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?

Sources:

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

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

I‘ve always been quite inspired by gates. They aren’t just a way to keep unwanted visitors out or beloved pets in, the right gate can feel like a special invitation to enter a secret magical garden. You know what I mean?

As far as I’m concerned, a gate doesn’t even have to be fancy (but a little charm is nice!), I just love what they represent. I actually go gate hunting in neighborhoods as often as I go just to drool over houses!

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

You may have seen those two gates from my previous drive bys. If you missed them, you can find the drive by posts here. But if you’re curious about our gate …

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

We’re still Gateless in Seattle, at least on this side of the house. I know.

Years ago (insert eye rolls over how long it’s been) I started talking about how excited I was about installing a gate to our side patio.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

In fact, we had two other gates built around that same time, the double gate between our side yard and backyard (which we just painted, you can see a bit of it above) and a single gate on the other side of the yard (above).

But the side patio gate? It didn’t get done. It’s a long story, just a series of unfortunate events. So we still have to use a bench and assorted garden supplies piled up in the opening to keep the dogs in. I agree, it’s truly quite ridiculous.

The good news is we finally have a new contractor lined up that I’m confident is going to do the work (thank goodness for Lowe’s contractor service, I should’ve called them years ago! So much easier.). The new contractor is going to build our gate and wrap our side porch posts with wood trim (which we’ve also been waiting on for a long time! Wrapping a post gives them a more substantial, finished look).

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

This photo above is before our railings were installed (they look amazing, you’ll see soon!), and how our posts look now before they get wrapped. Note the pallet in the background acting as our gate. Lol.

Fingers crossed, knock on posts and gates, we’re on the home stretch here.

The gate and the porch posts are actually the last two projects we plan to complete in this long spree of outdoor projects this summer. Most of our projects have been on a small scale, like planting our veggie barrels!

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

These are the same barrels we have been using for the past few years (they are chemical-free for planting). I still envision a big garden in our backyard, but these barrels are so easy to plant! They tuck in quite nicely to this small space, too. Since we had so many other projects going on we decided to use them for another year rather than start another large project.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens
We planted a lot kale and lettuce (we got a late start so these plants were bought ready to plant, we didn’t grow from seed). I love watching them grow and can’t wait to eat ’em. We get a lot of our vegetables through a weekly delivery box from a local organic farm, but it’s still fun to grow some of our own.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens
Speaking of small gardens and growing, Lily’s little fragrant garden has really filled out! This was from a couple of weeks ago.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

We spent the last couple of weeks setting up the deck furniture, planting the garden and flower pots. We planted these miniature rose trees (bushes?) that we bought last year. This spring they sadly got totally destroyed by aphids. I cut them all back thinking I’d have to wait until next year to see them flower. Well, they surprised me! They leafed out again and bloomed. The aphids came back, though, so I was going to go get ladybugs, but I tried some essential oils in a spray bottle first and it worked. Good-bye aphids! So far, so good.

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens

As soon as I got all furniture set up, it rained so we had to put all the cushions and rugs inside again, ha! Yes, we live in Seattle so you just have to expect that rain might happen. I do bring cushions and some of the rugs all in if there’s going to be a longer spell of rain, otherwise I don’t worry about it and just let ’em get a little damp . We mostly have had fantastic weather, so I can’t complain about rain too much this time of year.

I will definitely show you the furniture and flower pots when I take the photos, and of course I can show you the porch posts and the gate as soon as they’re in! I might even be able to show you some progress on that in the next week or so.

I know lots of you have been asking about how we stained our side patio concrete (you can actually see it in the white gate photo with Jack, above). We’re just about done so I’ll update you on that project, too.

And of course, as promised, we’ll be hosting our virtual deck party for the big reveal! I’m really looking forward to all of the yummy dishes y’all offered to bring :). I’ll announce the winners of the Simple Gatherings books this week so if you didn’t enter yet, it’s not too late to enter by sharing what you’re bringing to the virtual party (you’ll find the giveaway in the previous post about the deck progress).

We can’t wait to be able to just get outside and relax in our entire outdoor area, I’m so ready to enjoy it all!

You can catch up on our deck and exterior projects here:

Painted Brick Exterior and Outdoor Projects

Outdoor Projects Part Two

Designing and Shopping for our Deck Project

Trex Deck Building Process

Gateless in Seattle + Growing Gardens
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