Home organization 101: Kitchen Organization

September 1, 2012


Home Organization 101:  Week #1 The Kitchen


If you would like to join our organizing challenge, sign up (here) on the event page.  Once you are signed up, join the Home Organization 101 group page on Facebook (HERE). On this page, you can ask questions, post pictures, and support each other during this 14 week process. 




Home Organization 101 will continue for 14 weeks. Each Saturday, I will post a new “space” along with pictures of my finished space and share the process of how you can organize yours. You can take as long as you need, and once you are finished organizing your space, come back here to this post and link up your blog (with pictures) to share with all of us. If you do not have a blog, you can take pictures and share them on our Facebook group page (here).   Questions, ask away… Our facebook page is the best place to ask them.  Have fun!  Now lets get organized.







The kitchen is the hub of the home.  Everyone ends up in the kitchen at some point during their day. So it gets messy fast!  The best way to conquer the mess and the clutter is to get organized. Today is the first day of my 14 week series on clearing out the clutter and organizing your entire home.  We will start in the kitchen, where it all begins.  To begin the process and in order to be fully organized, everything really should be emptied out of the space, so you can see it clearly and start fresh.  Its time to clear the clutter.  Empty out every Cabinet and drawer in your kitchen.  Only do this if you can have everything put back in its place within the week.  WE ARE NOT ORGANIZING THE PANTRY THIS WEEK.  We will address the pantry in a couple more weeks.   Get a babysitter (or send the kids to school), put on your comfy clothes, and turn up the music. Its time to organize!!  *Before you start, look around your house to find bins, baskets, etc… You can use these for your kitchen organization.




1. Clean out and organize all cabinets.
2. Clean out and organize all drawers.
3. Purge everything that is not used, expired, doesnt belong, collecting dust.
4. Clean out & organize fridge & freezer.
5.  Mop, wipe down cabinet doors, clean counter tops & tables.
6.  Take everything off the refrigerator door.  It makes the kitchen look messy.
7. Clean all appliances.




1. Clear off the kitchen table. This is your dumping grounds.
2.  Empty out all cabinets, drawers, and clutter!  Place ALL items into “categories” on the table.
3.  Wipe down the cabinet doors, shelves and drawers. Add new liners if necessary.
4.  Discard (trash) old, expired, and no longer used items & food. Check the dates.
5.  Place all items that are able to fit, into baskets.
6.  Place everything back into the cabinets & drawers (in categories).
7. Take everything off the kitchen counters and place onto the table.
8. Wipe down the counters & backsplash with a good natural cleaner.
9. Wipe down ALL small appliances & large ones too!
10. Put back items you use on a daily basis, onto the counter top.
11. Mop the floors and wipe down the table & chairs.
12.  Empty fridge/freezer. Wipe out. Put back in an organized manner.
13.  You may clean and organize under the kitchen sink. I will share under my sink at a later date.
Tip: Keep all clutter off the counters at all times. If you take it out, put it away! 




1. Coffee & Tea station.
2. Vitamin & medicine cabinet.
3. Lunch Station.
4. Spice cabinet.
5. Command hooks for pot holders.
6. Baking sheet organization.
7. Baking cabinet & bin.
8. Dish placement.

















Our coffee pod system (from Eco).



Stacking glasses and mugs doubles up your cabinet space!!! These wire shelves are from Walmart.




Our oils stay on the counter!  Easy access.



I keep my homemade bar soaps in a vintage dish by my sink, as well as our veggie scrubber.






Below is my “Tea” station…
I have bins filled with the following…
1. Coffee Pods
2. Tea Pods
3. Sweeteners
4. Honey
5. Tea Packets



The lazy susan houses my loose leaf teas.  Its easy to find which tea I want with this system.  To the left of the lazy susan is my honey collection as well as my Perfect tea maker by Teavana.



I keep my Tazo tea packets in this bin.



Below is our “Coffee station”.
The top shelf has all of our coffee wafers, biscottis, etc…  The second shelf contains all of our coffee. The bottom shelf has our coffee flavorings & to go cups.



