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How to Arrange Dishes in Your Cabinets

Dishes in Your Cabinet

Do you find yourself trudging from one end of the kitchen to the other and back just to wash your dishes or prepare a family meal? If you’re frustrated with your kitchen, arranging the dishes in your cabinets can help you maximize your cooking and cleaning efficiency. That means less time cleaning and cooking and more time with the important people in your life. Here are some tips to get you started.

Take Inventory

Take your dishes out of the cabinet and arrange them into piles. Have separate piles for

  • Daily dishes

  • Special occasion china

  • Pots and pans

  • Cups and glasses

Throw away any broken or chipped dishes and donate everything you don’t use to the nearest

Salvation Army or Goodwill. Then wipe out your cabinets with a clean rag and mild cleaner.

Put special items in special places

Place dishes that you don’t use often in a high or low cabinet out of the way. Special china such as holiday seasonal settings and items with sentimental value should be placed in a china hutch. If you don't have a china hutch, find a safe place to store them so they don’t break or chip. Consider wrapping rarely used dishes in some kind of covering to prevent dust and grease from collecting in them. Do not store your “extra dishes” with your special items. If you don’t need it, throw it away or donate it.

Put pots and pan in a low shelf

You wouldn’t want a cast iron skillet falling down on your head when you opened the cabinet. Storing pots and pans in a low cabinet can prevent them from tumbling out on top of you.

Think Convenience

Put dishes you use regularly either near the dishwasher or sink so you can easily put them away when they are clean. Place mixing bowls and utensils close to the stove or wherever you prepare your meals.

Store cups and mugs together

Cups and mugs are the most commonly used dishes in your house. Make them convenient to reach by placing them on a lower shelf. If you have little shelf space, consider freeing some of it up by hanging mugs on hooks on the underside of the cabinet. Placing cups and mugs upside down will preventing chipping. Be careful with fine glass glasses though. They should not sit on their rims. Either hang them up by their stems from a sliding glass hanger or keep them standing upright.


Find out what works for you. Do you like your cups sitting right side up instead of upside down? Go for it! Think a rack could maximize the space in your cabinet? Try it out. Prefer to store your dishes closer to the stove than the dishwasher? Think about your own cooking/cleaning habits and routine. Organize things in a way that makes it easy for you to navigate your kitchen.

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