5 Clever Storage Lessons to Steal from This Professional Organizer’s Kitchen

published Apr 20, 2022
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As the owner of Badass Homelife, an organization and interior design company, Katrina Green knows plenty about organizing. “I find that having less stuff truly makes life just work simpler and easier and more fulfilling and I use the same outlook when it comes to decorating and styling my home,” explains Green, who lives with her husband, Brian, and their two pitbulls in Rancho Cordova, California.

Katrina Green with her husband, Brian.

We took the tour of Green’s home and had a chance to peek inside her kitchen drawers and behind her cabinet doors! And, of course, we discovered her minimalistic and clutter-free kitchen was full of smart organizing ideas, including five clever lessons worth stealing. Let’s take a look!

1. Hang hooks on the back of your cabinet door.

One of the best ways to maximize space is to utilize the backs of cabinet or pantry doors. In her cabinet full of gadgets, Green smartly uses small white hooks on the door to hang a few utensils and her strainer. “I consider myself a minimalist because other than the few decorative pieces we have around the house, everything is being used purposely and intently,” she says. “I try to keep surfaces clear and clean so that we avoid getting into the habit of cluttering it.” Note: This tip can also come in handy on the side of cabinet walls, too.

2. Use labels … and put them where you can see them.

Invest in a couple of tiered shelf risers, so that you can clearly see everything you have. Green uses her risers to store her collection of spices and condiments. While she decants most of her spices, she makes sure she labels everything. Her smartest move? She puts the labels on the lids for the items that are in the back, so that she can find what she needs in a glance.

3. Be mindful about the way you lay out drawer space.

In order to avoid having her tools clank against one another as drawers are pulled in and out, Green uses custom-cut drawer liners. She also carefully places her bulkier, more awkward-shaped tools, such as a potato masher and wire strainer, on the outer edge of her drawer and stores them from front to end. Green makes use of all of her utensil drawer space — without making things feel cluttered or cramped.

4. Group pantry items … and be sure to label.

While Green proudly built her very own shelving unit to hold all of her pantry’s dry goods, the takeaway tip is how she organized it all. Be purposeful about grouping items and create zones so that you can easily find what you have. And definitely consider including a bin that’s dedicated solely to snacks. “I refer to it as a ‘less waste’ pantry because I try my best to buy in bulk … hence the Mason jars full of what you can essentially find in the bulk buy items at your local grocery store,” she says, explaining that she avoids purchasing items stored in plastic.

The system also works because Green carefully labels everything she has in her pantry, so that she doesn’t waste time shuffling through glass jars, looking for coconut shreds or dried black beans, for example, during busy cooking sessions. You can even write the date you opened or bought the item on the label to easily keep track of freshness.

5. Create an organized weekly plan.

To stay on top of everything, Green displays a chore list and weekly meal plan in her kitchen. Using this list, she and her husband know what’s in store for the week and can keep track of what still needs to be done around the house.

Organizing goals should be treated like a workout routine, so you can turn new practices into habits, she says. “Before I head to bed, I scan through what I have to do the next day and make sure I have everything ready for each activity or at least I’m aware of what I need to do,” explains Green about her nightly routine. “This helps me feel in control of the next day and helps me sleep better at night.”

Do you feel inspired by this organized kitchen? Tell us in the comments below.