Kitchen Organizing


Organized Kitchen Medicine Cabinet / 7th House on the Left

As I mentioned in this post, one of our goals for this year is to organize every nook and cranny of the house. Needless to say, a task like this can come across as pretty overwhelming, so we’re starting with baby steps and getting things kicked off with areas of the house we use on a daily basis. Areas like the chest of drawers in the laundry room, the medicine storage, linen closet, the infamous “junk drawers” in the kitchen – you get the gist. We decided to start with the medicine storage.

Vitamin Storage / 7th House on the Left

Up until we tackled this, the Band-Aids and other first aid necessities were in the linen closet in the hallway, the anti-acids were in the bedroom and the Vitamin D and Iron always wound up on my desk. To have everything in one designated spot would be a breath of fresh air. That being said, the first task was to find a place to store everything.

Medicine Cabinet Organization / 7th House on the Left

After a bunch of going back and forth, we realized the best place would be the kitchen. We like to keep things pretty minimal – especially in a work environment like the kitchen. Less is better. We have plenty of unclaimed kitchen cabinet real estate, and this narrow cabinet to the left of the stove (closest to the living room), seemed like a good place. All it was housing was the salt and pepper. Oh, and check out my sweet pink hydrangea Greg got me last week. Love me some hydrangeas.

I started out by dividing all of our medical necessities into categories: First aid, prescriptions/pain relievers, cold/sinus, misc (anti-acids, nausea remedies etc) and vitamins. Needless to say, the vitamins needed to be easy to get to (maybe we’ll actually remember to take them!) so that left four categories for “once in a while”.

Target Paper Rope Baskets / 7th House on the Left

I picked up a few of these small paper rope baskets from Target. Now, let me gush for a second… I love these baskets. I first used them when we organized our coffee station and ever since, they’ve been one of my favorite go-to organizing tools. They are the perfect depth for our upper kitchen cabinets and look pretty spiffy with a bookplate label attached to them. They come with a fabric liner, but for this organizing project, I decided to take them out.

Organized Medicine Baskets / 7th House on the Left

After five or ten short minutes of going through everything, trashing the expired meds and restocking the bandaids, we were one step closer to a designated and organized medicine cabinet.

Organized First Aid Supplies / 7th House on the Left

No, we don’t have any kids. And yes, we totally have Disney Princess and Candy Land Band Aids. It’s amazing how much mental clarity you can gain with just a few baskets, labels and 20 minutes of moving things around. Now that the “stuff” was organized, Greg and I wanted to add more functionality and purpose to the cabinet…

Cork Tiles / 7th House on the Left

I picked up this pack of cork tiles from Michael’s for about $12 – actually, it was only $8 because I had a coupon on my phone. I really liked this cork as opposed to “normal” cork tiles because it was rich in color and had a chunkier texture and thickness – making it easier to pin things onto it.

Cutting Cork / 7th House on the Left

We wanted the cork to fit as perfectly as possible in the inset of the cabinet door, so we had to trim it down. Because of the chunkiness of this particular cork, cutting was a little difficult (and messy). A utility knife probably wasn’t going to cut it, so Greg left the pieces in their cellophane packaging, measured 11.25″ over (the width of the inset of the cabinet) and put a piece of duct tape along the line where it needed to be cut. Once he made sure the tape made a straight line, he cut along the line with a jigsaw. Fast and painless.

Cork-Lined Cabinet for Recipes / 7th House on the Left

Luckily, the cut was clean and perfectly straight. We attached the cork to the cabinet door with a few 3M strips here and there. This way, if we decide to take it down later, the doors aren’t damaged. A strip here, and a strip there and we had a cork-lined cabinet door. Because of the cork’s color and texture, you can barely see the seems which makes it look like one continuous piece. This will be perfect for recipes, notes, grocery lists, etc. I love that just by adding the cork, there’s so much more functionality behind this single cabinet door.

"Tip Jar" and Vitamin Storage / 7th House on the Left

Now it was time to put everything back in the cabinet. To start out, we put our daily vitamins in a bright blue basket on the bottom shelf- hoping the fun blue will draw attention to itself and remind us to take our vitamins. Next to the basket is a mason jar we have dubbed “the Tip Jar”. When either of us have an extra small bill, we stash it in the jar to later use for tips for the sushi delivery guy or the kid at the front door selling candy bars for summer camp. Our thought is that if it begins to overflow with bills, it’s time to deposit some of it in the vacation fund.

After a few more seconds of basket sorting, we now have a fully organized and functional cabinet…

Organized Kitchen Medicine Cabinet / 7th House on the Left

I put a basket on the very top shelf to store our “back ups”. Well, Greg put the basket up there because my 5’7″ self couldn’t reach it – he’s 6’7″ and, lucky for me, can reach the tallest of shelves in the house. The “back ups” consist of extra Band-Aids, Tylenol, and whatnot for when we run out of what’s in the reachable baskets.

