Kitchen Drawers: Part 1

March 21, 2012


I was going over my list of Organizing Goals for 2012 and thought I’d start on the kitchen drawer cleanup. This is going to take a few parts to accomplish, so let’s get started!

I have A LOT of drawers in my kitchen and they’re are all pretty much a mess because I’m too focused on creating stuff in the kitchen rather than putting things away.
Instead of attacking it all at once, I decided to give myself a challenge of getting the equipment drawer done today. I secretly knew that I couldn’t stop at just ONE drawer…

Here’s the BEFORE:

SIDE VIEW:

DUMPED OUT.

CLEAN UP!

Putting everything in little piles and evaluating what I need and what I don’t.

Starting to put things back…

AFTER:

I could stare at this all day.

It feels good to know that everything has a place now. And I don’t have things hidden waaaaaay back of the drawer like I used to!

Phew.

Why stop at just ONE drawer? Full steam ahead!
Here’s my utensil drawer. The container that holds all of the utensils has been really gross for awhile. So much so that I cringe everytime I see a guest reach into that drawer. I secretly pray that don’t see the crumbs that are in it. I can rest easy now. It’s done!

So I took everything out.

Washed the separators.

Sorted/got rid of things we didn’t need. Like chopsticks that don’t match & itty bitty baby spoons…

I didn’t know all that stuff was in there!

And then I put everything back.

So after I did those two drawers I decided to go ahead and work on the drawer to the right of my oven. This is where I keep oven mitts, toothpicks to test the done-ness of baked goods and a whole bunch of RANDOM things. This is half junk drawer half baking drawer. It is now just BAKING drawer with a few knife sharpeners.
BEFORE:

AFTER:

Then I got to thinking about junk drawers. Everyone has to have one. I used to have one…

This drawer used to be our junk drawer. I knew where to look if I wanted batteries……

But then my husband turned it into the beverage drawer when we got our espresso machine. It was nicely merchandised for awhile and I liked it, but I don’t think we need to use that much space for our tea stash. Let’s get functional!

I grabbed all the random bits from other drawers and created this Junk Drawer!

It has Casey’s wine opening stuff, kitchen appliance manuals, a lint roller…my camera batteries…tape…

You know….JUNK.

This drawer is where I found most of my stuff for the junk drawer. I decided to re-purpose it as the tea drawer!

Old tea drawer becomes junk drawer and now we have a smaller tea drawer.

TADA!

With both drawers open…MUCH BETTER.

So organizing one drawer turned into organizing 5 drawers. This whole project took about 2 hours. I’m glad I got my organizing mojo going.

All of the top drawers in my kitchen are organized! Now I just have to make my way down…and then tackle the ones up top.

STAY TUNED!

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34 comments on “Kitchen Drawers: Part 1

  1. When I redid my kitchen in 2003 I bought these really expensive drawer dividers! Best investment ever – because I haven’t had a terrible mess in all these years.

  2. Tea drawer! Our pill drawer (so not baby proof) needs to become a tea drawer!

  3. Wow! :) They look lovely! I just wish I had that many drawers! The problem with our kitchen, apart from the fact it needs gutting, is that there just isn’t enough space, there is a total of 5 cupboards, 2 full size drawers (same size as you junk drawer), and 2 narrow drawers. I am currently experimenting with the cutlery being stored in tin cans on the worktop, and putting essentials like sugar and flour, in kilner jars on the worktop. Our worktop gets cluttered, so I am trying to control what is on the worktop, and how it looks, and getting everything else hidden in a cupboard or drawer.

    • I had a kitchen like that and ended up buying decorative triangle shelf brackets and a prefabbed handy-panel from Home Depot and made shelves at the same height as the cabinets, but beyond. So, I had extra shelf space. It was exposed, though so I used pretty mason jars for baking supplies, all labeled, as well as flour/sugar/mixing bowls. Kinda pretty!

    • I have drawer space issues too. I keep my silverware in tins too but they live on a shelf in my dining room where we eat all our meals and flour and sugars live in glass jars on top of the fridge. I love the idea of adding shelves at cabinet height too!

  4. Lauren Mar 21, 2012

    Love it! I would be interested to know how you decided what to get rid of vs. keep (but that might be another kitchen essentials post that you are already planning….)

