I Tried This TikTok Method for Storing Forks and Knives — Here are My Honest Thoughts

published Oct 17, 2022
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I like to think I keep things pretty orderly around the house — especially in the kitchen, where it feels like I spend the majority of my time. I would classify my cleaning and organizational style as “casually tidy.”

I don’t store my dry goods in matching containers or fold my sweaters like Marie Kondo, but I make an effort to put things where they go and keep the house clean.

I enjoy being organized. But when I saw this TikTok by @patriciapradooliv, aka Patricia Prado Oliveira, I realized maybe I don’t enjoy it enough.

In the video, Oliveira sorts her flatware according to the shape that best fits the compartments of her organizer — no surprise there. But rather than stacking the utensils on top of each other, vertically, she arranges them horizontally, side-by-side so that the forks, knives, and spoons respectively “spoon” each other. 

The video has garnered over 200,000 likes and 2,000 comments, including thoughts such as, “Who else just ran to go rearrange their utensil drawer?” and ‘’Bro I know u don’t do that every single time.” Several viewers pointed out the first thought that crossed my own mind — that removing a single piece of silverware would probably result in the whole stack collapsing back into a pile.

But the video amused and intrigued me enough to try it for myself, so the next time I had a dishwasher of clean flatware to put away, I did just that.

Normally, putting away the silverware is a job for Lily, my 10-year-old, and they were elated to get a free pass because I was going to do it. Lily actually created a system wherein we all load our silverware into the dishwasher by type — forks with forks, and so on — so that it’s easier for them to put it all away, and we’ve never looked back.

What Lily’s effort lacks in precise stacking skills, they make up for in reliably getting the job done every other day, and I’m grateful for that. But having watched this video, I was curious if we could improve the system even more.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

What I noticed as soon as I embarked on this journey was that I had some mismatched flatware to account for — a few pieces from our last set mixed in with the new stuff, plus some random forks and spoons from who-knows-where.

My arrangement in that drawer was as follows: knives, spoons, and forks on the bottom row and butter spreaders, soup spoons, and straws on the top row. But within those groups, there were some higgledy-piggledy items — a random spork that came with a lunch box, a handful of fast-food straws (in case we had a straw emergency?), and a few pieces of tarnished silver that never made it back to its case.

I removed everything from the drawer including the organizer itself. I gave the organizer a little wash and put it back in. Fresh! Clean! An improvement already!

Then I made a “keep it” pile and a “relocate” pile. The keep it pile included all of my matching silverware, plus a few other essentials. The pile destined for relocation included those fast-food straws and other bits and bobs that just didn’t fit in any category.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Next, I started placing the knives, one by one, next to each other. At first, I experienced what felt like a sort of Lucille Ball moment of not being able to get the knives to stay in place. The knives slid around dumbly as I fumbled, and I was growing sweatier and more agitated with each attempt.

Why am I even doing this? I silently asked myself, shaking a fist at TikTok. Eventually, I had all of the silverware (and none of the flimflam) in place, and I have to say, the drawer looked great. Big cutlery glow-up. My family noticed and commented on how nice it looked, likely worried that they would be responsible for upholding this new standard of silverware excellence.

But, just as we thought it might, removing pieces of silverware from the delicate arrangement quickly resulted in the remaining silverware returning to its original configuration — more of a pile. It was inevitable, and I was a fool to — however briefly — think otherwise.

But I did take a valuable lesson from the experience: Attention to detail, even in the smallest spaces, pays off. Although I’ll likely never organize my silverware that way again, or heaven forbid, expect my 10-year-old to do it, I do like the way the drawer looks and functions with all the extraneous stuff removed. It feels lighter and tidier and more organized than ever.

How do you arrange your utensil drawer? Tell us your system in the comments below.