As we “grow into” our kitchen and figure out the organization systems for the rest of the house, this area may switch up a little here and there. Sometimes it takes a few “rough drafts” before you get the “perfect” system that works for you and your family. But for now, we’re loving this neat and orderly area. To have just this little bit organized feels so good and a great note to get started on for the rest of the house. Here’s to a fully organized abode for 2014! Fingers crossed.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Christina @ Homemade Ocean
    February 25, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Dang….you all make me WISH I had those organizing skills!!!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I didn’t even know that they sold cork boards in that dark of a color, I love them! So much nicer looking than the regular shade of cork. I love how seamless they look as well. Happy Organizing!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Where did you find the bookplates and how did you attach them? Thank you in advance!

    • Reply
      February 25, 2013 at 11:13 am

      They’re from Staples (you can find them in the Martha Stewart section). They have adhesive backing, so just stuck on like a sticker – so it was very easy!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 11:37 am

    What a great idea with the cork! Just keep an eye on the heat/steam from the stove…they say to store medicines in a cool, dry place. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Barbara in CT
    February 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    The “Tip Jar” is brilliant. I don’t think organizing is ever done but chipping away at it is the best way to go. Every time something changes in your life, something changes in your organizational needs as you seem to be well aware of.

  • Reply
    Abby @ Just a Girl and Her Blog
    February 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Hold up–your hubby is 6’7″?!?! Wow, that’s tall! πŸ˜‰ The organized cabinet looks great–I just love it when everything has it’s own spot! Thanks for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

    • Reply
      February 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Yeah, haha. I hear he got his height from his grandpa πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    KMP Modern
    February 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    What an amazing way to organize!. I love those baskets in the dark weave, which match with the dark cork board. I have actually never seen cork that dark, and I love it. You have made organizing look so simple. I’m totally inspired to redo our cabinets!

  • Reply
    Lori H
    February 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Love the organized cabinet and those fun Band-aids!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    This looks great! We use those clear plastic shoe boxes. We don’t have space in our kitchen, but we use a portion of our linen closet for meds etc. I’d love to have baskets as pretty as your someday!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I’m so glad to see that I’m not the only one without kids who likes character bandaids!! I have superman bandaids that really make my day when I need to cover a papercut or what not! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Deborah L
    February 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    As a nurse, a house is not complete without having a cabinet to run to in the event of an emergency! Time to update mine and label. You keep us all all our toes. The dark weave is a
    Great idea!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    This looks so nice and functional! Those small little baskets work great I’m going to have to check those out, and I really love that dark cork better than “natural”.

  • Reply
    jen w
    February 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Hi! We remember to take our meds only because every Saturday I dole them out into one of those weekly pill containers, you know, the kind with a little compartment for every day of the week. Then those live in our medicine cabinet next to the toothbrushes. We never forget to brush, so we see the meds and remember!

    Also, the pp who mentioned to be careful of the heat from the stove is right on. If the bottom of the cabinet feels the slightest warm when using the stovetop then you ought to move the meds. Heat and moisture are the #1&2 causes for deterioration (light is #3). And keep in mind, that when a medicine deteriorates it just doesn’t loose potency…potentially harmful substances increase.

    P.S. We don’t shower in the above mentioned bathroom with our weekly med containers, so it’s safe and doesn’t receive large amounts of steam/moisture.

  • Reply
    KJ & Co.
    February 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Now I don’t feel so silly for buying Hello Kitty band-aids in a child-less house.

  • Reply
    Laura Hutchinson
    February 26, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Just when I thought I was being super organised by collecting all the meds from around the house and squashing them into one box! πŸ˜‰ But, like you said, it’s a process. Just getting them all into one spot is a start. I can always go back later and re-organise, once other priorities are ticked off the list.

    Oh, and I’m 5’5 so I feel your pain when it comes to reaching the top shelves. I went to IKEA and bought a little stepping stool (it was only about $20). I can reach things again! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    February 26, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    This looks great Ashley. I do have to say I officially “hate” you and Jen (from iHeart Organizing) because you both have those blue plastic baskets. I want them so much but here in Atlantic Canada I can’t find anything similar AT ALL! Darn Target – though we’re getting Target’s here soon! Woohoo! Okay, so I don’t really hate you … haha I just hate your basket-getting-ability.

    • Reply
      February 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      I heard you guys were getting Targets soon! Your life will never be the same, haha.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I love this project & have been wanting to do something like this for a long time in my kitchen. You guys are GREAT!

  • Reply
    Kelci T
    March 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I LOVE this idea!!! It’s quick and easy organizing and very attractive too!! I actually went to target and grabbed some baskets to do the same! I’m totally shameless and copying your idea but I’ll give you all the credit and THANKS for sharing!!!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    it’s so funny because all our meds were same places as yours and we always end up in kitchen but i didn’t find the perfect place to organize there yet πŸ™ so they are on top of fridge for now

  • Reply
    December 6, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    you have a very nice idea on storing your first Aid, vitamins etc… i love it!

  • Reply
    February 9, 2014 at 4:52 am

    I just bought the exact same baskets from Target for organizing the home office and was surfing the web for ideas on labeling them. Love the bookplates but was wondering how they’ve held up. If yours are still stuck to the baskets I’ll head over to Staples and get some of my own.
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      February 9, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      They’re still hanging in there : ) We haven’t had any trouble with them popping off, sliding or anything. Hope that helps!

    Leave a Reply