Cleaning, Organizing, Purging Kitchen

Kitchen Cabinet Organization – My Big C.O.P. Project In My Kitchen Is Finished!

About four weeks ago, I showed y’all the state of my back wall of cabinets in our kitchen. These cabinets had no organization to them whatsoever. I had planned to give myself two weeks to get these cabinets organized, but then I came down with a cold and didn’t feel well for a few days, so that got me off schedule. But the project is now finished! I now have actual kitchen cabinet organization. I know what each cabinet holds, and I can find things easily. No more rummaging through cabinets to find that one particular thing I’m looking for.

Here’s a quick view of my kitchen cabinet organization on the back wall of the kitchen…

kitchen cabinet organization
kitchen cabinet organization
kitchen cabinet organization

Since so many of the shelves were missing (I explained why here), I decided to go ahead and make all new shelves, even replacing the few shelves that I still had. I used 3/4-inch birch plywood and cut them to size to fit into the cabinets, and then tested to be sure they would fit.

making new kitchen cabinet shelves out of 3/4-inch plywood - before edge banding

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And then I finished off the front edge of each shelf with iron-on birch edge banding. You can see the huge difference that makes on the shelves in the photo below where the top shelf has edge banding, and the bottom two don’t…

making kitchen cabinet shelves out of 3/4-inch birch plywood - one with edge banding compared to plywood without edge banding

I ended up only using two shelves in that cabinet, but here they both are with the edge banding…

finished new kitchen cabinet shelves made of 3/4-inch birch plywood with edge banding

Doesn’t that look nice? And it’s very quick and easy! I found the 3/4-inch birch edge banding at Lowe’s (I think they had oak and birch in stock), and you just iron it on with your regular iron on the “cotton” setting. It’s very simple! And you can trim it with scissors.

So let me show you in more detail my newly organized cabinets.

This cabinets on the bottom left started out like this…

kitchen cabinets before organization

The left cabinet had been used to hold all of my plastic storage containers, but they were all so old and stained that I recently got rid of them. So this cabinet was empty. The next one was missing a shelf and just had stuff (mostly cans and bags of cashews and almonds) piled at the bottom.

Now the left cabinet is specifically for Felicity’s food — dry food on the top shelf, wet food on the bottom shelf. And I also keep the tiny food processor in here that I use to puree her wet food. If I don’t puree her wet food, she just licks the liquid out of the bowl and leaves behind the shreds of chicken/fish/turkey. So I have to puree it each time so that she’ll eat all of it. 😀

kitchen cabinet after organization -- cat food storage

And the next cabinet is now Cooper’s cabinet where I keep some of his treats, his probiotic chews, and Dinovite, which I add to his food each day. Most of what Cooper eats is stored in the refrigerator, so he doesn’t need as much cabinet space as Felicity.

kitchen cabinet after organization - dog treats and food storage

The next cabinet used to look like this…

kitchen cabinets before organization - canned foods

And now it is used to store our plastic tumblers (no glass glasses in our house because they get broken too easily), and the few metal tumblers that we have (minus the two that we use pretty much all day every day).

kitchen cabinet after organization - drinking glasses, juice cups, and metal tumblers

The next cabinet over is where we store the dishes, but I had two wire shelves in here, and there was a mishap where one of the wire shelves (which barely fit on the shelf anyway) moved forward just a tad as I was getting a plate, and the whole shelf fell and a lot of the dishes wound up in a pile of broken pieces on the floor.

kitchen cabinet before organization - wire shelves that aren't stable

So I got rid of those wire shelves and replaced them with new plywood shelves, and my dishes have a home again. I still haven’t replaced the ones that were broken. I was left with one pasta bowl, one cereal bowl, and quite a few chipped dinner and salad plates. Now that I have sturdy shelves, I can replace the ones that were broken and damaged.

kitchen cabinet after organization - new birch plywood shelves to hold dishes

And to finish up the bottom cabinets, here’s what the two bottom right looked like before…

kitchen cabinets before organization - small appliances

In the left cabinet, I kept the hand mixer, the two mini waffle makers, and the larger waffle maker, which are now organized on the two new shelves. The other two items (an immersion mixer and electric knife) found a home elsewhere in the kitchen.

kitchen cabinet after organization - small appliances

The right cabinet didn’t change much. It still holds my ice cream maker and food processor, but it did get a new shelf.

kitchen cabinet with small appliances after organization

And now for the upper cabinets. The two cabinets on the far right were a big jumbled mess. Both were missing shelves, and both were victims of my “open and toss” method of storage.

kitchen cabinet before organization -- items thrown in and stacked, shelves missing

I emptied those out completely, added new shelves, and now the cabinet on the far left holds our protein powders, electrolyte mixes, etc.

kitchen cabinet organization

The one next to it holds our empty gel caps and gel cap maker (i.e., the tool you use to fill empty gel caps with whatever you want in them). And the bottom shelf holds a basket (I bought two sets of these little baskets that are the perfect size for my narrow cabinets) that holds vitamins and supplements that are specifically mine.

