kitchen organization project

Happy Labor Day rock star.

May your day be full of fun without any labor in sight.

But just in case you wanted to plan a little organizing for the rest of the week….

….here’s a fun kitchen organization project.

how to organize

When I was at the very impressionable age of 22 and lived in California and drove a convertible and wore an even brighter shade of red lipstick and married a sailor with twinkling brown eyes and bucket loads of patience….

…..I attended an organizing seminar.

It was held at the organizer’s house and she greeted us at the door and served us dessert and coffee and then invited us to tour her home…..

…..every square inch of it.

how to kitchen organization

We could open up every door and cabinet and look in closets and under beds and behind doors…..anywhere and any place we wanted.

Nothing was off-limits.

Her house was an open book.

I’ve never forgotten it.  We opened doors and drawers and cabinets and took notes and were inspired and a little in awe and I told myself that one day I would have a house just like that.

kitchen organization

And wouldn’t it be the best ending if I told you that it actually happened?  That every cabinet and space was perfectly organized and I showed it off to anyone who stopped by for sweet tea.



Until this hutch.

And I know it’s only one project and it’s only one cabinet, but seriously…..



Kitchen Organization Project

flea market tips

1.  Find a stack of random wooden boxes at the Nashville flea market.

Fall in love.

Wonder what to make from the boxes.

Shrug your shoulders and buy them anyway because you realize that they are just a project waiting to happen.

crate kitchen organization

2.  Think about the organizing house you went to when you still were operating under the questionable belief that one day you would open your cabinets up and serve dessert and coffee to random visitors to your home.


Watch Fixer Upper.

Decide that JoAnna Gaines must be friends with the organizer lady in California.

*sigh* again.

diy kitchen organization

3.  Decide the wooden-don’t-know-what-to-do-with boxes fit perfectly in your kitchen hutch.

Open up the doors to the hutch.


Pray that neither JoAnna Gaines or anyone remotely interested in organization shows up at the door.

Make stamped spoon handles and organize all the junk into some semblance of order.

how to kitchen organization

4.  Stand back and look at your organized crates.

Realize you just bought plate holders even though you have seven.

Ditto candles.

And monogrammed napkins.

And that now you’re ready for dessert and coffee and company any time….

…..with an open door policy. 🙂

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Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Diana W. Diana W.

    I for one will be sleeping this Labor Day as I worked the night shift last night and will be working it again tonight. I hope you, yours and all your faithful rockstars have a wonderful Labor free day. That hutch is gorgeous and I am loving the spoons! Way to go... now send me a invite to tea! I promise I won't open any cabinets. I will, however, look in the hutch and give you a round of applause. While wearing red lipstick.

  2. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I wan't going to do anything today -- this is in tribute to the labor I went into 43 years ago today and had a magnificent son. But I guess I'll get off my duff and organize a drawer or two. I love the crate idea! And I have to thank you for something else -- today is also the first day of my journey. I've been inspired about making today my tomorrow. All it takes is the first step- right?? Have a beautiful day. Big Hugs!!

  3. Image for Beverly Beverly

    You were inspired, and you are an inspiration. Great idea. You can come look in my drawers. My mother said I was born organized. But, I don't have pretty red lipstick.♥

  4. Image for Christa Christa

    I have kitchen cabinets and hall closets that are beautifully decorated and organized that I love to open and admire. And then there's my office. Oh! what shame I feel when I go in there and look at my desk top and the corner full of projects waiting to be started/finished. I really need some of those great boxes to organize my stuff. But today is has been dedicated yard day, so I'll just pull the office door closed and continue to pretend it's pretty in there and be thankful that I do not live near that organizer or Joanna Gaines.

  5. Image for Robin Robin

    The whole hutch is absolutely fabulous!! Can I ask where you got the Thistle letters, they are wonderful. thanks for always sharing such great things.

    1. Image for Nancy Bailey Nancy Bailey

      I was just scrolling down to ask the same question - where did you get the Thistle letters? I love them!

  6. Image for Donna Donna

    I love this idea! I have the perfect kitchen hutch for this project. I'll let you know how it turns out. Love everything you do! Thanks

  7. Image for Linda Linda

    I try to reorganize at least 2x a year and to keep tidy the rest. You cn lsugh, my feelings won't be hurt. Not always successful! Small kitchen and funcky mudroom storage is a challenge. Like Scarlett, I think about that tomorrow! Must finish Meg's room first. Where does the time go? Happy Labor Day! Linda

  8. Image for Ann C Ann C

    I am always in need of just a little more space and although I loved the hutch and the boxes clearly marked, I want another shelf or two. There's all that wasted space above the bottom crates. Even if it was only a half shelf half the depth of the cupboard. Thanks for the inspiration. I use old treadle sewing machine drawers to group things together, and they are pretty too.