For those of you who are interested, you can purchase flavored syrup at Starbucks!!  They have everything you would order at Starbuck, in syrups.  A great fyi!!






For convenience, we keep all medicine and vitamins in their own separate cabinet in our kitchen.



Our Shaklee vitamins are kept on a lazy susan. It’s super easy to find what you need.




Our medicine is organized into 5 different categories, in bins.
1. Eyes, ears, nose, throat.
2. Childrens Meds.
3. First Aid.
4. Fever & Pain.
5. Splints & Wraps.



Below is our “sick caddy”.  I will share whats in this in a separate post soon.



Our protein powders & supplement shakes have their own shelf.



Finally, I purchased a Martha Stewart see through envelope (at Staples) & stuck it on the cabinet door.  It holds a “ow” chart. So whenever someone is sick, we can keep track of their medications, last dose, etc…  I found this free printable (here).






I have shared our previous lunch station (HERE) & below is similar to it.
Tips for a functional lunch station.
1.  Keep everything on one spot. (Baggies, napkins, wet ones, utensils).
2.  Hang lunch boxes on command hooks.






Below is our previous lunch station (in our old home). The post is (here).





Our spices are organized on lazy susans too!  This area is pretty self explanatory.  The cooking spices are on the bottom and the baking stuff is on the top! 😉



Cake decorating caddy.






Pot holders hang well on a command hook.



Pots & Pans organized vertically into the cabinet are easy to take out.





All of my baking & cake decorating supplies go into this cabinet.  The basket has cookie cutters, pans, cake supplies, etc… My mixing bowls & cake decorating kit fit well too!  It helps to keep all of these items together, in one space.  That way, there is no searching multiple cabinets to find what you need.





I have had a few emails about wanting to see under my kitchen sink. I will share those pictures with you soon, but in the mean time, (HERE) is my kitchen sink from our old house.



Thats our kitchen. Now its TIME for you to get busy organizing your kitchen!!


Good Luck. See you back here soon.



Purchase a station clock here (click on picture)…


Where did I find my things?


1. Bar stools – World Market
2. Vintage style green Canisters – Pier One Imports
3. Number pots – (No longer available)
4. Natural Home Oven Mitts – Amazon or target
5. Clear organizing bins with green handle lids – Walmart
6. Rug – Home Goods
7. Faucet – Amazon
8. Bay leaf wreath – Target (years ago)
9. Lights – Lowes
10. Metal Lazy Susans – Amazon
11. Cake stand & water pitcher – Home Goods
12. Cabinetry hardware – Restoration Hardware


116 comments on “Home organization 101: Kitchen Organization

  1. Kristen says:

    I love your kitchen!! It is so beautiful! My husband and I are moving next month and you are providing some great ideas for me! I’m hoping moving will help me get more organized!
    -Kristen@ fewofmyfavoritethingsblog.blogspot.com

  2. Cassie says:

    where’s your adorable white cake stand and bowl (with the lemons in it) from? they’re perfect!

  3. Jenn Lifford says:

    You have the most gorgeous, organized kitchen!! I love all of your little decor items – the muffin stand, the vintage bowls at your sink, and your clock… love it all!

  4. Whoa! You are an organizing goddess! And not just organized but its pretty too!

  5. Elena Baxter says:

    Absolutely stunning kitchen!

  6. Diana says:

    I love your kitchen! Also, where did you buy your lazy susans? I really need to do that my spices!

  7. Beautiful kitchen! Going out to buy a lazy susan for my medicine cabinet TODAY! Great ideas.

  8. Lauren says:

    Love love love your kitchen and Im happy to say im super excited to get started!

  9. Now that,s going to take me a month! I love the look of the lazy susans and wire racks

  10. Love your kitchen! Mine is SOOO small! I only have three drawers, seven bottom cabinets and seven and a half (because one is TINY) top cabinets. That’s for pots, pans, plates, cups, utensils, canned goods, everything. In the past I just had my appliances on the counter but now that space is gone as I have acquired way too many. Could you please share how you have organized your pots? And any help with small appliances would be great also!

