How to Organize Kitchen Drawers

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how to organize kitchen drawers

Do you always spend too much time rummaging through your kitchen drawers?

And what about that junk drawer that seemed to be a catchall for anything in the house? Going through the contents of that can be like a black hole that takes up a lot of time – and it can easily ruin your mood too.

One way to avoid all of these from happening is to implement an organizing system for your kitchen drawers. I know that looking at your drawers, this may seem like a tedious and impossible task. But it is very possible!

So, to help you out, here is a simple guide on how to organize the kitchen drawers!

How to organize the kitchen drawers

1. Empty your drawers.

Take everything out of your drawers. Start with a clean and empty slate!

Once you clear out the contents of your drawers, you get to clearly see how much space you have to work with and what organization system would work best.

2. Clean up.

Clean up the kitchen drawer.
Image from Sunny Side Up

Now that your drawers are empty, give it a good cleaning! Typically, kitchen drawers are not that dirty so this will just take a few minutes and with minimal effort.

Most of the time, all you need is a wet rag or some wipes and that’s it!

3. Declutter.

Separate the contents of the drawers into three piles: one for the items you’ll throw out, another for the items you can give or donate, and last for the items you will keep.

This declutter session might take the bulk of your time when organizing your kitchen drawers, depending on how much stuff you have in there. Many times we have a hard time letting go of things so to help you start, here is a short list of items that you should get rid of.

  • Containers with missing lids
  • Bent spoons, forks, and knives
  • Chipped, broken or cracked plates and bowls
  • Rusty utensils
  • Duplicate items
  • Extra plates or cups
  • Stained and worn-out rags and towels
  • Anything you have not used for the past 6 months

This is not the time to consider how much you bought these items. This is the time to be honest about the things that you really need and how much you really use each item.

For a more detailed kitchen decluterring guide, read our article on How to Declutter the Kitchen.

4. Find a spot for everything.

Everything must have its own place. So pick a spot for those you want to keep.

Only keep in the drawers the things that belong to those drawers. Keep the rest to where they belong too.

5. Measure your drawers.

Now that you already know which items should go back in the drawers, it is time to think of how you will organize these.

Measure each drawer. Take note of the width, length and depth of each one. This is your guide in picking the right organizer size. Getting the right measurements means you will not be wasting any drawer space.

You may simply buy your organizers online. Or just create your own DIY kitchen drawer organizers!

6. Organize!

When you already have your organizers, it’s time to implement your organization system.

Assign items to their rightful place and inform your household of the new arrangement. Informing everyone will help you maintain the neatness and order that you have worked hard for.

7. Declutter frequently.

This is the real secret to a well-organized kitchen drawer!

Organizing your kitchen drawers is not a one-time job. If you want your new arrangement to last, you have to make continuous efforts to maintain it.

Decluttering regularly means you make sure you are only keeping what you really need. This prevents accumulating junk in your kitchen.

Kitchen drawers organizing tips

1. Make things easily accessible.

Store items close to where they will be used. Take these examples!

  • Keep in drawers near the stove or oven those that you often use in cooking.
  • Store measuring cups and mixing bowls just beneath the countertop, or if your kitchen island has drawers, in the kitchen island.
  • Place the things you need to make coffee near the coffee machine.

2. Keep it kid-friendly!

If you have kids in the house, organize your kitchen drawers in a kid-friendly way.

Think of the things your kids use the most and place them in the drawers that they can easily access.

Consequently, items that they should not have access to, like knives, should be placed in drawers that they can’t reach.

3. Stack items on deep drawers.

If you have deep drawers, maximize the space by placing items that can be stacked such as mixing bowls, serving dishes and plates.

Make sure to keep only the items that stack well together. Otherwise, it will just be a messy tower.

4. Store pans vertically.

Pans can be stacked on top of each other but one wrong move and they can make a lot of mess and noise.

To keep this simple, store your pans vertically in the deep drawers.

