Organization Ideas for a Kitchen Cabinet Overhaul

I’m sharing something today that has been hanging over my head for far too long- it is both the biggest relief and most embarrassing collection of “before” photos I’ve shared. But, I don’t even care because my kitchen cabinets are finally cleaned out, decluttered, and organized! Seriously, a drawer here and there was child’s play compared to what was waiting on the other side of those doors. And I knew it. But as terrible as I thought it would be, I was able to tackle the entire space by dedicating a few hours over a two-day period. When it comes to kitchen disaster, there is little truth in the adage “out of sight, out of mind”. Sure, it was out of sight enough to stay in denial but it certainly wasn’t out of mind… with each space tackled, I feel a little less weight on my shoulders. (or in this case, a LOT less weight) ;). If you’re in denial too, hopefully these organization ideas for a kitchen cabinet overhaul are just what you need to get goin’.

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I am thankful to have a lot of cabinets but no matter how many you have, they always seem to be filled to the brim. Even though it’s just Dave and I, we cook almost every night and I keep a lot on hand for entertaining. But, there was a TON of stuff we had accumulated that we never touched. Ever. And we certainly don’t use our THREE knife blocks. No exaggeration haha.

Neutral Kitchen with SW Perfect Greige paint and cream cabinets

Before I take you through each and every cabinet, I wanted to share my new obsession- if you follow me on Instagram stories, you already know this ๐Ÿ˜‰ These Naan dippers with La Terra Fina Spinach & Artichoke dip (both from Costco) is life changing. Put this on your list FOR SURE.

How to Style a Traditional Kitchen Island for Spring with Tulips

Available Sources: Recycled Wine Bottle Glasses | Turkish Tea Towel | White Tray (similar)

Naan Dippers with Spinach Artichoke Dip

As I worked my way through through the kitchen, with each cabinet I approached, I would first take everything out and empty it in its entirety before taking a vacuum to it – cabinet by cabinet, drawer by drawer. Also, the morning I shot these photos, I washed everything that was available by hand, to give an accurate representation of all these cabinets contain ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ok, here we go…


The cabinet above our double stove is pretty high up. I still keep some entertaining pieces on display in the breakfast nook, and others even in the basement but platters, melamine glasses, vases, etc. are stored in the kitchen in this space. And… this is what it looked like. *rips the bandaid off*

Before Organizing the Platters and Entertaining Supplies

I had so much shoved in there out of laziness, and probably had every color picnic-ware you could ask for. I filled three boxes of kitchen supplies for donations and several items came from this cabinet. When I finished, I was even able to bring in some pieces that were awkwardly stored haphazardly in other “prime” cabinets. I pared my melamine wine/deck glasses down to three sets; there are still about 20 here. After conquering this cabinet, I had more motivation to continue on.

Organization ideas and solutions for platters and entertaining pieces

I actually added these two classic platters to my collection this past week and they are on sale at a FANTASTIC price right now.


Lidded baking and casserole dishes are a staple of a southern kitchen. Mine had become so out of sorts, I didn’t even know what we had.

Before Organizing the Casserole Dishes

I grouped like items and here’s where I ended up.

Organizing baking and casserole dishes in the kitchen

This set of Pyrex (with the double decker tote) gets a major workout in our house. We also use our French White Corning Ware casserole dishes every week.

I MAY consider a door rack for the lids but wanted to live with this configuration for just a bit before determining. If you have more space, you can get an inexpensive lid organizer (HERE).

Organizing Glass Baking Dishes - corningware and pyrex


I mentioned we had three knife blocks- one we use on our counter, one in the basement we’ve been “holding onto”, and for some reason, one taking up all the space in this cabinet. This cabinet is used primarily for cutting boards but with an awkward shelving height we never bothered to adjust, all the boards were stored stacked. Like this. (Ok, kind of stacked haha). On the top shelf- a food saver that doesn’t belong there, a press, and water bottles that were likely picked up in a conference swag bag that have never been used.

Before Organizing the Kitchen Cutting Boards

Basically, a mini black hole. I took everything out and had Dave adjust the shelving up to clear the largest cutting board, on its side. I found this $4 four-sort divider (HERE) which worked perfectly to position the boards vertically. The top shelf became the new home to my cheese/appetizer boards that aren’t kept on display and I still had room for my big ‘ole Le Creuset stockpot that won’t fit in the pot and pan drawers.

Ideas for storing and organizing cutting boards in a vertical rack

If you’ve never had your cutting boards stored vertically, take it from me- it makes a HUGE difference.

