The room that made me fall in love with our home at first sight was the kitchen. It’s bright and big and beautifully simple in design. And it has more cabinet space than I’ve ever had in my entire life. Living and cooking and eating in it have proven to be wonderful experience. It is my dream kitchen in every way.
The week we moved in, my friend Stef (or Jonesie as I call her) came over to help us organize the kitchen. She’s a professional organizer and we met because I literally Googled organizers in my area and found her for this project almost a year ago. Our first meeting was basically a scene out of a rom-com where we fell deeply in love as friends and bonded immediately.
Having Stef there for our move-in with her calm energy, hilarious (slightly off-color) jokes, and insane organization skills was one of the few things that kept me sane on a very emotional day. She helped us decide where everything would go and set up systems so that drawers and cabinets wouldn’t get messy or cluttered the way they always seem to do. Then she came back to label everything once she was done with the organizing. She used the same label maker I have (this one) so I can change anything in the future if I need to.
I’m so excited to share our organized kitchen today. We took photos on a random day two weeks after we set it up and I didn’t touch or stage a thing. It looks like an ad for The Container Store because she helped put systems into place that would last. They’re pretty idiot-proof.
Anel calls me the messiest clean person he knows because I keep our house looking spotless but the drawers are generally a mess unless I set myself up for success. Having organized systems in place makes me feel more comfortable and relaxed in the kitchen and makes me want to cook and bake more because I know it won’t be a hassle to get things in and out of drawers. I always know exactly where everything is and the amount of joy that feeling organized brings to my Type-A self is unreal.
A note on childproofing: I got a lot of comments asking about how we keep our supplement/medicine drawer child-safe. We use these magnetic safety locks and keep the magnets out of reach for any drawers or cabinets that we don’t want Amalia getting into. We haven’t childproofed that drawer yet because it’s too high for her to reach but as soon as she’s close to it, we will be adding the magnetic lock.
Making me a spice drawer was actually Jonesie’s housewarming gift to us and it is my favorite part of the whole kitchen, hands down. I smile every time I open this drawer. She bought twist-top spice tins with clear tops but then made her own labels with a label maker because we wanted them to be white with black writing. She put the tins on top of drawer liners so that they stay in place without sliding around.
She’s also making me tell you that the thyme is crooked because she wasn’t here the day we took pictures. But normally it is lined up perfectly. I’m not a monster! 🙂
We placed all of the spices we use in alphabetical order and then put the extras that didn’t fit in the back so we can refill as we run out. When I left for a meeting and Stef was labeling she asked if I cared what the labels said for each area and I said just do whatever you would do in your own house. The fact that this drawer says spice up your life and brings me back to my Spice Girl fandom days is a fantastic touch.
I wanted really easy access to my cooking utensils so I can just reach in and grab what I need from the stove. She put the utensils to the right of the stove which accomplished that. All it took was a clear divider with three sections and some drawer liners to make this work. I needed a solution where I could take things out and put them in quickly without thinking about it and the divider allows that to happen. All the spatulas are in one section, all the wooden spoons are in one section, and the metal utensils are to the right.
I didn’t get a photo of the other utensil drawer but it’s essentially the same setup but with a garlic press, can opener, lemon juicer, vegetable peeler, and other small gadgets. We also brought our shallow clear dividers from the old house for silverware.
We don’t have a closet pantry so Stef turned our entire island into the pantry. The three top drawers are used as a tea and tea towel drawer (Jonesie had to get creative with that one), the middle is a supplement drawer (shown at the bottom of this post), and the third is a junk/everything drawer.
The cabinets below the drawers are all filled with food. I didn’t photograph all of them because we’re still waiting on a few containers to arrive but here you can see a can/grain drawer which is divided with a drawer divider, a breakfast drawer (my personal favorite), and Amalia’s drawer which is at her level so she can grab snacks or a water cup.
We were able to reuse a bunch of the OXO pop-top containers that I had in my old house (here) by simply moving the labels to the top. We used these for loose grains and snacks and baking items like flour and coconut sugar. We also had a lot of these clear bins (which I use all over the house) in all sizes and used them to house packaged goods.
Not pictured is a baking drawer (under the cans/grains) and two snack drawers. One of them has bigger bags of snacks like popcorn and tortilla chips in the large clear bins we love. The other is full of nuts and crackers, all removed from their packaging placed in the pop-top containers for quick and easy snacking.
There aren’t any organizing products in the dish wear or glass cabinets, but as you can see in the first image above, we used bamboo lazy Susans for condiments, oils, and vinegar. I leave the olive oil and marinara sauce in between because I use them and replenish them so often. The lazy Susans have proven to be the sleeper MVP of kitchen organization in my house. It makes pulling taller bottles out so easy.
Bottles never fall over as I’m grabbing other ones, and I don’t have to pick one or two favorites to go in the front of the cabinets because everything can be in the front with a quick little spin of my girl, Susie.
Under the sink:
While this section isn’t the most beautiful of cabinets, it’s highly functional and feels extremely organized. We used a rubber under-sink mat that will help if there’s ever a leak and also keeps everything in place. Two more lazy Susans and a clear bin (size small) keep everything that we use in easy reach at all times. We put sprays on the left and dish soap/detergent on the right. Other cleaning supplies go in the clear bin in the middle.
In case you’re wondering where all of our other cleaning supplies are for the house, they’re currently in a section of the coat closet that we haven’t quite finished yet. What you see here are the products we use most often.
The supplement storage was the bain of our existence in the old house because Anel and I take a lot of them every day and it used to be hard to pull them out and put them back in so we’d often skip days or just forget. I have not missed one morning of my supplement routine since Stef created this divided drawer. It is divided into 4 sections: Anel’s, mine, “CVS”, and Amalia’s.
So there you have it! Jonesie is the absolute best and I’d tell you to hire her but she’s pregnant (with twins!) and going on maternity leave soon. Until she’s back in the game, she has some great tips on her blog. A big big thank you to you, Stef, for being a supportive and loving friend, the best organizer in the entire universe (fact) and for letting me post the photo of the crooked thyme. I know it’s killing you inside.
If you have organizing questions for Stef, ask them below and she’ll answer you!
PS this is not a sponsored post. I paid Jonesie for her hard work. Photos by Julia Dags.