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Our Full Kitchen Organization Makeover

A full kitchen tour with before and after kitchen organization ideas and quick tips to make it extra functional and clutter-free.

One of my favorite things is a good before and after. This post has TWELVE! Woo to the hoo!

I hope this whole-house organization overhaul isn’t totally boring y’all to death after this past month of decluttering because I’ve been having a blast over here.

Well, I mean… it’s not fun when you’re up to your elbows in clutter sorting. But after? Ooh boy. It’s a fabulous feeling.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Dishes Cabinet

When I shared how I decorated our kitchen countertops and made them functional last week, I was still in the process of the innards. ALLLLL of the junk behind closed doors and hidden in drawers.

It was one of those jobs I’d been putting off for months and it took all of 3 hours to complete. (Why do I do this to myself?)

Three rules when organizing your kitchen:

  1. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year. (Because are you really going to use that one little gadget in the back of your cabinet that you totally forgot about?)
  2. Organize by “zones” and focus on just one cabinet or drawer at a time.
  3. Just a few drawer/cabinet organizers can be your best friends. (Maybe it’ll cost $100 total, but if it saves time, energy, and frustration, that can be worth it.)

If you can’t fully gut your kitchen and give it the remodel you really want just yet, at least you can decorate the countertops and organize it, right?! Love the home you have.

The full kitchen organization makeover:

(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)

Spice Cabinet

I’m kind of embarrassed and extra grossed out to know just how many spices we had in this cabinet that had expired.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Spice Cabinet Before

I picked up two of these clear cabinet risers and this spice jar organization kit to get it all under control. Worth every penny!

Tip: Dedicate a space on one shelf for larger bottles of seasoning and group bottles in rows by category for syrups, vinegars, oils, and honey.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Spice Cabinet Organization

Pantry Cabinet

We still use our IKEA Hemnes wall cabinets as our makeshift pantry for snacks, breakfast items, and canned goods. But for ingredients I use and cook with the most, I keep them in this cabinet near our stove.

The dry ingredient storage spruce-up I gave it a couple of years ago needed a refresh. (You can get the free pantry printable labels here.)

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Pantry Cabinet Before

I still need to put labels back on the baskets for tea, coffee, cocoa, and sugar/flour substitutes we’ve been using for Keto. But ahhhh! I can breathe!

Tip: Group like-items into categories for storing in containers, and put dry ingredients into glass jars so that you can see at a glance whenever you’re running low before going to the grocery store.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Pantry Cabinet Organization

Dishware Cabinets

For the love of Pete, purge the plastic cups and coffee mugs!

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Dishware Cabinet Before

We had so many souvenir cups we hardly ever touched, so we donated them. But that beard mug I painted for Robert last year had to stay of course. 😉

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Dishes Cabinet Organization

This is the one cabinet that has always stayed looking tidy. We registered for Fiestaware when we first got married 9 years ago, and it is the BEST!

The multicolors really aren’t my style anymore and I’d really prefer all white, but it’s fun to pull out for pops of color when we have parties.

Tip: Sort items by size and (optionally) bycolor. (That one’s totally obvious I know, but hey there it is.)

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Dishes Cabinet Organization

Drinkware Cabinets

I’m a fan of glass front cabinets because I swear they keep us honest. This cabinet has really stayed looking this organized since we moved in.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Glassware Organization

We had not one but TWO cup cabinets. Why?!

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Cups Before

We keep lots of these acrylic cups for having drinks around the pool, but one day we hope to convert our pool shed into an outdoor bar area, where some of these cups will eventually be moved to.

And we put the travel mugs and sippy cups in easy reach pared down to one shelf.

Tip: Get rid of too many multiples by having just 2-3 travel cups per person in your household.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Cups Organization

Utensil Drawers

I was so sick of rifling through these drawers searching for utentils while trying to cook dinner every night.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Utensil Drawer Before

So I gathered up all of the wooden spoons we used most and put them in a utensil holder on our countertop.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Utensil Holder and Round Tray on Kitchen Countertop

Tip: Group items based on their use. Ex: 1 drawer for serving utensils, 1 container for wooden spoons, 1 compartment for grilling tools, etc.

I put the metal and plastic spoons and spatulas in a separate utensil holder.

And I organized the rest into these expandable drawer organizers by putting the tools we use most in the top drawer.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Utensil Drawer Organization

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Utensil Drawer Before

And I put the more specialty cooking tools we use less often in the middle drawer.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Utensil Drawer Organization

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Utensil Drawer Before

In the third drawer, I placed our serving utensils.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Servingware Organization

Kitchen Towel Drawer

One word for this… why?!

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Dish Towels Before

I picked up this little bamboo drawer divider and it made a world of difference.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Dish Towel Organization

Apron Drawer

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Apron Drawer Before

Another drawer divider to the rescue!

