Organizing My Kitchen To Make My Empty Nest Life Easier

**This post has been update! I am currently at the beach house making some tweaks to my pantry project.

Hello, Darlings! Today I am going to talk about organizing my kitchen to make my empty nest life easier. I have dedicated myself to getting control of the chaos in my home. It was time to “clean and organize the nest”. Slowly but surely, I have been decluttering my home. But last summer I spent quality time in the kitchen. Here are my results!

Organizing My Kitchen

Organizing The Kitchen- The Beach Pantry

I started at the beach house because this is a place where many people use the space and I am constantly over buying and still not having what I need on hand. My beach pantry is VERY deep so it required some thinking about how best to use the space. I removed everything from the cabinets and divided it into categories. Each category was given a deep metal basket and labeled accordingly.

Organizing My Spice Cabinet

This is an area that we have struggled. Because my house is used by large groups, items are constantly being added. The first system we developed was not large enough to handle the added items. So I have tweaked this area and taken advantage of the vertical space.

The Spicy Shelf Deluxe Expandable Spice Rack and Stackable Cabinet Pantry Organizer solved my problem of the need for more vertical space.

I purchased 2 of these stackable pantry organizers. The plan was to use the vertical space and sit them side by side to make use of as much horizontal space as I could. Basically, it turned out to be 2 spice racks, sitting side by side. Now it is easy to see what spices are on hand. Hopefully, this will keep visitors from purchasing extra spices and leaving them in the cabinet.

Organizing the pantry using the Spicy 
Shelf Deluxe Expandable Cabinet Organizer
Using the Spicy Shelf Deluxe Cabinet Organizer I was able to take advantage of both the vertical and horizontal space in my pantry

This cabinet system has many parts and the directions can be very confusing. It allows for several configurations on height and width. I chose to use the longer legs to allow for more vertical space for spices. The kit also has pieces to allow for horizontal expansion. I did not use those pieces.

Organizing My Kitchen- Using Wire Baskets And Labels

Organizing My Kitchen- Using Wire Baskets And Labels
Storage for paper products

Organizing My Kitchen-Using Baskets

Organizing My Kitchen-Using Baskets

This project requires you to organize your items into categories and measures to ensure your containers will fit. Anna and I made some great “how-to” videos to help with this project. One of the most important steps is to create a MAP and label the map so you will know where all the containers you order go. It can get very confusing.

Products Used In Beach Pantry

Videos From Anna At Homzie Design On How To Organize Pantry Space

How To Create Categories
Creating a map to have a plan
Learn to measure for containers

Organizing My Kitchen-Home Pantry

My home pantry was exactly the opposite of the beach, it has long and narrow shelving. Using the same process, I took everything out of the pantry, discarding outdated and unused items. I also did a deep cleaning to remove 30 years of dust bunnies, dead bugs, and just plain gunk. Because I no longer cook huge meals, I do not need to do big Sam’s/ Cosco runs. I started to evaluate how I live NOW and set my pantry up accordingly. Here are the results

For this pantry, I used a combination of wire baskets, water hyacinth baskets, and glass jars. Each was labeled accordingly to make it easier to see what I have on hand and not overbuy

Products Used For Home Pantry

Organizing My Kitchen-Spice Cabinet

I continued my organizing with my spice cabinet. Spices do have an expiration ( 1-4 years). I had spices in this cabinet that were at least 30 years old if not older. After discarding the outdated spices, I asked myself what spices I REALLY use. No need to give valuable real estate to items that I will never use. I paired my spices down to only those I use and put them in clear jars that were labeled to make it easy to find. Unique tiered shelving was used to make the most of the vertical space in my cabinet.

Organizing My Kitchen-Spice Cabinet

Products Used For Spice Cabinet

Organizing My Kitchen-Storage For Cans

Using the same tiered shelving, I better organized my can goods and only kept those items that I use, discarding old. I really only cook with can items during the winter month for soups and stews.

