How to Organize Kitchen Drawers

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Are your kitchen drawers a cluttered mess, making it hard to find what you need? Decluttering and organizing the kitchen drawers can have a huge impact on the functionality of the kitchen. Find out how to organize kitchen drawers and keep them that way! And it’s easier than you think! Even your junk drawer can be neatly organized.

How to organize kitchen drawers - organized kitchen drawer

How to Organize Kitchen Drawers

I recently went through and decluttered and organized my kitchen drawers, including the junk drawer. My drawers were already pretty organized but I knew it could be better.

We moved two years ago and I just didn’t put a priority on getting the drawers super organized.  I initially reused some of the organizational products from our old house and it was definitely time for an upgrade. I’ll show you how to organize your kitchen drawers and include pictures of my drawers.

Declutter Kitchen Drawers


How to organize kitchen drawers: messy kitchen drawer

The first step is always decluttering. Please don’t skip this step! Otherwise, you will end up buying organizers for stuff you don’t need or use. And you’ll still be overwhelmed by too much stuff.

It can be easy to rationalize why you need to keep stuff. Be honest about what you really need and how much you use the items. Ask yourself decluttering questions below to determine what stays. If you answer no to all the questions, then it’s time to get rid of the item.

  • Do I need it?
  • Have I used it in the last year?
  • Would I buy it again if I was in a store right now?
  • Do I really, truly love it?

Duplicates can also be a huge issue in the kitchen. Sometimes you really need and use duplicate items.

For example, I have several sets of measuring cups and spoons but I use them and I have room for them. If I had a smaller kitchen, then I’d have to decide if I really need the space for duplicates or if I should change the way I cook to get by with less.

Related: No-Fail Strategies to Clear the Clutter and Decluttering Paralysis: Tips When You’re Struggling to Declutter

Cleaning Kitchen Drawers

Since you’re taking everything out of the kitchen drawers, it’s the perfect time to give them a good cleaning. Typically, all you’ll need is a microfiber cloth and some water.

Dampen the microfiber cloth and wipe down the drawers or spray the empty drawer with water and use a dry cloth to wipe it down.

If there are a lot of crumbs, you may want to use a vacuum attachment to sweep them up. Or you can simply scoop them up with a damp cloth.

Use a magic eraser for stubborn stains.

Cleaning Supplies

Microfiber Cloths
Water/Spray Bottle
Vacuum with attachment
Magic Erasers

How to organize kitchen drawers: microfiber cloths to clean drawers

Kitchen Drawer Liners

Drawer liners are not necessary and I personally do not use them. But there are several occasions you want to consider using them.

  • Your drawers are older and/or look a little beat up. Drawer liners can cover up imperfections.
  • You want to add personality to your drawers. Liners can be found in all kinds of fun and colorful patterns. Many of the decorative liners have an adhesive so you really need to be sure it’s the best decision to apply them to your drawers. They won’t be easy to remove.
  • To prevent items from sliding. The anti-skid liners typically come in neutral colors. You may not need this depending on the type kitchen drawer organizers and dividers you select.

Rearrange Kitchen Drawers with Zones

Kitchen zones don’t need to overly complicated and they likely won’t be perfect. But by creating zones by group similar items together you’ll improve the workflow of the kitchen.

Zoning is simply putting kitchen items closest to the area where they will be used. For example, I keep most of the cooking utensils close to the stove and the oven mitts next to the ovens.

Now, you’re not always going to be able to place the items right next to the zone, or maybe certain items have functions in multiple zones. Don’t fret if your kitchen layout doesn’t allow for this. Just try to get your most used items close to the zone.

I have one drawer that I call the meat drawer. It holds all the various size tongs, meat thermometers, and basting brushes. The drawer I selected is solely based on the fact that it’s the one that’s big enough to accommodate some of the really long grill tools.

