Organize Your Kitchen With Products That Are Functional and Look Great

I’m so excited to share this kitchen and pantry project. My client and her husband have two young children and our goal was to make big changes without spending a lot of money.  They are planning on renovating in the future so this was a temporary fix to get her organized and enjoy the space until they are ready for future changes. She told me she avoided the kitchen as much as possible because it made her stressed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. My first impression of this kitchen and pantry was there was too much stuff and space was not being utilized properly especially in the pantry. These were the steps from beginning to end on how we transformed her kitchen.


The first thing we did was a heavy purge. We removed everything out of the cabinets, counters, and pantry, and yes I mean EVERYTHING! She was ready to let go of the items that were taking up space and never used so she made my job easy.

Rework the space

The next step in the process was discussing what was working for her and what was not. Sometimes all it takes is a second set of eyes to rework a space and make it flow better. We made a list of items that needed to be replaced and repaired to make the kitchen function better.

Measure the space

I took photos and measurements of all areas so I could start the process of finding the items that were functional, look good, and budget-friendly!

Painted the Pantry

She was very fortunate to have a handy husband so we took advantage of him and put him to work. I suggested we paint the pantry white to brighten it and they were amazed how a simple coat of white paint can make such a big difference. A new coat of paint is a simple way to freshen up ay area in your home without spending a lot of money.


The next thing that stuck out to me was the lighting or the lack of it. I always look at lighting whether in a closet or kitchen because good lighting can make any space better especially the kitchen which is the hub of the home. We added puck lights in the lower cabinets and changed the ceiling light to an affordable brighter option.

Photo Courtesy of Wayfair

Door Storage

I used this over the door system to add needed storage in the pantry. Many people overlook the door as an area that can provide extra storage, especially in small spaces.

Rolling Cart

I added this cart for added pantry storage and it fits the space like it was made for it. We stored disposable paper products, lunch boxes, and this silverware caddy to keep utensils organized.

Pantry Storage

She already had wire shelving in the pantry so I added shelf liners for stability. I labeled white bins so the kids could grab their after-school snacks and help mom pack lunches. I also added an expandable shelf for canned goods and this favorite to store the kid’s breakfast packets. The cereal containers and two lazy susans finished the space and my goal was to make sure she could see what she owns whenever she looks in the pantry. We used the top shelf for larger items that were seldom used but needed to be stored.

Cabinet Storage

Her cabinets had an unusual amount of vertical space so I utilized the height by adding a single lazy susan on the top for taller items and a double lazy Susan for spices and smaller items. even I also used these to stick on the inside of the cabinet door for spice packs and one on the wall in the pantry to store masks. Wearing masks is a reality so we decided to have a place she could store them and conveniently grab them for the kids when packing lunches.

Garbage Can

Why a new garbage can? Sounds trivial but made a big difference in her crisp freshly pained white pantry. Her other one was black and had seen better days so we added this new white one which was narrow and fit the space perfectly.


I wanted to create a coffee bar because she and her husband are coffee drinkers and there was the perfect area in the kitchen for making this possible. The existing space had a dark piece of furniture that was not functional and provided no storage. I added this cart and it not only brightened up the area but was reasonably priced and a perfect fit. By moving the coffee pot it freed up space on her countertop near the stove which is a plus when you are cooking.

Keep it Simple

One thing I did from beginning to end in this project was to keep it simple! The open shelving in the kitchen had various items on it and the client said it was not functional at all. Since her cabinets were blue I decided to stick with one color and use the shelves for her everyday dishes. It not only makes them easily accessible at mealtime but gave her added storage in her cabinets. I chose these white dishes because they were simple, inexpensive, and looked great on the shelves. I decanted some of her everyday items into these containers and added a touch of greenery. To say she was pleased with the results is an understatement. She now loves being in her kitchen and that was my goal!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I personally use.



Tips To Set Up A Temporary Office

Recently I took a break from blogging to focus more time on family, moving, and getting my own home unpacked and organized after a recent renovation. I have received so many questions lately from those of you who are working from home and need help getting organized and setting up a temporary office. I thought now is the perfect time to get back to writing! Many of us thought we would be back in the workplace by July but that does not seem to be happening anytime soon. Working from home can be stressful especially when you do not have a specific area set up and no organization system in place. Today I want to share tips and suggestions on how to set up an inexpensive temporary office. The best way to be productive is to be organized!


Remember this is temporary so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your goal is to create a space that is simple and organized and will help you be more productive when working at home. In a perfect world, it would be nice to set up your office where there is some privacy with little disruptions but with kids at home that may not be an option. Do your best to find an area in your home that works for you even if it is the kitchen table. During our renovation, I set up a temporary office space not just for myself but also for my daughters who came home for a couple of months at the beginning of COVID. I used a simple folding card table as a desk and it worked great as a temporary fix. Use items that you already own and it will save you save time and money.


This step is so important because if you are using an area in your home that is normally not an office you need to keep it simple. Sort supplies before you begin and only have the absolute essentials. Temporary offices have to be pared down or they can get cluttered and unorganized very quickly. Keep it simple!


If you want to stay organized investing in the proper containers is key. Keep your office supplies organized with a desk drawer insert. Even if you don’t have a desk drawer store it on a shelf and bring it out when you need it. Store office items you use less frequently in labeled boxes and keep them in a bookcase or shelf. These are a favorite because they are functional but look great too!


I like a portable desktop file box that can be out when you are using it but tucked away in a closet or on a shelf when not in use. I also recommend a collator to keep important files at your fingertips for easy access.


This is definitely essential for the simple fact that it cuts down on paper clutter. Shred old papers you no longer need and open mail near the shredder so you can shred junk mail and keep it from piling up. Every home, in my opinion, should own a shredder it helps to control the endless piles of paper clutter.


Labeling is another important way to stay organized in an office. Label all folders, files, and containers so you know what is in them. Labeling saves time and alleviates unnecessary searching for that one thing you know you have but you can’t find it!

I’m so happy to be back to answer your questions. If you have a question message or email me and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @neatlydesigned for all of my latest tips on organizing and creating beautiful spaces.



Welcome to the Neatly Designed blog, where I share my favorite organization tips, and must-have organizing products.


Sign up to receive new posts directly in your Inbox!

Shop my faves

Shop all my organizing faves


Christine’s Top 10 Organizing Solutions

or, shop by the latest Instagram

These 2 Tips Keep You Organized and Save Money


How often do you say “I was looking for that?” Do you buy something you already own because you couldn’t find it, only to find it later when you were looking for something else? If you answered yes to these questions you are not alone. Implementing these two tips in your daily routine will get you organized, keep you organized and save you money!



1. Purge on a regular basis

I always tell clients in order to do a thorough job when organizing any area in your home you have to remove everything out of the space and purge. If you don’t let go of some items you will not be happy with the end result and it will keep you from gaining new space for the items that you need, use, and love. Start by letting go of multiples of the same item. How many spatulas, nail clippers, ice cream scoops do you really need? Purge items that are broken expired, you don’t use or have room to store.



2. Keep like items together

Now that you have purged corral like items and organize the space. For example in a pantry keep baking items together, snacks, breakfast foods, paper products, and canned goods. Store light bulbs, batteries, first aid in their own containers so you will be able to find what you need when you need it. Implement this one tip and you will be amazed how much you own of the same item.

Most people try to overlook clutter but when it multiples they begin to feel stressed and overwhelmed. The key to getting organized is to remember, “it’s never about having enough space, it’s about simplifying your surroundings. Purging and keeping like things together will save you time, money, frustration, and simplify your space.



The Container Store