  11. Wow! Your new kitchen is amazing! Great attention to every organizing and decorating detail 🙂

    My kids start school on Tues and I plan to work on my kitchen then. I’m really looking forward to this series (both to see your amazing home and to get mine organized!).


  12. Samantha says:

    Your kitchen is gorgeous! Where did you get your light fixtures? Above the sink and over the island?

  13. Kerry says:

    Thank you so much for the step by step. The guidance and motivation is definitely going to help me get started on this tomorrow! I’m away for the night, otherwise I’d start right now!

  14. Sandra says:

    OK…I’m motivated and ready to go!! We really need to re-paint our Kitchen so, I think once I get it all organized and cleaned out and up, I’ll be ready to jump on that! Your new Kitchen is beautiful and I LOVE the clock on the wall. Well, I better get started…lots of stuff to clean out over here…Thanks for the challenge, we are ready to go over here!

  15. WOW! I’m drooling over your kitchen! Great job organizing, everything has a spot and it all flows and makes sense. Thanks for sharing your tea and coffee station, I’m extremely envious! You’ve got me thinking of thing I can do to improve my kitchen.

    Sandra from simpleispretty.com

  16. This totally inspired me today! I just got back from Walmart and bought the wire shelves! Thank you for some great tips!! Your kitchen is beautiful! I was curious if you knew where you found your drawer pulls. I have been look for some just like that, with not much luck!

  17. Sonya says:

    Your new kitchen is beautiful! We just moved to a different city which meant a new rental home. Our new home has a lot less cabinet space. We had so much in the last one and now we have about 1/2. It’s good for now, but I plan to dig in more next summer when I’m on break. I only had a month to work on it this summer and I had to prioritize.

  18. Katie says:

    Wow! I didn’t think I had much to do in my kitchen, then I saw your awesome tea and coffee stations. So that is my goal for the upcoming week! Thanks for keep us motivated!

  19. Wendy says:

    Love your kitchen! I love your decor… I’ll be hitting up home goods:)

  20. Lazy Susan’s are definately an under utilized kitchen organization tool! Looking forward to busting out my 3M hooks tomorrow, never thought to use them on the kitchen cabinets!

  21. Beautiful kitchen! but my heart totally melted for the vintage pyrex!! Just perfect 🙂

  22. Wow! This program is really cool. You have a lovely kitchen. Definitely lovin’ these photos. You are so organized. I love it! Thanks for sharing these photos; it inspired me a lot. And I’m sure a lot of people will be inspired as well. Looking forward to new pictures of finished spaces.

    I agree with you. Kitchen gets messy – and fast. The checklist and the process you have here are really useful.

    I’m Amy of Mega Quick Sale, by the way. 😉

  23. DogsMom says:

    When I thought I had found a favorite spot in your kitchen you shared something else I loved.
    I do like the step down counter from your breakfast bar. You can work or have things ready there while kids eat at the upper level.
    Of course I love the repurposed containers for your soaps and brushes at the sink.
    I have often seen the wire racks but now I know how they should be used!

  24. Theresa says:

    I am new to your blog, but I am in love with it already. 🙂

  25. Lauren says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now but this is the first time I’m commenting. You’re kitchen is beautiful. I love how you have everything set up! I’m looking forward to following along with the 14 week organizing challenge.

  26. You have a gorgeous kitchen Thank you so much for the organizing challenge

  27. Wow! Your kitchen is gorgeous (not sure if that is an appropriate word for kitchens, but for yours it is). Serciously, I’ve never seen anything more pretty yet organized with a system. Wowsy!

  28. LSAMRE225 says:

    Love this blog and this challenge. Here is my start to the project: http://mylifeaspenelope.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/home-organization-week-1/

  29. L.L. says:

    where did u get your pot scrubber stand/dish from (the ceramic one)? Also, do u know if Pier 1 still has those canister’s?

    I just found your blog and I love it! I love organizing blogs, but have a hard time organizing even w/ the good idea’s.