Zones can be different for each household. It’s really going to depend on how you’re family cooks and uses the kitchen. Here are some ideas for zones:

  • Cookware
  • Bakeware
  • Serving/Entertaining
  • Prep
  • Dishes
  • Kid Dishes

The Best Kitchen Drawer Organizers

Are kitchen drawer organizers necessary?  Yes, absolutely.  Your drawers will quickly become messy again without kitchen drawers organizers or drawer dividers.  There are a lot of different organizers available and I’ve tried a lot of different ones over the years. I’m going to share with you my absolute favorites.  I love them so much that I included many of them in my Indispensable Kitchen Organization Products article.

Clear Kitchen Drawer Organizers

I’ve had wood organizers, mesh organizers, white and gray plastic organizers and by far my favorite is clear drawer organizers.    Most kitchen drawer organizers a practical and functional but not much to look at.  To be honest, I never really thought I’d feel that passionately about drawer organizers beyond their functionality.  But the clear organizers just really make the insides of the drawer pop.

Take a look at my junk drawer.  The drawer is organized in both pictures but the clear organizers look much brighter, cleaner and more cohesive.

before and after picture of junk drawer. One with a mishmash of organizers, the other with clear organizers


And here are a few more pictures to show how I used the clear drawer organizers in my kitchen.


How to organize kitchen drawers - clear kitchen drawer organizers

Silverware Organizer and Knife Drawer Organizer

This is my favorite kitchen drawer.  It’s ridiculous to have a favorite kitchen drawer but I do!  I wish I would have taken a picture of the before and after of this drawer because the change was dramatic.  I had a mishmash of organizers in this drawer and now it looks beautiful and is more functional.

The exact silverware organizer I have is currently not available but I found a clear silverware organizer on Amazon that is very similar.

I strongly believe in clutter-free kitchen countertops (and yes, it is possible!) so I keep my knives in a drawer, not in a knife block on the counter.  I don’t want knives loose in the drawer for safety and to protect the longevity of the knives so I have an in-drawer knife organizer.  It’s made by InterDesign, the same company that makes all my the other clear drawer organizers (besides the silverware organizer).

How to organize kitchen drawers: silverware organizer and knife organizer


Bamboo Adjustable Drawer Dividers

As much as I love my clear drawer organizers, they aren’t the only product I use to organize the kitchen drawers.  I also have several bamboo drawer dividers.  They are so easy to install and can be quickly moved or adjusted as needed.  You only need to measure the length or the width of the drawer to make sure it will fit.  This is seriously the easiest and quickest way to organize drawers.

The drawer dividers are sturdy.  I’ve had mine for years and the spring-loaded mechanism is still holding strong.

They go the full length or width of the drawer so they work best for organizing longer kitchen items like spatulas, spaghetti servers and ladles.  These dividers won’t make small compartments for things like measuring spoons, which is why I have a combination of drawer dividers and drawer organizers.

I also use the dividers to organizer my deep kitchen drawer.

How to organize kitchen drawers: adjustable bamboo dividers


Drawer Organizer for Spices

A lot of people store spices in a kitchen drawer.  But are they organized?  An organized spice drawer makes it quicker to find the spice you need.  This spice drawer organizer is a simple design that is smartly customizable with just a pair of scissors.  It keeps the spices from rolling around when the drawer is opened and closed.  It can accommodate both shorter and longer spice jars.

Related: How to Organize Spices

Recap of How to Organize Kitchen Drawers

Step one is always to declutter.  You can’t organize clutter.  Even if you think you don’t need to declutter, take another look at every single drawer and be honest when you answer the decluttering questions.

Next, grab your cleaning supplies and clean out the drawers.

Optional: Add drawer liners if you want to.

Then, decide where everything will go based on zones.  Keep like items together and keep them near where they will be used.  It’s likely not possible to get every single item in the most functional place based on kitchen layout and drawer size.  Try to at least get your most used items in the best possible drawer.

Finally, decide on drawer organizers and/or drawer dividers.  Don’t skip this step!  They really do make a huge difference in the functionality of your kitchen and help keep your drawers organized.

How to organize kitchen drawers: organized kitchen drawer

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