How to organize kids dishes in the kitchen, in 7 simple steps.

Follow these 9 simple steps to how to organize kids dishes in the kitchen. There are many reasons why it is beneficial to have your toddler dishes within their reach.

Let’s get started, and learn some tips for how to choose the perfect location for housing all your toddler dishes.

plastic kids tableware sitting on table

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In our old house, the toddler dishes were up high in a cupboard. When we moved and suddenly had more drawers in our kitchen, we quickly saw the opportunity & benefit of putting the kids dishes within reach.

How to organize kids dishes in the kitchen

Getting your kids dishes organized in the kitchen, or re-located to a better spot in the kitchen doesn’t have to be hard. And can take only a couple of minutes! So let’s get started. 

1. Find your perfect location in the kitchen.

Drawers are the best for holding toddler dishes. But as I know very well. Some kitchens do not have an abundance of drawers to do this with. *If you are struggling to find your perfect location, check out the “WHERE” section below for more help/ideas

2. Clean

Clean that space/drawer/cupboard/shelf out and wipe it down

3. Group together

Locate ALL the things you want in that particular space (if you want water bottles in there as well for example)

4. Decluttering

Declutter anything broken, mismatched, seriously wore out, or things you just don’t reach for anymore. Or maybe that your kids have outgrown the need for.

5. Assessment

Assess how much space you will need to re-contain everything

Do you need baskets within your space to further contain things, or drawer dividers etc?

Keep in mind, this has officially become a ‘child zone’ and needs to have reasonable expectations as too how quickly it WILL become in disarray

Shop Organization Tools for this Project

Non-slip drawer liner
drawer divider
plastic bin with handles

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6. Put a system in place

Implement an EASY to remember system for organizing this space so that EVERY family member can maintain the space

7. Enjoy your newly organized space!

Step back and enjoy the new found freedom of being able to ask your kids for help with this part of the mealtime/snacktime routine.

toddler girl taking white dishes out of the top rack of a dishwasher

Why your toddler dishes need to be down low

Some benefits of putting your kids dishes down low in the kitchen are


Helps teach them independence because you can easily involve them in the age-appropriate chore of setting the table for meals/snacks etc. From as early as age 2!

The dishes are not breakable

Toddler dishes are usually made of plastic or metal so they can’t get wrecked if kids inevitably play in that drawer. Which they will do. So make peace with that before you even get started. 

Keeping similar items together

You can keep the plates, cups and bowls all together in one place if space permits.

Personally, our dishes inventory is really simple and we just have one type of plates. One type of bowls, and cups that all easily nest within each other. You might have to declutter and simplify your dishes, if you want to make this work in the space you have. 

We don’t keep the kids cutlery in that drawer, with the rest of the toddler dishes. You certainly CAN, but I found it unnecessary. It also made me worry less when the girls where younger.

Our kids cutlery is two drawers up with our other cutlery for the safety reasons, and that I don’t want little cutlery strewn all over my house. 

WHERE should you organize kids dishes in the kitchen

Struggling to know what that ‘perfect’ location is in your kitchen? In order to get started organizing the kids dishes. Some kitchens are just plain tricky to organize, and you have to get creative with your placements of things. 

More than often than not, you will have to sacrifice an ‘amazing space.’ For the sake of having a great place for organizing your toddler dishes.

Choose an area of the kitchen…

  • Within height reach taking into account your kids ages/size/age ranges
  • Drawers are preferable
  • Near dishwasher and close to the kitchen table is handy
  • Cupboards can work if you don’t have drawers. Add some bins into the cupboard to contain each category of toddler dishes within. This is also beneficial if you use a top cupboard as you can remove the entire bin from the cupboard, place it on the floor or kitchen table and allow your kids to grab the dishes they need for setting the table for that meal. 
toddler boy reaching into open, green coloured drawer in kitchen. Pile of dishes on floor beside him

Get your toddler dishes relocated to a better home in the kitchen today

Organizing your kids dishes in the kitchen should be an easy task to complete.

It will bring some joy (because organizing feels good) and make it easier for your kids to be involved in snack and dinnertime jobs.

In summary what are the steps for how to organize kids dishes?

Pick somewhere that is

  1. Preferably in a drawer near the dishwasher
  2. Close to the place you eat most frequently at. 

If you don’t have the ‘perfect drawer in the perfect location’ available, consider using plastic bins with handles. Put these bins within upper or lower cupboards to contain the items within. This also provides a way for your kids to carry the dishes to the table to help with dinnertime preparations. 

My girls (now 5 & 4) are able to set the table for supper every night, and grab their own dishes for snacktime as well.

Thankfully, we have a drawer in our island, close to our dishwasher and kitchen table. This makes it easy for them to complete this very age appropriate chore (+ more real chore ideas here.) 

Set reasonable expectations of your children.

Be realistic about how clean and tidy this space is going to stay. You just invited your kids into that particular space. Revisit this arrangement often as kids grown, family dynamics change and chore roles change.

Invite them in to the process of keeping this space tidy as well.

My girls are now so proud of their little drawer in the kitchen. That they give ME trouble if I don’t put the dishes away ‘organized’ from the dishwasher. It is hilarious, and this makes me so proud to see them being so responsible.

Need more help?

Or want specific advice for your particular kitchen please let me know in the comments below!

Take care, bye for now!


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