It’s a problem that no one talks about. Water bottles and travel mugs have a way of multiplying.
I don’t know what happens at night behind the closed kitchen cabinet doors but I tell you, each morning there are more!
If you need to find a way to organize reusable water bottles in your kitchen – read on.
In our house, each family member has a favorite water bottle or two.
And then there are those water bottles that are too good to toss out.
Not to mention that you may need different sizes of water bottles for different occasions or for specific needs (one that fits in your car cup holder, one that is spill proof, or one that is large enough for a day at the beach, for example).
And every once in a while you get a promotional one that is kind of nice.
How do you make space for all of these?
It’s harder than you would think.
The process for organizing lots of water bottles is straightforward but there is a certain emotional attachment that is hard to quell.
- First, create a home for your water bottles.
- Collect EVERY SINGLE ONE of them in a central place.
- Decide which ones to keep in your kitchen.
- Keep lesser used water bottles in a remote storage location.
- Donate the rest.
Let’s do this together!
Create a Home for Your Water Bottle Collection
The first step to create an organized space for your reusable bottle and mug collection is create a designated area to store water bottles.
You need to have a cabinet shelf, pantry shelf, or kitchen drawer that is THE PLACE where you plan to keep all of your water bottles.
Make sure that you pick a location that has a reasonable amount of storage space with enough room for all the bottles you want to keep and is also within easy reach.
The rule to keep in mind when choosing your ideal location is that anything that does not fit in this space has to go.
I have designated the bottom shelf of an upper cabinet in my kitchen as my water bottle storage area.
Since reusable coffee cups and the like come in various sizes, you may need to adjust the height of your cabinet shelves to accommodate the taller bottles or add shelf risers for smaller items so you can take full advantage of the vertical space.
Personally, I don’t think that lower cabinets are the best way to store water bottles. You will really need to bend down to access them, and it will be hard to reach the ones that get pushed to the back.
A more efficient way to store water bottles down low is to use a deep drawer in your kitchen. This is a good option if you have young children that need to be able to reach their own water bottles.
You can also use drawer dividers to split up your collection by person or type of bottle.
If your kitchen space is limited, you can take advantage of any available space in your pantry.
You may need to find some creative storage solutions for this space but there are so many ideas.
A simple solution is to use an over the door shoe organizer as a water bottle holder. Just hang it on the back of your pantry door and use the upper slots for the adults bottles and the lower slots for the kids.
You can also put a lazy susan on one of the shelves. Personally, I don’t love this idea because the bottles can tip over when you spin the lazy susan, and the round shape of the turntable doesn’t have space for that many bottles.
But a better solution for splitting up large pantry shelves would be to use clear plastic bins, a magazine holder set, or some wicker baskets. Just make sure to measure both your space and the diameter of the bottles you plan to store to make sure they will fit.
Collect ALL Water Bottles in a Central Location
Once you choose your space, the next step is to take all the water bottles, travel mugs, and tumblers that you own and collect them on your kitchen countertops or on your table like I did in the photo below.
Grab a storage box for the ones that you can’t bear to part with but that you don’t use too often. You will store this bin in a more remote location like the basement, garage, or storage closet. I like to use clear containers so I can easily see the contents.
Use another box or bag for your discard or donate pile.
Decide Which Water Bottles to Keep in Your Kitchen
The water bottles that you use the most should stay in your kitchen.
You might be surprised at how few you actually use on a regular basis.
Personally, I only use the following four – which means that everything else is just taking up valuable space.
- a large Camelbak water bottle that I take to the gym,
- a Yeti Rambler for coffee on the go,
- a Camelbak Horizon with straw for sipping water at home or in the car, and
- a Contigo spill proof coffee tumbler that I can throw into a tote bag for when I travel.
Of course, if you don’t live alone then you also have everyone else’s water bottles in your kitchen. So, it is important to go over the same process with each family member and pick out their favorites.
Try to get each person to commit to two or three water bottles or tumblers max.
Put these most used bottles back into your cabinet.
Select Bottles for Deep Storage
Now go through the remaining water bottles on your table. Pick out the ones that you use only occasionally or that you can’t bear to part with.
These can go into the basement storage box.
Discard the Rest
This is the hard part.
Some of the bottles and tumblers that remain on your table will be in perfectly good shape.
Maybe you received them as a gift or a promo or from an office party or even from a client.
There will be some nice bottles but there will also be a selection of those that you picked up at dollar stores.
The questions you need to ask yourself are:
- how many do you really need and
- is it worth the extra cost of buying storage bins or losing extra space in your kitchen or home to keep these?
Maybe you can find new homes for some of the nicer ones – but the rest you should try to part with.
Put them in your discard bag or box and take them out to the garage to donate.
Leave them out there for awhile if you want.
This way, if you find yourself digging through that bag looking for a particular bottle – you still have the option of bringing it back in.
When you are ready, take your discard pile to a donation center or have a garage sale.
Now decide what to do with your new found kitchen space!
You can use this same method to organize your coffee cups as well.
Related: Simple Pantry Organization Ideas
Organize Your Water Bottles the Marie Kondo Way
Organizing is hard because of the emotional attachments that we have to our belongings.
In her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo instructs you to hold each item that you have and ask yourself if it brings you joy.
It may sound really weird – but there is truth in this.
As you sort through your water bottles – pick each one up and ask yourself if you really like, need, and plan to use it.
Remember, to designate a finite amount of space for storage, keep the ones you use the most in your kitchen, move the ones you use less often to a well labeled storage box in an out of the way location, and discard the ones that you really don’t need or use.
If you are still having a hard time – check out these water bottle storage ideas for creative ways to find space to store your collection.
The Best Way to Organize Water Bottles in Your Cabinet
I hate to say it – but the best way to organize water bottles is to get rid of some them.
Empty your cabinet, go through your collection Marie Kondo style, and decide which ones you really like.
Store the ones that you use the most in your kitchen and find space in a closet or the basement for the ones you use less often.
Donate the rest.