Kitchen Cabinet Organization (as of July 2014)

Is there anything more annoying than kitchen cabinet organization? Once you think you have it figured out you scrap that idea and find a new, better way and wonder why it took you so long to realize it. Well, I can tell you that I’ve arranged and rearranged my cabinets several times since living in this house and at the moment I’m feeling pretty decent about what I have going on but there are still things I want to do.

Here is a picture that was actually taken about a year ago that shows my disfunctional spice cabinet. You’ll actually notice in the after picture that we have about twice as many items in the cabinet now than we had at that time and yet it’s way more useable space now.

Before Cabinet Organizer
Before Cabinet Organizer

To corral the chaos I bought this spice rack from Amazoncom.

Spice Rack from Amazon.com
Spice Rack from Amazon.com
Before you buy an organizer like this make sure you measure the inside space of your cabinet to ensure the organizer will fit when the door is CLOSED (that’s obviously really important so make sure you measure a few times). It was super inexpensive and Amazon has always shipped items extremely fast for me.

Now, once you have the organizer don’t just go screwing the thing into your beautiful wood cabinets because there are alot of ways to go wrong in this department. Hang the organizer where you think you would like it on the inside of the door using lots of painters tape or duct tape and then shut the door to ensure it closes. Adjust it if it doesn’t shut or adjust the shelves inside if they’re in the way. If it shuts and you think it’s good at this point try putting some of your spices inside (use the tallest spice jars you have) and put them on both ends of the spice rack on all tiers of the spice rack and try shutting the doors again. This make take lots of adjustments to get it just right. Even now, the way this rack fits inside my cupboard means I can’t put my taller spice jars on the second tier so consider which spices you want on which tier before you make your final adjustments and screw into your cabinet.

Here is the state of my spice cabinet today.

Spice Cabinet Organization 2014
Spice Cabinet Organization 2014
Spice Cabinet Organization 2014
Spice Cabinet Organization 2014

I put all of my bulk sized spices on the bottom shelf because those are the ones I access most often including my oil sprays. The second shelf has some spices I use for baking and don’t access as often as well as toothpicks and a plastic storage container that contains some prepackaged seasonings. The top shelf has duplicate spices or refill spices (like the large containers of salt/pepper etc) and extra oil sprays. In the spice rack itself I just fit as many of the small spice jars as possible to clear out the cabinet area and keep it cleaner over time.

You’ll notice that I still have some wasted space toward the top of the cabinet door.

Wasted Space at the top of the cabinet door.
Wasted Space at the top of the cabinet door.
If I’m ever feeling antsy I may try to put a magnetic strip and hang my super tiny spice jars. You know, like the mini allspice container etc? But at the moment it’s unneccesary and I have a million other projects to tackle. I also wouldn’t mind buying spice jars that were rectangular and wide. This spice rack as some extra room front to back (rather than side to side) so if I could find some skinny rectangular jars that would take up more room front to back and less room side to side I could probably fit several more spice jars on each row and really maximize the space I have and also make it prettier because all of the containers would match but I haven’t seen any jars that shape. If you see any let me know 🙂

Another one of the organization projects I’m pretty excited over is my medicine storage. Before it’s current state I had all of our medicine and vitamins stored in an old shoe box under my kitchen sink. As you can imagine everything gets jumbled around as you dig for what you need. Bottles of Nyquil tip over and leak and everything eventually becomes a sticky mess. So I went to Meijer and bought a cheap plastic organizer. I think this was around $10? I wanted something with taller drawers in it but this was all they had and I was desperate to get this handled quickly and didn’t want to look around different stores.

Medicine Storage
Medicine Storage
I labeled the top drawer “Pain Relief” and “other” because I put my dog’s medicine in that also. That has things like headache medicine and anti-inflamitory meds. The second drawer is “Stomach Relief” and has heart burn meds, acid reflux meds and things of that nature. The third drawer is labeled “Cold and Flu” and that obviously has cold medicines, immune system boosters etc.
Cold and Flu Medicine Drawer
Cold and Flu Medicine Drawer

Eventually, I will get some cuter labels but I just used what I had on hand for the mean time. Here’s everything I have under the cabinet. On the left door I have a sturdy metal basket that hangs on the door to hold my heavier items like vinegar (which I clean with ALL the time) and dish soap. I used to store those items in the basket underneath (bought from Meijer in the bathroom section).

Under Sink Storage
Under Sink Storage

It actually had suction cups on the back of it and was meant to hang items inside the shower but I just removed the suction cups. That basket is just hanging there on clear plastic Command hooks however they were a bit heavy for that method of hanging and the basket kept falling. So now I’m using it to hold sponges. The right side baskets are the same as that bottom basket and are also held up with Command Hooks. The top basket stores the opened liquid medicines that I wanted to store upright so I didn’t have to deal with leaks or spills. The bottom basket isn’t being used at this point but it’s room to grow. The woven brown basket in the back holds all of my floor cleaners for tile, hardwood, spotbot etc. You may just barely see the small light brown basket on the far left inside the cabinet. That holds my dishwasher detergent pods and my Swiffer duster and refills.

The other space I’m super excited about is this skinny little cabinet to the right of my dishwasher.

Skinny Cabinet Organization
Skinny Cabinet Organization
This used to have 3 shelves in it but they were basically useless. I removed the two bottom shelves and moved all of my trays, cookie sheets, cutting boards and pizza pans to that space and it is SOOOOO perfect for organization now. I freed up an entire cupboard that had them all jumbled up in there and they were always a pain to take out because a million trays were all stacked on top of one another. Now they’re neat, easy to keep like items next to one another and you don’t have to lift up a heavy stack to get to items on the bottom. MUCH BETTER!! One the shelf on top I have our kitchen trash bags, a scented wax warmer and in the basket behind the warmer are tea light candles for the warmer as well as long lighters for candles.

And just so I don’t bore you, here is the rest of my cabinets and the contents. I did ALOT of decluttering. I moved many of my husband’s dishware from his bachelor days, his old silverware, and some party buckets and things to the basement kitchen. I tried to think about things like putting all of the coffee cups and k-cups, teas etc in the cupboard above the Keurig Coffee Machine. The plastic storage containers between the fridge and stove, etc.

I know there are more organization solutions in my future but for now this works 🙂

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