Tool boxes are good for small parts.
Everyone needs good bolt bins.
Nice small movable tables that can go against a wall are also good. Especially if they can have storage built into them. Being mobile makes a huge difference in organizational functions and usability of a smaller work area.
Metal cabinets with big doors are great for fluids, greases, paint and other consumables. They're way too expensive new. But if you hunt, they're dirt cheap, second hand.
Pallet racking with stackable totes for storage is probably the best solution to most spaces.
I agree, kitchen cabinets suck in a shop. Everything ends up disorganized in them and they get oil stains which ends up just looking trashy.