Learn the best way to organize your silverware drawer no matter how big or small your kitchen is with this failproof method.
Time for a quick lesson in organizing basics! I’m all about quick wins that pack a big punch, and in today’s Quick Win Friday tutorial, I want to teach you the basic method for organizing your silverware drawer in your kitchen. Kitchen drawers come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, depths, and materials, so as you follow through this process, try not to get hung up on the exact drawer or products I show in the photos. Just use them as a visual guide, but make alterations based on what your own kitchen is working with. So head to your current utensil drawer, pour yourself a glass of something yummy, and let’s do this quick project together. Ready? Let’s Go!
Step One: Empty The Drawer
I mean, really empty it. Every divider, tray, drawer liner, sticker; literally everything other than the drawer needs to come out. As you’re pulling things out, if you come across something that doesn’t belong, go ahead and rehome it now. Don’t wait til later, don’t push it to the corner of your counter, just put it away before moving onto step two. Once your drawer is empty, wipe it out with a damp paper towel. Also wipe out or hand wash any utensil trays you kept inside.
Step Two: Position The Dividers
This is something a lot of people skip, but it’s such a necessary step. Instead of just slapping a divided utensil tray into the drawer and letting it slide around all willy nilly, you should position and secure it in place. This keeps your drawer tidy and stops you from stuffing random things inside the gaps. Some utensil trays come with little rubber feet that are supposed to keep it from sliding, but they always still find a way to wiggle around.
I suggest buying some museum gel, either in sticky dot form or in a freeform tub, and actually securing every drawer tray into place. This gel is kind of like the stuff your elementary school teacher used to hang posters on the cinder block walls of your old classrooms with, but a little more hip to the times. It’s a sticky but repositionable clear gel, holds strong, but peels off easily for rearranging. These are the go-to ones I use for every drawer in my house.
Step Three: Add Everyday Utensils First
The first part of refilling the drawer is adding your everyday utensils. This is the daily flatware set you use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The ones you spread peanut butter with and sneak ice cream spoonfuls straight from the carton when no one is around. Not your entertaining utensils, serving pieces, steak knives, or extra sets in other colors or patterns. PS: If they’re mismatched and tired looking, this post shows you how to revive them.
Most utensil trays you buy from the store have five main slots, which are for dinner forks, salad forks, soup spoons, dessert spoons, and butter knives. A lot of them have an extra slot at the top that’s shorter and oddly shaped. However, just because that’s how the tray was made doesn’t mean you have to use it that way. If you don’t have two sets of spoons and forks, you can use those extra slots for other things like steak knives, serving utensils, chopsticks, or straws. If you need a new one, this is my favorite and the one I use in most of my client’s houses, too.
Step Four: Fill The Drawer To The Max
Here’s where the organization tricks come into play. You can buy individual drawer trays and compartments in kits or individually that use up every inch of your drawer. Sure, your utensil tray may take up most of the drawer, but there’s likely space in the back or on the side that is wide open.
I love this set because it comes with a big variety of sizes and shapes, but you can skip buying extra trays and fill in gaps with stacked paper napkins, small Tupperware containers, and even Ziplock bags filled with small kitchen items like corn cob holders. Think of it as a fun game of Tetris where you are trying to make tiny little apartments to fill a building without wasting any space.
Step Five: Rehome What Doesn’t Fit
You’ve already given your go-to everyday utensils a permanent tidy home inside your drawer, so whatever else that didn’t fit obviously doesn’t need to have priority access, right? So don’t worry if you couldn’t fit your dinner party salad serving forks and your holiday printed cheese knives alongside them. Some great ways to store extra lesser-used utensils are inside stackable lidded pasta containers in your pantry, in bamboo utensil trays that can be stacked and slid into your dining room sideboard, or packed in airtight sealed containers in your garage.
If you have a few different sets of utensils and you love them all, you can rotate through the sets every few months. So the gold set can stay out during the winter holidays while the matte black and silver sets are packed up temporarily, and you can swap them out as seasons change. It will feel like you’re getting a whole new set every season while helping the sets prolong their lifespan.
More Quick Organization Ideas
Every Friday I share a quick and easy organizing win you can knock out in thirty minutes or less, so if you aren’t already subscribed to my Saturday email, you can do that by dropping your address below. You’ll get a recap of all the posts I shared on the blog for the week, including Quick Win Friday, so you never have to worry about missing anything. You can also follow me on Instagram for short video tutorials to get your home and life Organized-ish. Find me @lelaburris.