with you on this countertop subject, no clutter, less is more, love it, always enjoy your little stone cottage blog, Jacky

    1. Thanks so much, Jacky. I appreciate you stopping in to read about our little stone cottage. πŸ™‚

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