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My Organized Kitchen (Part 3)

*affiliate links used
Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

{faux pink peonies/white jars/cutting boards here, here & similar here/navy rugs/rug pads/marble tray/faux plant here & here/silver pendants/gray vase/similar bowl}

Alright.. let’s wrap this kitchen organization up today!  Actually.. I don’t know.  It’s kind of a fun topic for me.  I’m not so sure I want it to end. ;)

This is the 3rd post of what turned into a mini series on my kitchen organization.  If you missed either of the first 2 posts you can check them out here:



(All kitchen sources are linked at the end of this post!  I also updated my favorite things page.  A lot of my favorites are marked down!)

In my last post I shared the island cabinets across from the cooktop so today we are starting with the backside!

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

The cabinet on the left (if you’re facing this side of the island) holds some of my cleaning supplies.  I know.. I have a crazy amount of Meyers counter sprays and dish soap!  That’s because I’ve done collaborations with Grove for my blog so they sent me a lot.  (This was after sharing some with friends!)  I love Meyers multi-surface cleaners and counter sprays!  Recently I’ve been using the lavender a lot. :)  I also love this Screen Mom cleaner for our computers and TV screens, etc.  I keep the rest of my cleaning supplies in my stair closet and a few things in bathrooms where I use them.

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

I designed this middle section of the island to look like three drawers but it’s actually not!

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

It’s one tall cabinet that opens to the right.  I’m tricky like that. ;)  I didn’t really need more drawer space but I thought the look of drawers added some visual interest.  I have a hook in this cabinet that I used to use to hold all of my reusable shopping bags but now I keep most of them in my car.  It also holds two little stools in a stool stand.  We use these stools every day!  I’m short so I always need them to reach things in my kitchen.  Kole uses them all the time to reach the counter and help me cook things and I also use them when I’m taking pictures with my tripod.  Short people need step stools nearby. ;)

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

The cabinet to the right is just extra storage and since I’ve been on a cleaning frenzy it’s nice and bare at the moment!  Just holding a few extra OXO containers for the pantry and my favorite drink dispenser.  Ready to pull it out for warm weather and outdoor dinners!

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

Island cupboards open..

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

and closed.

I have to say that I learned a very valuable lesson when we moved into this house.  I had always lived in small apartments and a much smaller home before we built this house and I had to work really hard to purge often so that I could stay organized.  I remember thinking “if I only had more space..  it would be so easy to keep things organized!”  Then we moved into this home.  A larger home that I had designed myself with storage in mind and the first few of years living in this home I was the most unorganized I’ve ever been.  I had so much space for things!  So things filled up all the space.  Then I spent too much time moving all of our endless stuff around trying to compartmentalize it and failing miserably.  I finally realized (or maybe just finally remembered!) that the key to staying organized isn’t about having more space.  It might make some things easier, but the real secret to keeping your home organized?  LESS STUFF.  It just is.

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

Which brings me to the last section of my kitchen – the cupboards and drawers in this second island.  I never planned on having storage in this island (we really didn’t need it) but my architect convinced me to add it because we might as well use the space inside this island that was going to be here anyway.  In some ways I wish these were all fake cupboards and drawers because this island constantly becomes a dumping ground!

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

My architect also convinced me to put in a warming drawer.  I knew I wouldn’t use it much.  I remember joking with him about “what would I use it for?  To warm up my kids chicken nuggets for dinner?” ;)  I’ve used it a few times for our family and it has come in handy a few times when we’ve had catered events at the house for my husband’s office, but other than that not so much.  If Kenny isn’t home in time for dinner it usually means he’s eating out with clients so there’s never a time I make something and want to keep it warm for later.  In my opinion it’s something you could do without in a kitchen remodel/build.  I’d put your money towards two dishwashers instead! ;)

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

The drawer below this holds our cords.  I FINALLY got this space cleaned out and am determined to keep it this way!  The angels were singing when they saw this one finally organized. :)  I have to share the before’s of this one quick..

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

See what I mean by the danger of having too much storage space?  To just fill it with junk!?  What even WAS this mess!?  A dumping ground for cords and random electronic items.

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

The trick to staying organized?  Get rid of what you don’t use or love.  This is all we really need to keep in this drawer.

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

{organizers here and here}

Once this drawer was only full of the items we really needed to keep I rounded up some organizers I already had on hand.  Two containers from a set of fridge organizers I had (these big bins work better for me here than in the fridge!) and another random organizer with three long compartments to hold our cords and chargers.  Wow.. such a difference!

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

The top drawer on the right is our beloved junk drawer.  These expandable organizers have made it so easy for me to keep it looking like this!

