Let’s talk organization. This is something that I actually love. Give me a label maker and I will go to town labeling everything in my sight. But for real, the best gift I’ve ever received is my label maker (thanks Joel!). Organization comes quite naturally to me. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been a very organized person. Maybe it’s because I get this weird satisfaction whenever things are perfectly in order and in their own little space. Anyone else just love to drool over Pinterest-worthy, perfectly organized spaces?
Maybe you’re not as obsessed with organizing as I am and maybe it’s something that you are trying to work towards this year. If that is a goal for you this year, now is the perfect time to start! I always feel like the start to a new year is the perfect opportunity to work towards organizing areas of your home. For me, my kitchen is the one area that I’m always trying to keep organized and tidy. It’s the room in our home that gets used the most and having an organizational system helps to keep everything in its place and frees up space. So this weekend I decided to finish tackling this project and the best part is that I did so with mostly dollar-store products!
Let’s look at the before….
When it comes to organizing the kitchen pick one area to organize. Whether that’s one section of cupboards or just the drawers – start small. It’s easy to overwhelm yourself and the last thing you want is to feel discouraged. For instance, last year I focused on spending some time over a weekend organizing my spice drawer (which you can read about here). Once I had that all nice and organized it made me feel more motivated to organize other areas.
For this post, I’ve focused on organizing two cupboards where I store my baking essentials and dry goods. You may keep these items in your pantry and other items like canned goods in your cupboards instead. Do what works and makes sense for you. I decided to move all the things in my pantry that I don’t use as often – canned goods, other baking items and supplies, and new/extra items.
Step one: purge
Clear our all the items you’ve had tucked away in your cabinets. I bet you’ll be surprised at what you find. That expired bottle of thai sauce you had stashed away? Ya chuck it. Get rid of anything that is expired or anything you have not used in over a year. No sense in keeping it and you’ll clear up some much-needed space.
Step two: group & sort
Once you have cleared out all your items and throw out the stuff that has expired or that you haven’t used in over a year, take a step back and look at what you have. Group items in categories. For the cupboards with the two doors, I decided to keep baking items – flours, oatmeal, nuts and seeds, etc. For the corner cupboard, I decided to keep all my dry goods – pastas, rice, beans, etc. Do what makes sense for you and consider how often you use the items to determine if they should be stored in your cupboard or pantry.
Step three: fill & organize
Containers are key. Taking items out of their packaging and putting them into containers makes your cupboards so much more visually appealing. It’s also so much easier to find what items you’re looking for. It’s also important to consider the placement of your containers – you want to make sure that it’s functional and that you can actually see what is stored in each container. This is why I used varying heights of containers, stacking the larger ones at the back of the cupboards and using shorter ones at the front. This will also help you avoid repurchasing items that you actually already have!
I used almost all dollar store items to organize my cupboards. Most of the glass containers ranged from $1.50-$3.00. I felt like this was the cheapest option compared to other glass containers. Ikea is also a good option for storage containers. They have a number of options that are reasonably priced. The two large glass containers I got from Walmart. I actually found it hard to find glass jars large enough for flour and this was the only option I could find locally. You can also order similar glass jars from Well.ca. I personally like to use glass as much as possible when storing food so I tend to stay away from plastic storage containers as I feel like it’s generally safer. I also used small baskets to hold miscellaneous items that I couldn’t put into a glass container – items such as honey, extracts, yeast, etc. I also got two larger baskets from the dollar store to hold bread and snacks.
Step four: label
There are so many options for labels. You can use a label maker (like I did), or get really fancy with your Cricut or Silhouette machine and make your own vinyl decals. I’ve also used wipeable, chalkboard labels before in the past (like these). I actually think the reusable labels are good option as you can use the jars for different items and don’t need to worry about making new labels.
For the basket labels, I just created the design on canva.com, printed them on some extra photo paper I had laying around, and then attached them to the baskets with some cute little clothes pegs from the dollar store.
Step five: stand back and admire your organized kitchen cupboards!
Now that everything is so organized, stand back and admire how stunning it all looks (’cause let’s be real… it probably won’t look like this for much longer and this is real life, not perfectly staged photo). It may seem like a daunting process and a lot of extra work, but I do think the pay off is worth it. Even if it’s doesn’t stay as pretty from when you first organized, your kitchen cupboards will be more streamlined and functional (and maybe it will encourage you to bake or cook more like it did for me!).
I hope you enjoyed my kitchen cupboard organization! Now to organize my pantry…. stay tuned! Don’t forget to check out my spice drawer organization blog post if you are really feeling like organizing your kitchen – I have free printable spice labels for you to use too!