Tuesday 28 June 2011

Organising Kitchen Drawers

This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Danielle.  Last week she asked me to write about organising kitchen drawers - I cringed!  I have 2 utensil drawers, one neat and tidy, the other an absolute nightmare!  So, I have taken before and after photos to show just what can be done with a little time and determination.

In my kitchen, I have a total of 3 spots for gadgets.  I have collected lots of gadgets and utensils over the years, as I worked at Robin's Kitchen for 7 years, plus I was a Tupperware demonstrator for 2 years - lots of opportunites to build up my fabulous collection of kitchenware.  However, with having lots of 'stuff' comes the need to keep all of it under control! There is no use having lots of great things, if you can't see them and don't use them.

First, I have my 2nd drawer - which has the items I use daily like spatula, spoon, tongs, can opener, garlic press and so on.  This drawer is generally neat and tidy, as I purposely keep the quantity of items that live in it to a minimum, in order to keep it functional.

Secondly, I have my 4th drawer - this is the scary drawer!  The photo here paints the picture...

Thirdly, I have a container of gadgets I use less frequently that I keep in the pantry.

It was time to give it all a face lift!

I started with the scary drawer...  As with any makeover, I first take everything out of the drawer/shelf/cupboard.  This way, you know what you are dealing with.  I generally sort the items I take out into like groups.  In this case, I sorted cookie cutters, utensils, icing nozzles, plastic cutlery, etc into their groups.  It's important to keep things in these groups when they return to the drawer, to create a little zone/station/area where you know you can find these items in a centralised location.

So, to help organise it back in the drawer - I grabbed this divider that I recently purchased at Ikea.  I wasn't sure if it would work, but I thought I had to give it a try!  There are so many drawer dividers out there, but I have trouble finding ones to fit my old drawers - which are narrow and deep, as opposed to the lovely wide, shallow drawers they fit in new kitchens these days.  So, I simply grabbed my piles of sorted gadgets and plonked them into the compartments of the divider.  I lined the long utensils up to the side, and now my drawer is done!

Next I did the box in the pantry.  I keep the items that I don't use all of the time, such as gadgets for garnishing (curling, etc) and also duplicates of items (I like to have spares in case I lose/break something down the track and need a replacement).  To clean out this box, I did a quick declutter - threw out a handful of items I don't need anymore - and added some items from my 4th drawer that I haven't used in ages, so perhaps next clean out, they will be going in the bin too.

Finally, I did a quick tidy/straighten in the 2nd drawer, added a new drawer divider that was buried in the 4th drawer under all of the clutter, and now I am done!

My top tips for organising drawers:

- get rid of anything that you don't use anymore

Use a drawer divider
- this really helps to keep things neat and tidy, and sorted into like-groups
- measure the dimensions of your drawer, and go to a storage shop/department to find something that fits your space

Store less frequently used items at the back of the drawer
- I try to put all of the items I use most at the front of the drawer, and those that aren't used so much at the back (they are still there if I need them, but I don't have to worry about them being in my way on a day- to-day basis)

Remove rarely used items from the drawer 
- put them away if you only use them once a year, there is no point moving them around every time that  you look for something in the drawer
- if it only takes a minute to get out that box a few times a year, that is worth the minutes of rummaging that you save each day - not to mention the stress and frustration of not being able to find something!

Put things away neatly when they are clean
- it really doesn't take any longer to put a spatula away lying straight, than it would to chuck it in the drawer
- this will save you so much time in the long run, as you won't be rifling through a messy drawer searching for a specific utensil

But what about the cookie cutters you may ask??  If you look closely, you will notice that there are some items that were in the before photo that didn't make it to the after photo - cookie cutters, scone/pastry cutters, egg rings, etc.  No, they didn't go in the bin!  They have a very special new home - which I will share with you really soon :)


CathyC said...

great ideas here on sorting and decluttering

Cassandra said...

Thanks Cathy!

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