  30. Brian Dache says:

    All these stuffs belong to just one house?! Incredible! Just love your posting, beautiful photos.
    Brian Dache

  31. Felicia E. says:

    Oh my word at your cabinet space. That is my dream! Thanks for the great inspiration.

  32. How great is this? I am so happy to have found you through The Taylor House blog. Chrissy has her kitchen organized beautifully, so I wanted to come join in! Thanks for the inspiration.

  33. I was wondering where you got your clock? Your kitchen is fabulous!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi! If I’m not mistaken, she got her clock at Hobby Lobby. I have the same exact one. I LOVE it. 🙂

  34. Yana S. says:

    Oh wow! You kitchen is gorgeous! And thank you for all the tips on separating items by their purpose 🙂 – very smart! And I loved ‘sick candy’ idea a lot :).

  35. CAS says:

    Yay, I finally got this post put together & have linked up! Thanks so much, Toni, for hosting this great blog “challenge” event!

  36. Jamie says:

    Hello, you got a pretty organizing here. Thumbs up for that. Now its very easy to access every ingredients whenever and wherever you need it.

    self storage wilmington nc

  37. Love. Live. Love. the simplicity of your kitchen and the fact that you actually have a bowl full of lomens!!!! I really needed this read… My kitchen is super small ( we are renting as we look to buy again) and I just don’t have the space I had in the house we sold. Thank you for sharing your home :)) PS odd question but…the rug shown in one of the above pictures where in the world did you find it? I have looked all over and can’t find one.

  38. Samantha says:

    I would love to know where you got the blue nesting mixing bowls! I love them!!!

  39. Katie says:

    This is AMAZING. I am your newest follower! Drooling over your kitchen and how amazingly organized it is.

  40. Patricia Holigores says:

    I would also like to know where to purchase the blue bowls in your Baking Station? They would go great in my kitchen. Thanks for all your inspiration!

  41. Thanks for finally talking about >How to organize the kitchen | A Bowl Full of Lemons <Liked it!

  42. Mama_McD says:

    I did this challenge with you back in September, but didn’t have a working computer to post my pictures and my blog! So glad to finally be able to come and share what I have done! Thanks so much for posting your ideas and sharing with everyone!

  43. Kendra says:

    Toni- I noticed you had a blue KitchenAid Stand mixer in the kitchen in your old house. Do you still have that mixer? Or did you get a stainless one? Where do you keep it? Beautiful house by the way!

  44. Sarah says:

    Hi! I LOVE your kitchen, this series makes me want to go home and organize my entire house, so… Job Well Done. 🙂

    One question, where did you get the metal rack that holds the spray bottles onto the back of the cupboard door? I want one so bad! 🙂

  45. Sophie says:

    WOW! What a beautiful kitchen! I love how wonderfully organized it is! I can only hope that one day I can get mine to look like yours! (even if I do I guess it’s only good if I can maintain it!)

  46. Sandra says:

    I have one goal for this year. (No New Year Resolutions- I don’t believe in them. I started this a couple of weeks ago.) I intend to scrub everything in my house, give away or throw away ANYTHING that I don’t ABSOLUTELY NEED, repaint my walls, and retile/recarpet my floors by June 1st. Three weeks ago, I began by organizing my reciepts so I can get my taxes back ASAP (I usually don’t do this until March 25 or so.) I’ve spent the last few days, researching for the best way to clean my sofa, my tile, my walls, etc. I’ve also looked at a number of sites for ideas to organzed the stuff I have. Today, I bought my cleaning supplies and tomorrow, I begin getting my house in order. I absolutely refuse to spend another year, living in chaos. Thanks for giving me some very good ideas.

  47. Karin says:

    Ideas galore for me who is going to move into a brand new house and kitchen…..printing and making notes for how to organize the new place. thanks

  48. carol jane says:

    Wow! I guess I should get busy in my kitchen. I have never seen such perfection! Just wondering. You have so many teas and coffees. Do you really go through so much ? and the loose tea from Teavana, (super expensive) Dont they get stale after awhile?

