Before & Afters, DIY & Tech, Real Spaces & Stories

Neat Freaks Within: Kitchen Cabinets Makeover

By Gladiator Contributor Renee M.: working mom of two, craft lover, forever home owner

Gladiator brand compensated the contributor of this post, but this post represents the contributor’s own opinion.


Shoes, kids’ toys and outdoor tools tend to multiply when you’re not watching them closely enough. I thought the kitchen cabinets that came with our garage would help quell the chaos. No big deal, right? Ha.


While we maintained our large yard, cared for our koi pond and made sure our energetic kids kept busy with fun activities, the state of our kitchen cabinets disintegrated right before our eyes. These utensil drawers and spice racks never stood a chance against our family’s jumbled messes. Eventually, the cabinets started to retaliate. Open up a cupboard door and prepare to deal with an aggressive, free-falling bocce ball. Our toes are still recovering from the trauma of it all.


Granted, we did like the cheeriness of the white kitchen cabinets, so we were thrilled to find the Ready-To-Assemble Full-Door Wall GearBox in Slate Finish, the Ready-To-Assemble 3/4-Door Wall GearBox in Slate Finish and the Full-Door GearBox, which are just as bright and actually designed for garage storage. Not only are these easy to clean and even easier to install, but they also have wheels! Always say yes to easy-to-move storage options. The Gladiator® GearBoxes hang on our GearTrack® system, which gives us the flexibility to move the GearBoxes when we want to bring out winter gear like sleds, snowboards and skis.



Kitchen cabinets have this awkward bar that runs down the middle, making it pretty difficult to organize large items like helmets, toy planes and safety cones. Now we have deep drawers and roll-out shelves, keeping toys tidy WITHOUT my husband or me having to reorganize any of them. The “After” shot shows the kids’ toys after a week of regular play. Score! Huge win for storage space that the kids can keep clean without our help.



The center bar also made it hard to store our pesticides and cleaning agents. The kitchen cabinets had adjustable shelves, but they were still so narrow that several bottles only fit when stored sideways — never something you want to do with nasty chemicals. Now we can actually fit much more in the same space, and safely.


One of the biggest moves we made involved Grandpa’s old tool chest. We love this chest to bits, but we also dread its rusty, screeching door and clunky drawers. It’s the biggest pain in the butt to move around, so it’s been snug in its spot for the longest time. We finally moved it to the basement without too many scratches, replacing it with a roomy tool chest that rocks — and rolls! The 10-Drawer 52″ Base Tool Chest with Topper locks up and looks perfect next to our updated cabinet system.



This space is also great for my husband’s auto gear. He likes to show off his car trinkets, from old license plates to toy Ferraris. Why not throw a Buddha mug into the mix?



Even though we have fewer cabinets than before, our storage space feels like it’s been doubled. Here’s something I never thought I’d say: I’m in love with the drawer liners. The 5-Drawer Modular GearDrawer opens and closes so smoothly. This project definitely coaxed out our inner neat freaks.



It feels as if we built a new home addition. My husband’s always looking for a quiet escape from the kids, so it made sense to mount a TV on the GearWall® Panels. We’re also kind of obsessed with good lighting, so we added a motion sensor for the cabinet lights. When our hands are full, we don’t have to feel around for the switches and potentially create a huge mess.



Little by little, we conquered our kitchen cabinets makeover. Once we were done, we walked out and saw this double rainbow. I kid you not. There’s no way this wasn’t a sign. We emerged from the wreckage of our old garage into a shiny, organized haven, greeted by this awesome view. I couldn’t be happier.


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