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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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.

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:

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?)
Organize by “zones” and focus on just one cabinet or drawer at a time.
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.

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.

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.)

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.

Dishware Cabinets

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

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. 😉

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.)

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.

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

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.

Utensil Drawers

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

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

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

In the third drawer, I placed our serving utensils.

Kitchen Towel Drawer

One word for this… why?!

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

Apron Drawer

Another drawer divider to the rescue!

Small Appliance Cabinets

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

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.)

Tupperware Drawer

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

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

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.

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!

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.


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.

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:

Hemnes Pantry Cabinet Makeover
Hemnes Pantry Cabinet Organization
Free Printable Pantry Labels
Free Printable Spice Cabinet Labels
Whole House Deep Cleaning Checklist

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Organizing Kitchen