Cutting Board organization ideas in the kitchen cabinets


One of our worst cabinets was this double beast which was dedicated to holding plastic food storage. The whole. Dang. Thing. Oh- and random goodies without dedicated homes. (To be honest, that was the case with all of my cabinets). I even had trays and platters my mom tried to sell at a yardsale over 10 years ago. I like a lot of food storage because leftovers are a staple in our house and we always have several in use, but we had far too many that had definitely seen better days.ย 

Before organizing the food storage cabinet

I kept a few large pieces for freezer batches but ultimately decided to toss the old and purchase a new, cohesive set that would fit together and store nicely. I went with this 42-piece set for under $38 and was shocked at how small the box was when it arrived. BECAUSE THEY ALL FIT TOGETHER SO WELL. Sorry to be shout-y but finally deciding to divorce my 12 year old pieces was hard for this hoarding heart of mine, but SO paid off.

Because the cabinet is deep and difficult to access, I knew I wanted some pull-out drawers on gliders installed. These are the Medium and are part of the Elfa sale (good through this weekend!)- I scored them for $13 each and Dave was able to install in 10 minutes. You can find the gliders separately HERE. I also wanted a solution for my drying mats; I found this placemat holder with open sides that couldn’t have been a more perfect fit. This is the result…

Food storage and tupperware container organization ideas

I used this small 4-sort divider (for $3.99) to organize and separate the lids. this 42-piece setย actually snaps together, which I love.

Rubbermaid food storage containers organized in the kitchen cabinets

On the other side, I corralled baking supplies and nested the mixing bowls on the upper shelf. It was liberating to part with the army I had accumulated and pare my collection down to a “small platoon”.

Container Store Elfa roll out drawers for baking supplies

Every single thing is SO easy to access now.

Organizing Baking Supplies in a roll out cabinet drawer


The colanders (and random friends) were a wreck. After being able to move some of these into other cabinets, I had more than enough room to store some of the larger food storage I already had for large batches of dinners that we use for the freezer.

Before organizing the kitchen colanders

Freezer containers to hold on to when decluttering the kitchen


Dave and I are creatures of habit. 99% of the time, we use Tervis tumblers, Yeti, and cups with straws.

Before Organizing the Drinking Glasses and Cups

Glass sets that were down to three or random glasses (why do we have a Coca Cola glass?!) were put in the donation pile and I rearranged each shelf by putting what we use most often toward the bottom.

Decluttering and cleaning out drinking glasses


Our cabinet that holds plates was probably the least terrible. But, I still had random one-off plates that I never used (and have no idea how they found their way into our kitchen in the first place).

Before kitchen plates were organized

After discarding the outcasts, I was actually able to add more seasonal plates and melamine deck plates that had been in the top of a guest bedroom closet.

How to organizing dining plates when you have a lot

Available Sources: Buffet Plates | Serving Bowl

The rack of buffet plates (HERE) are a huge help when you’re hosting a large group of people; it fits perfectly inside the cabinet, too.


The next cabinet is dedicated to bowls and coffee mugs. Disregard the fact that we are in desperate need of adding a center support haha. I tossed old chipped bowls and donated over half of the mugs. The majority of small, multi-colored bowls were also donated. (We still have a TON but use them often ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Before Organizing the Kitchen Bowl Cabinet

And, now, I can breathe much easier ๐Ÿ˜‰

Organizing Bowls and Dishes in the cabinet

There isn’t much center weight but the shelves are still warped. Again, we will be in the market for a support solution.

Ideas and tips for kitchen cabinet organization

Available Sources: K-Cup Organizer

By the way, my k-cup organizer is perfect inside the cabinet. Each drawer pulls out and down and is a huge space saver.


When I was going through my “before” photos, I was so disappointed to find that I either never took a photo of the appliance cabinet, or, I lost it. This was by far the most terrible of all so you’ll just have to use your imagination. Envision this- 93845 appliances; random, small appliance parts thrown in on top in disarray; overflow pots and pans, and all the crumbs known to man from taking the toaster/grill in and out. This thing was bursting at the seams. After the random pieces were able to find homes in other cabinets, I cleared out the appliances, set aside what we didn’t use to donate, and gave the vacuum a hard-core workout. I shared some of the random finds in my Instagram stories (so many of you helped me identify little pieces of “what the heck is this?!” haha). (Side note, our Instant Pot was in use this day – it now sits in front of the crock pot that I haven’t parted with just yet since I haven’t tried the slow cooker function on the Instant Pot just yet – I am hoping I will love it enough to get rid of my regular crock pot).

