16 Projects to Organize a Rental Kitchen

One of my all-time favorite things to do in each house we live in is to come up with just the right storage solution for each space. My organizing solutions are often perfectly tailored to whatever we encounter in each home; and as a result, they are usually quick, easy, removable and budget-friendly (since I have to refigure it all out with every move). Last week, when I shared our skinny pantry organization, I looked back through my projects and realized I’ve done quite a few posts over the years on various ways to organize and make the most out of a rental kitchen. Most of the kitchens we’ve had in the last 10 years have been pretty builder basic and included everything from awkward cupboard sizes and inefficient layouts to too-small drawers and limited counter space…but I sure have had fun creating form and function in them all. Today I’m sharing my top 16 projects to organize a rental kitchen. Even if you don’t have the exact layouts or situations in your home, hopefully these out-of-the-box ideas will get you motivated and thinking about the best way to store things in your kitchen!

16 Projects to Organize A Rental Kitchen


One of my all-time popular posts here on THIHM was my simple solution for the little upper cabinets in our NC home. By finding and adding just the right sized baskets for these shelves, this awkward space became uber functional and easy to use.

Storage Ideas for Upper Cabinets


In our current home, we have some wonderful, spacious drawers. At first, I thought they were fantastic, until they became catch-alls for everything and anything in the kitchen. To create some order on the cheap, I fashioned up a perfectly customized and totally removable drawer organizer out of bulsa wood. Now everything has a dedicated home, and putting dishes away is a breeze!

Removable & Customizable Kitchen Drawer Organizer


I thought I’d never be able to get our current skinny pantry to a state where it was not only functional but also pleasing to the eye. With a few simple strategies, we finally have a pantry that works as well as it looks!

Storage Solutions for a Skinny Pantry


In our NC home, we didn’t have a single cabinet that worked well for a pantry (they were all too high or too small). Our solution? Create a pantry in the neighboring laundry room with a simple wire rack and lots of bins and baskets. Honestly, this was one of the best things we did in that house!

Creating a Pantry When Your Rental Doesn't Have One



It always feels like we don’t have enough kitchen drawers and/or the ones we do have are always overrun with too many utensils. On a whim I fashioned up these painted utensil jars from leftover paint, vinyl, and extra large mason jars. I get so many compliments on these and still use them to this day!

Painted Utensil Jars


Bakeware items can be so challenging to store in tight cabinets because they are can be clunky, oddly shaped, and difficult to stack. I finally broke down and bought some organizers (these are from Marshalls), and they have made a world of difference. Even though this project is from our last home, I essentially have the exact same setup here in our new house!

Organize This: Bakeware


I love to eat healthy, but hate the time and tediousness of preparing salads every night. To make the task easier and more fun, I created a countertop salad bar station in our last home. Complete with everything I need to make homemade dressings and fantastic salads, this is a great idea for any family trying to eat better!

Countertop Salad Bar


This solution goes hand-in-hand with the upper cabinets post listed above. I was having a heck of a time storing our tupperware in our last kitchen, but finally all was right in my tupperware world when I split bottoms and lids into two separate baskets. If you’re having a tough time getting your plasticware controlled, try this easy solution!

Tupperware Storage


I was so tired of my spices falling all over and making a mess of my cabinet shelves so I put them all into a single basket that I can easily take up and down whenever I need anything. My husband (and many of my readers!) thought I was nuts but it honestly has worked so well for us that we are doing the same thing in this house. Sure, labels on the tops of the jars would make finding just the right spice a bit easier and quicker…but rummaging through them has never really bothered me. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? 😉

Spice Storage



I finally labeled all of our spices and got them all recorded into a Spice Inventory sheet!

Smart & Simple Ways to Store & Label Spices


Last week, I showed you how we use and love dishwasher-safe labels from Name Bubbles for all of our dry food containers…

Name Bubbles Washable Labels


…but you don’t have to buy fancy labels to keep your contents labeled. I found that dry-erase markers right on the side of the container works just as well!

Label food containers with a dry-erase marker!


Beyond labeling food containers, what about all those important papers, artwork, lists, and meal plans you might have up on the refrigerator? These adorable labeled clip magnets will help you keep everything sorted and organized in style!

Labeled Clip Magnets



Last but not least, any kitchen organization post wouldn’t be complete without a brief mention of meal planning! If you’re looking to streamline and organize an entire month’s worth of meals and groceries, check out my Magnetic Menu Board project (still my most popular project/posts to date!)

