Kitchen Hacks

6 Kitchen-Organizing Hacks I Stole From the Kardashians (Yep, Those Kardashians)

Keeping up with their pantry is half the fun.

November 26, 2018

Say what you want about me, but I have been Keeping Up with the Kardashians every single Sunday night (well, almost) for the last 11 years. It's a wonderfully enjoyable way to switch off my brain for one single hour. I'll tune in to their family arguments (sometimes over something as insignificant as a toaster), lavish vacations, and relationship crises, and forget all about the stress of the upcoming week. What can I say? It's my guilty pleasure.

Of all the wild moments the reality series has documented, few things have shocked and awed me as much as each family member's stunningly organized kitchen, from their abundantly stocked fridges to perfectly catalogued pantries. Khloé, the youngest of the three Kardashian sisters, is the most famous for overhauling her kitchen space (something she attributes to what she calls "Khlo-CD"), but Kourtney, Kylie, and even mom-ager (mom + manager) extraordinaire Kris Jenner have all followed suit. And believe it or not, these ladies have some organizational wisdom to share.

From label-making to plate-stacking, here are some of the best kitchen organization tips I've picked up from the Kardashians over the course of 15 seasons, a few televised weddings, and So. Much. Drama. In the same way that the selfie stick forever changed Kim's life, these pantry and storage hacks just might change yours.

1. Put that label maker to good use

My mom gave me her old label maker years ago, and to be honest, it had been sitting under my bed (where I store many random things) since then—until Khloé inspired me to put it work, once and for all. Both Khloé and Kourt, and I think pretty much all of the Kardashians, label every single container, carton, and basket in their pantries. It makes finding everything, from baking ingredients to cereal, so much easier.

2. Airtight Glass Containers > Plastic

"I like to store food in glass or stainless steel and I try to avoid having plastic in the house," Kourtney told Architectural Digest. But what about the packaging it comes in? "When we get new cereal, rice, grains, sugar, or flour, I recycle the original packaging and transfer everything into glass jars," she added. This helps keep a shelf or pantry uncluttered and organized. To make sure everything in those jars and containers stay fresh, she also puts a little sticker underneath (you could use a bit of painter's tape and a Sharpie) with the expiration date.

3. Alphabetize your spices

Sure, I'd seen it at the grocery store a million times, but I never thought to alphabetize my own spices until Khloé showed off her spice drawer. It might seem a little extra to do this at home, but I can't tell you how many times I've fumbled through my cabinet looking for cumin or some sort of dried herb, only to have to take everything out in order to find it. If you can't dedicate an entire drawer to spices (I only have one tiny drawer in my kitchen, and it's reserved for utensils), you can organize your spices in an old tin or container, label the top lids (thanks again, label maker!), and grab the tin from the pantry any time your recipe calls for something.

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4. Keep Loose Items in Baskets

For items that won't fit neatly on the shelf—like, snack bags or anything that comes in flimsy packaging—store them in labeled baskets. This keeps the shelf neat and tidy, while still making sure you can easily find what you're looking for. If you store everything in glass containers, you can also keep one basket on the bottom shelf of your pantry or cabinet as an "overflow bin" to store extra food that won't fit in its dedicated container. Khloé's bonus tip: If you've got a few people in the house, give everyone their own designated basket stocked with their favorite snacks and treats.

5. Get yourself a tea drawer—or shelf

Even though a tea drawer is something I aspire to more than something I can actually recreate in my own real-life apartment, it does inspire me to get my tea selection in order. Until recently, I had all my different teas—from a soothing lavender and chamomile blend to the Parisian loose tea I drink when I'm feeling fancy—scattered throughout my pantry and kitchen, and would normally just stuff a new box into whichever free space I could find. A few weeks ago, I cleared out a section of my shelf and neatly stacked my teas from back to front, putting my more expensive teas in the back and the teas I drink on the daily towards the front; it's no Kardashian-approved tea drawer, but it gets the job done.

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6. Put a piece of cloth between dishes to avoid scratching

To be fair, Khloé wasn't the first person to show me this tip (my mom was—Kris Jenner's got nothing on her) but it's still a great one, especially if you've got nice china or ceramic dishes you don't want to damage. Simply put a piece of cloth or an old dish towel (even paper towels, if you're in a pinch) in between each plate or bowl to prevent scratches, cracking, or clanging when putting dishes away. This tip also applies to cookware; I have one of these padded pot and pan protectors between everything from stacks of baking dishes, sauté pans, and cast-iron skillets.

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What's your best kitchen organizing tip? Tell us in the comments!

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.


