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How to Organize Kitchen Drawers


A kitchen drawer is an easy way to hide a mess, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A little cleaning and organizing will help you find what you need when you need it. A few simple organizing tricks can keep all manner of items in place, including cooking utensils and pots. Soon, even your junk drawer will look clean and neat.


Rearranging Your Drawers

  1. Divide your drawers into zones. These zones will be based on what you do in that part of the kitchen. If you have a small kitchen, you might only have 2 zones. Larger kitchens might have 3 or 4 zones. These zones may include:[1]
    • Cooking zone: this zone contains the drawers immediately around your stove, oven, and microwave. This is where pots, pans, and cooking utensils should be stored.
    • Food preparation zone: these are the drawers right under the largest area of counter space. These drawers should contain mixing bowls, baking utensils, cutting boards, and chopping tools.
    • Dish zone: these drawers are close to the sink or dishwasher. This helps you put away dishes and cutlery after you clean them. You might also keep dishtowels here.
  2. Assign a theme to each drawer. Once you have narrowed down the zone of each drawer, decide what type of item will go in each specific drawer. Keep similar items together in 1 drawer. Some common ways to organize drawers include:[2]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • Silverware
    • Cooking utensils
    • Plastic wrap, parchment paper, wax paper, and aluminum foil.
    • Linens such as towels, placemats, and tablecloths
    • Spices
    • Save at least 1 drawer for miscellaneous items that don’t fit anywhere else.
  3. Remove everything from the drawers to begin organizing. If you don’t remove everything, it may be harder to keep track of where you put things. Split up the items according to their assigned theme or drawer. Once all of the items are grouped, you can move them into their new drawer.
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 3 Version 2.jpg
  4. Write down every item in your kitchen drawers. This inventory will tell you precisely what needs to be organized and how much you have of each item. Knowing what you have can help you identify how you will organize each drawer.[3]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 4 Version 2.jpg
  5. Get rid of unnecessary items. Over time, you might collect more and more stuff. If you don’t use something, consider giving it away or tossing it.[4] After making your list, go through and choose which items you can get rid of.[5]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, you may not need 3 ice cream scoops. Keep 1 and get rid of the rest.
    • There may be items that you don’t use anymore. If you don’t eat pizza, a pizza cutter will only take up space.
    • Throw out anything broken or with missing parts. This includes lids that no longer have a container.
    • Collect unnecessary items in a box. You might want to donate them or give them to friends.
  6. Wipe down your drawers with a clean rag and cleaning spray. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your drawers, now is an ideal time to do it. Spray an antibacterial spray and scrub away any dirt.[6]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • This is a great time to apply fresh liner to your drawers as well. Simply measure the paper out to size, and then pull off the backing. Stick the paper down against the drawer.

Arranging Cooking Utensils

  1. Divide your utensils by the type of cooking you use them for. If you do this, you may only need to use 1 or 2 drawers while cooking. While some tools may have multiple purposes, try to arrange your tools based on what you use them the most for. Some examples include:[7]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Baking utensils: measuring cups, measuring spoons, rubber spatulas, beaters, whisks
    • Meat utensils: meat thermometer, basting tool, seasoning brush, tenderizer
    • Eating utensils: forks, knives, spoons, chopsticks
    • Drinking utensils: straws, tea strainers, coffee scoops
    • Smaller groups of items might not get their own drawer. That’s OK. As long as similar items are kept together, it is all right if they share a drawer with other types of items.
  2. Buy a kitchen divider or organizer. These are boxes or trays designed to fit in drawers. They have separated compartments for each type of utensil. Measure the height, width, and length of your drawers first. You can buy a divider at a home goods store, kitchen store, or online.[8]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • Choose a divider with many different lengths and sizes of compartments. This will let you store a variety of utensils.
    • If you can’t find a kitchen organizer that fits your drawers, look for expandable drawer dividers instead. You can adjust the size of the divider to fit the dimensions of your drawer.
  3. Place 1 type of utensil per compartment. For example, put forks in 1 compartment and knives in another. Save long compartments for ladles, serving spoons, whisks, or spatulas. Remember to keep similar items together.[9]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 9 Version 2.jpg
  4. Install a knife board in a top drawer. Sharp knives, like steak knives or cleavers, need to be kept in a knife block. Measure the height and width of your drawer, and choose a knife block that will fit. Pull out the drawer as far as it will go, and place the block inside. You can now slide your knives into the drawer.[10]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • A top drawer is the safest option for sharp knives. This will let you choose a knife without bending over.
    • You can buy these blocks at kitchen stores or online.

