Bluesky at Home » Home Decor » Kitchen » Easy Steps and Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen Drawers

Easy Steps and Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen Drawers

Do you have the urge at the beginning of the year to organize your home? Do your kitchen drawers get messy? Do they go from neat to nasty? Mine, too. Here are some great steps for organizing your kitchen drawers. Get rid of the clutter with these easy steps and tips for organizing your kitchen drawers.

Like any storage area, drawers can become messy and disorganized. Occasionally, it is necessary to do a major overhaul of our kitchen drawers.

That time comes about twice a year, in January and in the summer. That’s when I finally faced my messy drawers. I became an organizing ninja, a whirling dervish, an organizing superwoman to the rescue.

I learned some things along the way from cluttered to clean and organized kitchen drawers. Here are the tips and steps for organizing your kitchen drawers.

Since I recently updated the display shelves in our kitchen, I was ready to work on organizing the drawers.

Our Kitchen Drawers

Our kitchen drawers are places that we open every day – maybe, multiple times a day. They are like good friends, except when they start overflowing and we can’t find the things we need in them. Then, they are no longer our friends.

I love kitchen drawers. They are so much easier to use than cabinets. When we remodeled our kitchen almost 11 years ago, I specified that I wanted all drawers on the lower level.

I counted and we have 19 drawers. Six of the drawers are shallow and thirteen are deep drawers.

Six of the drawers were fairly organized. That means 13 drawers needed an immediate overhaul. Five of those drawers are shallow and eight are deep.

We only have one “cabinet” below the kitchen counter. One side is for the trash can with space for recycling newspapers. The other side is for colanders and my salad spinner.

kitchen drawers by stove top

What Were My Organizing Goals?

  • declutter and clean the drawers
  • add new shelf liners
  • throw out unneeded or duplicate items
  • gather similar items in drawers
  • make it easier to see and access items in a drawer

What You Need to Organize Your Kitchen Drawers

The first thing I did was order a set of clear plastic storage containers. This set contained 25 containers of different sizes – all perfect for drawer organization.

TIP: Have plastic organizers on hand when you start your organizing. Wait until you are sure that you are going to use them before removing the stickers.

I also bought several plastic containers of different sizes:

The Kitchen Drawers – Before

Let’s start with drawers immediately when you come into our kitchen from the butler’s pantry.

NOTE: You can see the hook where I keep my purse out of site, but easily accessible. I love hooks. (Get my 7 Easy Inexpensive Ways to Use Hooks.)

The first drawer on the left is where I keep small baking tools.

The next drawer – the one that started this kitchen drawer organization project – is what we affectionately call “the junk drawer”. It’s meant to hold “office” type supplies.

It’s not a pretty sight.

messy junk kitchen drawer

Below this drawer is one that holds larger baking tools. It’s hard to see what’s in there and hard to get to some pans and tools.

baking drawer

Let’s start the kitchen drawer organizing project here.

TIP: Do you have utensils, dishes, or storage containers that you don’t use on a daily or weekly basis? Move them to a bin that you can store in another out-of-the-way place.

TIP: If you have items you rarely or never use, this is the time to box them up. Ask a neighbor if they want them or give them away to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. If they are in bad shape, throw them away.

The Process for Organizing Your Kitchen Drawers

The steps I took for all the kitchen drawers followed the same process. Once I decluttered, cleaned and organized a couple of drawers, I had the best method.

I currently use the waffle-type rubber shelf liners. As I began my drawer reorganization, I realized they were not the best option.

  • Crumbs and any spills in the drawer went straight through to the drawer which made a mess.
  • The rubber shelf liners would occasionally bunch up and add to the unorganized feel of the drawer. You’ll see what I mean in some pictures below.

I hate the adhesive shelf liners. You can’t take them out of the drawer to clean them and it ruins your drawers.

TIP: Your first step is to completely empty the drawers.

I’ll use our junk drawer as an example.

You can see how the rubber liners bunch up and how dirty it was.

That’s sand in the back corner that spilled out of an old tape dispenser.

I bought several rolls of shelf liners. The ConTact Grip Prints are great because they stay firm in the drawer and don’t move around.

I found a pattern I liked and bought 2 rolls. I quickly realized that would not be enough so I bought 4 more rolls. (I ended up using 5 rolls.)

blue. pattern drawer liners

STEP 1 – Remove EVERYTHING from the drawer, including the contents and old liner. Put the stuff on your kitchen counter.

