How to Organize a Small Kitchen

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

Who loves organizing? Or maybe a better question, who loves an organized space?

I‘ve promised y’all for awhile that I would open up more of our cabinets and drawers to show you inside. So today I’ll be sharing Before & Afters of four areas in my kitchen that weren’t working for us along with the solutions we came up to make them work better, featuring some items we got from the Bed Bath & Beyond .ORG line.

In a small (ish) kitchen (especially if you don’t have a walk in pantry or freestanding island for additional storage!) every square inch of drawer and cabinet space counts. Organization not only increases the functional space, but I think it enhances the enjoyment of daily tasks, too.

Y’all know I love my coffee stations. My mug tree on the counter holds all of our coffee cups so that system was working well for saving space in drawers. But my other coffee supplies were not well-organized at all. Somehow I ended up with baking and coffee supplies in one drawer, with a bunch of other random stuff thrown in. Gah.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

In my book, Simple Organizing, I suggest a kitchen be organized into zones for efficiency. While there are times particularly in a small kitchen where you might have to mix zones, there was really no reason for me to have baking and coffee supplies combined in one drawer. :) Yet, true confessions…I did.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

Ackkkk! This drawer was overflowing. It was so stuffed that some of the coffee supplies that should have been in the drawer had to stay on the counter and yet, some random baking supplies stayed.

Why, though?

So a couple of days ago I finally took everything out, including the bags of our Christmas cookie cutters that took up one large corner of the drawer. :) Those can definitely be stored somewhere else besides the drawer I open on a daily basis!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

Once we took everything out, we only put back in the coffee and tea supplies. The .ORG organizers from Bed Bath & Beyond were so helpful in making better use of several drawers and cabinets. By grouping items together in the new bins, now we clearly know where to look and can see what is in the drawer the minute we open it. No more digging around or wondering where things are!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

You guys, now opening my organized coffee drawer feels like the heavens open up and angels start singing. It literally took just minutes to reorganize the drawer, but now it makes me happy every single time I open it. It’s the little things.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

We put our loose leaf tea tins together in an .ORG basket. The .ORG baskets are so perfect for organizing all the things. Our tea bags and little accessories are organized in a cool wood box with a lid (see the lid opening in the photo, above?!). The box is so attractive it can bet set up on the counter if we want to use it to serve teas, too.

Now that our supplies are better organized I’m not going to be embarrassed when I’m offering guests a hot drink! Plus it’s like a treat to myself to make a cup of tea or my morning coffee.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

The drawer above it was also unruly. I love using it for little espresso cups, small bowls and measuring cups because it’s shallow. But because the space inside wasn’t clearly defined, it ended up with random stuff in it, too (including more cookie cutters, and I don’t bake sugar cookies except sometimes at Christmas, ha!).

How to Organize a Small Kitchen
The thing I am always looking for in this drawer are the small espresso cups and shot glasses (the girls and I use them to drink our favorite health beverage every afternoon). Because the cups are small they were always hiding among the other objects. It was kind of like looking for E.T. in the closet of stuffed animals! But no more, now we’ve got a better system.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

An .ORG basket and a couple of wood dividers brought order to the entire drawer! Our little cups have a home and there’s a space for everything we need.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

And we have a designated spot for things we just like to see because they make us smile, such as our knit fox scrubbies. :)

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

I also got the canisters that are on the counter above the drawers. Aren’t they adorable?! I love them. I’m thinking I’ll use one for ground coffee, one for biscotti to go with my coffee :), or maybe dog treats for the pups?

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

This wall cabinet was a bit annoying to everyone, especially on grocery shopping day. There was no real system. It didn’t really look that bad, it just wasn’t tidy or efficient. We thought about how to use the space better, and all we really needed was to group things together in easy-to-grab baskets and add a shelf riser. Easy peasy!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

Grouping items together is SO SIMPLE but it really makes such a difference. It not only looks less chaotic, but being better organized just makes you feel more aware of what’s already in the cabinet.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

Plus it’s easy to take a basket off the top shelf to see what the options are when you’re trying to decide what’s for dinner.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

The .ORG riser doubled the space we have for shorter items like boxes of beans. Now after we grocery shop to restock, we don’t have to pile boxes up and then watch them all topple over and out of the cabinet when the one we want is at the bottom. :) Fun pre-dinner activity, yes, but who’s got time for that?