Jeanne S. July 5, 2020
This is to the universe of people who only have 24 hours in their day and must prioritize accordingly. It is not snarky to say this out loud. If anyone envies the kardashian way of organizing, know the following: the K crowd only has 24 hours in their day as well - not 72+. I admire that they have made their empires - personally and collectively - very successful. But, we all know (and should not feel inadequate ) that they have throngs (literally) of people who make their worlds spin from nannies for each child to the person who is handy with a label maker. This kind of help allows them to spend their time in hair and makeup, toning their bodies, shopping for ENDLESS outfits, and the many visits to various skin doctors and nail jobs. It’s ok people. It’s why we watch them as our guilty pleasure. Everyday people do not have the discretionary time or $$ to do this dreamy job of decanting all market items into symmetrical containers. Nor does the k crowd “bake” or “cook” using all those spices (I’d take that bet). Have you noticed all the plastic containers of salads they are filmed eating (yes Kourtney we mean you). And, sometimes the camara accidentally pans to the left or right of the perfect closet or pantry to reveal the hot mess of stuff that sits beside these areas. Yes, Kim, your staff chatters about all the makeup they see on your bed linens - among other things. And, we know your kids do not keep up with the PERFECT play room. Nor, do you fill and file your 25 sub zero refrigerators with 10 different types of bottled water.
My point is that we don’t begrudge their successful lives and homes. We just want articles and methods that are doable and attainable. Very very few of us have the square footage and the millions of dollars to be “livin the dream”.
Relax folks. Your doing a fine job. Be proud.
Sandra G. January 3, 2020
Organization in the kitchen is a great thing but the Kardashians do not get credit for this, not at original ideas from them about anything at all really....enjoy them as your guilty pleasure if you like but be clear that they are not creative or innovative in any way, they simply take the ideas of others....a great article on kitchen organization but please don't mention the Kardashians as it hurts your own professional credibility.
Jean August 21, 2019
About the spices...I’m stored mine in drawers alphabetically arranged (A through F in the top drawer) for years. I tried storing based in frequency of use but that became too confusing when reaching for multiple spices for a dish. I use the glass Ikea spice jars and label the lids. We have recently downsized and moved to a MUCH smaller kitchen and my spices are in large baskets in the counter—loosely alphabetical which helps some. Still can’t figure out a storage method. Suggestions welcome. I may resort to ledges on the wall but it will look messy.
Agree completely that jars waste a ton of space! Square corners are the way to go.
Humaira N. February 11, 2020
Try these. Type this into eBay:

Kitchen RV Spice Gripper Clip Strip 20 Jar Rack Storage Holder Wall Cabinet Door
cookinalong July 30, 2019
Glass containers are nice, I guess, and I love a mason jar as much as the next person. But my kitchen has a tile floor and I've been known to drop stuff, so...I found some great airtight, BPA free plastic canisters on Amazon and that's that! Also, the glass jars are not very space efficient. If you've got oodles of kitchen storage space, do as you please. But I've opted for square and rectangle containers to make better use of my limited space. Labels are always a good idea, and a label maker makes nice, easy to read labels. I tend to use the chalkboard type labels so I can erase and re-label. Because after I run out of granola, I might want to re-fill that container with peanuts...or peanut butter cookies!
Alix D. June 2, 2019
Thanks for this article, here are two things I'm going to do. (I'm writing this in public so I'll do it, right?!)

I like to label on yellow painters tape-- easier to see the black sharpie than blue-- but I've struggled with the look on my glass canning jars. I mean, I know those are cashews! But Kourtney's tip about putting the date on the bottom is awesome and doable.

I've also been grouping my spices by Indian and everything else, but frankly I sub coriander for so many things and use cumin so much that I forget that I first learned their delights via India so I have no idea where anything is anymore. I think it's time to go back to Sesame Street and alphabetize. Big Bird will be so proud.

Thanks F52!
M January 31, 2019
Alphabetizing spices seems impractical, since prime space is not saved for the most-used spices, but whatever letter of the alphabet falls into that space. (If you use garlic powder all the time, and allspice rarely, why have the latter in front just because it begins with an A?)

I group by use and general theme so quick spice grabs are always easy. All herbs are together in the most accessible spot next to most-used spices, then spicy smoky, then ethnic and increasingly rare spices grouped together and placed in order of most use. (whether in a drawer, on a shelf, stacked, etc. If usage changes, I just have to spend a minute moving a few jars.)
Nancy January 17, 2019
Where can we purchase the smart looking canning jars?
Erin A. January 17, 2019
You can find the blue Mason Jars here!
dove January 12, 2019
Great article. Thank you Erin. I am an organizing master myself and love visual aids; regardless of whose home they are of. Hey, why not see it as inspiration? Sorry some people went a little mean in their comments. I wish you love and peace. Be well.
Claudia T. December 8, 2018
I love reusing glass jars but I do find they take up a lot of space (and I pitched a lot of them when we moved- so heavy!). In my smaller kitchen I need to be able to really cram soft-sided bags of things in there. I also like to store my spices out of the light and my tea in sealed containers- if they were open to air like the ones in the back of that drawer they'd lose their flavor and scent pretty quickly! But maybe the Kardashians are hosting people often enough that they go through that tea pretty fast?
I did find it helpful to keep them all together, instead of having tea in random places in my kitchen like you did :D
Nan G. November 29, 2018
Since we retired we keep a running tab of our freezer and dry/canned goods (larder) on our computer. (On Word Perfect)
It's easy to add to after shopping and subtract from when pulling things out to cook.
Once a year (or so) we check it for errors that creep in when we forget.
It really makes meal planning easier.
Jessica J. November 29, 2018
Cmon folks—take it in the spirit it was written—and good ideas are good ideas no matter their provenance. I have tons of spices and I really need to organize them. I have a full three shelves of them plus a separate one for baking spices. I need to figure a good system for dividing up my 3 shelves. There are spices I use all the time so those should be front and center. Then I have to figure out how to organize the less used and more esoteric spices. Ajowan anyone?
Erin A. November 29, 2018
Hear hear, Jessica! And wow! You've got a ton of spices—maybe keep the spices you use most on the bottom shelf, then organize the rest according to use (baking, roasting, etc.) or alphabetically á la Khloé?
Ilona H. November 27, 2018
Kardashians? I'm out.
Matt M. November 27, 2018
Why would anybody want to have their kitchen looking like someone else? Now it becomes their kitchen .. people are such followers and swagger jackers be original!!