I love finding new ways to organize so that I can find exactly what I need, when I need it. The simplest method I’ve found to organize kitchen drawers for maximum efficiency boils down to this: Declutter. Create Stations. Arrange the Drawers. (Organizers help, as you’ll see in my examples below.)
Easy, yet there’s some thought required. I’ll elaborate on each step below — keep reading for ideas and inspiration!
Saving time in the kitchen (and in general) is a big deal for me. I have a teenage son who is very active in sports and school activities and I spend hours in the car every day.
My kid is always hungry, too. So, I’m constantly whipping up snacks and meals for him to eat on the go, and I don’t have time to hunt for utensils in messy drawers. I’m sure you don’t, either.
Here’s how I keep my kitchen drawers tidy so I can spend my precious time cooking, not looking! (First, be sure to PIN THIS IMAGE to save the article for future reference.)
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1. Declutter the Drawer
Before we can organize, we have to declutter. It’s impossible to organize any space when there’s too much stuff to fit inside of it. I can’t stress this enough! Here’s the best way I’ve found to declutter:
- Take everything out of the drawer (or drawers, if you’re doing this all at once).
- Sort and group like items together. Forks and knives, spatulas, measuring spoons, etc.
- Place anything that’s broken or missing pieces in a pile to throw away.
- Duplicates: do you really need three turkey basters? Or five slotted spoons? (Unless you’re a caterer, the answer is NO.) Pare down to what you actually use and donate the rest.
2. Create Stations
You can save a lot of time in the kitchen by creating “stations” or areas where you keep specific items for specific purposes. I organize kitchen drawers to reduce the number of steps I have to take from one area of the kitchen to another.
I like to line the drawers with grip liner like this (totally up to you):
I feel it helps keep things from sliding around too much.
After the drawers are lined, take measurements of both the drawers and the items you plan to store. This is essential for finding (or making) drawer organizers that maximize the space.
Keep reading for some helpful kitchen drawer station ideas!
3. Daily Silverware Drawer
The daily silverware station (forks, knives, spoons…whatever your family uses on a regular basis) should be placed near the plates and bowls and, ideally, the dishwasher for maximum efficiency.
I didn’t have an expandable tray when I organized my kitchen drawer, so I bought simple mesh drawer organizers to fit in the space beside it.
I have multiple sizes of spoons and forks, which I pair in the same tray slot to save room. Larger serving pieces fit in the longer slots and organizers, and less-used items like the “fancy” butter knife and sugar spoon that we save for company go in the small slot above the spoons and forks. My steak knives are laid flat to help avoid dull blades.
Serving pieces (the large forks, spoons, tongs you typically use when you have a dinner party) can go in their own station near the daily silverware, or in the same drawer if you have room.
For the daily silverware station, a divided cutlery tray is a must. I recommend an expandable version that adjusts to fit different sized drawers, like this one:
4. Cooking Utensils
Cooking utensils (spatulas, slotted spoons, ladles, etc.). I keep mine on the counter next to the stove, but they can also be stored in a drawer nearby.
I recommend a drawer organizer or set of drawer dividers to help you section the drawer and keep things neat. You can put spatulas in one section, spoons and ladles in another.
5. Spice Drawer
If you’re lucky enough to have space for a spice drawer near your stove, I envy you! Depending on the width and depth of your drawer, there are a few options for keeping the spices neat and organized. My favorite is this large, 4-tier bamboo spice rack (NOTE: your drawer must be at least four inches deep):
Not all drawers are sized equally! Here’s a customizable option that you can cut to fit any space (and it works in shallow drawers):
6. Baking or Kitchen Tools Drawer
I keep all measuring cups, spoons, can opener, beaters for the mixer, etc. in one drawer of my kitchen island, since I do most of my baking prep on the island. I store my mixer, cake and cupcake tins, and bread pans in the island cabinets as well.
I don’t have a ton of kitchen drawers. My baking tools (measuring cups and spoons, beaters, etc.) share space with other kitchen tools like can openers, slicers, peelers, etc.
7. Lunch Prep Drawer
A lunch prep drawer is a great way to save time in the morning.
All you need to duplicate this drawer is an expandable bamboo drawer organizer that fits your drawer dimensions and a SpaceAid Ziploc Bag Storage Organizer set. Then just fill it with your lunch essentials.
Check out my web story on how I set mine up!
8. Tupperware and Plastic Wrap Drawer
If you’re lucky enough to have deep kitchen drawers, they’re great for storing Tupperware. (I have to keep mine in the pantry, which is annoying.) Plastic wrap, aluminum foil, sandwich bags, parchment paper, etc. can all go in one station together.
For deep drawers, here’s a great storage idea for Tupperware containers and lids:
Deep drawers are also nice for storing pots, pans and lids. Check out some ideas in 15 Ways to Organize Pots and Pans in the Kitchen.
9. Coffee Kitchen Drawer Station
If you have extra drawers in the kitchen, celebrate! Consider using them to organize coffee and tea in a handy coffee pod organizer tray:
10. Charging Cable Drawer
Use an extra kitchen drawer and a cutlery tray to organize phone and iPad charging cables, portable chargers, and other electronic items:
11. Barbecue Tool Storage Drawer
Another idea: use a spare drawer for barbecue tools, stored in clear stackable containers.
12. Knife Drawer
Don’t want (or have) a knife block on the countertop? Store large knives with an in-drawer knife mat:
13. Kitchen Towels & Placemats
Finally, you can use extra drawer space to store placemats and napkins, hot pads, oven mitts and trivets, clean dish towels and other kitchen fabrics.
More Kitchen Organization Articles
- Smart Spice Storage Tips for a Small Kitchen
- Organize Your Stand-Up Freezer Like a Boss
- 5 Steps to Organize a Side-By-Side Refrigerator
- 20 Ways to Declutter Kitchen Counters Now
- The EASIEST Way to Organize Under the Kitchen Sink
- 15 Ways to Organize Pots and Pans in the Kitchen
- Gorgeous Ways to Organize Glassware, Cups and Bottles
- Life-Changing Ways to Organize With a Lazy Susan
- 12 Cozy Ways to Organize a Kitchen Coffee Station