Organization for a Kid-Friendly Kitchen


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Walmart. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.

For me, January is typically all about getting organized. After the Christmas decor is down, I love the way our house feels a bit calmer and cleaner and I usually take the first few weeks of January to organize any pain points in each space.

Rory helping in the kitchen

Now that we have two kids, we’re constantly redoing our organization systems to keep up with how fast they’re changing. As their needs change, our current systems become outdated and we scramble to find a new way to keep our house, and all of the kid stuff, under control.

I recently read a book that really changed my parenting mindset and made me rethink our kitchen setup…….

Hunt, Gather, Parent Book

I finished the book Hunt, Gather, Parent over Christmas break, and holy smokes, it was fantastic. The author analyzes the way other cultures parent and suggests strategies to raise helpful and happy kids here in our Western world. If you have kids, it’s a must-read. It completely altered the way I look at my time with my kids (mostly Rory, since she is a toddler), and I’ve already noticed lots of positive changes in our house.

One of the biggest things we’ve implemented is having Rory help with basic tasks around the house. I know, I know…how can a toddler actually help? Doesn’t it just make any task take ten times longer? Yes. But getting kids involved with basic chores improves their self-esteem, teaches them how to be helpful, and introduces them to the concept of teamwork.

How to create a kid-friendly kitchen

Since reading the book, I now have Rory help me unload the dishwasher, water our plants every week, keep our bathroom stocked with toilet paper, get her own shoes/hat, etc. It’s been awesome to see how excited she gets to be a part of these mundane, yet important, tasks.

Organization for a Kid-Friendly Kitchen

How to create a kid-friendly kitchen

After reading the book, I realized that our kitchen wasn’t set up to encourage this helpful behavior. I wanted Rory to be able to put her own cup, spoons, and plates away when unloading the dishwasher. I also thought it would be great if she could help set the table for dinner with her own kitchen supplies.

Our kitchen isn't kid-friendly right now

However, all of those items were housed up high on a shelf, over our pantry, so there was no way she could access them. I knew that I wanted to tackle this spot, but I needed a few items to get the job done.

The Home Edit Line

Organizational items from Walmart from the new Home edit line

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the duo behind The Home Edit. Their flourishing Instagram account and organizing business turned into a hit on Netflix, called Get Organized with The Home Edit. Well, they now have organizational products exclusive to Walmart.

organizational bins from Walmart

The products are all a part of their signature look…chic, clear storage bins. I was so excited to see all of the goodies and I scooped up some bins for our new kid-friendly kitchen project. (You can see them here.)

Creating Kid-Friendly Kitchen Drawers

Rory's kitchen items are a mess

As I mentioned, Rory’s kitchen items lived up high over our pantry. Sure, we had bins for all of her stuff, but they were a bit of a hot mess and it was always tough to access exactly what we needed, especially when we had a hungry toddler begging for “mac cheese, mac cheese!”

purge what you don't need

We ended up clearing out two drawers in the kitchen to turn them into Rory’s very own space. I then went through all of her items and ditched anything that we rarely use, and things like straws from cups that were long gone. Once I had only the essentials left, I grabbed some Home Edit goodies to start organizing the drawer.

Getting The Drawers Organized

Getting our drawers organized

I ended up ordering this 10-piece bath storage system and this 8-piece multi-purpose storage system from Walmart. I mixed and matched pieces from each system to fit them snuggly into the drawer.

Getting Rory's drawers organized for a kid-friendly kitchen design

Height-wise, the big bins fit the drawer perfectly! I tried out a few configurations until I settled on these bins to hold all of Rory’s items.

Leftover bins to organize

I actually have quite a few bins leftover and I think I’m gonna save them for our new bathrooms, once we’re done with our upcoming renovations. It’s always kinda thrilling to have new organizational tools. You know you’re an adult when organizing is a big thrill in your everyday life. Ha!

“Labeling” Each Compartment

Taking a photo of each item

Once I had everything exactly where I wanted it, I took a photo of the items that would live in each compartment.

Tips to create a kid-friendly kitchen, label each area with photos

I then edited the photos (here’s my Lightroom editing tutorial) and had the pictures printed.

print pictures of the items in your drawers

I took some tape and taped a photo to the underside of each bin. Since the bins are clear, we can see the pictures from the top.

Tape a picture of the item to the bottom of the clear bin

I actually stole this idea from Rory’s school. Each area in their classroom has a picture of the toy or book that goes there. That way, the kids know exactly where to put items when they’re done using them. It’s genius.

Tips to create a kid-friendly kitchen

Instead of making labels as I normally would, I thought this would be a great way to label and create a kid-friendly kitchen.

How to create drawers for a kid-friendly kitchen

Rory can now see where each item goes and it’s become a bit of a game for her as she helps unload the dishwasher!

Rory helping put away items in the kitchen

She has so much fun checking to see the photo before she places the item in the drawer. It has made her such a good helper!

Our Kid-Friendly Kitchen

Tips to create a kid-friendly kitchen

I’m so happy with this super fast and easy organizational project. Now everything has a spot to call home in these drawers, including her favorite Minnie Mouse and Anna cups!

Rory helping in the kitchen

I also highly recommend investing in a kitchen tower for your toddler. We got one last year and it’s the best way to keep Rory entertained while we cook. She helped my mom make dozens of Christmas cookies; she helps Finn do a bit of food prep – tearing lettuce, putting things in bowls, etc.; and she even started learning how to cut with kid-friendly knives! Instead of cooking during naptime or after she goes to bed, we now have her more involved in the kitchen and everyone is happier. Oh, and our girl is officially growing up. We just moved her out of our high chair and into this booster seat!

My Favorite Organizational Items

Here are a few of my favorite organizational items, along with some kid-friendly stuff we have in our home.

kid-friendly kitchen organization

Tall Bins // Bath Bins // 8-piece Storage Set // Rattan Basket // Nesting Baskets // Learning Tower // Plastic Knives // Kid-Safe Cutter // Rory’s Cups // Rory’s Bibs // Kid Cutlery // Snack Cup

What’s On Your “To Organize” List?

Tips to create a kid-friendly kitchen
This is Rory saying “I got you, Mama! I’ll put away my dishes.”

This wasn’t a revolutionary “How-to post”, but it’s definitely a project that will improve my everyday life. I encourage you to find any pain points in your current home systems and figure out the best way to organize and make them work more easily for you!

Casey

How to create kid-friendly kitchen drawers

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.