Oct. 5 2023

Top 3 Crucial Steps for Organizing Your Newly Renovated Kitchen

by Emily Santos

Any remodel - and especially a kitchen remodel - disrupts the rhythms of your daily life. Your stuff is everywhere. You can't find the plates, salad bowl, or bread you're sure you bought at the store yesterday. Washing dishes in the bathtub is normal (been there).

As a professional organizer, I've worked with many clients' post-remodel to help put their kitchens - and their daily lives - back together. I've learned that you can reduce your stress during the process with some upfront time spent organizing before you remodel. Here's how:

Step 1. Clear Out Your Storage Area


Yes, it sounds odd to start planning for your kitchen remodel by organizing your garage. However, storage areas like a garage, unfinished basement, or a rarely used guestroom get the least attention when it comes to organizing. That means there's the most opportunity (and space!) to gain by organizing them! By clearing out what you no longer need, you'll free up space for everything that's about to be displaced from your kitchen (and avoid having to rent a storage unit). Follow this proven process:

Set a goal for what you want to accomplish. For example, free up space for a shelving unit full of kitchen supplies and boxes by letting go of items that you haven't used in the last two years.

Pull everything off shelves, racks, or anywhere you think it "belongs." Moving your stuff out of its normal location allows you to see it in a new light.

Set criteria for what to keep versus donate, recycle, or toss based on your goal. Then, sort items into categories and edit using your criteria.

Identify zones for what you're storing versus what you'll want to access during the remodeling process and relocate items into their zones.

See also: Ditch the Messy Kitchen Pantry with These 5 Steps to Pantry Envy!

Step 2. Categorize Everything in Your Kitchen 


It's natural to look around your current kitchen and think: Everything will be organized after the remodel. All I need is more space. And it's partially true, especially in older Seattle homes. Or maybe you think: What's the point of trying to get organized before a remodel? It's all going to change anyway.

Trust me, organizing before a remodel is absolutely worth your time. You'll start thinking about how you use your kitchen, gather vital information for your kitchen designer in the process, and reduce your future cabinet needs, making room for that beverage fridge you're hoping for. Follow the same process that you just did in your garage:

Empty every cabinet and drawer. This includes finding all of those kitchen items that could be hiding somewhere else in your house.

Sort items into categories that make sense to you based on how you use them.

Once all items in one category are together, it becomes a lot easier to reduce. I'd estimate people reduce their kitchen items by about 30% when they follow the full process. (How did I get so many whisks? I don't even remember buying that waffle maker! Whoops, when I bought that new coffee grinder, I forgot this one was in the back of the cabinet.)

Put everything back in your kitchen, creating zones for categories that are used together.

If you're partnering with Innovative Home Renovations on your kitchen remodel, you'll work with them to take a complete inventory of everything in your kitchen to ensure you have enough cabinet space. If you've done the upfront organizing work prior to beginning your remodel, you'll get a more accurate assessment of your cabinet requirements (beverage fridge, here you come!).

Step 3. Try Out Your New Zones in Your Old Kitchen.


Think about what you like and don't like about how your categories fit into your space. What do you wish was different? What do you not want to change? Talk to your kitchen designer about your learnings early on in the design phase of your remodel project. It will help them design a gorgeous space to fit your life.

See also: Discover the Secrets to a Perfectly Organized Seattle Kitchen in Only 4 Steps


Pro Tip

Wait to buy bins, baskets, and any other organizing supplies until you like the setup.


Renovation Completed, Time to Move Back in!


You've done the upfront organizing, your remodel is complete, and it's pure joy. After you unpack everything into your new kitchen (which was so easy because all of your stuff is in categories already!), confirm that the daily activities in your kitchen play out the way you think they will. Don't be afraid to move zones around. Wait to buy bins, baskets, and any other organizing supplies until you like the setup. My favorites: risers for deep cabinets and turntables just about anywhere.

Looking to Get Organized Before a Remodel?

Innovative Home Renovations is partnering with Emily Santos and Essential Organizing to bring you regular organizing advice, tips, and how-to's. If you need extra help as you start organizing, head to her website to download her free Sorting Tips. If you already know you'll need some extra help to get the job done right, schedule your complimentary Initial Intake Call and start organizing with Emily today!


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