Complete Kitchen Re-Organization – Sharing the Before & Afters of our Cabinets + Drawers with Intentional Order – a Professional Organizer serving Philadelphia, PA and Beyond

Buckle Up Folks, this is a looong one!

I am so excited to share this post with you today because it has been such an amazing transformation to my kitchen and really life in general. I consider myself a pretty organized personal – definitely always had room for improvement, but organized.

I love to plan. I love the plan ahead my weeks, my days, I love to cross things off a list. I like to feel like I’ve got things in order.

And from my experience working with Intentional Order, I was able to really see how the appearance of being organized doesn’t mean anything when you aren’t actually organized.


So with kids and life and everything, over the 5 years we’ve been in this home I’ve found that I am so SUPER guilty of throwing things in cabinets and drawers – and if the door closes to it, walking away. If it was up and out of slight – out of mind worked for me.

But that doesn’t cut it anymore.

Everything sort of all started to fall into place when Abigail of Intentional Order contacted me. She recently started an organizing business in Philadelphia and offered to come to my house and do some work with me! Since we are in the process of getting our home ready to list – I have been working on decluttering/packing up and minimizing bit by bit for a few months now.

But professional organizing help?!

Sign me up!

Now I just needed to decide what space we should focus on. We did a walkthrough of my home and I have been working on the closets and bathrooms myself for a while now, cleaning out and paring down – but there’s always room for improvement. I also considered the basement, because I know I could store things better down there. But ultimately we decided to do the kitchen – it’s the heart of the home, will be looked at closely when we list it to sell – and ultimately I was hoping that once we really started here, the organizing bug would explode into all the other smaller areas of the house!

Spoiler Alert: It totally has!

I’m equal parts embarrassed and proud to share this transformation with you. The mess and disorganization was a product of not moving in properly and setting myself up for success 5 years ago with organization from the start. It’s also due to way too much stuff {most of which I never use} and a ‘small-ish’ city living kitchen. I won’t put too much blame on the last part, but I will just say it to make myself feel better. Ha.

But either way, it’s been a great change, I’m loving living like this + can’t wait to share – So let’s get to into it!

First – we took everything out of every shelf, drawer and cabinet. It all came out. Sort of like Marie Kondo style, you have to go through every single thing and make sure you want to keep it and find a place for it.

Finding a place for it and making sure that makes sense is key.

Then we cleaned everything out. A simple and obvious thing to do, but wiping down every little space made starting from scratch so much nicer and everything was immediately fresh.

Because we are in the process of moving I think the whole experience of doing this was a little easier for me because I was way more likely to be cut throat about things. We set up a bunch of boxes for donation and then I set up a few boxes for things that I knew I could get away with not using for the next few months and would put into storage.

I will note here that I was VERY discipled about putting things in storage. I asked myself over and over again if I could go a few months without these things, if I really needed them in our new kitchen whenever + wherever we move. So those boxes I tried to keep as small and intentional as possible – and you can bet when I go to unpack them in our next space, I’ll ask myself the same questions again to check and make sure they deserve space in my kitchen.

So after we did an initial run of what would stay and what would go, Abigail helped me group things together that made sense together – like keeping all the coffee + tea things together, baking stuff, measuring things, etc. – seems simple enough but it definitely wasn’t something I was doing before and after having lived with this change for a while now, I can say – it makes a big difference – plus it made me very easily see what I had multiples of, which helped with the purging of any excess.

Like seriously, how many pots and pans does one family need?!

Answer: Not this many!

So I’m going to walk through some of the spaces we focused on with before and afters so its easy to see the changes we made and the clutter we went through.

I can’t say enough how amazing this space now feels – I can BREATHE here and it feels so amazing, light, airy and fresh. It’s like a completely new room with so much cleared out and gone. Taking the time, making the effort and forcing yourself to slim down on items you aren’t using, don’t love and are taking up space – it’s made a huge difference in how I use and enjoy my kitchen.

Check it out:

First up – is the glass cabinet in the kitchen. This is the one where I feel gives an actual window into the organization of the kitchen and speaks to the rest of the space. As you can see, it was a mess and I wasn’t using 95% of these things. Now it’s so much more balanced and beautiful. I’ve always loved these white bowls and Tiffany Martini glasses {all wedding gifts!} and now you can actually see and enjoy them.

Next to that is the coffee and tea section. Again it was a mess – here is where I would take anything that was ever on the counter and just throw it up there to hide it. Clearly that isn’t gong to work long term.