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

I love the two roll out pantry drawer cabinets we were able to literally squeeze into the kitchen when we remodeled. We have one on either side of the fridge. It’s so handy to be able to pull the drawer out, you can use the entire surface and see all the way to the back so nothing gets lost.

TIP: If you are remodeling a small kitchen, you will want to measure very carefully to make sure you are not only maximizing each available square inch, but that you will also be open cabinets and drawers. Ha! The person who first measured for our roll out pantry cabinets measured incorrectly. Fortunately we double checked before the order was placed! Crisis averted and these drawers open with ease.

The contents of our pull out drawers didn’t look horribly disorganized, but I was excited to streamline everything and be more intentional with our storage here.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

I don’t like to keep food in bags, so we added more jars! We used these vintage style jars and this set of square ones.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

We also moved our mixer to the bottom pull out. It was often on the kitchen counter but we don’t use it regularly enough to justify the counter space, so I kept it downstairs sometimes. But I didn’t like lugging it up from the basement when I needed it!

Since we had the room for it in this cabinet, keeping it here is still convenient but frees up the counter when we don’t need it. We do the same with our toaster!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

My next step will be to label the jars to make it easier for all chefs in the kitchen to identify the contents.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

We tucked another .ORG bin behind the glass jars to corral little items and things that aren’t in jars. It’s easy to see what’s in the bin when you roll the drawer out!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

I’m feeling great about how functional this cabinet is now!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

What’s the most disorganized drawer or cabinet in your kitchen?


Black Floral Lattice 3-Piece Canister Set

The .Org Line

3 compartment bamboo tray

6×12 mesh organizer

Bamboo tea box

Bamboo drawer organizers

Metal Mesh Expandable Cabinet Shelves / Risers

Mesh Stacking Kitchen Bin

Mesh Pantry Organizer Bin

4 Piece Glass Square Canister Set

Vintage Inspired Glass 1 Gallon Storage Jars

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney’s Room)

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)
Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

Well, hello! It’s Courtney (Melissa’s daughter) here today! Some of you who have been around The Inspired Room for awhile might remember a few years ago when I moved into a tiny bedroom, (actually it was probably intended to be an office) on the entry level of my sister Kylee and brother-in-law’s Seattle townhouse.

By little, we’re talking less than 9 feet by 9 feet with a sliding door on one wall, and a bit smaller because of an angled wall. At first, I wasn’t even sure if I could fit a twin bed in here! With a little creativity and very intentional choices, this room became a really comfortable spot. It’s still a small space for sure, but I decided to make the most out of its coziness. I completely love how it turned out.

I can’t even believe it’s been almost three years now that I’ve lived here! When I first moved in, I had been out of college for a year and had just started my dream job–working for The Inspired Room full time. I shared this empty room on the blog with high hopes that I would document the whole decorating process, but here we are a few years later and I’m just sharing the reveal! You’ll have to forgive me, ha! :) I’ve been a little bit busy since then, along for the ride throughout every project, blog post, and book creation.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

So now that I’m finally here to show you my finished room, it seems like the appropriate time to share that I’m actually MOVING. Like, today…as you read this blog post.

I’m so excited to be moving to my very own, very first apartment! Eeee! It’s been in the works for awhile, but Seattle is a spendy city to live in so I’ve been taking my time and enjoying living here until I found the right next spot.

I cannot wait to show you all my new home. I can’t wait to get in there and start making it my own! I won’t promise how frequently I will do blog posts on here because we know how that went last time. ;) But I can tell you that there’s a strong chance that I’ll have a lot more to share.

If you want a sneak peek of my new place, come follow me on Instagram! I’ll be sharing Insta stories TODAY and this weekend throughout the moving process, and more stories and photos as I get settled.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

But now, back to my current room!

This room has treated me so well. It’s been the coziest little nest. I love all the natural light it gets throughout the day–such a game changer in a small space. It has its own bathroom attached and a closet. A very tiny closet, but enough room to hang a few things and tuck away some clothes! I’ll show you a peek into the closet and my other storage later on in this post.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)Daybed / Sisal rug

If there was one thing I knew before I moved into this space, it’s that I was going to need to be very intentional with my furniture choices to make them as functional as possible. First and foremost, my daybed!