Storing can so that see at a glance what I have

Products Used For Can Storage Cabinet

Under The Sink Storage

I am on a roll and feeling good at this point. Now I decided to tackle under my sink. This area is unique because of pipes, sinks and deep cabinets. Starting with the clean-out process it was evident immediately that I had multiples of several items. I combined like items and created a system that I could easily see what I had so I would not buy what I did not need. Categories worked well here too.

Organizing My Kitchen-Under The Sink

Wire baskets help define space and organize items

Products Used For Under Sink Organization

Organizing The Refridgerator

I finished my kitchen cleaning and organizing project with a deep clean of the refrigerator and freezer, removing outdated and unused items. Really, how many honey mustards do I need ( I have 5)? There are many ideas for refrigerator organization. Right now I am still figuring out how to best use my refrigerator space. Because I am only cooking for two, I am trying to have on hand fresh fruits/vegetables/ and meats to create healthy meals. Having a clean, clutter-free refrigerator helps make meals selection and organization easily.

Decluttering The Counter Space

After showing no mercy with cabinet, pantry, and fridge clean out, I decide to truly declutter and remove some of the items from my counter. Simple things like putting my drainboard in the sink instead of the counter, moving used or rarely used appliances and putting them in under cabinet storage made a huge difference in the look and feel of the kitchen. Less clutter, more space. My daughter Anna with Homzie Designs has some great tips on how to style your counters.

Counter Styling Videos From Anna At Homzie Designs

Styling with items from your home

Styling with plants
Styling with wooden cutting boards

Still More To Do

I still have some more projects to totally complete my kitchen organization. Under-cabinet storage is not utilized correctly. I need to add some shelving to better organizing my pots, pans, and lids. My junk drawer needs a good decluttering and my attached laundry room could use some TLC. But right now I am feeling great about my kitchen. The new systems in place are working great. Less clutter, overbuying, and I can find what I need fast. Oh, and my darling husband can find things too.

This Project Comes With A Warning

This project is not for the faint at heart. It is a lot of work and you need to leave plenty of time. Doing it in stages works great. Take one space at a time. You will find that you may need to “rethink” how you use your space. Items keep in one place may work better in another. During the process I said that I had opened “Pandora’s Box” and that was true. There are still problems I have not solved and I had to leave for another day. Shelving and bins can be expensive, you may find alternative solution cheaply at the Dollar Store. But, I LOVE the results of my hard work. Clean spaces that are organized make me HAPPY.

Over 100 Storage Solution And Container Ideas

My daughter Anna put together this curated list of over 100 storage solutions items and containers to help you tackle your organization project. She was such a HUGE help to me.

Still Need Inspiration?

This is the book that started it all, The Home Edit. It is a great inspiration book of ideas on how to organize your home so it is “Pinterest Worthy”. The authors of this book have their own collection at The Container Store.

What is coming next for Nifty 50 And Fabulous? I am going sugar-free!!!!! Time for me to beat my addiction to sugar and live a healthier lifestyle. Join me on my journey starting next week.

You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

More organizing tips? Check out Organizing My Empty Nest

About Nifty 50 Fabulous

Embracing and loving the life of an empty nester, I am a fashion and lifestyle blogger currently living in Birmingham, Al. I enjoy spending my time with friends and family including my sweet miniature schnauzers Gracie and Emma.

4 thoughts on “Organizing My Kitchen To Make My Empty Nest Life Easier

  1. Wow! Regan, this is a fantastic post Full of so many great ideas! I loved all the little videos as well! And I’m really excited to follow along on your journey to sugar free as I am going that same direction! I just love your posts! By the way, everything looks so beautiful with your pretty baskets in the kitchen!

  2. I am so glad you like the post. I try to write about things that are relevant. Oh, and I LOVE my kitchen organization. It was a lot of work, but has been so great- especially at the beach house where so many people use the space. Now, they can easily put things back where they belong. But more importantly, will stop calling me to ask- do we have this? where is that? I think we got rid of 6 garbage bags and hours of shredding in the office. Meeting with the carpenter today!

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