kitchen cabinets after organization using small baskets

The next cabinets over used to be a mishmash of human supplements, dog probiotics, dog ear drops, Keto Mojo testing stuff (It tests ketones and blood sugar), and other random items.

kitchen cabinets before organization

Now these cabinets hold a basket of plastic utensils (top left), a soup tureen (which could go in the pantry if I ever need to store something more useful on that shelf), my mortar and pestle on the bottom left, and a basket that now holds the Keto Mojo and all of the associated testing strips and lancets.

kitchen cabinets after organization using small baskets

The next cabinet over was another jumbled mess of vitamins and supplements. (As I said before, Matt gets a little overly zealous with the purchasing of vitamins and supplements, so we end up with quite a stockpile. 😀 )

kitchen cabinets before organization

These two cabinets now look like this — coffee cups on the top left, a basket filled with some “overstock” vitamins and supplements on the top right, Matt’s daily vitamins and supplements in a basket on the bottom left, and my little electric coffee maker on the bottom right.

kitchen cabinet organization -- small items stored in baskets

And finally, the last two upper cabinets on the far right used to look like this…

kitchen cabinets before organization and with shelves missing

It was yet another jumbled mess of coffees, teas, sweeteners, and plastic utensils.

Now the cabinet on the left holds my coffee grinder and French press on the top shelf, and a basket with my coffees on the bottom.

kitchen cabinet for storage of coffee items

I should probably switch the items on this top shelf with the electric coffee maker in the cabinet to the left because 7 times out of 10 when I drink coffee, I use a French press instead of an electric coffee maker. So that French press needs to be on a lower shelf where I can reach it easier.

And then the cabinet on the far right now holds my stevia packets in the basket, stevia liquid and Sweet N Low on the bottom shelf (and yes, I use all three 😀 ), and then my tea on the top shelf.

kitchen cabinet for storage of tea items

So it took me two weeks longer than I had planned for my kitchen cabinet organization on this back wall of cabinets, but it finally got done! And now that this is done, and with the skillet storage that I showed you yesterday, that just leaves me with two cabinets (the two upper cabinets on either side of the stove) that could use some organization (and cleaning, and purging), and that will leave me with a 100% organized kitchen.

I know some of you are probably asking, “But what about the food that you took out of the cabinet. Where did that go?”

Well, don’t forget that we have an entire bank of cabinets on the other side of the peninsula…

cabinets on back of kitchen peninsula used as food pantry

That’s where we store food items like items for baking (flours, sugar, etc.), canned good, broths, etc. Those cabinets on the back wall of the kitchen were never meant to store pantry items, but during that period of time when Matt and I turned our breakfast room into a bedroom while the actual bedroom was being remodeled, I got into the habit of putting canned foods into that one cabinet on the back wall of cabinets, as well as one large drawer in the walk-in pantry, so that I could access them easily. And then I just never broke the habit after the bedroom was ready for us to move into it. But now that I have actual organization systems in place in that back wall of cabinets, I’m going back the original plan of using the peninsula cabinets as our food pantry.

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8 Comments

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angie
    March 29, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    Looks great! I love how bright the inside of the cabinets are with the light colored birch. I’m curious, did you clear coat your shelves before putting them in? Just wondering about the ease of cleaning them off in the event something leaks/spills.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      March 29, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      I didn’t clear coat these, and I’ve never clear coated any of the rest of them (like the pull-out shelves in the cabinet to the left of the stove that holds my pots, pans, lids, handles, etc.), but I’m actually thinking that I might take a day and go back and clear coat everything. I’d hate to go to all of this trouble customizing my cabinets only to have them wind up stained. So I probably will give everything a coat or two of General Finishes High Performance Topcoat before I call my kitchen organization projects finished.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Danielle
    March 29, 2022 at 12:07 pm

    Wow! I have been dreading this job. I am also an open and throw kind of storage gal. 😂
    You give me motivation!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    elle
    March 29, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    Looks wonderful! I have a LOT more stuff in my cabinets, but I don’t have a wonderful walk-in pantry LOL. I really like using ribbed plastic shelf liner on my shelves to protect them from stains and from wear. You can get narrow widths for upper cabinets as well as wider widths for lower cabinets. It is easy to trim them to size with scissors.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Eileen
    March 29, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    Pretty spectacular!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Hornung
    March 29, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    Everything looks wonderful, and now you can access the things you need without guessing, or digging around…I just noticed yesterday I have a cabinet that is now a open and toss kind of place…that will need some work soon too. Congrats on such a big accomplishment. That has to feel wonderful! Inspiration for all of us.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs. Kelley Dibble
    March 29, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    OUTSTANDING JOB!

    And we have an identical ice cream maker, too! However, I freeze the paddle inside the bucket as well.

    👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
    *hugs*
    ~Kelley

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    March 29, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Kristi, your house is so colorful and pretty! No bland builder’s beige for you, lol. And the organization is just the icing on the cake. Well done!