How to Organize Kitchen Drawers Like a Pro

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I've renovated big and small houses, lived in an RV full-time, and worked in restaurants. I'm a pro at kitchen organization! If you're wondering how to organize kitchen drawers, here are my tried-and-true tips. Your cooking space will be whipped into shape in no time.

It's back to school season, and we're still hunkered down in our little Boise house. The kitchen is mid-renovation with a new stove and dishwasher being installed, which is causing us to lose three crucial storage drawers. On top of that, we need to figure out how to store some of the kids' school supplies in here. They do most of their homework at the kitchen table and we need pencils, glue sticks, scissors, etc within arms reach.

Mom with dishes

Think I can do it? Yes, yes I can. We're working with our sponsor Spectrum Diversified Designs again today to share some super-helpful solutions. If you need help figuring out how to organize kitchen drawers, they have tons and tons of incredible products that can solve your problems.

Organizing kitchen drawers is a great way to keep your kitchen looking neat and tidy. It's also a great way to find things quickly when you need them. The most obvious advice for organizing kitchen drawers is to put like items together. For example, put all the small utensils in one drawer, all the measuring cups in a second drawer, and all the dishes in another drawer. This will make it easier to find just what you need right when you need it.

Organize Kitchen Drawers in 4 Steps

  1. Purge the junk! Get rid of anything you don't use on a regular basis, like those randomly-sized baking sheets or dishes that you never touch. This will automatically declutter your kitchen and make it easier to find things you do use frequently.
  2. Put things on the counter or walls whenever you can. You may choose to hang pots and pans up, add a hook for oven mitts on the wall and leave a trivet on the countertop instead of filling drawers with pot holders. 
  3. Get with the drawer-divide. Don't try to cram all your kitchen supplies into one drawer – it will just end up messy again. It's hard to find anything when they're all mixed up together! Instead, separate your pots and pans from measuring cups and spoons, coffee mugs from spatulas, etc, making sure that each grouping has a dedicated space.
  4. Create an ongoing schedule to organize kitchen drawers. It doesn't need to be anything too in-depth, just make a note on your calendar once per month to look through and make sure everything's been put in the right place and no clutter has accumulated.
Organized kitchen drawer

This house only had seven kitchen drawers when we moved in. As I mentioned, we're losing three of those due to renovations. See the three drawers above this well-organized situation? They're all being removed to make room for a mini dishwasher (called a dish drawer). I'm so thrilled to not have to wash everything by hand anymore, and it'll free up a fair amount of time to help the kids with their school work. That said, we had to purge all unessentials to accomplish this.

Above is what I call the mashing, mixing, soups and sauces deep drawer. I know to reach in here if something needs to be blended, grated, or strained. While my ingredients may require intermingling, my tools do NOT.

Remember the HEXA™ in-fridge items from my recent refrigerator organization post? Well, they have a whole other product line for in-drawer organization! I used a HEXA silverware tray from Spectrum to give every item its own little slot. I love that it has expandable wings on either side to fully take advantage of the space. Next, I need one of these for our toothbrush drawer!

As for the everyday dining utensils that are usually kept in the top utensil drawer? Those are going in a utensil tote on the counter.

How to organize kitchen drawers

Another drawer is dedicated to measuring cups, spatulas, tongs, and other often-used items. This slim drawer is adjacent to the stovetop so everything's within reach. More drawer organizers in here keep everything neat and tidy, with raised bottoms and a unique hexagon design known as HEXOLOGY to prevent crumb accumulation. It’s super simple to lift these out of the drawers and quickly wipe up any debris. They also have rubber feet so they don’t slide around in the drawer. This is similar to the containers we shared back in our kitchen organization post.

School supply drawer

Another drawer corrals less-often used cooking utensils such as a scale, small funnels, candy thermometers, a rolling pin, vegetable peelers and strawberry hullers. As you can see, next to that one we even managed to clear out the whole junk drawer! In that space, we created a school supply storage space right across from where the kids do their schoolwork.

I think that's one of the most important things to realize about organizing: you think you're just rearranging the stuff in your space, but you're actually making room in your life for more important endeavors. While I could easily accumulate every sort of kitchen gadget under the sun, I know that in this phase of life it's more important that the kids have the most seamless transition from IEP meetings to actually executing their assignments.

Purging Clutter Thoughtfully

When people think about how to organize kitchen drawers in a small space, a lot of them focus on extreme minimalism. Why have a one-cup measuring cup when you can simply use a 1/4-cup measuring cup repeatedly to get the same result? Why have a stand mixer when you have a whisk and two strong arms? While I'll never be that extreme, I am good at taking a close look at the items we use and figuring out how to make them sleeker or more compact.

Strainer from Spectrum Diversified

We used to have a big steamer pot with a dedicated insert. It was only used for steaming vegetables, and it took up just as much space as a multi-functional copper pot or Dutch oven. We were able to ditch that in favor of this little folding steamer (also from Spectrum Diversified) that fits neatly into our organized drawers.

Wipes container from Spectrum Diversified

Under the sink, I used to have a dedicated space for wipes. I had to stoop over and pull the canister out several times per day. Enter Spectrum Diversified's decorative refillable wipes dispenser! Now, I simply leave this out on the counter for easy access anytime. The space under the sink is freed up for bags, paper towels, and other items that don't need to be accessed as frequently.

Creative Organization, Creative Life

You see, organizing tips and organizing ideas for kitchen storage are much more than they appear. Taking time to organize means that my kids get a more open space and a more peaceful mom. Stashing plastic bags in a container hanging from the inside of the cabinet door means that I don't have to get frustrated mucking through a wet wad of bags randomly piled under the sink.

My little DIY kitchen is filled with all sorts of hacks like that. Pull out drawers double as school item storage. I have china cabinets filled with pantry items, and open shelving houses my dishes. A tension rod slowly closes the door from the kitchen to the garage so I don't go nuts from the constant opening and closing slam.

Think through every space in your life, and contemplate how it can be tweaked to make things easier, calmer, and more accessible. This'll open up room to focus on what matters most.

Do you feel confident that you know how to organize kitchen drawers now?


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