How to Organize Kitchen Cupboard Storage




About: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.

In order to be more efficient in storing, locating and using kitchen staples, I decided to organize the cupboard storage as shown in this instructable. It made sense to me to be able to utilize the entire cupboard space without having to unload many cans or bottles to find what I wanted. By making storage boxes to the exact size needed, I need only pull out the box(s) to find what is lurking behind the front items. It is especially helpful on the deep top shelf where stuff can disapper, not to re-appear until you remodel or move!

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Step 1: Clear Out Shelf, and Sort by Size

This step allows you to see what you have, and how to organize it roughly by size of container.

Step 2: Gather Materials, and Make Boxes.

I use regular corrugated cardboard, the kind found in grocery boxes. (Free materials). And for tools, I use box cutters, rulers, straight edges, a scoring tool, clamps and glue. A sample box needs a blank of 15 1/4 inch by 71/4 inch. I make the sides 2 inches high, and since the rulers are this wide, it is easy to mark and score my lines. When folded up, you want the box to be slightly wider than the widest article that it will contain. So be sure to check before gluing up. Also, make sure the box will fit on the shelf and the door will close! If not, trim your blank accordingly.

Step 3: Make All Boxes Now

I made my boxes one at a time, but you can cut all blanks, then start gluing. It takes a lot of clamps, though, so be aware. Glue needs to dry 5-10 minutes, maybe a little more before removing clamps. Depends on humidity, I think, but you will learn by doing.

Step 4: Mission Accomplished!

This is what the shelf looks like at completion. Makes sense to me!

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    10 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 4

    Nice going. Wonder if using CA glue might speed things up and avoid the use of clamps. (Yes, be better to use the 'thick' CA glue vice the thin - otherwise the porosity of the cardboard will only serve to suck up the thin glue leaving you with no bond). OK, call me 'easily amused', but I think people who try making things from readily available and free materials are doing us a fine service. End result may not look 'pretty' in some instances, but if it works, so what! Good going to all of you who come up with some unique/utilitarian ideas.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    We have those deep drawers where you can see the top of everything, for tinned stuff. And there we solve the problem of not seeing the labels by writing on the top of the tins with a marker (adding the month of purchase, so nothing gets out of date). But your system is great for those endless packets of soup and spice mixes. By the way, what's 'rice-a-roni'?

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    "By the way, what's 'rice-a-roni'?"

    Rice-A-Roni? ....It's "The San Francisco Treat"! :) (old(?) advertising slogan)

    It's a super-cheap mixture of rice and pasta (pasta also being known as "macaroni" gives rise to the "A-Roni" part of the name). The pasta is the size and shape of the rice grains, and they're given some sort of pilaf-type treatment before packaging so it cooks up quick & easy. There's also a flavor packet similar to what you find in dried Ramen noodle soup packages: as with the Ramen soups, a wide variety of flavors are available for your delectation.

    At least in my own culinary experience & opinion, Rice-A-Roni is slightly pricier and a little better-tasting than the dried Ramen noodle soup; and is pretty much what we on the West Coast of the US had in place of dried Ramen noodles before the dried Ramen noodles came along.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    It's a great idea, but roaches LOVE to lay eggs in corregated cardboard. Might not want to use it if you are in the South.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe good for the top shelf. but i keep my cupboards organized by items, just like a grocery store. When there is a row of soup cans, there is nothing hidden behind, its just all soup cans. Where there is a row of vegetables, it is just that, a row of corn, a row of beans, etc. I think this is a great idea for spices though, so you can just grab a box and not have to sort or worry about spills. Thanks!

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yeah I do the same thing..:) and I agree about the spices those are the one things that get out of control the most, not to mention they have to be up high above the stove cause it's the only small shelf I have.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Again with the good ideas, come on man... Let me take a breath, my wife is looking into this site to give me some more chores.... But really, great idea; really easy and yet another "why didn't I think of that" project.

    1 reply