From Spotlight: The ‘But I Don’t Have Time!’ Guide to a Tidy Home

10 Photos of Hyper-Organized Kitchens That’ll Make You Swoon

Strategies tidy homeowners use (like grids) to make things look pretty.

Three clear glass canisters filled with sandwich cookies
Image: KmartStyling

Some people have a special knack for making everything seem so put together in their kitchen, so prettily organized — without buying expensive things.

How do they do it?

They Put 'Like' and 'Like' Together

Tupperware and lids in a wood drawer in a kitchen

Like goes with like, whether it's a similar shape or a similar function. In the case above, it's both. Lids are together, organized by shape. The bottoms are together, also organized by shape. And see how the colors are grouped? So satisfying.

They Use Color to Help Them Organize

A white kitchen cupboard with green glasses and jars

Green glasses go on top. . . .

Blue plates go on the bottom. . . .  

Brown mugs go on the right. . . .

Color makes things pretty. By combining like colors, you create a sense of order and a way of mentally picturing where something is.

Plus, it makes a large pantry look put together.

Like this mint green and gold one:

A bright green and gold pantry with food

Or this black and white one:

A black and white kitchen pantry with food

Black and white is probably the most flexible color scheme. In the pantry above, the white pulls together the different canister shapes. The black wire baskets tie into the color scheme to help "tidy" the chaos that is supermarket food.

They Use a Grid

Whether it's easy to see . . .

A built-in cabinet with separate compartments for mugs
Image: Todd Gieg, photographer | Don Foote Contracting, designer

or not. . . . .

A white kitchen with hanging pots, pans, and utensils
Image: Julien L. Balmer/Stocksy

Having things lined up just looks neater.

They Use Clear, Same-Shape Containers for Staples

Makes it easy to see what you have and how much. Time saved.

Clear jars in a pull-out drawer in a kitchen cabinet

They Use Consistent Labeling

Spices with a black lid in a wood drawer

Imagine how much messier that drawer would look if the labels and jars were all different shapes, sizes, and colors. (Now if only they were alphabetized. . . .)

But it's this fridge . . .

Clear organizers in a refrigerator
Image: Ann Faber, Marketing Communications Manager at InterDesign, Inc.

And this freezer drawer . . .

Plastic bags with frozen fruit in a freezer

. . . that have us swooning.

Shape, function, containers, grid, and color (wow!). Makes you want to clean out your fridge now.

Related: Small Tips With Supersize Results for Under Your Kitchen Sink

Lara Edge
Lara Edge

Lara Edge has bought four homes, sold three, and downsized into an urban home less than half the square footage of her old one. She has 20 years of editing experience, most recently at HGTV, which inspired her to do some DIY, and to know when it pays to hire a pro.