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Apron Drawer Organization

Small Appliance Cabinets

Don’t even ask me why we had random medicine bottles shoved into this cabinet.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Small Appliance Cabinet Before

I put the medicine bottles where they belonged (up high in our medicine cabinet where the 1 year-old can’t reach them).

And in hindsight, I should have removed or covered up the 80s vegetable print contact paper, so I plan to go back and do that.

This paint job has seen better days, but hey… this cabinet finally makes sense!

Tip: Edit your cabinets and drawers every 3-6 months for maintenance. (I wish I’d done this before, but now that everything is purged I definitely want to keep it that way.)

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Small Appliance Cabinet Organization

Tupperware Drawer

I know I’m the only person in the world with a drawer like this. 😉

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Tupperware Drawer Before

It still needs work, to be honest, so I’m getting this matching set to replace our hodge-podge ones.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Tupperware Drawer Organization

Cooking Pan Drawer

I didn’t get a before shot but trust me, it wasn’t pretty. That lovely contact paper is still hanging out, but it’s on my hit list.

We have two corner cabinets with lazy susan shelves to hold our pots, mixing bowls, and glass bakeware, but they’re pretty impossible to photograph. Thankfully, they stay looking decent.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Pan Drawer Organization

Under Sink Cabinet

This was the straw that broke the camel’s back and kickstarted this whole kitchen organization overhaul to begin with. I couldn’t look at it for one more day!

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Under Sink Cabinet Before

I removed the old trash can drawer that had completely rusted, removed the cleaning supplies we hardly ever used, lined the bottom of the cabinet with this waterproof mat, and installed this two tier shelf to help tame the chaos.

Kitchen Organization Makeover | Under Sink Cabinet Organization

Done!

It feels SO good to know where everything is and where everything goes. Just crossing my fingers and toes that it stays that way, but now that every item has “a home”, it’s more likely to.

Kitchen Organization Makeover Tour

Do you have any kitchen organizing tips you do? Or organizing essentials that have made life easier? Let me know below so I can make this post a one-stop resource.

And if you want more kitchen organizing help, you can see our past projects here:

If you want to save this post for later, you can pin it here:

Our Full Kitchen Organization Tour | A full kitchen tour with before and after kitchen organization ideas and quick tips to make it extra functional and clutter-free.

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28 Comments

  1. Great organizational ideas. Love the cabinet colour. I have a tip to share. I put the lids from storage containers in a clear plastic shoebox. I store them on a higher shelf so it’s easy to reach the box(I’m 5’2″).

  2. Where did you find the small wicker baskets in your cupboards? I’m looking for ones like these, but they’ve been a lot harder to find than I expected! A lot of them come in sets with sizes I don’t need. Thanks!

  3. i bought a couple plastic lazy susans at Target and use them for my oils and vinegars. This way I don’t have to move bottles to look for what I need. I love them!

  4. Lauren,
    Great organization tips!
    I would l o v e to have a “true” pantry. . .
    but as you so well stated, “Love the home you have”.
    Thank you for always inspiring!
    Pat

    1. I’m terrified of dropping them and breaking them since we cart them around with the kids so much for snacks/lunches on the go. Have you had an issue with that?

  5. First of all..your cabinets look so nicely organized. Whew I’m sure u r happy about that. Do realize how lucky you are to have so many wide cabinets? I have small narrow ones and it is hard to find risers or containers that I can use. Mine is organized but I still keep looking .The best thing is that I have 2 pull out drawers and a lazy Susan.. God Bless ☹ I do keep it up all the time so when cleaning it is not bad to clean. Enjoy!!!

    1. Easy diy risers for weird widths…2×4’s! If you have access to a sea or a friend or neighbor willing to cut them for you, just measure the width needed and how many you’ll need. Say you can place two risers with one row of spices in the front of the risers. That means you’d stack two blocks in the back and one in the front. Then the very front row of spices just sits on the shelf itself. Does that make sense? You don’t even need to paint them or stain them since the front row, and second, cover up the blocks from view. 😁

  6. Great organization tips! I’m glad you removed medications from your toddler’s reach, but cleaning supplies shouldn’t be under the sink unless you have a toddler proof lock system. Many child poisonings come from access to products under the sink.

  7. I always alphabetize my spices and keep them on lazy susans – one double shelf and one single shelf for the taller bottles/containers. Saves LOTS of time and frustration.I recently purged a lot of spices because I do not cook nor bake as much as I did when our five were home. Been married 61 + years so my “extra” lazy susans now hold my measuring cups, pudding mixes, etc.

  8. The spices look wonderful but how do you know which spices are in the back two rows since you cannot read the labels?

    1. Luckily with the little plastic riser shelves, I can just pull them out until I get used to how I have them organized 😉

  9. Looks great! I fold my dish towels in half lengthwise and then roll them. It gives me more room and I can see them at a glance.

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