Kitchen Appliance Organization Ideas in the Kitchen Island

For the small appliance pieces (we all have ’em!), I didn’t want something to clip over the door that would show from the outside and in a pinch, I searched my basement for small, narrow-ish basket that was woven. I used sticky, no-residue command hooks (HERE) to hang the woven basket and it worked perfectly. Note- I had to position it on the far side of the door to allow for clearance. If you have too much in your cabinets, this may not work but if you have a little depth space, this was the perfect easy solution to corral all those little pieces.

Hanging a storage basket inside the cabinet for small appliance parts

Green Recycled Drink Glasses for Classic Kitchens

Did that stress you out or put you one step closer to tackling your own cabinets? I’ll be sharing a full kitchen organization round-up soon, but in the meantime, check my organization gallery (HERE) to see the other spaces I’ve tackled throughout the kitchen (and the rest of my home). If you aren’t already, subscribe to my emails below and don’t miss any upcoming projects.

Scroll & Tap to Shop Favorite Cabinet Organizers

How to Organize and declutter your kitchen cabinets

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  1. 2.10.18
    Piper said:

    You did an awesome job on this Kelly! Lots of work, but each space looks fantastic!

  2. 2.10.18
    Tracey said:

    I love love your organization posts! So many great ideas and products. I have a suggestion for your sagging shelves in your bowls/coffee mug cabinet: lift the shelves out and flip them over! Iโ€™ve always done that with bookshelves too.

  3. 2.10.18
    Karen said:

    Great job! You always make me laugh!!

  4. 2.10.18

    Looks great Kelley. I use very similar systems in our kitchen. I store our baking pans/sheets using those inexpensive dividers and then use command hooks to store our most used cutting boards on the back of the door to the same cabinet. Making grabbing one a breeze. And, I am all for a set of matching food storage containers!

  5. 2.11.18
    Jackie said:

    Nice job!! Thanks for some great ideas ๐Ÿ™‚ For your sagging shelves, for now you could just flip the shelves over until you get some supports in there ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. 2.11.18

    Feels so good to simply mark things as done on the “To do list”, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ Good job!

  7. 2.11.18
    Penny said:

    I am so inspired by your organization projects! Iโ€™m currently working on my own kitchen cabinet by cabinet. Your blog has been so helpful during the process! How/ where do you store cookbooks? Iโ€™ve donated some and trashed others but want to keep a few favorites. Any ideas are welcome. Thanks Kelley!

  8. 2.11.18
    Marci said:

    Excellent job!! I too have a bowl/coffee cabinet with the exception of the warped shelves. My cabinets came with the same holes and shelf pins centered on the back wall of the cabinet and on the wood upright between the cabinet doors as used on the ends of the shelves. These centered shelf pins have done an excellent job of keeping my shelf flat and level. With a little math, I sure you can drill holes and add pins. Flip the shelves over and let them flatten out. Enjoy your New cabinets.

  9. 2.11.18
    Jane said:


    Love your kitchen. What color are your cabinets?

  10. 2.11.18
    Cecilia said:

    Kelley, I am overwhelmed by your energy! I have an addiction to plates from Pier One but I have no room to store any more (this became obvious when I found a set stuck behind the plastic food savers). So you have inspired me to down size on almost everything. This rainy weather was a perfect inside project. Thanks for your inspiration!

    • 3.19.23
      Sandy said:

      I’m in the middle of moving to a larger home and have been working on solutions for organizing all the cabinets. Loved some of your ideas and will be trying them out. This will be the first home I’m not having to rush to get into so I’m trying to organize ahead of moving into. Hope it’s my forever home!!!

      • 3.19.23

        Congratulations to you on your new home, Sandy! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and am happy to know that some of these ideas are helpful to you.

  11. 2.13.18
    Cheryl said:

    We had a similar issue with sag in a closet shelf. We took out the shelf , flipped it over so the “sag” was now a “hump” and replaced our stuff (but not as much). This cost free and easy solution worked! It’s been 2 years now and so far so goodโ˜บ. No support needed!

  12. 2.13.18
    Tamara said:

    This is seriously brilliant – I am in DIRE need of an overhaul…what an awesome job Kelley!! You are the queen of this stuff! xo

  13. 2.6.19
    Ikonni said:

    Wonderful organization of the cabinets Kelley. Great work and thanks for sharing this!

