Your expert guide to organizing a modern-style kitchen – master the minimalist look

These organizing strategies will seamlessly blend your storage into your decor, experts assure

A modern style kitchen with wooden cabinets and thick white marbel countertops. Wooden barstools along the island. large kitchen windows with Alina Glow Patterned roller blinds
(Image credit: English Blinds)

When planning and designing a modern-style kitchen, getting the storage right is crucial. 

Much like organizing a country-style kitchen, picking out specific organizers and perfecting your cabinet layouts can make or break the overall aesthetic of your modern kitchen ideas. Including rustic woven baskets in an otherwise sleek and polished cook space will stand out like a sore thumb, for instance. 

To really nail the look and make your modern kitchen storage stylish, try these eight organizing tips instead. 

How to organize a modern kitchen

Although it helps to integrate your storage plans when designing a modern kitchen for a truly effortless, minimalist look, there are plenty of ways to add it later without disrupting the room's harmony or having your organizers look like clutter. 

This is what professional organizers recommend. 

1. Avoid overstuffing

modern minimalist kitchen

(Image credit: Roundhouse Design)

Modern kitchens are usually associated with clean lines, paired back schemes, and minimal visual clutter. Therefore, Laura DeJohn, professional organizer and Founder of All Checked Off - Professional Organizing advises that you avoid overstuffing your kitchen storage with organizers and clutter.

‘Modern kitchens should be functional and efficient,’ she explains. 'Even though you are likely to hide things behind cabinet doors, stuffing them full of kitchen gadgets and excessive storage caddies will only create chaos.'

2. Take storage upwards

accent colors for a white kitchen, white minimalist kitchen with marble island, peach bar stools, modern extension, marble floor

(Image credit: Design Space London / Architects: Proctor & Shaw)

Another hallmark of modern kitchens is floor-to-ceiling kitchen storage – not only does it make the room feel polished, but it gives you ample space to hide away clutter and keep countertops clear, explains Katy Wells, home organizer, Founder of Clutter Cure Club and host of The Maximized Minimalist podcast. That being said, there are some great ways to make use of vertical storage that don’t require a new kitchen, she adds: 

‘To help keep your countertops free from stuff, take advantage of the vertical spaces behind pantry or cabinet doors with over-the-door organizers. These can be great to organize and store snacks, spices, condiments, or any item that you want accessible, but not visible.’

3. Create consistency

White modern kitchen with silver hardware

(Image credit: Vani Sayeed Studio)

One of the best ways to maintain order in a modern kitchen while retaining the minimalist look is to stay consistent with your kitchen organizers. This, of course, has the added benefit of making your kitchen easier to maintain, too. 

‘Maintaining consistency in your decor will be visually pleasing, increasing functionality while reducing visual noise,’ assures Laura DeJohn, professional organizer. ‘Choose clean drawer organizers like bamboo to create a seamless look in your drawers, then match the aesthetic by choosing bamboo can risers and bins in the pantry, for example.’ 

4. Keep your counters clear of clutter

Modern kitchen with white color scheme and galley layout

(Image credit: Roundhouse Design)

‘The fewer things on the surfaces of any kitchen make for a sleeker, calmer look, and that is especially important for modern kitchens,’ shares  Beth Lennon, professional organizer and owner of Destination Decluttered. ‘Keeping your most often used tools and seasonings within easy reach behind doors or in drawers will make meal prep and cleanup a breeze (and keep seasonings and oils fresher too, away from the heat/light) for instance.’ 

5. Combine function and design

Minimalist kitchen ideas with storage

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

'If you are looking to create a contemporary but characterful kitchen, integrating your storage is a great way to go,' says Katy Wells, home organizer. Combining beautiful yet functional items into your modern kitchen design, such as picking characterful cutting boards or butcher block countertops will help to massively reduce how many extras you need to add to the space without rendering the room drab, maintaining the minimalist appeal, she explains:

‘Whether it’s through a unique shape, color, or pattern, a cutting board can serve as a beautiful accent in the kitchen. Integrating the cutting board over a section of the countertop, beside the sink, or as a part of the kitchen island can help save space, too. For a warm, natural look, go for butcher block or bamboo. Consider materials like composite or glass for a sleek, modern vibe. 

6. Create organized zones

Minimalist modern kitchen in muted colour palette

(Image credit: Roundhouse design)

A modern kitchen benefits from zoning – creating designated spaces to corral your clutter and keep essentials together, suggests Laura DeJohn, professional organizer.

‘To create key zones for kitchen organizing, determine where your coffee maker will go and then place the mugs you’ll use along with the coffee supplies in the cabinets or drawers nearby. If you like to bake, set up a baking zone with your mixer, tools, and baking supplies. 

‘When you set up zones, you create a sense of calm in your kitchen because everything is right where you need it.’

7. Clean as you go

modern minimalist kitchen in neutral colour palette

(Image credit: Roundhoue design)

A modern kitchen is a clean kitchen – so picking up habits to clean as you go and cut kitchen cleaning times in half is a must to maintain the aesthetic, Beth Lennon, professional organizer, urges:

‘Either get in the habit of cleaning up as you go or create an evening routine to reset your kitchen, paying attention to surfaces and places where clutter accumulates throughout the day,’ she recommends. A closing shift routine ensures you can feel good in your kitchen first thing in the morning.’

When closing down your kitchen each evening, take note of things that make your job more difficult or items you think would make cleaning simpler for a more organized, less cluttered space, Beth adds. ‘Notice what isn’t working for you with your current kitchen setup, and look for solutions, from built-in step stools or pull-down shelves for tall cabinets to shelf racks that can be pulled out to make accessing bigger and heavier items easier – it all adds up.’

8. Pick sleek, minimal organizers

A white kitchen pantry with pull out shelves

(Image credit: Brakes & Kropp)

The types and look of the organizers you pick also influence the look of your kitchen. Instead of picking rustic woods and bright-colored storage baskets, you might want to head for more minimalist clear or neutral storage bins, and plain metal baskets and pared-back drawer dividers to help match your kitchen decor, says Katy Wells, home organizer: 

‘Modern Kitchens tend to have a “less is more” philosophy in design. So, “minimalist storage” – think simple, no-fuss, stackable containers and drawer dividers can help support these aesthetics and be functional for everyday use.

‘Clear bins are fresh and clean and show everything inside for easy function,’ adds Ryan Eiesland, professional organizer at Home Sort. ‘They work in every space and look great, are easy to clean, and with the variety of sizes, they can be placed well everywhere.’ 

FAQs

How do I maintain clutter free countertops?  

To keep your counters free from clutter, set up drop zones in other areas of the house or behind cabinet doors for you to quickly leave everyday essentials so that they are easy to find and pick back up later. Similarly, create storage hiding spots such as appliance garages to contain appliances and wires for a more pared-back kitchen space without sacrificing functionality. Finally, finish every day with a kitchen closedown routine – make it your goal to wipe down all of the counters without having to lift anything. If you have to move something, find a storage spot so it does not cause visual clutter rather than picking it up and putting it straight back down.  

What are some eco-friendly options for organizing a modern kitchen? 

If you want to organize a modern kitchen without relying on plastic bins and dividers, consider switching to natural materials such as wood or recyclable materials such as metal. Pick organizers that all match and are in the same color, such as light wood baskets or all-black metal containers, so that you do not make your space look too rustic.  


These eight simple modern kitchen organizing ideas will quickly tame your kitchen chaos without taking away from the overall aesthetic of a minimalist kitchen. Pair these tricks with some decluttering tips and you will be well on your way to a modern, pared back cook space that is both sensible and stylish.  

Chiana Dickson
Writer

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.