STEP 2 – Organize the items:

  • what needs to stay – the things you use
  • what are duplicates or you don’t use: I had a dozen packets of plant food, dozens of twist ties, old business cards, some screws, old sun glasses, a couple of battery-operated cell phone chargers that never worked.

Have a trash bag handy and put everything you don’t need (see above) in the trash.

STEP 3 – Use a dust buster to remove any debris, crumbs, dust from the drawer. It’s the easiest way I’ve found to get in the corners and suck up any dust and debris.

I love our Black & Decker Dust Buster.

using dust buster to clean drawers

STEP 4 – Use a Magic Eraser to wipe down the inside of the drawer. I like it better than a damp paper towel or sponge.

TIP: This is also a great opportunity to use the Magic Eraser to clean the fronts of the kitchen drawers.

STEP 4 – Measure the width of your drawers and cut your drawer liners to fit. I just used a 2-foot plastic ruler, pencil, and scissors.

STEP 5 – Gather similar items that need to go back into your drawer. Put them in the best-size container. You will adjust the size of the container as you go (trust me on this).

STEP 6 – Rearrange your containers as needed.

NOTE: The “fuller” and “tighter” your containers and other essential items are, the neater your drawers will stay.

I used 10 containers of two sizes in this drawer.

I moved a few items to this drawer from other drawers: envelopes, my box of plastic food gloves, packing tape, and our address stamp. These are items we use all the time.

These items are now more easily accessible.

TIP: I threw away all the sunglasses and used the tiebags to hold charger cords and earbuds.

organized kitchen drawer

For the envelope box, I removed the cover and cut out a piece so that I could easily pull out an envelope. I kept three plant food packets.

box of white envelops

The drawer containers look tight, but they will stay in place better that way.

Organizing the Baking Drawers

One shallow drawer has small baking tools. The cupcake pan took up too much space. I moved it to the metro shelves in the laundry room with other cupcake and cake pans. The food gloves were moved to the junk office-organized drawer.

messy kitchen drawer

Following the steps I explained above, the drawer is now neat and organized.

I was able to move several items from other drawers to this one, which makes more sense.

More items are in the drawer than before, but better organized.

I used four new plastic containers and two old ones.

Now all my small baking utensils are in one place.

TIPS: If reusing existing storage bins, be sure to give them a good wash, either by hand or in the dishwasher.

organized kitchen drawer

The large baking drawer was a mess. I hardly knew what was in there.

baking drawer

First, I emptied a plastic shoe box. Next, I rearranged pastry tips and bags, baking pans, tart molds, funnels, my flour sifter, and deli cups.

Round baking pans are not the easiest things to store. You can’t help but have awkward spaces. Fortunately, this kitchen drawer is still so much better organized than before.

At least, now I see everything and it can easily be accessed.

Organizing Towels, Utensils, and Storage Containers

Here is the bank of drawers next to our sink. I just needed to organize the top three drawers.

The top drawer holds kitchen tools and my stack of parchment paper. The bottom drawer holds Corning Ware and Pyrex dishes, which thank goodness didn’t need organizing.

In the top drawer, I first cleaned it out. Then I added the drawer liner and did just a little bit of rearranging. The vegetable peelers were in another drawer, but will work better here.

I use parchment paper almost for meal preparation and buy it in bulk (3500 sheets) at my local restaurant supply store. Here is a bulk package of parchment paper for a good price.

In the next drawer, I used a combination of a plastic divider I already had with the new clear plastic containers.

TIP: Rolling up dish towels frees up space.

I was able to eliminate one plastic separator. The extra space provided room to roll up a piece of the rubber waffle liner that I use under cutting boards.

The ice cream/cookie scoops were in another drawer but made more sense here.

We use very few canned goods, so I don’t use a can opener very often. I did put it in the extra space.

The next drawer holds various plastic storage containers and serving dishes – ramekins, small Pyrex dishes, souffle dishes, and ceramic tart/creme brule dishes.

It was not living up to its potential.

I had way too many ramekins. Since I only use a small number of them daily, I moved a dozen to a container.

I used a plastic bin to collect extra ramekins, bowls, and souffle dishes. I moved them to the metro shelf in the laundry room. The covered shoe box will be reused in my closet – for shoes!

The extra plastic separator ended up in the trash.