  14. 8.24.19
    Linda baldwin said:

    Let be your ideas, and the appliance cabinet. Iโ€™m trying to declutter the counter tops and I feel I need to streamline the cabinets so I can get some things out of sight. Where do you store your pot and pans and their lids?


  15. 1.14.20

    Alot of notes taking on how I can organize my kitchen better. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 3.9.20

      Wonderful! I am so happy I could help! ๐Ÿ™

  16. 4.29.20
    Tracy said:

    Great, great ideas! I love things to be ultra-organized and so does my brain ๐Ÿ˜‰. One of my favorite organizing gadgets are the metal mesh standing file folder holders. I have my wax paper, plastic wrap and foil standing up on their ends behind one another inside them. This isnโ€™t for the mono-bulk boxes from Samโ€™s or Costco, though. Just the regular sized ones. You can set them inside a cabinet or mount onto the inside of a cabinet door, if space allows when closed.

    • 4.29.20

      Tracy, Thank you! I love your tip for story the plastic wrap and foil. Those file folder holders have so many uses and are sturdy enough to keep things contained. Thanks so much for checking in!

  17. 9.5.20
    Lisa B. said:

    OMG. Same items and same problems as me. I have banished all freebie insulated tumblers. Splurged on 8 (there are only 2 of us) good quality matching ones, so all tops and bottoms are interchangeable. Coffee mugs? Purchase a dozen if them for the same reason. All the others were donated. Still haven’t found a great solution for storing the glass lids to my Corning Ware. Love your cabinet door basket solution for the small parts and accessories for your small appliances. Stealing that one. Replaced all of my mixing bowls with a nesting Wolfang Puck set that nests beautifully and has non skid silicone bottoms ๐Ÿ‘Also got rid of a box full of odd spatulas, spoons, etc. I really don’t need 6 whisks.

    • 9.9.20

      Hi Lisa, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and to leave a note. Purging can be so hard, right? I have found that the more you do, the easier it gets. You are so smart to find things that nest…great space saver! I think we all are constantly looking for new solutions for better storage. Love yours!

  18. 2.18.21
    Bonnie said:

    I can relate to your โ€˜beforeโ€™ cabinets. Soon our new home will be finished and your ideas will help me set up and organize my new kitchen. Everything has been packed in boxes for over a year and a half so this is a huge help. Iโ€™ll label cabinets and drawers into categories and sort like you did. Thanks for your ideas.

    • 2.19.21

      Bonnie, Congratulations on your new home! It will be great that you have a fresh start in setting up your new kitchen. Bravo to you for getting things organized right from the beginning!

  19. 2.20.21
    Audrey said:

    Love the organization with โ€œlabelsโ€. Really helps the thought process. How do you store pots and pans? Thanks for the brain direction. ๐Ÿ˜

    • 2.20.21

      Hi Audrey, Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I am fortunate to have two large drawers under my stovetop. That’s where I store my pots and pans. My cookie sheets and other baking items are stored in another large drawer underneath the microwave.

  20. 6.10.21
    MiaRenee said:

    Looks great! Honestly, your before photos even look better than mine. I simply need to do a lot of decluttering before I can even organize. Youโ€™ve inspired me! Good job girl!

    • 6.11.21

      Mia Renee, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and for your kind note. Kitchen cabinets can be so hard to organize and to stay organized! You are so right that decluttering before you begin is key.

  21. 7.8.21
    C.Love said:

    Thank you for this post,it’s going to help me organize my kitchen cabinets

    • 7.8.21

      Cynthia, Thank you for taking the time to visit. I appreciate your note and hope this helps. Happy organizing!

  22. 12.5.21
    Gillian said:

    I found a narrow plastic tray that my toaster fits perfectly on. Thereโ€™s even room for a small tongs to pull toast out. Catches crumbs and makes pulling out and putting away easier.

    • 12.7.21

      Hi Gillian, Thank you for taking the time to stop by! That sounds like such a smart solution!

  23. 12.8.21
    Tina said:

    But what did you do with all the things that didn’t end up back in the cabinets? Do you just not use those things and get rid of them? Or did they not go back because of color or some other appearance? If you still use them but want prettier looking cabinets, where did they go? Therein lies the problem.

    • 12.9.21

      Hi Tina, Thank you for taking the time to stop by! As mentioned in the post, I discarded items that had seen better days and donated items that we no longer used. Some of the process was painful, but it sure made a big difference!

      • 3.19.23
        Sandy said:

        As far as the shelf problem try a piece of 1 x 1 at the Back of the cabinet and screw the shelf to it that gives lots of support.