Magnetic Menu Board


After years of planning our meals by the month, last year I scaled back to weekly meal planning using a simpler version of the same system. One month or one week at a time, both systems hinge upon the same tried-and-true system for organizing my recipes:

Organize This: Recipes


Yes, I’m married…but my Marine husband has been deployed a lot over the past few years. As a result, I’ve become a pro at planning and cooking meals for one! If you live alone or often cook for just yourself, check out how I plan for and incorporate freezer meals and leftovers so that I’m not tempted to eat cereal for dinner every night!

Meal Planning for One


Finally, I developed a printable grocery list years ago and still use it today. I love having a stack of these printed and hanging in the kitchen so I can add to it throughout the week as we run out of items. You can read more about how I use it HERE and buy your own HERE!

Printable Grocery List


Phew! Do you now have a hankering to go tackle a trouble spot in your kitchen? I know I do…although I think all of our cabinets are in pretty good shape right now! I’d love to know if you have tried any of these solutions or have a good tip or trick to make sense out of a kitchen trouble spot! Please share below!

I’ve assembled all my best kitchen organization tips, tricks, ideas and methods into a comprehensive Printable Pack of more than 200 kitchen organization printables! See what’s included and get your own set here!

Ready to organize your kitchen? These 200+ printable pages can help!

I have a BUNCH of projects in the works and deadlines looming, so I hope I will see you back here Friday. If not, know that I’m working super hard behind the scenes and be sure to check back next week for some fun project reveals. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes peeks at what’s coming up next!

See you soon!

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10 Responses to 16 Projects to Organize a Rental Kitchen

  1. I separated out my Tupperware bowls and lids into two baskets some time back…TOTAL game changer. Cannot believe how much easier it is to keep it all stacked and corralled!

    • Amen. Best thing I’ve done for those bulky things ever. That will always be my go-to solution, no matter what house we live in!

  2. Thanks for the post! My current kitchen is very limited in storage space and I’m trying to maximize its use. I need to try the baskets in upper cabinets!

    Which brings me to the spices basket… why don’t you just write the name on the lid? I use a CD marker for labeling small plastic bottles for my daughter (honestly… even her beach towel!). You can even erase it with alcohol in case you need it.

    I’m somewhat new to your blog (I discovered it through an invited post at I Heart Organizing), so I love these recaps!

    • Hi Estrella!

      Thank you so much for your comment, I’m so glad you found me via I Heart and are enjoying my posts!

      You know what…as much as I LOVE labeling things…it honestly never occurred to me to just write the spice name on top of the jar. I think I get so worked up over pretty/perfect solutions that I often overlook a totally functional and easy answer! Thanks for the suggestion, I just may have to try it!

      Have a good rest of your weekend!

  3. I use the same technique for my spice bottles and my prescription medicine-as soon as I get it, I write the name in permanent market neatly on the lid. Thanks for this post….I’m a recent subscriber and always love your ideas 🙂

    • Hi Lisa!

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so glad you found me and are loving what you’re seeing on my blog!

      Honestly, it never occurred to me to simply write the names on the tops of the jars, lol. I think I always get so caught up trying to find the prettiest/most perfect solution, overlooking a very obvious and easy answer to the problem! Thanks for sharing this tip, I just may try it!

      Hope you have a good rest of the weekend!

  4. Hi Megan
    I read your post and now am going to read nearly all the different posts linked in this kind of a recap. What a nice writing you have upon all the inspiring ideas ! Our kitchen is not a rental one this time but paradoxically it’s the one with the less cabinets and imagine, only two small drawers so I’m happy to see that you help me finding some easy improvements. Have a nice time and take care of your family, we bloggers can wait !

    • Thank you, Michele!

      I didn’t realize how many kitchen organization posts I had written over the years until I looked back through my archive. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading back through all my tips and got some motivation to tackle some spaces in your kitchen!

      As always, thanks for your kind comments!

  5. Some of these ideas here look really wonderful for getting your storage organized, and I can tell you that once you get a good system in place for the kitchen, after a while you’re just going to run on autopilot and organization will be easy-peasy!

    • Yep! That’s the idea! Trying to make a space function and quickly, easily and cheaply as I can for the time we live there!

      Thanks for commenting!

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