If you follow me on Instagram, you know that it’s my favorite place to share photos of my home. Some of the most popular photos I post there have one thing in common: my kitchen. I don’t know for sure what it is about my kitchen that inspires people to double click and heart that space on Instagram, but I suspect it has something to do with the minimalist nature of it. And so today, I’m dedicating a post to precisely that. Hopefully these five tips will inspire you with some beautiful and functional kitchen organization ideas.

Clean and organized kitchen with a vase of white flowers on the counter

Here’s the good news: creating a more beautiful kitchen won’t require you to take out a second mortgage for an extensive remodel, though most of us would probably love to be able to start from scratch in kitchens we love. Honestly though, it truly doesn’t matter in which decade your kitchen was built; designing a space that maximizes your current kitchen’s potential can begin with implementing these five simple steps. These are things that anyone can do in a matter of hours to improve the appearance and functionality of a home kitchen.

1.  Ditch Counter Top Clutter | 5 Beautiful and Functional Kitchen Organization Ideas

A common thread among the most beautiful kitchens I’ve pinned or admired in Instagram feeds is the noticeable lack of counter top clutter. While it may be convenient to leave the most frequently-used kitchen appliances (like coffee makers, toasters or Instant Pots) out on the counter, doing so will almost certainly detract from a kitchen’s beauty. When we moved into this house, I made a very conscious choice about which kitchen items would remain on the counter tops. As you’ll see in the photos below, we settled on just a few things. Our Kitchen Aid stand mixer, a paper towel stand, a utensil crock, our Amazon Echo Plus and a decorative cow are the only permanent things that remain on my counters. From time to time, I will stage a vignette for an Instagram photo, but day-to-day it’s just those five things.

Clean and organized kitchen

There are several different small appliances we frequently use, including a toaster, a tea maker and an Instant Pot. Each of them has a designated home in either a cupboard or the pantry.

Clean and organized kitchen

Another common item that tends to accumulate on the counter tops is paperwork. School permission slips, assorted coupons and mail that needs to be dealt with also has a home in my kitchen. I have a designated drawer for paperwork. I routinely sort through that drawer and file, recycle or fill out the paperwork as needed.

Clean and organized kitchen

Speaking of drawers, that leads me to my second tip.

2. Keep an Organized Junk Drawer | 5 Beautiful and Functional Kitchen Organization Ideas

Every kitchen needs a junk drawer. If you count my paperwork drawer, my kitchen actually has two. The second junk drawer in my kitchen houses miscellaneous items that we use frequently. Things like scissors, pens and packs of gum are stored there. I’m the first to admit, though, that junk drawers can quickly get out of hand. They’re a whole lot easier to maintain when you implement simple organization techniques. Easier said than done? Not when you use inexpensive storage bins. You can buy ones just like I’ve got pictured below at Walmart very inexpensively. If you have neither the time nor patience for that, Amazon’s options are quite reasonable.

Empty plastic drawer storage containers on a counter top

Even if you don’t know exactly which items you will store in these bins, I’d encourage you to pick up more than you think you’ll need. These bins are super versatile and if you’re anything like me, you’ll quickly run out of them and need to buy more. Not only will they help tame your junk drawer, you can also use them in the pantry to store seasonings, spices and extracts.

Functional and organized kitchen junk drawer

3. Keep an Organized Spice Rack | 5 Beautiful and Functional Kitchen Organization Ideas

When we moved into this house two years ago, I decided that I was going to start over with my herbs and spices. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I did. In our previous kitchen, my spice rack consisted of mismatched tins and bottles purchased from a variety of brands and stores. Not anymore. Now, each of my frequently used spices and herbs has a designated (and really pretty!) jar.

Free printable spice jar labels

Free printable spice jar labels

Cute, right? If you’d like to mimic the look, check out my post on Free Printable Spice Jar Labels.

4. Well-Kept Fridge Front | 5 Beautiful and Functional Kitchen Organization Ideas

This tip has the potential to be polarizing. I know, I know. You stick your kids’ artwork, takeout menus and snapshots of your nephews and nieces beneath favorite magnets ALL over the front of the fridge. I get that it’s a convenient and prominent place for those miscellaneous items but I’m here to tell you that doing just this one thing in your kitchen will make for a far more beautiful space. Really.

Large stainless steel double door refrigerator

Bare refrigerator doors contribute to a harmonious, minimalist space. I promise that freeing up your fridge doors will make a huge difference in the appearance of your kitchen. Try it.

Large stainless steel double door refrigerator

I’m not saying you can’t have anything on your fridge. I keep a super cute (and very neutral) magnetic paper pad on the side of my fridge for easier list making. I just make sure it never ends up on the front of the fridge because bare fridge doors are the best fridge doors.

5. Use an In-Drawer Knife Block | 5 Beautiful and Functional Kitchen Organization Ideas

One of the tools we use to keep our counter tops free of clutter is an in-drawer knife block. The ones made of bamboo will safely store your knives out of sight. We keep ours in a drawer right next to the stove for easy access.

In-drawer knife block for kitchen

In-drawer knife block for kitchen

See? No contractors required to make these super simple but notable improvements in any kitchen. I hope this post has given you some inspiration for beautifying your own space.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you might also like my Home Decor | Kitchens board on Pinterest.

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  1. We have that same knife block. Amazingly I do most of these. We still have one corner where mess seems to permanently accumulate. I need to be more conscious about it. When we first remodeled this kitchen I was diligent and it looked so much better. Now our pretty granite is hidden. Thanks for the inspiration!

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