By Kathryn Weber
Order in the Drawer!
Your pantry and refrigerator may be neat, and your cabinets may be in order. But if there's an organizational Achilles heel in the kitchen, it's usually the drawers. It's easy to just pitch things into drawers and cross your fingers that you'll find them when needed. If locating something in your kitchen drawers fills you with dread, then it's time to get organized at last.
Divide and conquer
Getting a handle on drawer organization requires some triage. In most kitchens, drawer space is scarce, making it important to adapt what little you do have to meet your most important needs. Kitchens typically have three to five drawers. But even that small number is enough to tame kitchen chaos.
Purge and dump
To organize messy drawers, start by emptying them. Sort through all the kitchen paraphernalia and separate utensils by use. Put all knives and cutting implements in one pile and measuring items in another. Separate miscellaneous small implements you use frequently from those you use infrequently. While you're at it, pull out duplicates to donate and throw away damaged items.
The days of simple cutlery trays have given way to organizers of every size and material, from plastic to bamboo and metal. If you have very limited drawer space, look for double-decker drawer organizers that let you double your drawer space. There are also organizers that can be hooked together to create a custom organizer fitted specifically to a drawer. Take drawer measurements with you to the home center so you can be sure the organizers will fit.
While you're at the home center, pick up rolls of cleanable drawer liner. Never skip drawer liners. They create a neat and finished drawer interior that will protect drawers, and they provide good sound-dampening. Lastly, buy a large crock to hold the large spatulas and spoons you cook with daily. This frees up valuable storage space and makes cooking more convenient.
If you have multiple drawers, consider specialty organizers like a spice rack insert that allows you to neatly organize spices and see them at a glance.
If you have a kitchen desk drawer, get that under control, too. You'll be more efficient at the desk and won't cringe every time you open it. Relegate rarely used specialty items to their own drawer and keep your most-used drawers only for the most-used items.
Once you've lined the drawers and are ready to put everything back, start with the knife drawer. Add your organizers. Place anything that cuts in this drawer. Then sort and place into the other drawers your measuring items, small utensils, and infrequently-used utensils. If you have more drawers, use them to store paper goods like plastic wrap, linens and dish towels.
By simply organizing kitchen drawers by use, adding organizers and pitching unused items, you'll finally see the order you've longed for. And you'll open your kitchen drawers just to admire them!
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