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How to Completely Organize Your Kitchen {Week Two Organizing Challenge}

Good morning, friends!

I’m pretty excited about today’s post. Because I’m seriously thrilled with how amazingly clean and organized our kitchen feels after completing this week’s challenge.


And I think you’re gonna love these before and afters, too!

Have you been following along with my 10 week organizing challenge?

Last week I focused on taming the paper clutter and setting up a command center as well as tweaking our command center.

This week I’ve shared some awesome kitchen organization ideas and my DIY giant chalkboard kitchen planner.

But today is all about how to completely organize your kitchen and the transformation that our kitchen went through last weekend!

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So let’s get started, shall we?

To completely organize your kitchen, you want to follow these simple steps:

Step One: Identify Your Problem Areas

Our problem areas were everywhere… things had gotten a little out of control in most of our drawers and cupboards. Although we are fortunate to have a good sized kitchen, the space was not being used very efficiently. I hadn’t done a major re-organization since moving into this house nearly 6 years ago; and I’m not convinced that everything was put away in the best places during our initial move-in. We have three corner cabinets that are a little difficult for storage (even though two have lazy susans). We also have very few upper cabinets which means that we need to use our space wisely as that design feature has definitely reduced our overall storage capacity.

Here is a snapshot of how our cabinets and drawers were looking… I’ll share more specifics in the “before and afters” later in this post.

Pretty bad, right??

Jumbled. Disorganized. Overcrowded.

Step Two: Pull Everything Out! And I do mean everything!!

Really. Just do it. I know it’s painful. But unless you absolutely know in your heart of hearts that you are keeping something in a specific spot forever and ever until eternity, then pull it all out. Spread it on your counters or your kitchen table. Anywhere that will work and that you won’t trip over it and break an ankle in the middle of your organizing challenge…

It’s gotta get worse before it get’s better. A lot worse!

So you might notice I  had a few lurkers in my corner cabinets. Items that I knew {in my heart of hearts} were going to stay in that spot for good.

Now the real fun begins!

Step Three: Purge!

Be ruthless!

Do you use it? Have you ever used it? Do you like it? Does it work properly? If no, it goes.

Do you have more then one of it/them? If yes, then it goes.

If you feel a niggling urge that you need it; then put it (or all items like that) into a box and put them away in your basement/garage/storage room. Give yourself a timeline for those items – like three months. If you haven’t needed it and it’s been sitting in your storage for 3 months, you probably don’t need it.

And don’t give into “gift guilt”. Just because someone gave you an item doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever and ever and eventually be buried with it. You can be thankful for having received the gift and still let go of it. If you do, you are giving yourself an even bigger gift of freedom from clutter and creating an organized home, right? So what’s more important?

I had a lot of things that I didn’t need or use or that were not functional anymore that I let go.

Yay! Three boxes full plus a garage bag!

Now that you haven’t gotten rid of everything that you don’t need, don’t use, or that is broken; it’s time to assess what all you have left.

Step Four: Rethink your positions

Look around your kitchen at the spaces available and think about grouping “like” items together. Instead of a higgilty-jiggilty messy mcmess, your kitchen supplies can go back neatly into locations that make “sense”. Dishes near the dishwasher. Pots and pans and spices near the stove. Extra appliances you don’t use very frequently tucked into those harder-to-access spots. It’s time to designate a space for all that you have left!

Step Five: Assess your storage needs

Don’t buy your storage baskets before. Buy them after, when you know what you actually need to store. I did that for our pantry makeover last year; and they are still super functional. This year I didn’t even buy any new storage baskets, I just repurposed some that I had on hand and was no longer using in other areas in our home {see, there are actually times when being a semi-hoarder pays off}.

If you have a kitchen that is fairly tight on space, you may want to consider some creative storage solutions. I shared 20 cute and creative kitchen storage and organization ideas just the other day…

I shared some great storage item options at the bottom of this post, as well.

Step Six: Assign everything a place and put it where it “belongs”

Once you have assessed what you have, grouped LIKE items together, and scrounged up or purchased any baskets of storage tools that you might need, then the time has come to put it all away again! Let’s take a look at how our kitchen looks once I got it all put back together…

Our before and afters:

Let’s start with my fave; the utensil drawer. We also store the larger and most frequently used utensils in a large jar on our counter (beside the stove). The items are separated with clear plastic bins from the dollar store.

Now for the appliance cupboard… what a difference, right? I moved all the bowls to the lazy susan next store, freeing up room to group many of our appliances together in a way that makes sense (the crock pot, rice cooker, blenders, food processor, and coffee grinder).

Above the fridge…party supplies etc. that survived the purge were grouped together, along with large plastic trays and bowls for outdoor summer entertaining.

Above the pantry was a hodge podge of candy, vitamins, and spirit bottles. All the candy is sequestered to the giant glass jar you can see peaking up behind the baskets. And the vitamins and spirits are grouped together in the baskets. My lone cookbook made the cut and is kept up here (full of hand written recipes – everything else I get online).

The cutlery drawer! I love my new bamboo cutlery tray; it’s expandable to fit any sized drawer from 10-20″ wide. School forks/spoons and serving cutlery are tucked behind it.

