This post is sponsored by Kirkland’s.

recipe wall kitchen

(you can see how I made this recipe wall here and the plate rack here)

Monday was not the day the kitchen looked like this.

Not even close.

Neat and clean and organized and a place for everything and everything in its place.

As I’m typing this post, I’m thinking I should have taken pictures of the mess.

Because Monday?

Monday was the day this kitchen COOKED.


This table was covered with chocolate chips and icing and marshmallows and gingerbread and mixing bowls and muffin tins.

The twins were home from school and decided to get creative.

It was amazing to watch.

They raided the pantry and put together random baking supplies and made concoctions out of a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

And some of it was random and kind of a little what were you thinking, but some of it?

Watch out Food Network.


kitchen counter

I’m not even going to pretend that I can do that.

Or that this sink full of dishes wasn’t just splattered with fruity pebbles and chocolate.

And I can’t give you the recipe for gingerbread cookies with chocolate chips or marshmallows dipped in oreos and then dipped in chocolate because they totally made it up along the way.

But organizing?

It’s my jam.

So here’s a few of my favorite tips and a silver leaf balsa tag project for the kitchen.

mason jar holders

1.  Make the ordinary extraordinary

There’s a life lesson in there somewhere. 🙂

Sometimes something ordinary, like spoons and knives and forks, can look like pieces of art when displayed in a unique way.

I started with this mason jar organizer (that came with the chalkboard tags) and added the silverware.

metal and rustic basket

2.  Store, store away

On the kitchen island, I have all my paper goods organized in storage containers like these galvanized and woven baskets.

I always know where to find them, but they look so much prettier tucked away then sitting in their plastic sleeve.

I have them organized by plates, plastic silverware, cups and paper towels.


3.  Make sure you have a place for the random

This basket holds everything that doesn’t have a place in the kitchen.

It’s empty now because I cleaned up for you.

But normally?  This is the home for the school papers or random earrings or box tops.

It’s the holding place for everything that needs a home.

kitchen galvanized rack

embossed tags

And if you want to label all those baskets and bins and storage containers, here’s an easy project you can make in about 30 minutes.

Silver leaf balsa wood tags.

Make them in any size with whatever label you want.

balsa wood tag project supplies

1.  Start with balsa wood

You can buy this in any craft store.

I love it because you can cut it in any size you want with scissors.

I cut my tags to measure approximately 4″ x 3″.

balsa wood tag

2.  Punch a hole

You can use a standard hole punch to punch a hole in the balsa wood.

Make sure you add the hole before you add the lettering.


balsa wood tag project

3.  Rub on silver leaf letters

I found this set at the craft store.

They came in uppercase and lower case and they are silver leaf that you simply rub on.

I used the end of a ruler to rub the letters onto the balsa wood.

silver leaf balsa wood tag

4.  Add jute twine and organize

Here’s the finished tags.

String the jute twine through the hole and add to a basket or bin.

They just make organizing so much cuter.

snow outside

PS  This was the view out my window this morning.

It looks like another creative cooking day.

Time to get our gingerbread on. 🙂

This post was written in collaboration with Kirkland’s, a store that never fails to inspire me.

All opinions on organizing and cooking and tags are completely my own.


Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    Sounds like a wonderful day! Would love to join in the fun!! I'm already right there with ya, KariAnne, with the organizing. From very early on, both my kids and all my grandkids have known my motto when it comes to organizing, "It has a home. It lives there. So you can find it when you need it." Of course, sometimes, when they say it, it sounds a wee bit like mocking but I'm OK with that--as long as they know I'm serious. >:

  2. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Enjoy those creative messy kitchen days. They become distant memories very quickly. I bet your house smelled like love baking in the kitchen. Love your blog, always. Sherry

  3. Image for Ann weisman Ann weisman

    Hi Friend We don't have many weather days on Houston. The snowy scene looks wonderful, but does the day come that y'all are sick of stay home days? Just wondering. Love your pretty kitchen organization. Your Pen Palm

  4. Image for cindy cindy

    Love the tags! Silver leaf letters??? I don't think I've seen these...but I love them! Just the right amount of sparkle;)

  5. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    Girl, your fans have cleaned Kirkland's out! They aren't even on the we page anymore. You got you some retail power lady. Wowza! And I might need some silver leaf letters. Cuz I needed another project. Might be cute on top of a milk painted wooden stool. A reminder to R-E-S-T a bit. Enjoy the snow! The Other Marian

  6. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    Super cute. Organizing in my kitchen is on my list. I love the idea of baskets. The tags are adorable. I could use a good craft and cooking day. My trouble is no one in my family likes sweets...except for me. Bad combo.

  7. Image for Jessica Jessica

    I am just loving the mason jars with the chalkboard tags to store the silverware. Makes me want to eat a meal just so I could grab one from the jars! And the galvanized cart is stunning because I love all things galvanized!

  8. Image for Maria Maria

    I love this tutorial. I always find that the key to being organized is always having a place for everything, and what better way to make that clear than with a label, right? I love the creativity and simplicity of this and how much impact it really does make in organizing any space in the house (not just the kitchen). Your kitchen is to die for. I can't wait to check out that wall of recipe and plate rack. It's the stuff my kitchen dreams are made of! Thanks so much for sharing this on #SHINEbloghop, Kari Anne!

  9. Image for Pinky Pinky

    I am going to my craft store to get some balsa wood! I just organized my master closet with baskets and was thinking I wanted to tag eacxh one! Love this!!! Thanks!!!

  10. Image for Susan Susan

    Your beautiful kitchen no doubt inspires the inner chefs in the Thistlettes...I know I'd be more than happy to cook in that kitchen just so I could have the pleasure of standing in it! :) I love that your daughters are brave like Mommy...whereas you experiment with design, they experiment with cooking...the recipes they created sound soooooooo delicious! Your helpful tips on organization are very welcome and I must try making those balsa wood tags...they are just TOO adorable...just like Mama Thistle and her Thistlettes!

  11. Image for TidyMom TidyMom

    I love it Kari Anne and I love Kirklands! I run in there about once a month, because there is one near our dog groomer ;) I couldn't find the galvanized and woven baskets did you get them at Kirklands?

Comments are closed.