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

The cupboard below our junk drawer I’ve been using to keep games and books, etc. for the kids.  Mostly Kole’s stuff that we pull out when we have an “I’m bored” moment. :)

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

The cupboard on the far left was full of Addison’s slime stuff but I have very happy news (for me!).  She is finally growing tired of the slime and moving on to other things.  Thank goodness!  I never thought this day would come.  I want to cry happy tears every time I think about it.  We recently cleaned this cupboard out and tossed most of the items that were here.  We kept a few things in case she ever changes her mind, but I have a feeling the rest of the slime supplies will slowly disappear.  Sometimes things like that happen in our house.

It’s a mystery that will remain unsolved.


Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

So that is how our second kitchen island is organized!  You might notice that I didn’t share the top left drawer.  When we moved into this house my husband asked if he could have one drawer to hold his random items that I wouldn’t touch.  A drawer I wouldn’t sort through, organize, label or compartmentalize.  One I would just leave unattended.  It was a tough sell, but I reluctantly gave him his beloved messy drawer.  I have to just not open it.  Because it bugs me.

And I want to sort through, organize, label and compartmentalize everything in it.

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

Second island closed and clean!

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

We have one other small section of the kitchen for storage that wraps around the perimeter.  The bottom drawer and cupboard on the left don’t open and are just for looks because of the three drawers on the front side of them.  The top three mini drawers are currently empty but I’ve used them before for school supplies when kids are working at the kitchen table.

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

I never took a pic of the inside of the little drawers when I used them for school supplies, but I found this pic I have of one of the Better Homes and Gardens magazine features of my organized kitchen and it shows them open.

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

The top right drawer holds our sunscreen and pool remote.  This is right by the french doors that lead to our yard and pool.

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

The cupboard below used to hold Addison’s slime.  Unlike her dad she doesn’t mind if I take charge and organize her stuff. ;)

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

Right now I’m using it to hold my small decorative mugs and bowls.

Did I mention that I’m so happy Addison is done with the slime? :)

Organized Kitchen (Sunny Side Up)

Whew!  That wraps up my kitchen organization!  I hope this fun little miniseries gave you a few ideas for your kitchen!  I organized most of this space by just spending 15 minutes a day.  A drawer here.. a cupboard there.  Feels so good to finally have it complete!

Now time to finish up my closet.  Send prayers!  For some reason cooking accessories are a lot easier for me to part with than shoes and clothes.



xoxo, Erin
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42 thoughts on “My Organized Kitchen (Part 3)

  1. Fantastic tour of your wonderfully organized kitchen, Erin! You planned some really nifty spaces here. I LOVE the cupboard for the step stool! I NEED one! I’m always pulling a chair over to grab stuff off the top shelf in my cabinets. I do not actually have a space to store a step stool, though. My kitchen is small. No room even for an island. I like that you reminded us we just need to keep what we use. I’m definitely learning that lesson and seeing it’s effects. And are those angels I hear singing that the slime era may have ended?? Seriously, you have a beautiful kitchen. Good luck with the clothes closet. I actually don’t have much in my closet anymore that I wear. I’m a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal. And ever since I quit teaching years ago, I’ve never really used it much. When I worked in the school kitchen, I hung my uniform clothes up. I use my half so little I let my husband expand his side. And believe me, he has definitely moved over. LOL Happy Monday, my friend. Hope you have an awesome week!

    1. Thank you so much Jeanne! Yes! You need a step stool! I end up pulling mine out every single day. I still use chairs a lot too for higher things. Short people problems! The struggle is real. ;) Your husband is a lucky man with the clothes. I remember designing our closet and showing Kenny my side and his side (that kept shrinking by the minute..ha). He was like what!? I love clothes too much! That’s my problem. I have to get rid of more and it’s such a struggle. But I’m doing it! Feels so good when you have less. Enjoy your Monday Jeanne! xo

  2. Erin – did you use a house plan from a builder? Or did you build entirely custom? I love the layout and size of your kitchen with double islands as well as the family room!

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! We built entirely custom from the ground up! I met my architect for the first time with lots of sketches in a notepad that I had been dreaming about and working on for years and he helped me piece it all together. :)

  3. Love all the thought you put into designing your kitchen storage! I need to pare down the amount of “stuff” I currently have stored since our move into our new home. Things I thought I would use, I do not. Less is better 😊
    I really enjoy your blog, hope you and your family are doing well during this quarantine.

    1. Thank you so much Denise! It makes me so happy you enjoy my blog! I know. It’s amazing how nice it feels to just not have that much stuff to take care of! I remember when we were moving into this home there were things in boxes in our garage we kept putting off moving inside. When I finally did unpack them I realized that we hadn’t missed that stuff at all! If you can set it in a box and forget about it it probably wasn’t all that important. :) Less is better for sure. Enjoy your week! xo

  4. Thanks for posting all the details on your kitchen organization. Clearly you put a lot of thought and energy to making it organized for you and your family. Job well done!

