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Homefries University

Kitchen Drawers: Part 3

High Straightenence by Tracy Benjamin

A weekly column celebrating the neat freak in all of us.

I decided to tackle TWO cabinets this week–UNDER THE SINK & ABOVE THE FRIDGE.

Here we go!

I’ve been dreading these two because they required a lot of work. Buuuuuuut somehow this lady powered through. I will say at one point I looked at all the piles of stuff around my kitchen and wondered how I would ever get it done. That’s when you just gotta GO FOR IT. The end result is always worth it. ALWAYS.

Here’s the under the sink BEFORE.  Garbage on the left, recycling on the right….but it all just looks like GARBAGE, doesn’t it?

I waited until Cooper went to bed to tackle this project. BTW- This project was fueled by The Because Show! I listened to the NERD OUT podcast while I nerded out with my organizing. Almost dropped a few things from laughing too much. I like to listen to Simple Mom when I’m folding laundry. But that’s a whole other post I’ll save for another day.

I digress…

I took everything out from under the sink & sorted what didn’t really belong there. There are a few things that will make their way into the garage because I don’t need them often enough to warrant precious under the sink space.

I paired everything down to the ESSENTIALS and put all of the bottles in a metal/mesh container so I can take it in and out from under the sink if I need to. Before they were all just hanging out there and they’d get knocked over if I was being to aggressive with putting things back.

Sooooooo…under the sink? Gross!!! Would you believe that I swept out and scrubbed the bottom of this cabinet in this picture? And it still looked like that! It actually looked like this when we moved in. Nasty.

That’s where CONTACT paper comes in handy. I bought a roll of it at Target. Black and white….go figure…

In less than 10 minutes I had a new lining for the cabinet. Folks! This makes a HUGE difference.

The best part is that this pattern is SUPER forgiving. There are a few creases but they get lost in the pattern.

I started putting things back. Those big containers go in the back with the dust pan & broom.

The recycling bin & the container of all the goods goes next to it.

And there’s the garbage bin in there—with room to spare! SCORE.

I love looking down and putting something away in the garbage because it means that I get to see a little peep of the contact paper.

It’s the little things…Let me just nerd out for a second!

And we work our way to the dreaded ABOVE THE FRIDGE CABINET.  This is the GOT SOMETHING BIG? SHOVE IT IN HERE, cabinet.

I took everything out…cleaned the insides…sorted…

I had one Tupperware full of all my baking stuff and split it up because it was a MESS.

Baking things in one container & cupcake stuff in another. Boom boom pow.

This is the AFTER!

This is how I sorted everything. There’s a place for stuff! I love the cake stand/serving platter section. This cabinet was MADE for things like that.

Aaaaaaaand the best part is that I was able to weed out a few things I didn’t need!

And while I started pulling things out to sell, I headed over to this cabinet and did some rearranging & purging.

In all, this project took about 2.5 hours. It was well worth it!

Still some other cabinets left to do…stay tuned!





Tracy Benjamin

Tracy Benjamin is obsessed with good food, great photography, and pretty things.


  • Adeline April 4, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Tracy, I LOVE those posts. They make me so happy. Makes me want to go home and get rid of STUFF, which I’ve actually started doing thanks to your post!

    PS: have you read Karen Kingston’s Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui? I randomly picked it up at the library a while back, and it is brilliant. Especially when it comes to getting rid of things without feeling guilty (clothes that were never worn, anyone?).

    • Tracy April 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

      oh! I haven’t read that book! I have to admit that I rarely feel guilty about getting rid of stuff. It’s addictive!!!

  • Iris April 4, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Love the contact paper idea! This post is getting me so excited for Spring Cleaning.

  • Kayleigh April 4, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I agree Adeline, these posts make me so happy! Haha who would of thought that organizing could make someone so giddy!

    You have inspired me, I am off to do some organizing today :)

  • Jessica @ The Desert Abode April 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Loving these posts! I feel a major organization overhaul brewing in my kitchen …

  • Erin @ The Speckled Palate April 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

    You have inspired me to get to work on my kitchen cabinets… and when I move in the fall, to actually do them right the first time. Heaven help me. This might be ugly, but then, it’ll be really pretty.

    Thanks, Tracy!

  • suki April 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

    we have a ton of cutting boards too! :)

  • Jessica Ann (@peonyfish) April 4, 2012 at 8:52 am

    These posts totally push all my buttons, both my I-need-to-get-organised buttons and my snoopily-seeing-what-other-people’s-messy-bits-look-like buttons. Love high straightenence!

  • Jane M April 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Very very inspiring! SPRING CLEANING FOR ME S.T.A.T. I just need a little motivation to get me going and I think this post may have just done the trick.

  • JenMarie April 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I really enjoy this blog. I enjoy shutterbean as well, but this one I just really love!
    I awarded you with the Versatile Blogger award on my site, I hope you check it out!

  • Elizabeth April 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    It’s crazy how much I enjoy watching you clean and organize your home. Why is that?! I hope you have a really really big home!

  • Lori from A Family's Life April 5, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Loving these posts!

    That contact paper is great!

  • marci April 5, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Hey Tracy – this is awesome, thanks for sharing! my under-sink looks like your “before”! I needed some inspiration, thanks! It’s amazing what 2.5 hours can do, and sometimes it’s the thought of it that can make me procrastinate. Seeing your success makes me feel like I can tackle that space! Love that we have some of the same stuffage under our sinks. B&W contact paper is so sassy and so “you”! ties in with your kitchen tile so nicely :-D thanks, as always!!

    • Tracy April 5, 2012 at 9:22 am

      YOU CAN DO IT, Marci!!! It’s going to feel awesome when you’re done!! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  • Ellen April 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Where do you get all those metal mesh bins? The seem like the perfect thing for under sink storage!

  • I love lists, Friday! › shutterbean April 6, 2012 at 1:03 am

    [...] the sink & over the fridge. The two dreaded cabinets get organized on this week's High Straightenence! Like what you read? Get updates for free! ‹ Five Favorite [...]

  • Amy @ ElephantEats April 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Just started listening to the podcast this weekend and I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Seriously, I was laughing so hard.

    This post is awesome. Before and afters are one of my favorite things ever.

  • Amber April 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Tracy is that a baby food maker in you sell picture? If so, and you still have it I would love to take it off your hands.

  • Chrystina April 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I’m impressed. Very impressed. So what’s your game plan for donating/selling. You must live in a tag-sale-ing area?

  • Jenny June 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Hi Tracy! I was just going through all of your Kitchen Drawers posts and I keep on seeing you use these rectangular metal mesh baskets like for utensils in the drawers and for the cleaning supplies under the sink. Where did you get them because they look very useful for organizing drawers?

    • Tracy June 18, 2012 at 9:07 am

      I’ve had them for ages! I think I got them at Bed Bath & Beyond waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when. They should still have them! Good luck.

  • HomeFries | Organized: Under the Kitchen Sink August 15, 2012 at 12:00 am

    [...] Remember when I cleaned out & organized under the sink of our old place? [...]

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