For more ideas on how to store pans neatly, check out our related article – Simple Ways to Organize Pots and Pans Like a Pro

5. Use kitchen drawer organizers.

Use kitchen drawer organizers
Image from Shelterness

A drawer organizer creates sections within so it’s easy to categorize your things inside the drawer. The dividers will also keep the items in place when you open and close the drawers.

If you want to make the drawer organizers snug, you may use double-stick tape to keep them securely in place.

Now here are kitchen drawer organizers that will help you keep things in order!

1. Silverware organizer

organize kitchen drawers with silverware organizer
Image from Ugly Duckling

No kitchen drawer organizer list is complete without the usual silverware organizer! This allows you to store your spoons, forks, breadknife, and other cutlery separately and keep them from mixing up every time you open and close the drawer.

Check out our favorite silverware organizers from Amazon!

14 PCS Clear Plastic Drawer Organizer

Bamboo Kitchen Drawer Organizer

madesmart Classic Large Silverware Tray

Visit this page for more silverware organizers!

2. Diagonal drawer organizer

Sometimes your kitchen tools are either too long or too short for ordinary drawer organizers. So why not get an organizer that can accommodate anything and everything?

Here is an organizer having diagonal compartments, giving space for long and short items alike.

organize kitchen drawers with a diagonal drawer organizer
Image from Martha Stewart

Try this bamboo drawer organizer!

3. Knife drawer organizer

Knife blocks can look bulky on your kitchen counter. Not only that, it can also take precious space.

You can keep your knives in your drawers instead – with a knife drawer organizer like this one, where there’s a lot of space for knives of all sizes.

organize kitchen drawers with a knife drawer organizer
Image from Hip 2 Save

Here’s our top favorites from Amazon!

Joseph Joseph Drawer Knife Organizer

In-Drawer Bamboo Knife Block

Expandable Bamboo Utensil Tray with Knife Block

See more knife drawer organizers in this page!

4. Peg board for dish drawer

Use a peg board to organize the plates and bowls inside the kitchen drawers.

With these, you can stack plates together while keeping everything in place. It is also easier to open and close the drawer without upsetting the stack.

Here are our favorites from Amazon!

Rev-A-Shelf Large Wood Peg Board

Umbra Shelf and Drawer Organizer Tray

Visit this page for more choices!

5. Spice rack for drawers

If you’re keeping your spices in the kitchen drawers, get a slanted-tiered organizer. This will help you find the spices that you need while cooking. The spices will be very easy to see!

Here are our favorites from Amazon!

Lynk Professional Spice Rack Tray

mDesign Expandable Plastic Deluxe Spice Rack

Check out this page for more choices!

6. Plastic bins for junk drawer

Organize everything inside your junk drawer! Rather than mindlessly dumping anything inside, give each item a place. Use plastic bins to hold your stuff.

Use different sizes of plastic bins to make room for any type of item that you may have. But as advised earlier, make sure to measure your drawers so you know what sizes will fit.

organize kitchen drawers with plastic bins
Image from A Nod to Navy

7. DIY kitchen drawer organizers

As mentioned earlier, you can make your own kitchen drawer organizers!

Take this example from a very resourceful homemaker. The organizer was made of cardboard boxes of different sizes, a small ceramic bowl, and other containers that were just lying around the house.

organize kitchen drawers with DIY organizers
Image from kitchn

Hah! This is the work of resourcefulness and creativity combined – a solid proof that you really don’t need expensive organizers to make things work!

It’s more fun to cook when the kitchen drawers are organized!

It’s true that meal preparation takes time, but we all could use some time-saving methods, and one of that is to organize the kitchen drawers. There is nothing more satisfying than preparing meals in a well-organized kitchen.

So get down to your kitchen, roll up those sleeves, and see what needs to be done in those drawers! Let’s get things rolling!

Need more kitchen organization tips? Check these out!

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Are your kitchen drawers always in a mess? Follow this simple guide to organize your kitchen drawers!

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