WFMW: help with my utensil drawer

This week Shannon has mixed things up by asking us to post about our dilemmas so that others can tell us what Works For Me Them.

I am so ready for this one.  I already had the photo and was planning to post this question for your input, so I’m glad Shannon decided to reverse things this week.  That’s how ready I was.  Well, actually I had to take a new photo because my spectacular organizational skills failed me yet again and I couldn’t find the photos I took a few weeks ago.  And that very fact demonstrates how much I need advice.

So, here’s my utensil drawer.  And when you’re looking at the photo below, try to imagine a few more large spoons, etc. in there.  Please don’t suggest that I get rid of excess, because there’s really no duplication and very little that I don’t use regularly.  In fact we’re pretty short on serving spoons.

But in spite of the fact that I shelled out perfectly good money for small white organizational doo-hickeys, this system is clearly not Working For Me.

How do you organize your kitchen utensils?  I like to keep my counter space as clear as possible so I’m not too keen on the idea of putting them in a spinner on the counter, but that’s really the only thing that has ever worked for me.  Should I give up and go back?  Or do you have a better way of keeping things neat in the drawer?

Please leave me a comment to tell about your system and whether or not it works for you, then you have my permission to go solve the rest of the blogosphere’s problems.


  1. Ha! Can you tell that I have only 1 little one so far? I hadn’t even thought of the practical reasons for having “knife replacers”. I was thinking about how silly apple corer/slicers are, too- well I never will again 🙂 I guess my own mom (of 8) had all of that “junk” for a very good reason!

  2. Wow, that was so weird. It is like you came in my house and took a picture of my utensil drawer. And it doesn’t work for me, either. I have 4 teen boys who never put things in the correct little box! Rendering the boxes useless. They are good men, and I love them, but men just don’t “get” utensil organization.

  3. Laralee,
    Thanks for the reminder to be grateful – it seems like forever but I’ve only had a kitchen in this house for 2 years. For many months before that, we had no cabinets or appliances at all and our utensils lived in a plastic stacking drawer unit like yours!

    I’m becoming much more inclined toward a small canister or crock on the counter with just a few frequently used tools. And I might try getting rid of most or all of the dividers in the drawer…maybe just keep one for knives and one for small items like the vegetable peeler and cheese knife.

    But get rid of the egg slicer? Can’t do it. My budding young cooks begged for it, and they love and use it regularly.

    Maybe I could move some of the tools that aren’t exactly utensils to a bucket in a cabinet: the egg slicer, the juicer, measuring cup, etc.

    And Ashley – I’m with you on the pizza slicer! I use mine all the time for far more than just pizza.

    Thanks for the ideas, y’all. Keep ’em coming!

  4. Get rid of the egg slicer and cheese slicer??? Hahaha, that was so funny! You WERE joking, right?

    I have two little boys (soon to be three littles) and I wouldn’t want to cut up 4-5 eggs with a knife. Plus my son just loves using the slicer dilly all-by-himself.

    It would devistate both of us to part with such items!

    I have a wire utensil holder on the countertop. This way I don’t dry anything -just let it drip-dry. I like time-savers!!! But I probably have more counter space and I do have a drawer for my single-use/sharp items. Like my apple corer/slicer.

    Don’t even start to suggest getting rid of that one! With three younger brothers begging me to cut up their apples all the time growing up, one of these would have been so handy …. the more children you have, the more these items make sense. 🙂

    Anyone else use pizza cutters to quickly cut up all toddler food from pancakes to spaghetti? 😀

  5. Erin M in MO says:

    If you have a lot of drawer space, I echo the recommendation of having more than one drawer for utensils. We use one for metal utensils and one for plastic. When we have space, we devote a separate drawer just for problematic utensils like pie servers, potato mashers and funnels. Works for us!

  6. All my stovetop things are in a canister by the stovetop, knives in a block, and the rest in a drawer like this. Yours doesn’t look too bad.

    Though you say you do use it all regularly, I’d get rid of the things that are basically a single-purpose tool that could be replaced by a knife: the egg slicer, the cheese slicer… getting rid of the single-purpose tools in our kitchen really cleared things up.

  7. I keep cooking untensils (wooden spoons, spatulas, etc) in a nice pottery jug next to the stove. the rest i chuck in the draw and play lucky dip with!! I keep my measuring cups with the mixing bowls. Potato peelers and can opener in the the cutlery drawer for easy access as I use them the most. I like Miss Kelly’s idea of colour coding things.

  8. I keep my wooden spoons in a jar, standing by the stove. Then my spatulas are stored by my mixer. This cuts down on the number of things I need to put in a drawer. Silverware is stored in hanging baskets (from Ikea) above the stove. Knives are in a knife block, next to the cutting boards and canisters.

    This cuts down on the number of things I need to put in the utensil drawer. I keep the “regular” utensils in a drawer by the stove. The other bulky things like whisks and canning utensils are stored in another drawer.