    Oddly enough, I am looking for the holder that you are using for your step stools. By chance would you be able to link it for me? I actually want it for glass platters – I hate stacking them and thought this would be a good solution.

    Thank you!!

  5. Erin,

    These last three posts have to be some of my favorites ever! I so enjoyed seeing how you organize everything in your kitchen. So helpful as I think through how to better organize mine. It’s so true-purging is the way to go. I have empty cabinets after getting rid of al the things we didn’t use and it is a wonderful thing. I also have two dishwashers and it is seriously life changing! And I agree on the warming drawer-we have barely ever used ours. We have a second island a bit off our kitchen and I use mine similarly-junk drawer, electronic stuff, kid games/art supplies. Great minds think alike :) Your kitchen is stunning! Thanks for sharing all the nooks and crannies with us all.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Julia! YEA! Thank you! I’m thrilled you’ve enjoyed these posts. Sounds like we totally agree to skip the warming drawer and splurge on two dishwashers. I always tell anyone building/remodeling with a family to double up on dishwashers and washer/dryers if they can! I love that we have so many things in common! Great minds for sure. ;) Thanks again for your sweet comment.. you made my day! :)

  6. Love your kitchen!! I don’t think I say what brand or where you got your cabinet hardware from. Can you share? Also do you recommend using a shelf liner for new cabinets?

    1. Thank you so much Jenn! My kitchen cabinet hardware is all from Restoration Hardware. I don’t know why but I’ve never used shelf liner! I think it’s great if you want to use it, but so far my shelves have stayed clean without it. Probably because I organize and wipe them out every so often. :)

  7. Hi Erin! I have truly enjoyed reading your posts as I am new to your site! Your home is amazing and you have done a wonderful job making it feel truly warm and welcoming. I really love the back splash in your and have had trouble finding it in that pattern. Sooo many choices it seems overwhelming. I am remodeling my kitchen for the first time and would love to look into that pattern. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Wishing you and your family health and safety in these trying times. Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Andi! It’s so nice to “meet” you! I’m so happy you found me and are enjoying my blog! Thank you for your sweet words about my home. My kitchen backsplash is just Carrara Marble subway tile (size 6×3). They should have it at any tile store! Finding a pattern you like is the tricky part. I looked around for a while until I found the look I loved. If it helps, show them a picture from my blog on your phone when you’re in the store and hopefully they can find something similar for you! Good luck with your kitchen remodel.. so exciting! xo

  8. Now I’m just dying to see what’ inside Kenny’s messy drawer! It’s reminding me of the Friends Episode where Chanler opens Monic’s secret closet! HAHA! Wahoo for being done with the slime! Congratulations! I was SO thankful my kids didn’t get big into that. They had gotten a few kits for b days and they somehow disappeared and thankfully they didn’t ask about them!

    I’m still bummed I never found the BHG issue with your kitchen in it! I still want to see it when we finally get to come down, but I really wanted one!

    1. Josie his drawer totally IS the Monica closet.. ha! So funny. It’s mostly stuffed full of papers that really should be filed, but whatever! I let him have his happy messy drawer. To each his own. ;) Ellie was the same way with slime.. did it a few times and then was over it but not Addison.. she was obsessed for a long time! Her pet lizard has helped her move on but I don’t know that the solution is that much better. You’re so lucky your kids weren’t into it! Such a messy hobby. Kenny went and bought about 10 issues of each of the BHG spreads with our kitchen in it so we have you covered if you want a copy.. ha. ;) Would love to have you all in San Diego soon! xo

  9. Erin, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed looking in all your kitchen drawers and getting organization ideas, and best of all motivation to do a similar task. You are so down to earth in your comments and open in your sharing. Your blog is always a warm fuzzy for me and I have enjoyed following you and your family for many years. Stay safe and keep sharing to keep our spirits up. Your blog is the best ever!

    1. Ginny that is such a thoughtful thing to say! You just made me so happy this morning! Wow. Thank you! I’m touched you have been with me for so long and that my blog is a happy place for you. That truly means so much to me. I hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy right now! One day at a time for all of us. :) Thank you again. You made my day! xo

  10. Absolutely beautiful, serious kitchen goals!! Now that Add has moved on from slime, what is she into? Unfortunately, my daughter is still very into slime but I’m thrilled to know there may be an end in sight.