    • Admin says:

      We do drink a lot of tea and coffee. I drink tea twice per day. Love my teavana. They had a 75% off sale on their teas last week so I stocked up. They will last a while if you store them right. 😉

  49. Denise says:

    Love your guide… efficient and beautiful!
    Question: what do I do with the lids for my pots and pans? They are always on the way. Drives me nuts!

  50. Danielle says:

    I love your kitchen! I have an itty bitty kitchen and would love it to look as beautiful. I tried to get the “I’ve got an ow” printable however it’s no longer available. I was wondering if you could email me a copy because with three little ones and this flu season upon us I could really use it.Thanks

    • Kaitlyn says:

      Love your kitchen and all the organizing ideas 🙂 I also would love to get the “I’ve got an ow” printable too. The ones ones I could find online that are available are ugly 🙁

      • Sarah says:

        I also tried to get the “I’ve got an ow” printable! Alas, it would not let me and I would love to have one!

  51. Becca Goodman says:

    I love your organization tips! I can’t wait to start using them. I also love your bar stools. I also have a high counter and cannot find any stools high enough! What height are these? Mind if I ask where you purchased them?:)

  52. Maria Smith says:

    Ok. I totally envy your kitchen! I recently hired a deep cleaning service because one of my goals for the new year was to get my home cleaned and really organized. I am making progress, but it’s going to be a while before it is as organized as yours 😉

  53. you have a beautiful, organize, magazine like kitchen.. you are extremely blessed and love how organize you are which helps me motivate to improve my kitchen.. thank u so much for your post and creative ideas..

  54. Kristi B says:

    You are awesome!!!!!

  55. Clean Popo says:

    So much to do, but we have been inspired. What a great blog!

  56. Wow, the picture of getting a home organized seems to be just great. I do hope i can get my home organized in a similar way as these pictures represents….

  57. Buttons says:

    I just love your blog, and your house is so lovely! I found your post on Pinterest while I was remodeling my kitchen, and you have so many great ideas. Thanks for the inspiration!

  58. raka says:

    where did u get the decorative drinking glasses? cute!

  59. roberts says:

    I wanted to print the “ow” chart for children, but the link says it is not available. Do you have another source or link? thanks

  60. What color paint did you use in your kitchen? I am in love with the white/dark contrast!

  61. Beautiful!! 🙂 I live in an older farm house…I remember my beautiful new gated home. 🙂 Yours takes me back!! Enjoy!!!! 🙂

  62. The golden rule of organization, everything has a place. When trading peace of mind for minimal expense, we agree with your assessment here.

  63. Michelle says:

    How do you store Tupperware and other food storage containers, I have a hard time storing them in a way that is accessible and does not take up too much space.

  64. Rachel says:

    I really love the round caddy you have for your sprinkles, food coloring, etc! Where did you get it!?

    • Toni says:

      Pampered chef

      • Megan says:

        Thanks, I totally wanted to know where you got that caddy as well. Although I have no idea why, I just redid my baking stuff and there’s no room for a caddy. Oh well, maybe in the next place.

  65. Taylor-Anne says:

    Wow, what a beautifully organised kitchen you have! You’ve truly inspired me. My kitchen is quite small, so making it more organised is certain to help! Thanks for the great ideas

  66. Sherry says:

    Hi, I just discovered your blog last night. I stayed up until 4:30 a.m. looking over your organization challange. I love it! I have a question. How do you organized you pots and pans?

  67. Tiffany Cromer says:

    How would you suggest organizing a kitchen with only 7 cabinets, and about a 2 by 3 foot slab of conger top. We have lots of cookware and plate ware and no space. We have no pantry and keep all our non refrigerated foods in our corner cabinet that has three shelves.

    • Rachel says:

      purge as much as you can! I don’t have a lot of cabinet space but make do with what I have. Use the wire shelf additions to hold plates above a stack of something else (I have my kids plates on one above my full-sized plates) You can also hang mugs above standing cups. Keep your ‘pantry’ items to a minimum. In my opinion, a BOGO deal isn’t worth it if I don’t have the space to store it. I hope that helps!