        • 3.19.23

          Thank you for the tip, Sandy! I was able to make an improvement by turning the shelf over and decluttering some of the items that were previously stored there. This solution worked great for me.

  24. 1.25.22
    Patty said:

    Awesome jobโ€ฆjust organized my kitchen last weekend and canโ€™t stop looking at my cupboards. So satisfying! Love your before & afters.

    • 1.25.22

      Hi Patty, Thank you for taking the time to stop by and for your kind note. I do the same thing as you, when I organize a space. I love to keep looking at the result. You are right, it’s so satisfying to get organized!

  25. 1.25.22
    Amy Christensen said:

    Eye roll over your embarrassment of your before pictures and a thank you for the inspiration shared of the after photo’s.

    • 1.26.22

      Hi Amy, Thank you for taking the time to stop by. Your kind note is appreciated and I hope these ideas are useful to you!

  26. 2.21.22
    Char said:

    Oh boy do I need help my whole house is one big clutter I’ve got to get rid of so much you have given me some great ideas thank u so much ! Char

    • 2.22.22

      Char, I am so glad you liked this post and hope the content is useful to you. It can be so tough to get rid of clutter. But once you get started, it gets easier. I promise!

  27. 7.14.22
    Opal said:

    The shelves that have started to sag in middle, take them out and flip the over if possible. Works to reshape them.

    • 7.15.22

      Opal, Thank you for taking the time to visit. I did flip the shelf over when I did another reorganization project in a subsequent post, so no sag now!

  28. 7.29.22
    Britney Jones said:

    Such great ideas! I am having cabinet makers come in to paint my kitchen cabinets and want to reorganize my kitchen to match how great my cabinets will look! Thanks again for the tips!

    • 7.30.22

      Britney, Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I am sure you are so excited to have your kitchen cabinets repainted for a new look. Have fun organizing your cabinets!

  29. 8.12.22
    Sherry Wysocki said:

    I was looking at your page for some kitchen organization inspiration. Found it here, thank you. Also, I never thought I would see a Georgia bulldog and a Texas Longhorn cup in the same cabinet other than ours.

    • 8.12.22

      Sherry, Thank you for taking the time to stop by and for your note! Yes, Dave is a Texas Longhorn fan and we both root for the Dawgs. I love that your family has an affinity to both teams. We can’t wait for football season to begin!

  30. 1.29.23
    Donna Schnare said:

    Your kitchen is gorgeous. I would love to have that many cabinets. Great suggestions – love the recycled wine glasses also !

    • 1.30.23

      Donna, Thank you so much for your kind note and for stopping by. I love those wine glasses too, as they are quite substantial!

  31. 2.15.23
    Texas Nana said:

    The red lids on the rubbermaid containers snap under the containers.
    Thus lids sit under the bowls and you could stack smaller bowls inside the larger ones to save even more space.

    • 2.16.23

      Yes! It’s a great design and we typically used several at a time for storage. Thank you for taking the time to visit!

  32. 3.13.23
    Deb said:

    Mine will never be that nice but I have something to strive for!

    • 3.14.23

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by, Deb, and I bet yours are great!

  33. 4.26.23
    Elle said:

    Not sure how old this was but I wanted to say donโ€™t get rid of your slow cooker. The instant pot is a lousy slow cooker and itโ€™s deep versus wide. Iโ€™d pitched my very old CrockPot and only had my 6 qt instant pot for about a month. I ended up getting an All-Clad slow cooker and I love it. Its wide shallow insert browns two lbs beef for chili or soup, it has a simmer function, and it steams as well. Iโ€™ve done a kitchen reno recently and during the no stove phase I used both the instant pot and slow cooker at the same time. They really complement each other. Tonight I have lasagna in the slow cooker and will be steaming broccoli and carrots in the instant pot. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 4.27.23

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by, Elle. I actually upgraded to a new slow cooker and absolutely love it! I still use my instant pot for certain recipes. I love that you were able to use both during your kitchen reno and again tonight. Bravo!

  34. 5.8.23
    Beth said:

    I noticed your comment about a solution for your sagging shelves. I found one a couple of years ago, and I was so excited Iโ€™ve been dying to share.
    I found a company called Orange Aluminum that sells shelf edge stiffener. Itโ€™s basically aluminum front edges that slide on over your existing shelves. You might have to replace shelves if theyโ€™re too bowed already, but it should help a ton with preventing them from bowing further/ again.
    Theyโ€™ll cut to your specific length and ship. Hope that helps you or one of your readers!

    • 5.8.23

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by, Beth. I really appreciate you sharing this tip!