  9. Image for Trina @ afewmineradjustments Trina @ afewmineradjustments

    That looks great! I have found that one key to being organized is not to have "the stuff"....we got rid of a lot of stuff this summer...including our camper. However, the other key is to actually pick up the stuff that remains and put it away. This is the harder task as I have 2 smallish boys who would rather run outside leaving toys on the floor and the back door open! Someday, our lack of stuff and putting what's left away will come together. Someday. But then again, I might miss the flurry of toys and the back door being left open. Happy Day!

  10. Image for Mimi Mimi

    I'm pretty sure you are referring to Emilie Barnes' organized home, although I've only ever opened her books, not her cabinets or doors. Lucky you! I too have an organizing system I use for guests--grab a box and dash around like mad when company is coming. When the box is full, stash stuff in every available nook and cranny. Imagine my guests' surprise if they opened MY doors and cupboards! Ha! :-) Seriously, I love your box organizers--especially the spoon labels/handles. Genius! So much classier than my tape label dispenser from the 1970's. Have a wonderful Labor Day!

  11. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I knew it wouldn't take you long to find the perfect use for those boxes!! :) Gorgeous! Happy Labor-less (hopefully!) to you!

  12. Image for Lynn in FL Lynn in FL

    So Karianne- I'm thinkin' that a wonderful giveaway one of these days on your blog would be you! for a month! At my house! (or whoever wins the giveaway's house, of course!) And we could organize my (okay, or their) house from top to bottom, work some of your decorating magic, take in every flea market and garage sale from here to Seattle (and I live in South Florida, ....hence, the month long stay), and lots of sweet tea, giggles and such! Sound good? Okay! I'll start making the tea...just in case! Seriously, you know I love your blog and you! Thanks so very much for all you do to brighten my life! With love, Lynn in Florida

  13. Image for Gee Gee

    Sigh... if only I could so an open door tea. I can do 'an open some doors tea'... My hutch is in need of some sorting out right now. Guess I will take a few today and attack it. I mean.. I am in there a lot. I remove, replace, shift... before you know it, there is a HUGE mess where organization once lived. I close the doors and run! I luv your little boxes. Happy today. HUGS, Gee

  14. Image for Jane Jane

    I was wondering what you were going to do with those crates! Love it!! And I love the napkin holder and fleur d lis weight. Everything looks were inspired and you passed that on! Jane xx

  15. Image for Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life... Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life...

    I am not in the mood to see your organizing talents displayed so beautifully as I am in the middle of moving… I am frantically cramming everything in boxes, bags cartons and any other vessel I can find… I hope one day soon to have a place to spread out and organize everything… Perhaps I will even have a pretty carton with a vintage silverware handle just for candles… how wonderful! :)

  16. Image for Laura Laura

    I literally laughed out loud! Because I so get it. Problem is, I was that organized lady UNTIL I got married and became a stay at home Mom. I get SO frustrated when no one, I mean no one can understand why I want things organized. *sigh* I recently discovered Fixer Upper. I really love that show and the Gaines. They are so cute. My favorite part is where she tells him to do something and he does it, right then and with a smile. A girl can dream, right?

  17. Image for jan g jan g

    I just want to whine karianne as to the unfairness of people like you and Joanna Gaines who seem to effortless put things in their perfect place and go ta-da... but seriously, and though you have no clutter to your gorgeous displays, that little creamer pitcher and clock need to be out somewhere to be seen or I'm coming to get them... love, love, LOVE your cabinet and it's just as perfect as the rest of the house... keep me smiling...

  18. Image for Robin W. Robin W.

    Ok - so we are both obsessed with Fixer-Upper!!! I live for that show!! I want to go to her shop and all the shops she shops at. Oh, and I want to go to her house!! And also, I want her to Fixer Upper a house for me!! And then I will keep it all organized and gorgeous like she does!! And then I will invite you over so we can giggle together and see all my amazing organized drawers and closets. After that I will travel the country with you and we can be best friends forever...... I'm kinda creepy that way!! Love your organized hutch! The spoon handles are just brilliant!! Thanks for the insight of our minds that think alike!! to organize this mess behind me, or maybe just in a minute after I continue looking at all the ways I can be organized!!

  19. Image for Vicki Daugherty Vicki Daugherty

    The whole time I was reading your post, I was thinking....this sounds like an Emily Barnes' seminar that I attended. She was amazing, but the only thing I organized from her talk/book was my purse! My house is still a mess! Vicki in Lou. KY

  20. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    HELP! I am looking for a blogger that post a large wall hanging with the song, DANCE. Are you the lucky person that owns this print?