I considered lots of daybed options (I shared a round-up here), but I’ve been so happy with the one I chose. I utilized the space below with storage boxes–no wasted space in here! I filled the bed up with lots of cozy pillows including three firm Euro pillows in the back. I plan on using the daybed as my sofa in my new apartment–just as I hoped would be the case when I first bought it!

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

The shelving unit to the left of my bed is called the Ikea Lack Shelf. I don’t think there could have been a more perfect option for this small spot! It not only was great for displaying books and accessories but it also held a clamp light for reading. The shelf has the option of being hung up on the wall, but I didn’t do that.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

This little ottoman with an added mirrored tray has been my trusty nightstand and a coffee table, but the top lifts off and reveals that it’s actually full of shoes :) Triple-duty for the win.

This sisal rug has been a great addition to the room, too. I love the subtle pattern and texture it brings to the space.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

I wanted to use this angled wall as a spot for a little ‘entry’ table. It was surprisingly difficult to find the right size table for this wall! I tried a few options before this that just weren’t right. I ended up finding this great console table from Ikea with a shelf below for books. I knew I’d constantly run into the corners of a rectangular console, so the curved shape was perfect.

The pretty canvas is from the talented Lindsay Letters.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)White Pencil Tin

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

String lights were a necessity in here. I rarely ever use the overhead light because these are so warm and magical!

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

One great perk I discovered with this small space is that in order to access my closet, I had to make my bed first thing everyday. Not just because my mom told me to, but this corner is where I staked my extra pillows stacked at night. So, in order to even get to my closet, I had to make my bed. Ha! Small space problems.

I would have made my bed either way, though, because a tiny room with an unmade bed as the main feature would just not be very inviting.

I added a tension rod to my closet, a hanging shelf system, a plastic drawer unit, and over-the-door hooks to maximize every square inch of my space.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)Shower Curtain (sadly sold out!) // Bath Mat // Black & White Rug

There’s my bathroom, also on the small side but definitely not the tiniest!

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

This right here is the main reason I survived in the storage department. It’s the IKEA Pax Wardrobe with the Bergsbo door. It comes as an empty frame that you can customize with shelves or drawers inside. I added multiple shelves and a soft closing drawer.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

Thank goodness for closed storage! Having these shelves concealed kept the room feeling calm and simple instead of chaotic.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

I also added this gold handle in the 10.5 inch size. I had to use a drill to make this happen, people. Very proud of my DIY skills.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

An over-the-door mirror helped to visually expand the space and bounced in some extra light, too.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)Hooks / Similar Backpack

This right here is my mudroom. Hahaha. But seriously, these hooks behind my door were a great spot for coats or bags. I love the shallow little shelf for styling, too.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

I layered a couple of rugs in here to jazz up the wall to wall carpet and make it feel homey.

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

I’m going to miss this room for sure! I get a little sentimental when it comes to homes because they represent so much more than just decor or furniture, you know? A lot of life was lived with this cozy place always welcoming me back! I’m grateful to my sister and brother-in-law for letting their little sis rent this tiny space so I could have a smoother and more affordable transition from college life to official adulting. :)

I hope you enjoyed my tour today. I’m excited for the adventures ahead as I move into my next home.

Don’t forget to come follow me on Instagram to get a sneak peek of my new Seattle apartment and watch my stories as I move in this weekend!

Room Sources:

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)

Click through the thumbnails above to shop!


IKEA Lack Wall Shelf Unit

Sisal Patterned Rug

Blue and White Floral Pillow Cover

Gray Textured Pillow Cover

Single IKEA Pax Wardrobe Frame with Bergsbo door

Wardrobe gold handle

Ticking stripe duvet and pillowcases

6 Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer

Copper String Lights

Hook Rail with Shelf

Over-the-Door Mirror (similar)

White Console Table

White Tin Pencil Box with Teepee (on console)

Floral Pencils

Floral Books on Shelf

White and Gold Plug-in Wall Sconce

Wall Clock by Newgate (mine is this one)

White Alarm Clock

Floral Art Print

“A Good Deed” Art Print

Gray Storage Ottoman

Gold Mirrored Tray

Watercolor Calligraphy Canvas

Brown Cable Knit Throw

Pink Throw Blanket

Blue and White Lamp – Thrifted

Blue and White Backpack (same brand, similar style)

White Euro Shams

Euro Pillow Inserts (similar)

White Cotton Blanket

Tiny Bedroom Tour (Courtney's Room)