When we started to demo our kitchen and packed up all of the stuff in our cabinets, it made us realize just how much junk we had and how disorganized we were. And we had only lived in this kitchen for one year. And we have lived in two different homes before this one in the last five years. So knowing we had packed, unpacked, and re-packed and never used some of these things made us laugh.
We said once the renovation was complete we were going to bring all the things back in slowly and put them away as we used them. Then after three months, whatever we hadn’t used, we would get rid of it. And we did. We got rid of sooooo much crap it wasn’t even funny.
We did that as far as appliances and utensils went, but as for food, nope. We put it all right back into the cabinets. Thinking it’s food and we use it all the time. We also had no rhyme or reason for where we were putting what. We just grouped like items together and for the most part, put them back into the areas where they had been. For example, towels next to the sink, pots and pans next to the stove and so on…
Getting our cabinets organized was something on our to-do- list post-renovation. So here we are four months post kitchen remodel, and our cabinets are finally organized! And man, does it feel so good! We’ve had bets from people on how long we will be able to keep them this organized, and we’re going on one month, and they still look as good as they did the first day.
Getting rid of your stuff is hard. You’re usually too emotionally attached and blinded by the attachment.
So we brought in our friend, Lauren, from Neat Method and she got all of our cabinets whipped into shape. We didn’t have to lift a finger. I actually just left the room and told her whatever she thought needed to be thrown just to toss it.
Here’s just one of the bags that got tossed…
You guys some of these spices I had for over ten years!!! Ten freaking years. I was laughing so hard.
This spice here, yep, it expired in 2003. I graduated high school in 2003!! Which meant it moved with me across the country to California and back and into more than 15 different homes that I’ve lived in during those years. Oh dear Lord. I will also totally admit… I had no clue there was expiration dates on spices. Did you guys know that? Learned something new thanks to Neat!
Organizing tip: Look at expiration dates
Toss anything expired or that will expire within next 2 months. (it’s unlikely you will use these products if they are already close to expiration) Many foods expire faster than people think and you can clear up a lot of space just by getting rid of expired items.
So let’s take you back to the fun part, say hello to our hot mess of cabinets…
When we designed our kitchen layout, we knew we wanted pretty much all drawers on the lowers. I’ve never been a fan of doors on the lowers just because of convenience for storage. It’s hard to get back in those hard to reach places. With drawers, you just pull them out and can see everything.
I also loved the idea of having a couple of drawers for the boys…their snacks, and all of their plates, bottles, and sippy cups. In this picture, the bottom two drawers were Beckam’s (left) and Greyson’s (right). It made it quick and simple for when food or drinks were ready just to grab and go instead of sorting through who’s plate is who.
Our silverware drawer was another hot mess… but how do you even begin to organize all those knives? Well, we’re about to show you, because I had no clue either!
Next to the fridge was where we stored most all of our food. I didn’t like this setup at all but knew the organizing day was coming and that Lauren would have a solution for us.
And then above the fridge and freezer was where we kept all of our entertaining dishes and bigger kitchen appliances. But what we also realized when talking through how much we used what with Lauren. We used our crockpots and griddles a lot more than our baking dishes, which were kept in more convenient spots.
Most people have a lot of wasted space due to the layout of their kitchen. When you take everything out, you may find things you never use or just kept on hand just in case. Clear out the drawers and cabinets so that you can start fresh before putting the essentials back in your kitchen.
Organizing Tip: Take everything out of your cabinets and drawers.
Organizing in the Works
Once we chatted through what was in all of the drawers, how much we used what, the girls got to work.
The thing I was most excited about was getting all of our food organized. I’ve been on a mission over the last few months to get really conservative with grocery spending. I think I’m a bit addicted! I started online grocery delivery, and each week I plan out our meals to the point of not buying one extra thing.
In one of the drawers, Lauren created different containers to meal prep and labeled them with the different days of the week. That way when our groceries arrive I put the ingredients for what we were having on that day in their storage container. Instead of just one dedicated food cabinet.
Organizing Tip: Create categories for all food items divided up by overall categories
If you designate all of the categories of food you need storage for like “pasta, grains, can goods, sweet, savory, spices, meal prep,” you’ll know where to store them and what size of container you should buy for those items.
Then in the drawer below we put anything I buy in bulk. In the boys’ drawers, we put their snacks. It was genius!
This meal prep drawer has made getting dinner ready throughout the week a lot less stressful. I just open the drawer and have all the ingredients there ready to roll.
They grouped all the cooking and serving utensils and placed them into these little wooden boxes.
And the best thing, they put stickies on the bottom, so they’re not moving all around in the drawers. When you open the drawers, it almost looks like they were built in, because they fit and match perfectly.
Organizing Tip: Measure inside the cabinet or drawer for liners or any containers
EEEK… can you believe that this used to look like that?! They organized everything perfectly.
I also love this simple and clever way to store the dish towels. This drawer used to only be filled with our dish towels. We did get rid of a ton because realistically I never went through that many but just to rolling them up instead of folding them saved so much room.
Organizing Tip: Roll your towels instead of folding to save space.
My favorite!! The spices used to take up an entire lazy susan, but once we got rid of the majority of them since they were expired, it left us with a lot less. Now by having them in a drawer, I can actually pull them out and see which spices I have so I can use them regularly.
Organizing Tip: Put your spices in a drawer, flat down, so you can actually see them.
And here are the boys’ drawers, one for snacks and their food and the other for cups, bottles, and plates.
And being Beckam only has a bottle at night, and we do dishes weekly, instead of having 50 bottles we decided we really only need seven.
Organizing tip: Don’t keep any dishes, food, water bottles, etc. you don’t use.
Never think you MAY use something if you haven’t in the past 2 months. Donate them & get that tax write-off. It’s easy for kitchens to get cluttered when you hang on to items that you never use, just because you think you may use it someday. Toss those babies and you’ll feel so much better.
I also loved how they organized our mugs and to-go bottles. This was another drawer that was loaded up. Once they went through and realized more than half no longer had matching tops, and realistically we always have our main go-to bottles, we got rid of the rest. They also put in these sweet dividers so that all of our to-go mugs don’t have to be laying on top of each other and can instead stand up and not fall.
And the cabinet next to the fridge. All of our food went below in the drawers, so we moved the appliances that we don’t use regularly and placed our oils, salts, and vinegar on those little handy swivels.
You guys! I’m still smiling. Life is just so much better once you’re organized, am I right? I mean we actually wake up and have a better day when we get to not live in as much chaos as we used to. And even Jamie approved! He’s a major organizing freak, so I think this whole process has made him a lot happier in his everyday life more-so than mine.
But now the issue is we’re looking at all the other cabinets in our home that need some of Lauren’s magic. Next up is our master closet for sure. We gave her a sneak peek, and she already had multiple great ideas. Counting down the days until our master bathroom/closet renovation…
We hope you guys can take some of these organizing tips and incorporate them into your home. Or else if you’re like me and just need another set of eyes to take it away for you, Lauren is your girl. You can find her below. While Lauren is the only rep in Minnesota, Neat is also nationwide so I’m sure you can find someone by searching your area on their website.