  21. Image for Yolanda Acevedo Yolanda Acevedo

    Lord have mercy! Sweet KariAnne, you are a trip! Loving what you did with the flea market crates. I think I'm going to install little wheels on mine, and stick them under the bed(s), you know just to hide all those little somethings that we all tend to have such a hard time parting with! By the way, the organizational seminar sounds divine to me, and I can sure use attending one just about now! I have accumulated too much STUFF after 17 years of marriage, and the garage is brimming with plenty of DIY projects to either open a boutique, or sell at the flea market. Hmm! What a brilliant idea! Sometimes I scare myself! As always, thanks so very much for sharing and for staying so REAL! May the grace of God be with you, my friend! Yolanda

  22. Image for Lory at Designthusiasm Lory at Designthusiasm

    Great project and I love to death the stamped spoon handles. Love everything you have working around the hutch too, but the project itself is terrific. I'm a huge proponent of everything in its place and everything so organized that it can be exposed, so I just love this... :-)

  23. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    OMGosh! Guess who went w/her hubby this morning to the mall in McKinney & then lunch ... & bought some silver spoons to stamp for jewelry (your handles are great!) & quite a few other things! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your hutch & boxes ... of course you would find something amazing to do with a stack of wood boxes! I was actually hunting some (+ wire baskets) myself, for displays at upcoming art shows but wasn't nearly so lucky. After shopping, we had a late, leisurely lunch & came on home. A 104* "feeling" day makes you want to be indoors & cool! As for ME getting organized, a sign that my dear one pointed out to me (jokingly, of course!) says it all for me: "When I Get the Urge to Clean House, I Lay Down Till it Passes!" I can find most anything else to do, especially around this time when the busy Holiday Season will be upon us in a few weeks ...

  24. Image for Suzan Suzan

    I have a serious case of anxiety here just thinking of someone looking in my cupboards LOL Living in a reno in process I tend to shove everything into closed spaces for peace of mind - ( which is faux peace of mind because I feel sick knowing it's all stashed in there !!! ) Your cabinet is gorgeous - and love the organized boxes ! Thanks for sharing ( I think, LMHO ) xoxoxo

  25. Image for Carrie Carrie

    The stamped spoon handles: perfect! And, add Fixer Upper and Joanne Gaines to my growing list of HGTV addictions. A perfect place for me to "dwell in possibilities". Thanks for another great post!

  26. Image for Amber Amber

    OK, here's my story and I'm sticking to it. I think us 'super creative' types need to create mess in order to get to our awesome finished masterpieces! It's one or the other, folks! My sweet sister is an organizer and a cleaner. I would eat off her floors (aw, who am I kidding. I sometimes eat off my floors .... and that's not a testimony to their cleanliness. I've never met a dessert I wouldn't stoop to salvage, should it be 'dropped'. ;) My happy time is when we visit overnight, she lets me have a bubble bath in her pristine tub (and scrubs it again after each use). Really, I admire her! However, nary a container of glitter or craft glue can be found! I'm the opposite. We clean when we must (we try, we really do), and we 'art' often. I'm who folks call for ideas and planning and making the beautiful happen. I'm still liable to meet you at the door with a slice of cake .... eating from the floor optional. ;) Also ... shoes on or off .... optional. Be comfortable in our home. Make messes. Live. And as for the beautiful, talented, and creative Mrs. Gaines (love their show!). Well, I'm still sticking to my theory. I'm saying that she still makes messes ... she just has bigger 'behind the scenes' areas to work in and let the creative magic start to flow. Her scrap letter yard and shop full of salvage ... that reminded me of my office/shop. Necessary folks for creativity to happen! :) Karianne .... you come to Oregon to art with us anytime. LOL. I do love me to try to be organized ... I can only maintain one to two 'zones' at a time though! It's like a rotation ... one done just as another one unravels!

  27. Image for Marian@ Gathering Branches Marian@ Gathering Branches

    I just adore you. I am just like that. Thinking that I am going to be totally this or totally that even though it is not even possible, even if said celebrities were standing there, telling me what to do. Something better always comes up. Like going to Target and getting a Diet Coke with my friends, right? That said, I need you to help me be brave. I am taking your advice and changing the name of my blog. But I'm nervous. So hold your breath with me as I just be brave and do it anyway sometime in the next week or two. Well, don't hold your breath that long. That wouldn't go well for your kids and sailor, I think. So just wish me luck. All the best, The Other Marian

  28. Image for online easily online easily

    Great site you've got here.. It's hard to find high quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  29. Image for Anne Nonna Muss Anne Nonna Muss

    Chuckling out loud cuz I was mentally meandering one day and had a vision of you and Jojo doing a series together. Sheer bliss...

  30. Image for Vicki Slusher Vicki Slusher

    Karianne, I was in your neck of the woods this past week, Berea, KY visiting my mother. I used to visit the Nashville Flea Market when she lived in Arrington, TN which is right outside Nashville. I so miss being able to get up there for that monthly event as I always looked forward to it. I to am a Fixer Upper aholic! Maybe I could get her to come to Tampa, FL sometime! Wish on! I love your home and your blog and always look forward to reading your stories! Keep up the great work!

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