The Great Divide-How to Organize Your Kitchen Drawers


“Can I help you in the kitchen?” Some people love hearing this question… while others may cringe.

When you’re entertaining, it can be so nice when guests offer to help prepare food or clean up after the meal. UNLESS…you are terrified of guests opening your kitchen drawers and seeing a tangled mess!

Organizing your drawers is one of the easiest & least expensive organizing projects you can do.

Create Zones

In addition to standard-sized top drawers, many kitchens these days have larger pull out drawers for bulkier things like mixing bowls, appliances, Tupperware, pots and pans. I recommend that you create “zones” in your kitchen to save steps and to make it easier to locate things.

For example, in a baking zone, you would have baking utensils like whisks, rubber spatulas, rolling pins and measuring cups in the top drawer and in the drawers or cupboards below, place mixing bowls, large measuring cups and baking pans.

In my kitchen, I have several zones, including a baking zone, cooking zone, breakfast zone, entertaining zone and even a popcorn zone (we go through a lot of popcorn!)

Where to Start?

Sometimes the biggest obstacle to getting organized is figuring out where to start. Let’s focus on organizing just the top drawers of your kitchen.

Step 1 – Sort Drawer Contents

  • Clear off your counters, you will need plenty of space to sort everything.

  • If possible, pull everything out of your existing drawers. When everything is out on the counter, it is much easier to assess what you have and to identify broken or worn items.

  • Sort items into the following categories:

  • Silverware

  • Serving utensils (large spoons & forks, serving spreaders, ladles, serving spatulas)

  • Stovetop and cooking utensils (spatulas, tongs, wooden spoons, mixing spoons, potato masher, baster)

  • Baking utensils (whisks, rubber spatulas, beaters, measuring spoons & small measuring cups, timer)

  • Kitchen tools

  • Slicers (cheese slicers, cheese graters, pizza cutter, peelers)

  • Openers (can openers, bottle openers, corkscrew)

  • Grilling tools (spatula, tongs, skewers, lighters, matches)

  • Miscellaneous tools & gadgets (ice cream scoop, garlic press, kitchen shears)

  • Dish towels

  • Oven mitts

  • Food storage wraps & zip lock bags

Step 2 – Edit Your Inventory

  • Toss any broken items or anything in bad condition.

  • Donate or toss multiple items – keeping a few spatulas, whisks and mixing spoons is okay, but do you really need 2 pizza cutters or ice cream scoops? Edit as best as you can, keeping your goal of having beautifully organized drawers in mind.

Step 3 – Identify Homes by Category

  • Do you have enough drawers for each of the categories? If not, drawer dividers will help keep items separated.

  • Consider alternate “homes” – food storage wraps could be stored in the pantry, etc.

  • Use the widest drawer for the category with the most items.

  • Assign a drawer for each remaining category.

Drawer dividers are the BEST way to maximize storage space and keeps your drawers neat and organized.

Step 4 – Select Your Style

  • You can find a wide selection online and in most household goods stores.

  • Check available sizes and what brands will best accommodate your kitchen drawers.

  • Choose the color and style – this comes down to personal preference. Pick the style that makes you smile! You will find styles such as:

  • Wood, clear, plastic or mesh

  • Individual containers, combination trays or expandable sets*

  • My favorite drawer dividers are from The Container Store:

  • Interdesign Linus Clear Organizers & Bamboo Drawer Organizers

*Individual containers offer the greatest flexibility and customization, while combination trays or sets may be more affordable.

Measure Drawers for Dividers

  • Group like items together and determine the length and width needed to hold each category.

  • Measure each drawer and determine the number of divider containers or trays you will need for each drawer.

  • Maximize the space. Keep in mind that individual containers can be used sideways to fill in gaps in the back of the drawer.

Organizing your drawers saves time and gives you immediate results.

Instant Gratification

Making homes for all of your kitchen tools and gadgets is instantly gratifying. Not only does it keep your kitchen neat and organized, it will save you and your family a lot of time when preparing meals.

So go ahead, take your guests up on that offer to help you in the kitchen. You’ll spend less time in the kitchen and more time with them. Win-win!

Happy Organizing!

Kay

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Serving clients in Wake, Chatham, Durham & Orange Counties

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