My kitchen doesn’t look very different at first glance. Cleaner, but otherwise the difference is inside the cupboards.

Here’s the process. You remove everything from the cupboards, sort it all into appropriate containers, and fit it all neatly back into the cupboards. You’ll find that you can fit much more in square or rectangular containers than in random, round or odd-shaped containers.

Get rid of things you don’t really need and clean as you go. Here’s what I discovered from this process.

For one thing, it makes a real difference. I had tidy cupboards before. But now, with fairly uniform containers and everything labeled, opening a cupboard is a peaceful experience. I can see what I’m missing and need to replace, and I can reach everything, even on the high shelves. Nothing is lost or forgotten in the back.

Second, I know you should organize your kitchen in activity zones. Baking, cooking, cleaning, and clear up are all easier and more efficient when you do this. Make yourself a coffee station or a breakfast station. Get all the baking gear together. This is a game-changer.

Third, this is not an inexpensive process. Last year’s kitchen reorganization was cheap — I had some OXO pop-top containers in the pantry and loved them, but mostly I had shoe boxes and Triomphe jars and Rubbermaid containers all gathered over the years. But it’s the square and rectangular, uniform containers that make your space hold the most and give the calming effect.

I received most of the containers for this year’s kitchen project free for review. But I know that the total would have been significant if I had paid for them. Worth it, but in the hundreds at least. The picture just above this shows a cabinet that still has some of the old containers. I will be replacing them with Ambergron bins soon. Gradually gathering the containers, one cupboard at a time, is practical and worth the expense.

Definitely worth the time as well.