  11. Love love love the kitchen organization posts! These types of posts always make me want to organize or re-organize things (sorry to my husband haha!). Been reading your blog and following on IG for a few years now, thanks for all the fun content! You haven’t written about it in awhile and I know it’s personal, but just wanted to say that I hope your sister is feeling well and things are going well. Oh and the same thing happens at our house…sometimes some of my kids stuff just happens to slowly disappear…it’s a mystery ;) Thanks for all the fun posts!

    1. Jenn you are the sweetest! Your comment just made my night! I’m so happy you’ve been with me for so long. That means a lot. :) And you are so thoughtful to ask about my sister! She is doing well. Things are looking good and we are so incredibly grateful. Thank you for thinking of her! I hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy with everything going on. We’ll both have to organize our way through it. Our husbands will love it! ;)

  12. Hey Erin – Great Kitchen posts – Have enjoyed them very much, Looking forward to the closet posts!!!! I’m a bit of an organizing freak. When we had to start homeschooling…..guess where I ran to, to find as much info as poss to get organised for this!!!! Erins blog!!! I have gone back to your posts from 2015!!! I feel like I owe you something. You have helped me out SO MUCH,
    Thank you VERY much. Hope you all stay safe.

    1. Angela! Oh my word.. sweetest comment! You don’t owe me a thing! Your kind comment just paid me back and then some. ;) I’m thrilled my blog has been helpful for you! 2015.. wow! I bet there was some fun photography going on 5 years ago.. ha! Thank you so much for your kind words.. they mean so much to me. I hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy with everything going on! And surviving homeschool! ;) xo

  13. I absolutely LOVE all of your posts and look forward to every single one of them! I especially love the organization ones, and think you are so so brilliant! You have seriously thought of everything! Where were you and where was this post when I was building my house 5 years ago!? Haha. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us! Your blog is such a highlight and blessing to me! :)

    1. Helen you just made my night! Such a sweet thing to say. Thank you! I’m so happy you enjoy my posts! Your kind words are a blessing to me and mean so much. Maybe I’ll be around for your next house!? ;) xo

  14. This was an excellent mini-series!!! Thank you for sharing! As always :) I loved reading and seeing everything, but also hearing your “whys” behind how you organize and what has come to work the best. Our homes are always evolving and it’s fun to go along for the ride with yours!! Happy Mother’s Day, my friend!!

    1. So true Genelle! They are always evolving aren’t they!? Especially as the kids get bigger and needs change. :) Thank you for your sweet comment.. I’m so happy you enjoyed the kitchen posts! I hope you had a great Mother’s Day weekend too! xo

  15. Finally got a chance to finish #3! So inspirational – I have to say that I’ve cleaned out our “junk drawer” and I’m using some dividers I found to make it a little more organized because of you – so thank you! And it is such a nice little feeling of accomplishment when you complete something like that, that you’ve been putting off/dreading. The one thing I was fascinated by but didn’t see mentioned, was the little blue/teal containers you used for corn holders and small things in a couple of drawers. They would be perfect for our corn holders and I thought they were so cute, if you can recall where you got them? :)

    Thanks and hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. Hi MaryJo! Thank you so much! I’m so happy you liked this post and were inspired to clean out your junk drawer. BEST feeling! I don’t know what it is about a clean junk drawer but it seriously makes you feel like you can conquer the world.. ha! My little blue/teal containers were from Anthropologie a few years ago! I’m not sure if they still have them or not. Thanks again for your sweet comment! I hope you’re staying safe and healthy. :)

  16. Erin, I absolutely love reading your blog. When you talk about how giddy you get when things are organized & you hear the angels sing is how I feel when I see an email come through that you wrote something new to read. I get so excited & can’t wait to read it! I love your beautiful kitchen. Can you tell me what size are your islands?

    1. Julie! What a sweet thing to say. Thank you! I can’t even begin to tell you how happy it makes me that you look forward to my posts! My islands are each 7 x 3 1/3. :) I hope you’re doing well. Thanks again for your kind words about my blog.. they mean so much to me! xo

  17. Please tell me about your farm sink in the kitchen. What brand is it and have you been pleased? Do you prefer one large sink or the divided one? Does it drain well or have any problems with staining? Thanks so much, just found your blog and love it!!!

    1. Hi Donna! Thank you so much! I’m so happy you found me.. it’s nice to “meet” you! :) My farm house sinks are all Shaw farmhouse sinks (Rohl). I’ve absolutely loved them! I love the divided sink the most although I use the smaller sink in my island more just because of its location. They drain great and we don’t have a single stain. The only thing I will say about them is that it’s harder to get food into the drain (you have to use the sprayer) because the sinks are flat so the food doesn’t naturally all head to the middle drain. It took me a few weeks to get used to it but now I don’t even think about it! They are one of my favorite things in my kitchen. :)

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