    • Tracy Mar 22, 2012

      Well…it’s easy. Anything that doesn’t serve a purpose gets tossed. I have a lot of freebies from conferences like (20 extra spatulas) that I didn’t need. They got donated!

      Think of it like your closet—if you haven’t worn/used the item in a LONG time, it doesn’t deserve real estate in your drawer/closet.

    • somebody gave me advice once when sorting – only keep things you find beautiful or purposeful. following this has changed my life!

  5. I’m glad to know that some else has crazy kitchen drawers! I need to get on this in my kitchen. They’re a mess. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. You rock Tracy!! We have 2 drawers in my tiny NY kitchen, 1 is a junk drawer and the other is our utensil drawer. I don’t know how I fit it all but somehow we manage. Cleansing the drawers (twss) is good!

  7. I need to make this happen! I like your idea of doing one drawer at a time. Maybe I will blog about it if I can get up the courage to show my “before” pictures.

  8. I have a drawer that I am scared to open… I have given me the courage to do something about it!

    Love your espresso machine area! You’ve got a great kitchen!

  9. I really enjoy your posts here! They’re very inspirational and give me great ideas!

  10. Your gadget drawer before puts mine to shame. Seriously, I need to organize this part of my life. The after is so inspiring!

  11. I think I need to share this post with my mother. Bless her heart, but in regards to your utensil drawer, don’t feel bad about having a baby spoon in there. The last time I went home I saw one of my baby spoons sitting in the spoon slot of the drawer–I’m 20. Haha.

  12. Oh man, I love this post!! I literally have ONE HUGE DRAWER (like your first pictured drawer but deeper) that has to house all of my utensils…it is driving my husband and I crazy and we refer to it as the cluster drawer. Can I ask where you got the trays/baskets in that first drawer? I feel like they might fit my cluster!

  13. i’m inspired. but i don’t think i could scrub them clean!

  14. I am so jealous of how many drawers you have! My kitchen in the apartment I rent has 3!! They are crampacked with stuff.. it gives me anxiety!!

  15. Rachelle Mar 26, 2012

    Totally on the same page with some other readers about lack of drawer space… I actually only have ONE small drawer that just fits utensils. I cannot for the life of me figure out where to put the random things that are all in your first drawer: pizza cutter, juicer, meat pounder, thermometer, scoopers, etc. They are all jumbled in a cabinet and I can’t even open it without something falling out! Any suggestions?

    • Hm, what about those smaller, plastic drawers that could fit inside the cabinets? (Wait, I just got an idea for my own tiny kitchen). I do have one small plastic bin with a lid that I keep in a cabinet for utensils that don’t get used as often.

  16. You’ve inspired me! I love the photo with all of the children’s flatware. Nicely done!

  17. I’m so jealous. We have three drawers in our kitchen, total. And two of them are deep and narrow (one is shallow and narrow). Organizing them is nearly impossible because they are so deep! When we move, I know one of the first things I will look at is kitchen cabinetry.

    I am a dork.

  18. I only have 3 drawers in my whole kitchen…and they all need a major make-over! I love the tea drawer, I need one of those…and I spy Good Earth Original in there, that’s my default tea!

  19. funny – this somehow inspired me to clean off my dresser :) i LOVE these posts!

  20. oh my gosh, the drawers in my kitchen are my nemesis. thank you for inspiring and guiding the way in this endeavor!

  21. Hi Tracy! You are so motivating for me — whenever my husband nags me to organize I just sort of turn my head the other way, but you inspire me! :) Do you happen to remember where you got the utensil holders for the first drawer you cleaned out? I have a drawer that’s the exact same size and I love that your organizers are individual pieces, not one long tray!

  22. I feel the satisfaction by just seeing your photos. So good! My kitchen drawers are orderly but I bet I need to give them the sweep out. I want to say I’m inspired but it’s stronger…you just compelled me to clean.

  23. You make this look ridiculously easy. Kind of inspiring really…

  24. You just made me want to get my butt in gear and get organizing. Thanks!

  25. I organized my cooking/baking utensil drawer a few months ago, with little metal separators. But it’s my 15-year-old son who empties the dishwasher and puts things away, so he doesn’t always put things back in the exact place I like them in the drawer. Ah, well. We can only do so much! I guess I could take a photo of what it should look like and put the photo under each separated area, or draw silhouettes on paper of what each separated section should look like. Hmmmm…

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