How to Upgrade Your Kitchen

Upgrade the Kitchen in 5 Steps

I’ve moved four times in four years, and every kitchen has a different design. There’s never enough space to lay every dish, spice, and pan in the perfect Martha Stewart manner, so I’ve had to find creative ways to make room. Two weeks ago I moved to Los Angeles, and in preparation, I scoured the web for ways to make this kitchen the most organized and personalized yet. I’m happy to present my top 5 favorite ways to upgrade the kitchen and organize your space:


1. Can & Label Dry Goods: While canning jars are great for gifting and all-around adorableness, they’re also perfect for dry food storage. Toss the half-opened bags cluttering your cabinet, and pour the contents into jars (or skip the bags and buy in bulk next time!) Cut out the cooking directions and tape them to the back of the jar, or Google cooking directions as needed. Label the jars so you know what’s inside.


2. Conquer Pot & Pan Lids: This is a game changer. I hate dealing with pot and pan lids! They’re always in the way, and when they’re not, they’re falling on my feet. Not anymore. I can’t recommend my bamboo pot lid holder highly enough – I feel like it’s going to be part of my apartment tour from now on:

 lid organizer


Here’s a similar style pot lid organizer on, and a larger vinyl lid organizer from The Container Store.


3. Clear Counter Clutter: Sort mail, catalogs, menus, recipe tear-outs, etc. into a behind-the-door organizer hung with no-damage picture hooks. I like this magazine organizer by The Container Store, and there are some great DIY tutorials online from Make It & Love It and Bright and Blithe.


image via The Container Store

image via The Container Store


 4. Use Vertical Space: If your kitchen is cramped, take advantage of vertical space with these temporary fixes: under-shelf baskets slide onto shelves and expandable shelf organizers let you stack cans and spices.


photo via The Container Store

photo via The Container Store


5. Make it Happy: Make your kitchen a happy place, and give it some attitude – temporarily (so you get your security deposit back).


• Hang Art: I have two colorful drawings above my sink that I got on Nantucket– one is of a beach umbrella and one is a sand bucket. They have nothing to do with food, but looking at them makes me happy. There are a ton of fun food-related posters online like these sets from TexturedINK on Etsy (I love the chevron pattern ones!), awesome cartoon-style/retro prints from handz on Etsy, and helpful cooking graphics like volume conversions and cooking substitutions.


cooking substitution poster via

cooking substitution poster via


• Create a Backsplash: Yup, renters can do it too. Mibo makes temporary tile tattoos – waterproof peel and stick decals for standard tiles (works in the bathroom too!).


Mibo Tile Tattoos in Bembridge Apple Green via

Mibo Tile Tattoos in Bembridge Apple Green via


What are your top tips for organizing a kitchen? How do you make a rental kitchen feel like home?



Caroline Kaufman

Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist on a mission to help busy people achieve their nutrition goals without adding stress. She focuses on common-sense nutrition to make buying, preparing, and eating nourishing food simple. She believes good nutrition should be guilt-free: cook from scratch when you can, shop smart, eat well, and enjoy indulgences. Follow Caroline’s blog Sweet Foodie and connect on PinterestFacebook, and Twitter for daily healthy living inspiration.


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