    • Cathy says:

      I agree with advice to purge as much as you can. I have moved twice, and each to a smaller kitchen than before. I have 5 upper cabinets, and 4 lower cabinets, and 3 drawers. Initially, I had a few items I was not sure about that I put in a box in the bedroom for a week when I thought how often do I need these items, what do other people do without these items, and decided to purge. I have family of 4, in 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house, and it has worked for 9 years.

  68. Lots of inspiration on this site for people to get organized and keep a clean house. Many of our clients are time challenged and we try to provide them with tips of the trade. Thanks for a lovely experience!

  69. Hey, I just found your blog today via pinterest and LOVE it! Is it too late to join the organizing challenge? Lol. You have an absolutely gorgeous house btw! I wanted to let you know that your link to the under the sink picture from your old house doesn’t work 🙁 which is unfortunate because I really want to see it ;)… just letting you know!
    <3 Nikki

  70. Brooke says:

    Even though this is an old challenge, I’m SO happy to have stumbled upon it!! Your kitchen is beautiful, definitely inspiring! Can’t wait to start this challenge!

  71. Cathy says:

    I just discovered your blog. I sometimes reorganize different stations or get frustrated that a particular station is not “working.” I keep a bottle of dish soap next to the hand soap. I don’t see a sponge or bottle brush stored by your kitchen sink. Where do you keep them? Do you keep them in a ceramic bowl like the vegetable brush or soap bar?

  72. AJ says:

    I’ve loved your blog for almost a year now, but for some reason I JUST noticed the beautiful blue mixing bowls in the second picture of this post! Where oh where did you get them??? Please tell me they are still available, because I desperately need them for my own kitchen…

  73. Magdalena says:

    Hi ! Absolutely love your blog. What is the brand of the bins with green handle lids ? I would like to buy exactly the same but i can’t see them on walmart.

    • Rachel says:

      I actually believe the bins are from Target, not Walmart; although they do carry similar bins.

  74. Mark Edgson says:

    I have just spent 2 days sorting my kitchen, bathrooms next, thanks for the push

  75. Maid2Clean says:

    Your kitchen is beautiful and completely spotless!

  76. Amanda C. says:

    I love the idea of the medicine cabinet being in the kitchen. We currently keep ours in the bathroom which is all the way upstairs. Do you find it easier being in the kitchen v the bathroom?

  77. Thanks for these great tips!
    I specifically like the way you organized the medicines – kid’s and adult’s prescriptions and separating what’s for different sicknesses and parts of the body. Besides getting the right meds with ease, this set-up helps you check on the expiration dates quicker 🙂

  78. Gina says:

    Love it!, your kitchen is gorgeous! I especially love the list you included at the end of where to buy and find the items used. Thank You!

  79. Simone Wolfe says:

    We just finished organizing my kitchen this past week before I found your website!. While it isn’t as organized as your gorgeous space, still have the frig and spice cabinet to go through, I was able to get my husband in on the task and he has been very proactive in keeping it organized as well. He is even volunteering to help me in other areas of the home for the 1st time in 5 years! Can’t wait to put all of your tips into practice!

  80. Amaaaazing!!! The organizing ideas and gorgeous photos have me drooling! 😉

  81. Carolyn D. says:

    I am so motivated to organize my kitchen after reading your post on this (recommended by Six Sisters’ Stuff). I have a couple questions – What are your kitchen towels hanging on-it looks shiny? Where did you get the cake decorating caddy that holds your extracts?

  82. Jeff Esparsa says:

    Oh my, everything is well organized. The organizing ideas and clean photos got me so excited. The organization is flawless and is how I wish I had my rooms. Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  83. Love your kitchen, I started to follow your tips for organizing my 🙂

  84. Tom says:

    Wow! These images are impactful Great ways to make use of space in the kitchen.

  85. Kim says:

    Love your photos. Keeping things well organized helps keep an area clean as well as makes it easier to clean. Lovely info.

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