Using several of my new clear plastic bins, I completely reorganized the space.

So much better, don’t you think?

These are items we use almost daily, so now they are easily seen and accessible.

Organizing on the Stove Side of the Kitchen

The wall with the stovetop and ovens has the most drawers, from cooking utensils to pots and pans and skillets.

kitchen drawers by stove top

In the drawer to the left of the stove top is where I keep extra spoons, knives, ice cream/cookie. scoops, and vegetable peelers. Our forks, teaspoons, and soup spoons are in a wire container on the counter as easy daily access.

Back to Step 1 – empty the drawer. I know it’s yucky. Number 1 reason to clean drawers occasionally. I threw away the rubber liners.

After emptying the drawer and cleaning it, I moved several tools (the scoops, vegetable peelers, and the can opener to other drawers.

I reused the dividers I already had.

I was able to place another set of knives and forks where they can be seen and used. The same goes for corn skewers, toothpicks, and matches.

The chopsticks, wood skewers, jar opener, and spatula came over from another drawer next to the double ovens that you’ll see in a moment.

TIP: Keep drawers with similar items open so you can see opportunities for reorganizing them together.

Next to our stove is another drawer that holds various kitchen tools that we don’t use every day. I forgot to take a picture of it but trust me it was overflowing.

I moved about half of the items to other drawers or threw them out – things I never use. This was all that was left.

Now the electric knife and my mandoline are easy to see and use. Chip clips and my oven thermometer take up the rest of the space.

organizing kitchen drawer

The drawer where we keep bags of chips, nuts, and cereal was a mishmash of containers that looked out of snyc. I found these tall plastic containers that were perfect for this task.

kitchen drawer with four matching containers

Drawer Below the Ovens

The drawer below the ovens held pot lids, but not in a very neat way.

kitchen drawer below oven

I’ve been using a roasting pan rack as a lid divider, which didn’t work very well. The rubber liner also was a bunched-up mess.

We rarely use lids with skillets in cooking, but I wouldn’t get rid of them.

I purchased a couple of designated lid holders from the Target Brightroom line. I tried them out first.

I followed the same procedure I used on the other drawers: the “remove-vacuumn-clean-new-liner” process. The pot lid drawers look and function so much better.

I gained space: I added one of our pasta pots and a few saucepans. There was even room for a stainless container and our knife sharper.

This entire organization of kitchen drawers took parts of three days. It was so worth the time.

Do you need a few supplies to help you organize your kitchen drawers? Check out these supplies.

shop these organization supplies

I love looking at our pretty new organized kitchen drawers.

  • The drawers are clean of crumbs and sticky residue.
  • Pretty new liners that stay put, but can easily removed for cleaning, if necessary.
  • By removing unused items, I was able to gain space to rearrange needed items.
  • I now have a more efficient arrangement.
  • Items are easily found and accessed.

Did I organize every drawer? No, a few didn’t need it. I do plan to clean the remaining drawers, remove the existing liners and replace them with the new Grip Liners – they are prettier and work so much better.

I hope that you found some good tips and the steps to organizing your kitchen drawers. I can tell you that it was worth every second and every cent to get this organizing project done. Check out my Organization Board on Pinterest.

Don’t forget to PIN IT to your Kitchen or Organizing Boards.

pin for later graphic in blue
easy steps and tips for organizing your kitchen drawers

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Hi Carol, what an awesome job, love those plastic container/baskets you have.
    Thanks so much for participating and sharing at SSPS 292. See you again next week!

  2. You are an organizing diva after my own heart! Messy drawers irk me SO bad!! I LOVE how they all turned out after some loving attention 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing at Home Imagined this week!!

  3. Ha, I did four drawers yesterday…the two huge baking drawers, the spice drawer, the spice carousel, the spice cabinet and the appliance drawer….FEELS SO GOOD—! And, little tweaks here and there because of the moving things around. Very apropos post! Hugs, Sandi

  4. I really really really need to tackle this problem one weekend soon. So I am glad you shared this because I need the inspiration and motivation. This post will be one of the features this week so that more readers can get inspired for Spring cleaning as well. #HomeMattersParty

  5. Carol your drawer organization is wonderful. I’ve been doing that same thing – a drawer at a time – on our kitchen. I love that drawer liner. We had the same liner with the holes and it doesn’t stay in place and it creates a mess! Definitely going to try and find the griper type! Thanks for sharing!