Storing Pots and Plates

  1. Choose a deep drawer for larger items. Pots, pans, and plates all need more space than other utensils. If your drawer is deeper than your pans are tall, you can use it for this purpose.[11]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • If your pots don’t fit in your drawers, you can store them in cabinets or on wall hooks instead.
  2. Store lids and pots separately. Trying to stack lids on top of pans will make it difficult to fit them inside of a drawer. Instead, keep all of your lids together away from the pans. There are a few ways you can do this.[12]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • If you have a very wide drawer, you can place a divider in it. Keep pans on 1 side of the divider and lids on the other.
    • Try installing a tension rod a few inches away from the edge of the drawer. Set lids so that their handles rest against the tension rod. Keep pots on the other side.[13]
    • If you have many smaller drawers, you can put pans in a bottom drawer and keep the lids in the drawer right above the pans. If you keep your pans in a cabinet, you can keep the lids in the drawer above the cabinet.
  3. Purchase a pegboard divider. Measure your drawer, and buy a pegboard kitchen divider that will fit the drawer’s size. You can move around the pegs to create unique dividers for your pans. This will maximize the space that you use.[14]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 13 Version 2.jpg
    • A pegboard divider works best for organizing plates, casserole dishes, baking trays, and rounded pans. Frying pans, sauce pots, or anything else with a handle does not need any type of divider to organize it.

Storing Miscellaneous Items

  1. Assign a drawer for extra items. This will be the drawer where you can put cords, bandages, and anything else that may be useful in the kitchen but not used very frequently. Some things that might fit into this category include:[15]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 14 Version 2.jpg
    • Cords and chargers
    • Twine or string
    • Batteries
    • Scissors
    • Tape
    • Flashlight
    • Sticky notes
  2. Place small or easily lost items in separate plastic containers. Small containers with lids or plastic baby food containers work perfectly for this. You can put several containers in 1 drawer. Clear lids help you see what is inside. If you can’t find clear lids, label the top with what’s inside. Some useful items to store this way include:[16]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 15 Version 2.jpg
    • Rubberbands
    • Paper clips
    • Twist ties
    • Safety pins
    • Condiment packets
  3. Stick larger items into bins. These don’t need a lid on them. You can use small cardboard boxes, drawer dividers, or empty Tupperware containers. Stick 1 type of miscellaneous item in each bin. This works well for:[17]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 16 Version 2.jpg
    • Chargers
    • A pair of scissors
    • Pens
    • Bag clips
  4. Clean out the drawer once every 3 months. Miscellany drawers can often become junk drawers. If you don’t clean out the drawer often, it may become disorganized very quickly. Once every 3 months, go back through your miscellaneous item drawer and toss anything that you don’t need or use.[18]
    Organize Kitchen Drawers Step 17 Version 2.jpg


  • If you want to store spoons and forks in your drawer, you can make a drawer divider all by yourself and thus customize it.
  • If you don’t have a lot of drawers to store stuff in, keeping your cooking utensils in a canister by your stove can help you save space.[19]
  • Narrow kitchen drawers are great for storing spices.[20]



  4. [v161107_b01]. 16 August 2019.
  19. [v161015_b01]. 17 December 2018.
  20. [v161015_b01]. 17 December 2018.

Source: Wiki How