A hack here is the white basket in the After Side – here I have anything ‘medical’ related – vitamins, bandaids, sunscreen – things that were in the kitchen before but didn’t have a home. Now it’s easy to grab and I know where it all is!

Another main thing Abigail and I did was to get rid of excess packaging and make it more minimal and visual. Like coffee! I used Mason Jars that I had in the kitchen, emptied out ugly bags, sealed it up tight and cut out a piece of the bag so I know what is what on the top of the lid. I also did this with brown + white sugar, flour and anything I could! I love this look and want to buy 1,00000 more mason jars!

On the other side of the main see through cabinet area is where I think we made the best transformation in terms of functionality. Before the spices and cooking/baking things were all over the place. Now everything can be seen, has a home and has room to breathe.

This after makes me SO HAPPY.

Literally everyone that has come in my house since we did this, I’ve taken them into the kitchen and shown them this cabinet. Ha!

We have a galley kitchen in the city, so opposite the trio of cabinets I’ve just showed you is more cabinets! Let’s start out with checking out the new ‘kids area’ – Before it was all a jumbled mess – and now I’ve cleared out the excess plates, cups and bowls that weren’t the set we used the most and that I really loved.

It’s so much easier to navigate with less stuff – and I enjoy looking at it and using these pieces so much more.

Next to that is the main area where we have cups and glasses – this was packed WAY too much before. And of course we used the same ones over and over. So it was easy to slim this one down.

I would have packed away more for storage, since we obviously {or not so obviously!} don’t use that many wine glasses a week, but I didn’t have proper packing materials to keep them safe until we have a new home for them, so we are just keeping them there for now. But we did clear out the top shelf and minimized the bottom two. We also put them in better order for usage – grouping similar sizes together – which has been great and easier to put away after the dishwasher runs!

On the other side of that is our plates and bowls section – this was also a mess. We have a set from our wedding that we loved, but it was just covered up by others – so I got rid of everything but our favorite set and it’s so much easier to navigate and we love it.

The top two shelves held to-go cups, mugs and the like. I was easily able to trim that down and make SPACE.

Seriously, I’m obsessed with the Afters.

Above the microwave is a nice little storage area, but I wasn’t using it efficiently {like the rest of the kitchen before} Not a massive difference in what’s in there, but way more functional – and pretty!

One big thing to highlight in this space – if we weren’t moving, I would have the Dutch Oven casseroles out – would make the space way prettier! But I want to keep the boxes and keep them safe until our move! Then I will store them out of the box. But on that same note, I did take the food processor out of the box – its way easier for me to see it and I will use it way more like this. Love.

And now we have the last cabinet and the tiniest cabinet. Before it was just a catch all for random stuff for the kids and outdoor things, since we have a back patio off the kitchen. The paint the kids use a lot, so I wanted to have access to it, but it’s much cleaner this way.

I also compiled all the “chip clips” we had all over the place into this mason jar on the bottom right. It’s been great to grab and go to get those whenever I need one.

The cabinets in the bottom of the kitchen were a mess before – it was annoying to every get anything out because they would all get stuck. Now they open and close like a dream.

Under the kitchen sink was a disaster area – but it’s way easier to see everything and be able to easily grab what I need.

Here’s another look at the counter areas before – I am loving the more minimal + clean look now and don’t think I can ever go back.

So there you have it – I feel like I’ve bared my kitchen soul but I am so proud of the progress we made and the changes.

Fun Fact: We did 90% of this organizing in 3 hours while the boys were at school! We were on a MISSION and it was amazing to have a solid deadline in our work!

So if you are thinking about doing something like this in your home, just know it doesn’t have to take long and you don’t have to do it all in one day. Do one cabinet, drawer or shelf at a time! You will be glad you did!

I know this one was a long post, so if you stuck around this whole time – I heart you! Tomorrow I’ll be sharing the few pieces I used to help with the elevation of the space, I’ll be answering the questions everyone sent in about the process as well as sharing some tips from Abigail of Intentional Order!

Be sure to let me know what you think of our kitchen transformation and if you have any questions about anything, let me know and I’ll be sure to answer them in tomorrows post!

Thanks so much for following along and a HUGE Thank You to Abigail! If you are in the Philadelphia or surrounding areas and looking for some organizing help, check her out and let her know Leslie of And Her Little Dog Too sent you!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Patty March 21, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    I’m flabbergasted at the changes you and Abigail made! What an amazing transformation, it looks lovely – so enjoy your new kitchen organization!

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