Junk Drawer No More: How To Tame a Tangle of Cooking Tools

published Sep 7, 2017
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It’s natural to focus your attention on the parts of your home that other people see, but we’d like to advocate today that you turn your focus to a small spot that easily becomes messy, cluttered and frustrating — your kitchen utensil drawer. Go open yours right now; what do you see? A streamlined monument to organization and efficiency? No? Ok, it’s time to straighten it up. It will look better and, more importantly, work better for you.

(Image credit: AT Video)

This is writer Rebecca Dameron’s utensil drawer in her Los Angeles kitchen. She described it to us as “a drawer of doom where a rolling pin cuddles with a pizza slicer and a knife sharpener and…whatever else lurks in that cavernous morass.” It’s not only hard for Rebecca to find what she’s looking for, but hard to know what she even has.

The solution? Divide the drawer into compartments that fit the drawer and create a home for every piece to return to.

Step 1: Take everything out of your utensil drawer and see if there’s anything you don’t use that you want to part with

Step 2: Measure your drawer’s height, width and depth (notice how deep Rebecca’s drawer is)

Step 3: Head to a home organization store or go online. You’re looking for a drawer organizer that fits into your drawer without wasting much space (many are expandable for just this reason). A more versatile option is modular pieces that fit well together but can help you create a more custom layout in your drawer.

For Rebecca’s drawer we chose these deep, clear, plastic pieces in a variety of sizes. Because her drawer was so deep, we were able to stack a few in the opposite direction as the base layer.

Step 4: (optional!) Akin to wearing pretty undergarments “just for you”, consider lining your drawer with a pretty drawer liner. For Rebecca’s we used this classic striped one.

Step 5: (the fun part) Return your utensils to your new containers, grouping like items with like items — do what makes sense to you: baking items together, stirring pieces together, etc.

Step 6: Sit back and admire your work. Pledge to not let your now catalog-worthy drawer of supreme organization and efficiency become a “drawer of doom” again!

So how does Rebecca feel about her newly-organized utensil drawer? She tells us:

“Every item in the morass now rests in its own clear sliding box, so with the fun of kitchen Jenga, I can find everything.”

Excellent! Thanks for letting us into your home and drawer, Rebecca!