The glasses and microwave area are much cleaner and more organized looking. I even got my husband to finally put the plate cover on the electrical outlet inside this cupboard  (why it’s there, I’m not sure – it was a kitchen renovation leftover). All the round placemats are now above the fridge which cleaned up the area beside the microwave.

The lazy susan for dishes… the items on the top shelf were purged or moved to another spot – and the smaller baking dishes and ramekins were grouped together in a basket on the bottom lazy susan shelf.

A large dish and bowl drawer. We finally let go of most of those kid’s cups; the ones we kept went in with the tupperware.

The pots…

The pans. I invested in some new frying pans since ours were all wearing out- the handles were broken and the finish was scraping off. It was time.

And a couple of other areas that I don’t have “before” pictures of, but that look really pretty and well-organized now:

The coffee station and our open shelving…

The spice drawer (the long drawer right below the microwave)…

Useful storage on the countertop…

The “Tea Station” {more about this coming tomorrow!!}…

Around the sink…

And under it… {we keep most of our cleaning supplies in the laundry room and only keep some white vinegar and a kitchen spray in the back of this cabinet).

It feels incredible knowing that we don’t have anything unnecessary cluttering up our kitchen and that all that lurks behind the cabinets is now as well-organized and pretty as it looks on the surface.

Looking for some kitchen organization pieces?

Or some beautiful kitchen decor finds?


This is awesome! Pin it to remember it!

Good luck with your project!

It feels so good to get the kitchen into shape; it makes all the effort well worth it!

I’ll be back tomorrow to share all about my tea station; and then I might pop in this weekend to share my tips on organizing your fridge and pantry.

I have some other amazing pantry posts here:

How to Completely Organize Your Pantry / 20 Incredible Small Pantry Organization Ideas & Makeovers / Free Printable Weekly Meal Planner and Shopping List Planners

Join the challenge!

Sign up to have The 10 Week Organizing Challenge sent to you weekly!

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  1. Love your website … so eloquent and very helpful. I couldnt find the link for the 3 level cake stand . Would you tell me where you get them ?

  2. I love the rug in your kitchen. I clicked on the link for it but it is no longer a valid link. Can you tell me where you bought it? Thanks!


  3. I don’t know if you ever read comments on a post this old, but I would love more information about your lemon tree. Do you remember where you bought it? Has it produced consistently? And most of all, have you trimmed it to keep it small?

    I just discovered your blog after watching a YouTube clip on organizing. Great ideas. Thanks

    1. Hello Sandy!
      My lemon tree is (gasp) fake! So, no, it doesn’t produce well but it is consistently green:) I’m super curious about what youtube clip you saw me/this blog on? Thanks!

  4. I love this site – thank you so much for helping me make the most of my small kitchen. I wonder if it would be possible to make the print quite a bit darker – I find it quite difficult to actually read it. But otherwise, your site is pretty much perfect.

  5. Ok– first of all– I am OBSESSED with your style! It is exactly the kind of thing I always try to go for, but somehow haven’t quite figured out yet how to pull it off.

    I know that drawer organization’s always a biggie, and it’s really the only thing that I feel like I finally have down! I got these adjustable drawer organizers:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GN44XIQ

    Would love to know what you think about them!

  6. I love the “happiness” sign above your stove! I have the same color scheme in my kitchen. Can you tell me where you found the sign?

  7. Im finishing up week one with a built in desk for a command center and ready to get to week two. This challenge is so inspiring and I am so excited to get my whole house organized and make my crazy life a little less stressful

  8. May I ask about your kitchen pendant lights? Where did you purchase them? I love the way your kitchen looks! So beautiful!

    1. Hi Lynne! We ordered them from build.com – the link to them (if they still carry them) can be found in my kitchen source post: . Hope that helps!

  9. Love your kitchen organization ideas! We just bought a very tiny condo in FL and I have a corner sink, no window there. It is really a dead area. too hard to even reach the paper towels there. When I saw your corner lazy susan I thought “That’s it!”. Can you tell me where you got it?
    Thanks, Marlene

  10. Having been through the new kitchen remodel and all new cupboards, I totally know what you mean about purge and reorganize. After living in this house since 1984, basically everything now has its place. I’m waiting until May, before I go through again and purge things we don’t use, now that they are accessible. I have a set of bowls we never used before—because they were on the top shelf, and now are in my dish drawer, and we use them everyday—! Great post, and very practical! Thanks, Sandi

    1. Thank you Sandi! I love that during purging and organizing, we often find things that we aren’t using but would love to use – making them accessible is key to them getting use, for sure!

  11. Wow! Loved seeing all of your before and after pictures and your great ideas for organizing your kitchen! Thanks for sharing…..you have motivated me to work on my kitchen cabinets!

  12. What a lovely kitchen and such great ideas.
    I have a small galley kitchen and not much storage space.
    I plan to definitely try to organize and purge soon.

  13. Ok why do you have photos of my messy draws and cupboards and why they still look a mess and not like the after photos, oh yeah not my mess that is why, every few months I tidy them up and make them look nice but over time they end up the same ole mess

    1. Hi Jo-Anne! I know what you mean! I’m going to really try to put things back in their new spots each time so that it doesn’t get out of control again!

    1. Hi Stephanie! That’s so true -anyone can be organized in a palatial sized kitchen, right?? With empty drawers galore. I feel I’ve been super successful because I actually have ONE empty drawer! Wow!

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