Before and After: A Small Kitchen with Deep Cabinets Gets an 8-Hour Organizing Makeover for Under $1,000

published Dec 25, 2022
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Before: kitchen cabinets with food and spices
Credit: By Saki

When you move into a new home, the kitchen is usually among the very first rooms you go to unpack. But setting up a kitchen thoughtfully, so that everything is stored in the right spot, with nothing extraneous crowding corners needlessly, is so much harder than meets the eye. And trying to do that when you’re sleep-deprived and reeling from transitioning to a new locale is even more challenging. 

Credit: By Saki

Iris Miyasaki’s clients left this most important setup in their new home to the professionals. Her clients hired her to “optimize this space by creating zones that flowed with their lifestyle and how they use the kitchen.” 

“The kitchen was relatively small so each organizing product used was very intentional,” says Iris. “My goal was to have a beautiful and functional kitchen for my clients.” 

Credit: By Saki

With a total budget of $900, Iris unpacked and organized the entire kitchen in about eight hours.

Before the project begins, Iris does an introductory consultation, in which the space is discussed and organizing and styling goals are determined, and an in-person consultation, where measurements are done to ensure the right products are purchased. Then, she sources products, design pieces, and any necessary furniture. 

Credit: By Saki

Then, the in-home work can begin. Here’s what she did:

  • Sort. Pull out everything from its current spaces and categorize items. 
  • Let go. Create donation and toss piles.
  • “The magic” happens. Iris describes this exciting phase: “Everything starts coming together as categories are placed in their designated homes with organizing products, labels, and design pieces.” 
  • Final reveal. Clients see the updated space and are given steps for maintenance. 
Credit: By Saki

Iris says that the hardest part of the project was “figuring out the optimal flow for the clients. After they lived in the space for a few nights, they had a better idea of what they needed daily, weekly, etc. They also had very narrow and deep cabinets so using the right product was very important.”

The easiest part was a fun one: giving them a spice drawer. “ It’s one of my favorite (and easiest) solutions for clients that it makes sense for,” says Iris. “Uniform jars are so visually pleasing.”

Credit: By Saki

Iris offers a couple of key takeaways for anyone looking to revamp their own kitchen spaces. First, she points out that “because the kitchen is pretty small, each category’s location is relative to the frequency of usage.” Additionally, she advises that “taking note of how and how often you use your belongings is crucial to organizing small spaces.”

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