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DIY - Kitchen Organization Ideas

how to get the most of a small kitchen

One of my goals this year is to bring organization to most of the rooms in our house. I used to be organized, but lately, with all the projects I get myself into, that organization has been less than desired.

The kitchen is one of the spaces that quickly gets out of whack. Since it's the place we love to spend our time in, it gets messy quickly.

This is how the kitchen looked when I presented it to you. This picture below was taken during the holidays.

white kitchen with dark brown island and red accents

It looks like the perfect kitchen, but you know, it's a small kitchen, well, a very small kitchen, and of course, it is not perfect. The biggest trouble I have is storage space.

I have to store all of my utensils in only three drawers, and as you can see in the picture below, those drawers needed organization to make them look better. 

Drawer No. 2 is my biggest embarrassment. :/

kitchen stove and drawer tower with disorganized drawers

That drawer in the kitchen island stores most of the silverware we use daily. It's somewhat organized, but it can be improved. I already hate those plastic dividers. Can you see all that wasted space on the left?

UPDATE: The drawer in the kitchen island is done! I love how it looks now, and it stores way more items than with this configuration below. You can check that update right HERE.
kitchen island with drawers disorganized

However, the space that keeps on bugging me is the cabinet above the fridge. It's always been this big mess and wasted space all at the same time. I need to fix this soon!

ONE MORE UPDATE: This cabinet -above the fridge- was also organized. :)  

You can check how it looks now right HERE.
cabinet above the stainless steel fridge disorganized

Oh well, now that that secret's out, I feel much better. :)  I promise I'm going to work on that.

On another note, not everything is a big jumble mess. I feel happy and proud of some other projects I've tackled around the kitchen, and I know you might also like to incorporate those storage solutions in your kitchen.

Let's check them out!
An organized pantry cabinet with pull out shelves.

1. Install pull-out shelves in the pantry

This project was done a year ago, and it was a pretty straightforward project to tackle. I can find any goods in there, and it has always stayed organized.

an inexpensive diy plate rack is installed inside the cabinet

2. Install a plate rack inside a cabinet. 

Getting rid of a cabinet door and installing a plate rack inside that cabinet was all the work done here.
Let me tell you that by removing a couple of those cabinet doors, the entire kitchen was opened up tremendously. 

Building and installing a plate rack is a simple and very economical project that not only keeps those plates organized and very accessible but also adds lots of charm to the kitchen.

glasses cabinets need to be properly divided to take the most space out of them

3. I haven't done this, but while editing this picture, I proved I need to add an extra shelf to store more small glasses in this cabinet.

dimensions of plate racks

4. Build display racks 

Display racks are excellent for having regular plates handy on your countertop where young kids can grab them easily, but you can also place these racks inside cabinets to store the bakeware (see the above picture).

take advantage of your counter space to store a few items in your kitchen

5. A utensil canister 

Having a utensil canister is a necessity in small kitchens like mine. Wooden spoons, whisks, spatulas, they all have to go there.

6. A knife block 

Talk about decluttering those drawers! I got my knife block at a thrift store for only a few bucks.

glass jars storing rice, sugar, flour on kitchen countertop

7. Food canisters 

They are super functional in your kitchen, freeing space from your pantry and simply looking good whenever you store them.

store glass ware or other items inside a kitchen shelf

8. Add a shelf extension to your kitchen island. 

Storage space is always welcome, and more even so in a small kitchen.

keep those items that you used most frequently at the sink out of sight.

9. Install kitchen sink tip-outs

At first, I thought about keeping the dreaded sponge out of sight in this space, but I didn't like it there. 

Instead, the two little pull-out trays store the can opener, vegetable peeler, and brushes. The other tray stores eyeglass cleaning supplies.

where to place the dreaded sponge around or in the kitchen sink

The sponge got its nice drying rack right there inside the sink. ;)

install hooks inside the kitchen cabinet doors and hang measuring spoons there.

10. On the Cabinet Door, Measuring cups and Spoons Storage

The measuring cups and spoons were the first items I took out of the kitchen cabinets when the decluttering started. A big wooden ruler was cut into three pieces and painted...

small hooks used to hang measuring cup and spoons in kitchen.

Eye hooks were then attached.

Cristina GAray organizing kitchen measuring spoons and cups

And here I'm installing them on the cabinet door. My daughter laughed at me when she snapped this pic; according to her, I was ready to burn my butt. :D
inside the cabinet door is used to store measuring cups and spoons

The On the Cabinet Door Measuring cups and Spoons Storage is done!

I can't wait to tackle those drawers! No. 1 got half empty now. ;)

How about you? What's the biggest messy spot in your kitchen?


  1. Christina, no need to look down in shame over that drawer, we all have "that" drawer. When you find a solution for above the fridge cabinet let me know. i use mine for baskets .

  2. Christina,
    You always have the very best ideas, going to pin this one!

  3. Great ideas! I have a few drawers that look like that. I thought that was normal lol.

  4. Que grandes ideas Cristina, en la cocina es tan importante el orden como la limpieza, tus consejos son muy prácticos .
    Un abrazo

  5. I just made an offer on a house and IF I get it, I get to create a whole new kitchen since I will be turning the existing kitchen into a to.die.for laundry room...anywho, I love all these ideas...great suggestions! BTW, I am dying over your outfit...only because I thought I was the ONLY person who DIYed in (what looks like) my!!!

  6. Just finished a major de-cluttering...linens/meds/bathroom and kitchen. Found 1/2 gal wide mouth canning jars to store dry goods like flour and sugar..the whole process has been quite gratifying. Would love to do your measuring spoon/cup project (I work at Home Depot), but don't have the nerve to drill holes in my beautiful cherry wood cabinets. Any other suggestions for adhesion that wouldn't damage the wood?

    1. I use the clear, mini-sized Command hooks inside my pantry; they work great!

  7. Beck, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you! How exciting it all sounds like. - I guess that's the uniform for us diy'ers, comfy and warm these days and topping it off with inside-out husband's socks! :)

  8. Nancy in novato, I wish I had the space to store all my dry goods in canning jars, beautiful! For the measuring spoon/cup project I think attaching the strips of wood with double-sided tape would work great.
    I found out there's kind of a rattling sound each time I open the door, I'm getting used to open it slowly. Anyways it's way better than having them inside the drawer.

  9. I wish my kitchen was half as neat as yours! I feel like I have so much wasted spacec in my kitchen (we have two sets of glass doored cabinets so I hate putting anything in there that doesn't look good)
    Yours looks amazing though!

    xoxo, SS

  10. You inspire me Cristina! Your kitchen is fantastic just the way it is but I am looking forward to all of your organizational ideas.

  11. I seriously need to do what you did with your measuring spoons Cristina!

  12. Hola Cristina ! Que buenas ideas psra tener toda la cocina organizada ,, me gusto mucho la idea de los cajones de la despensa , el rack de platos y el colgador de cucharas de distinto tamaño

  13. Awesome! I love your measuring hangers and the picture of you installing them you are so cute! If you saw my drawers you would feel really good about your number 2 drawer. Seriously! :) I have been needing to do some serious organizing projects in my kitchen for a while, in fact your pull out pantry shelves have been on my list I am glad to know they have stayed organized...Pinned!

  14. I love the shelf at the end of the island. Your white china in there is lovely. The hooks for your measuring cups and spoons is fabulous.

  15. Wow ~ when can I schedule you to come over and organize my kitchen! What a fantastic job you have done. I really love your pantry too.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  16. Above my Refrigerator I opted to not have doors. I use it for kitchen décor and lg. pieces like my big red lobster pot that I don't use to often. I love having that extra decorating space.

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