  9. I use two different drawers. One right next to the stove has all of the tools that are safe to use on the pans. Then I have a second drawer for all others…metal whisks, tongs, a spoon that use particularly for stirring the tea, large ladels used only during stew season, that thingy that you use to get the pie piece out without it falling apart, ice cream scooper, etc. Actually I guess I have a third drawer that is for all of the eating utinsels. The is also where I keep the serving spoons.


  10. This probably only helps you in the sense that it lets you know that your drawer isn’t any worse than anyone elses!

    My drawer looks pretty much exactly like that, but I do have one canister on the counter (it is at a premium, but that canister is worth it to me) that has the handful of items I use most: spatulas, ladle, whisk, etc. I do have to dig through my drawer often, but it isn’t for those items that I use multiple times a day!

  11. Wow! That looks a lot nicer than our cooking utensil drawers have ever looked. We have a ton of knives. Okay, okay, so it’s only 1,999 pounds, but still…

    We now only keep our knives and a couple other utensils in our drawer. We got flower pots and painted them, and after the flowers were dumped out by helpful little kids, we washed them out and use them for our utensils. Works great! And it looks really cool, too. We have one flower pot on either side of our stove/oven.

  12. The only real difference between your drawer and mine is that you bought white boxes while I use empty Velveta cartons. 🙂 I also have the “spinny thing” on my counter, and most of the time I’m glad. If my kitchen walls weren’t solid tile I would hang some things on hooks.

  13. The main thing I do is separate sharp stuff from non-sharp stuff…so I know that in this section I have to be careful, but in that section I can just reach in…i still have to hunt through, but at least I dont’ get stabbed!!

  14. I prefer a nice looking jar or something to a spinner thing. I don’t like my counter cluttered either so at least a nice jar or two looks a little better. By the way your drawer looks just like mine. 🙂 I go back and forth between a drawer and counter. I can’t decide which works better.

  15. Mother Hen,
    That’s what my Grandma does, and now that you mention it I think seeing her spinner down in the cabinet is what convinced me that there had to be a better way than my poor overstuffed drawer.
    A spinner in the cabinet really appeals to me, but I’m pretty short on cabinet space and there are no cabinets at all on my island – just drawers.
    But now you’ve got me thinking…

  16. My husband put hooks up for me. Most of our utensils have a hole in the handle. The hole just goes on the hook. This gets them off the counters and out of the drawers (as we don’t have much of either).

  17. Drawer? You have a drawer? You have an organized drawer?I love your drawer! And your organized drawer! I will not envy…..I will not envy…….

    Because of our lack of drawers of any kind in our tent kitchen, except for the free Costco cardboard boxes that we pull off of our gorilla rack shelves, we store our utensils on the top shelf of the gorilla rack in an ice bucket, a ceramic canister actually made for holding utensils, 2 woven baskets and a plastic drawer unit with three little tiny plastic drawer inserts.

    Ok. So, I guess I do have a drawer : ) I also have clutter. But, that’s what we get for living in a tent with gorilla rack cabinets!

    I vote for your drawer. Looks great to me!

    Recording the Faithfulness and Provision of God for Future Generations

  18. Why don’t you get one of those spinners and keep it in the cupboard? No visual mess and they won’t get dusty from sitting out in the open.

  19. You mean, that’s not an organized utensil drawer? It looks exactly like ours.

    Here’s my future plan for my future utensil drawer. It may work for daughters that will some day be wives. I have been able to have a draw what is half on this system and half what you have going in the picture.

    Buy utensils that are different colors….Kitchenaid makes some….and throw them all in a drawer.

    Don’t use a divider cuz they tend to limit how much you can cram in a drawer. Then as time passes and the more you cook, you will automatically memorize which utensil is what color. Spatula? Green!…Big spoon? Red!. Obviously there will be duplicate colors. So maybe all spatulas are green and all spoons are red. When you dive into the drawer for something you will increase your chances of coming up with the right utensil when there are only 2 or 3 red handles to grab.

  20. I put a bunch of small nails into one section of the wall in my kitchen, and used these to hang many of the bigger utensils – especially the ones that are prone to stick up in ways that keep the drawer from closing.

  21. I look forward to hearing also. This is a major problem here also. Yours actually look clean compared to mine. The kitchen and bathrooms are the two areas that MUST be clean and orgranized.

  22. Unfortunately my system is ‘toss it in the drawer, hope it closes and pray it doesn’t stick trying to open it back up again.’ I need help too! Your system looks better than mine. :p

  23. I HATE clutter.
    What I did and may not be feasible(sp) I bought a bakers rack for a small wall in my kitcen which holds my kitchen aid mixer, coffee pot and toaster. All my utensils hang on that which eliminates all clutter on the counters in my kitchen. This bakers rack was extremely reasonible at target and very sturdy and looks very nice in my smaller kitchen. I have only 4 drawers in my kitchen and they are all empty and organized lol

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