The Tetris'd Kitchen: Putting Everything in its Place

This summer, Bruno told you all about our sometimes-trying, very-rewarding kitchen makeover (parts 1, 2, and 3). What he didn't tell you about was all the work I put in behind the scenes to make our kitchen look photographable (huh, musta just slipped his mind). No, our kitchen doesn't always look like that:

The Tetris'd Kitchen: Putting Everything in its Place

Today, I'll tell you about all the organizational hoops I had to jump through to get our cupboards, pantry and lazy susan under control. Let's start with the bad stuff:


That's how our kitchen looked when I started. I will not say explicitly that this is all Bruno's fault, but I will imply it. Explicitly.

A dangerously disorganized cupboard

"Hi! I'm your dangerously disorganized cupboard; good luck trying to find anything in me without getting brained by a can of crushed tomatoes." It's like a Home Alone booby trap waiting to happen ...

But wait, the pantry must be better, right? 

It's a pantry party, and everyone's invited.

It's a pantry party, and everyone's invited! That space beneath the lowest shelf? That's where our recycling monster lived:

Recycling monster, ho!

And the upper pantry?

Get insured!

No biggie, just a bunch of fragile glass stuff waiting to fall on you...

'neath the sink

Beneath the sink. Hide your kids, hide your wife.

... and this is just a gratuitous Ayla shot (that face is how she feels about the sorry organizational state of the kitchen):


Ok, so I started like any sane person would, by REMOVING EVERY SINGLE THING:

Bruno annoyingly captured this process on video:


After a lot of sorting and trashing, things started to get better in a hurry. The cupboard got sorted out with the help of these amazing air-tight storage containers from OXO (I love pretty much everything OXO makes, and these are no exception):

OXO containers help a lot

Woah! Organized!

The pantry was more about old-school organizing and getting rid of crap that didn't belong. Looks way better now:

And Bruno stepped up and made some awesome custom recycling bins (read about that here) to tame the recycling monster:

The upper pantry; still glassy, but less precariously so:

A few castoff plastic containers made the sink cabinets nether-regions a lot more tolerable.

The entire project took me about four hours (spread out over a couple of weekends, and some trips to the store). It was worth every minute, and although the kitchen hasn't managed to remain in that pristine, just-stare-at-me-cause-I'm-clean state, the improvements I made have helped keep things reasonably organized, and given us a template to follow next time we need to clean up a bit.


This post was sponsored by Caesarstone (thanks!), makers of quality natural quartz surfaces for your home. Although we were compensated for writing this post, the opinions expressed here are ours alone.
Caesarstone - natural quartz surfaces for kitchen and countertop

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Anonymous on Oct 16, 2014:

This helps. Thank you for sharing!

Debbie in S. Florida on Sep 26, 2011:

You're so brave to show this! And it was so sweet of your hubby to video the mess. He sounds funny and nice, though, so I guess you forgave him! You have a gorgeous kitchen (sans mess), and you've inspired me to do the same to mine. My hubby will NOT be videoing me, however, as he has no clue how to use the video camera, thank god! Great job, though, and I love OXO stuff, too. Just make everything look nicer.

CapreeK on Sep 22, 2011:

That video is great.  "You're welcome to help."  Ha, classic!  Nicely done on the organization, Alicia!  You've inspired me to tackle my pantry and that super scary place under our sink... *shudder*

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