Containers In The Kitchen

I helped a client organize part of her kitchen yesterday and found myself explaining several set ups I have in my kitchen.  I thought it would be interesting for you all to see how I have somet things contained and organized in the kitchen.  I have a medium sized kitchen.  It was built in 1963 and if I could redo all the cabinetry then it would probably double the space in the kitchen.  The current shelves are not adjustable and therefore there is much wasted space.  But, you work with what you have.  Right?  So for me that means I’ve added several things to my cabinets to help make them more functional.   I have already shown you some of my lower cabinets and how I have added some $2 wash bins to store tupperware, sippy cups, water bottles and to go coffee mugs.  It’s time to think outside the box in your kitchen and really make it work well for you! Here are some things I have done.

Let’s start with my counters.  We are coffee drinkers here and drink some every day.  I am happy to dedicate a little counter space for something we do daily.  I had a special little wooden dish that was my grandmothers and placed it on the counter with our sugar dish and another little dish I found and some small spoons.  These spoons are just our coffee spoons.  It’s fun to have them on the counter and all my cereal spoons aren’t dirty from stirring coffee.

Like I said…coffee…consumed…here.  We have a Keurig and we use the K cups daily so I decided to toss them into one of my favorite dishes (one of my tjmaxx finds) and put it on the counter.  I always know when we’re getting low on coffee.  Next to that dish is an adorable dish my brother and sister in law gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago.  I keep my favorite morning Kashi bars in there.

Above my fridge I have a pretty tray basket and this is where we put our large cereal boxes (that don’t fit in my non adjustable cabinets), chips and huge bin of atomic fireballs. 🙂 It’s the entire size of the top of the fridge and keeps things from fall off or looking really sloppy.   Something not ever intended for use on top of a fridge but it works well.

I call this the “pen pot” because it’s where all stray pens in the kitchen must go.  I don’t keep them in the junk drawer.  Yes folks, I have a junk drawer. It’s a pretty ceramic pot that wasn’t intended for pens.  Use something beautiful instead of a boring desk accessory. Again…thinking outside of what is the normal use for an item.

This is a large basket I have just sitting on the counter to contain all the bread products.   Bagels, buns, bread and pitas…easy to find and these type things tend to fall over in a pantry and get squished.  If I wanted to tidy the counters it would be super easy to put this up on top of the fridge out of the way.

Now…for the inside of the cabinets.

The snack shelf.  These are two cd bins.  Yes, you read that right.  I got these in the office organization section of Target.  They were the perfect depth for my shelves, lightweight and easy to pull down and tall enough that they actually contain the items inside.  Inside these two bins are the snacks I have for my children to take to school. These are not for after school snacking but saved for school since they are easy to toss into a backpack.  Again, this is an easy way for me to know when I need to replenish the stash.

Just a side shot of the containers.  I have many of these all over my house because they worked so well and they were a great price.

Snacks…staying fresh in oxo containers.  I have another one of those cd bins where we store the children’s breakfast bars.

One little plastic bin where we stash all the packets.  Oatmeal, grits and seasoning packets all go here.  We usually have a couple of packets of popcorn as well.  I think this storage container was found in the bathroom containers section of a Walmart.

We keep most of the medicine in the hall closet at the other end of the house but there are a few items that my husband needs access to regularly so we made him a bin in the kitchen.  Sure all these things could be on the shelf without a bin but the bin makes it really easy to pull the whole thing out and see what is in the back and nothing gets lost.  It’s my $1 way to make some custom cabinets.

And lastly, I have a bin in the fridge.  It’s just one more way I keep things together and easier to find in a full fridge.  Speaking of refridgerators…here’s a post I did about organizing and cleaning out your fridge.

I hope these ideas give you a little inspiration for tidying up your pantry and kitchen.  Do you already have a couple of these ideas implemented?  What other ways do you contain things in the kitchen? Go get a tape measure, measure your shelf and find yourself a couple of inexpensive bins to test out in your pantry. Do it!


  1. You are so awesome! Love the CD container idea! My snack bins are always overflowing b/c they’re too shallow.

    • Thanks Jenny…it’s amazing when you can think outside the original purpose for an item. It really opens up so many more possibilities!

  2. I have a container for the individual snack packs for book bags as well. Ours is on top of our dryer in the laundry room, because that’s where their backpacks are stored and it’s out of the kids reach so they don’t “inadvertently” snack on them after school.