5 Genius Steps to Organize Kitchen Utensils (Both In a Drawer or Without Drawers)!

This is our quick “5 Step” guide on how to organize kitchen utensils—whether in a drawer or without drawers!

We’ll also address some of the most common questions we get about how to organize kitchen utensils, like

  • “Can you teach me how to organize cooking utensils in a drawer?”
  • “What about how to organize kitchen utensils without drawers?”
  • “Where should kitchen utensils be stored?”
  • “How to organize kitchen utensils in a deep drawer?”
  • “What are your kitchen utensil storage hacks?”
  • “How do you organize your kitchen utensil drawers?”
  • “Where do you store utensils in kitchen without drawers?”
  • “How do you declutter kitchen utensils?”
woman standing at a kitchen stove, pulling out utensil drawer
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organized utensil drawer in kitchen with silverware
Want your drawers to look like this? We show you how!


Step #1: Pile It Up!

Pull all your kitchen utensils out into one area. ALL of them. I mean it.😉

No cheating! Don’t just empty one drawer of utensils at a time. Find ALL the kitchen utensils you have, whether in drawers, cabinets, on countertops…anywhere and everywhere you stash them!

Why? This helps you first see what you have—and how much you have! 

Even if you think you know (as I often assume I do too😆), you’ll get at least one surprise—if not more!


Step #2: Declutter, Baby!

This part is fun and simple, which is one of my favorite combinations!

You may have doubles (or more!) of some items, so this is a great time to “trim the fat!” 

For example, do you really need 3 vegetable peelers? (We didn’t.)  Do you really need 8 wooden spoons? (I thought I did, but I was able to cut that in half when it really came down to it.)

organized kitchen utensil drawer with cooking utensils in dividers

See our post on “5 Brilliant Kitchen Organization Ideas that Make Life Easier!”

Decluttering your items first will not only help you get more organized, but will give you more breathing room to do so!

(I also find that this step makes me feel physically lighter and more energized, which is helpful for the next steps!)


Step #3: Group Your Items!

Group your utensils by function and task.  But what does that mean?

For example, you may have had a number of certain utensils near your stove, but chances are there are at least 1-2 you haven’t used in awhile while actually at your stove. Why is that? Perhaps you no longer need them, or perhaps you use them more often when you’re at another area in your kitchen. 

Do you keep your tongs near your stove but really you use them more often in another area? This is your chance to

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their placement!

For example, I moved many of my baking tools and supplies into one drawer across from my oven to create my own “baking drawer”!

woman pulling out rolling pin from kitchen drawer
My organized baking drawer makes my time more efficient!

Set those utensils and kitchen tools aside to go to a location closer to where you actually use them, which brings us to…


Step #4: Think in Work Zones.

woman chopping cilantro at kitchen counter
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Think about the different spots in your kitchen as zones.

  • Where do you most commonly (daily or weekly) cut your fruits and veggies?
  • Where do you ladle out the soup? 
  • Where do you prep lunches? 

Etcetera, etcetera.

(Anyone else hearing Yul Brenner from “The King & I”? If it’s just me, you’re missing out!🤣 Of all the voices to hear in your head, Yul Brenner’s “etcetera” isn’t a bad one!)

white kitchen with cilantro on cutting board, with knife, and in white bowl
When doing a kitchen remodel don’t forget to customize your countertop heights to your needs!

Now, homeboys and homegirls, start organizing your utensils so that they’re placed near the zone where they are most frequently used!

Even if you just have to make one big pile by each “zone” for now, start there. See how many piles you make, and then adjust if needed.

Get our DIY drawer dividers here!


Step #5: Placement!

Now, place your utensils in the actual storage spots you have available. Whether it’s in a drawer, a countertop canister, or another container, your goal is to have the tools you need right where you need them—and use them most! 

(We created the below drawer divider next to our stove, for example, to hold the tools we most use while standing there!)

Psst! You too can use our DIY drawer divider plans!

Here’s a quick video we made of our vertical utensil drawer organized and in action!

kitchen stove with drawers below, white wood with chrome handles
Wondering where we store our spices? We put them in a drawer of course!

Your least-used items (for example, the turkey baster I use maybe twice a year) should not be taking up your prime utensil storage spots!  Save those least-used items to go in a least-used spot, such as a special holiday-labeled box in the back of a cabinet, in one of your highest, hardest-to-reach upper cabinets, or even the back of a lower drawer.  You don’t need to see your turkey baster every morning in your topmost drawer when you open it to get a spoon for your cereal!


How to Organize Kitchen Utensils in a Drawer?

I wrote a post about 3 smart ways to organize kitchen utensils in a drawer!


“How to Organize Kitchen Utensils Without Drawers?” = 7 Ideas!

I’ve actually lived in a kitchen that had zero drawers! (This was while we were living in New Zealand, but it does exist in the U.S. too!)

And organizing your kitchen utensils without drawers presents much more of a challenge! Here are some ideas:

  1. Hang them on hooks below your high shelves (just like we did with our mugs here)!
  2. Hang them on your wall behind the countertop, either by hooks or your knives on a magnetic strip!
  3. Hang them on the interior doors of your cabinets.
  4. Hang them on the side of your cabinets.
  5. Hang them from a pot rack.
  6. And then of course the timeless way of putting them into big crocks or canisters on your countertop!
  7. Here’s a simple way Matt and I organized kitchen utensils (and solved other ridiculous storage problems) without drawers!


Bonus Help!

#1: I have guides and worksheets in our Kitchen Design Bundle that will take you through these steps in much more detail if you’d find it helpful! (We also have plans for our drawer dividers here!)

#2: Speaking of the best ways to organize your drawer interiors, see Kitchen Drawer Dividers: 3 Genius Hacks for Utensil Organization!”

#3: 5 Brilliant Kitchen Organization Ideas that Make Life Easier!

➜ See The Complete List of Our Smart Kitchen Tips, Hacks & Design Ideas!

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