We recently worked with Meredith of the Westport, CT-based organizing service House of Prim to organize kitchen drawers (and our pantry, coming next week!) and I’m excited to share the before and afters with you today! It was such an eye-opening experience for me to work with a professional organizer for the first time — I’m always drawn to organizing content online and love the idea of living with super streamlined systems, but I find the process of creating them myself pretty daunting and the results have rarely been very appealing or, more importantly, very lasting.
Having two objective people come evaluate our kitchen storage capabilities and take out literally every single pot, pan, and utensil before creating new systems to put everything back in its place was such a huge help (and worthwhile investment!). I’m genuinely excited to maintain the systems they put in place going forward.
How To Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets And Drawers
REASONS TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER
I think the biggest takeaways from this process for me were 1) truly thorough organizing takes time — the best approach is to empty every single cabinet and drawer and donate what you have duplicates of or no longer use before you put anything back in, and that process isn’t something that can be completed in a spare hour or two.
And 2) my previous system of large bins and baskets wasn’t working until Meredith and Bruno added many smaller bins that created a place for every single thing from bottle openers in our utensil drawer to pens in our junk drawer. So basically, effective organizing takes much more time and more product than I’ve allowed for in my own past attempts!
With our kitchen and our pantry in particular, the impact of having solid systems in place has been significant.
Having organized kitchen cabinets and drawers makes it easier to find everything you need when you’re cooking, and having designated drawers for kids’ stuff (silicone bibs, plastic utensils, sippy cups) makes it more likely they’ll help themselves over time. And a professional organizer can really help you see your storage options in a new light and then optimize each cabinet and drawer for maximum functionality without compromising your overall aesthetic.
I was honestly feeling a little guilty going into this project because home organization is something I could technically do myself, but when I saw how efficiently Meredith and her team worked together as well as the end result, I admitted to myself that hiring a professional organizer really made the difference between actually getting our kitchen cabinets organized once and for all and me just talking about it and never getting around to executing it for the next several years.
So if you’ve been on the fence about hiring someone to help you around your house (whether it’s with organizing, painting, landscaping, anything!), I hope you’ll take this post as a sign that it’s okay to outsource and that there are phases of life when seeking others’ help and expertise can actually mean the difference between a beautiful finished product and next to no progress at all!
HOW TO ORGANIZE KITCHEN CABINETS
The ladies behind House of Prim were kind enough to share some of their go-to products for kitchen cabinet organization and I hope their recommendations will help make the task of organizing your kitchen cabinets less daunting for some of you!
1. How to organize pots and pans.
We were previously using two drawers and the cabinet under our stove to corral all our pots, pans, and various lids and it was never easy to find what you were looking for when you needed it. This metal rack for organizing pans (and this one for cutting boards!) is perfect for creating easy access under the stove, and this pot lid organizer takes up only half of one cabinet shelf (we had previously installed these pull-out cabinet drawers to make the lower cabinets function more like drawers).
2. How to organize under the stove and under the sink.
These adhesive acrylic bins for the back of cabinet doors are an amazing way to increase storage space in your kitchen. Meredith and her team added one underneath our stove to house our oven mitts (which we were previously stuffing at the top of one of the kitchen utensil drawers!) and another underneath our sink for dishwasher pods. I don’t have a picture, but they used these acrylic bins to store dish soap and cleaning supplies under the sink as well.
HOW TO ORGANIZE KITCHEN DRAWERS
We prioritized adding kitchen drawers as opposed to shelved cabinets when we renovated our kitchen a couple years ago and I highly recommend it if you’re embarking on a kitchen renovation! Here’s how the House of Prim team organized our kitchen drawers.
Our kitchen drawers before…
…and our kitchen drawers after!
1. Use bamboo drawer dividers and drawer organizers for cooking utensils, flatware, and serving pieces.
You can see in the before photo above that my previous “system” left way too much open space for pieces to roll around, whereas appropriately spaced bamboo drawer dividers (also available in a taller height for deeper drawers) create a designated place for everything to be grouped in like categories (kitchen tongs, metal whisks, silicone spatulas, etc.). This bamboo silverware tray is perfect for everyday flatware and these bamboo drawer organizers work well for smaller pieces like cheese knives, measuring cups and spoons, meat thermometers, etc.
2. How to organize your spice drawer.
I had previously had a hard time finding a low spice drawer insert that would fit in our shallow top drawer, but of course Meredith came to the rescue! This wooden spice drawer insert, these glass spice jars, and these gorgeous labels took our spice drawer to the next level and even freed up space in the back of the drawer for the sweetener Will uses in his iced coffee. It makes me so happy to open up this very aesthetically pleasing drawer!
Our junk drawer and ziploc bag / aluminum foil drawer before…
…and our ziploc bag and aluminum foil drawers after!
3. How to organize ziploc bags and aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc.
I fell in love with these wooden boxes for ziploc bags, which we use to pack Teddy’s snack for school. This is one of those quick and easy swaps that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without! Meredith and her team also added these bamboo wrap docks for smaller rolls of aluminum foil and plastic wrap and more bamboo drawer dividers for oversized rolls in the drawer below. Quite the improvement from the before photo, no?!
4. How to organize your junk drawer.
Every kitchen has one… or if yours doesn’t, will you tell me your secret? Our junk drawer houses pens and pencils, scissors and tape, matchboxes, extra chargers, a lint roller, and now this beautiful acrylic battery organizer. You might have noticed Meredith and her team swapped our small junk drawer for a larger one on the other side of the kitchen and brought in this acrylic drawer organizer starter kit to maximize the newfound storage space.
Our kids’ drawer before…
…and our kids’ drawers after!
5. How to organize baby bottles, sippy cups, etc.
The kids’ drawer was previously a giant mess where everyday essentials like plates and bowls lived alongside rarely used novelties like popsicle molds and seasonal items (which found a new home in the pantry that I’ll share next week!). Meredith carved out space to give both Teddy and Peter their own kitchen drawers, giving Teddy access to his own utensils, cups, etc. and using multiple sizes of these iDesign acrylic bins with these Home Edit bin organizers to create homes for Peter’s bottles, bibs, and snack cups.
A PRETTY AND PRACTICAL SOLUTION FOR ORGANIZING YOUR KITCHEN COUNTERTOP
In a perfect world, our kitchen counter would be clear of all small appliances and home to nothing more than a vase of fresh flowers, but sadly that’s proven unrealistic in a galley style kitchen with four adults and two small children. We use our pantry for food storage and to house our microwave, but we still have a coffee maker and toaster oven that live on the kitchen counter along the back wall and I wanted to find a way to store our most used cooking essentials that’s both pretty and practical.
Okay I think I’ve written just about everything I can think to say about organizing kitchen cabinets and drawers, but overall we’re so happy with how it turned out and grateful to the team at House of Prim for translating our goals for the space into a fully functional and beautiful reality. (Highly recommend them if you’re local and stumped on organizing part of your home!) I hope this post was helpful to some of you and I’ll be back next week with photos of our newly organized pantry that makes me happy every time I walk past it… It really is the little things!
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*photos by Julia Dags