20 Clever Ways to Organize Crowded Kitchen Drawers


Kitchen drawers have a tendency to become cluttered and disorganized over time. This can make it frustrating to find the items you need on a daily basis. Proper organization is key to maximizing the storage potential of your kitchen drawers and making your life easier. Here are 20 clever tips to help you organize crowded kitchen drawers and make the most of the space.

Use Dividers

One of the best ways to organize crowded kitchen drawers is to install dividers. This allows you to section off space for different types of utensils, gadgets, and other items. Dividers come in a variety of materials like wood, plastic, and metal. You can find ones that are adjustable so you can customize the size of each section. Dividers help prevent items from sliding around and mixing together in the drawer.

Use Cutlery Trays

Another great option is cutlery trays or silverware organizers. These trays have built-in compartments specifically designed to separate and organize utensils. Look for ones with deep compartments to fit larger utensils and slots for knives. Cutlery trays are ideal for organizing messy, cluttered drawers full of forks, spoons, and knives. The compartments keep flatware neat and make items easier to find.

Install Drawer Organizers

Drawer organizers are essentially boxes or trays that sit inside your drawers to hold items in place. They come in a wide range of sizes and configurations. You can find drawer organizers with multiple compartments for separation or simple ones for general use. They help prevent shifting and clutter. Drawer organizers are great for organizing gadgets, kitchen tools, lids, and more.

Use Interlocking Drawer Organizers

Interlocking drawer organizers take organization a step further. They feature modular compartments that connect together in any configuration you need. You can add and rearrange compartments as needed to completely customize your organizer. Interlocking organizers are ideal for fitting any type of drawer and tackling even the most crowded, cluttered drawers in your kitchen.

Opt for Vertical Dividers

Installing vertical dividers is an efficient way to double your storage space. Standing dividers allow you to store items upright rather than stacked horizontally. This is perfect for organizing tall, narrow items like boxes of aluminum foil, parchment paper, baking sheets, cutting boards, and more. The vertical storage helps optimize every inch of space.

Designate Drawers

The key to organization is designating certain drawers for certain purposes. Have dedicated drawers just for utensils, towels, food storage containers, baking pans, office supplies or any other category you need. Labeling your drawers helps keep things separate and makes items easier to find later. This prevents overcrowding a single drawer with too many different purposes.

Use Spice Organizers

Spices are notorious for cluttering up drawers and cabinets. Get this area organized with reviewers’ spice organizers or racks. They have tiered shelves to hold spice bottles upright for easy identification. Some feature angled tiers which provide even better visibility of spice labels. Install them inside a kitchen drawer to keep spices neat and accessible.

Store Lid Together

Lids and containers easily become separated in crowded drawers. Solve this by storing them together. Use elasticized bands to keep lids contained within their containers. You can also find lid organizers with compartments for matching lids and containers. Keeping them together makes for painless food prep and storage.

Use a Knife Block

Knife blocks are specialized holders to store, organize, and protect knives. They keep knives from cluttering up your drawers and eliminate the risk of dulling or damaging blade edges. Knife blocks come in a variety of materials like wood, acrylic, and marble. Choose one that fits conveniently inside a kitchen drawer to keep knives ultra-organized.

Opt for a Peg System

Installing a peg system turns the inside of a drawer into a customizable storage solution. Pegboards have rows of holes so you can arrange pegs in any configuration. Use pegs to hold kitchen tools, drinking glasses, mugs, utensils, and anything else you need to organize. A peg system allows you to optimize vertical space as well.

Store Tools in Envelopes

Smaller gadgets and tools easily get jumbled together in a kitchen drawer. Use organizing envelopes or pouches to group like items together in one spot. Label the envelopes for categories like measuring spoons and cups, grilling tools, batteries, light bulbs, or any other supplies. This keeps all items visible and contained.

Use Magnetic Strips

Install magnetic strips inside drawers to hold knives and other metal utensils in place. The magnets keep everything neatly lined up and secured inside the drawer. This prevents shifting and clutter. Magnetic strips also provide easy access for grabbing items you use regularly. They help optimize vertical storage space as well.

Line Drawers

Lining your drawers helps protect surfaces and provides a level of organization. Materials like felt, cork, or shelf liner keep items from sliding around inside the drawer. This prevents scratches, dents, and general wear and tear. Lined drawers also help minimize noise from items rattling around. Use liners in a complementary color for an extra pop.

Label Everything

Labelling all your drawers, containers, jars, bins, folders, and anything inside each drawer brings order to the chaos. Use a label maker or handwritten labels to identify what belongs where. This makes it easy for everyone in the household to put items back in their proper homes. Labelling transforms disorganized junk drawers into neatly categorized storage.

Store Flat Items Vertically

Stand thin, flat items like cutting boards, cookie sheets, trivets, and muffin tins vertically inside drawers. This takes advantage of vertical storage real estate rather than stacking items on top of one another. You can install vertical dividers or slots to hold these items upright. This provides better visibility and access to bulky flat items that would otherwise monopolize drawer space.

Use Drawer Partitions

Drawer partitions help split up large, spacious drawers and prevent a free-for-all mess. Partitions create compartments for separating like items into organized sections. They work best in large or double wide drawers. Use partitions to organize anything from cooking utensils to cleaning supplies inside those big drawer cavities.

Add Removable Organizers

Removable organizers are great for small items that tend to spill or spread out in drawers. Look for compartment boxes, trays, racks, and other organizers that can easily lift in and out of the drawer. Having removable organizers lets you take items directly to where you need them, like spices to the counter or utensils to the table.

Get Creative with Jars

Repurpose jars from around the kitchen to contain small supplies like rubber bands, batteries, pens, fasteners, and other odds and ends. Jars keep these little items corralled in one spot rather than spreading across the drawer. Use mason jars, baby food jars, jam jars, or any small food jars. Make sure to label the jars to identify the contents.

Use Tiered Storage

Tiered and multi-level organizers are useful for optimizing vertical storage space in drawers. These stackable organizers feature steps or shelves to hold multiple rows of items while keeping everything visible. They are great for organizing things of different sizes like kitchen tools. Tiered storage allows you to store more in each drawer.

Add Hooks

Installing hooks on the inside of drawer fronts or sides provides storage for bulky kitchen items like colanders, pots, pans, and baking sheets. Hooks keep these items off the drawer floor and maximize space. Arrange hooks strategically to hold the items you use most. Just make sure to measure the drawer cavity to ensure the hooks do not obstruct opening and closing.

FAQs about Organizing Crowded Kitchen Drawers

Should everything be completely organized or can some drawers remain messy?

It is best practice to organize every single kitchen drawer. Having designated and labeled homes for everything streamlines daily processes like cooking and cleaning. Organizing all drawers prevents wasting time rummaging through junky clutter.

How often should you reorganize kitchen drawers?

Aim to do a thorough kitchen drawer reorganization at least twice per year – spring and fall. This gets rid of off-season items and keeps organization on track. But you may need to edit drawer organization more or less frequently based on your habits.

What’s the best way to clean kitchen drawers before organizing?

Empty the entire drawer and wipe down all surfaces with a multi-purpose cleaner or mild soap and water. Use the opportunity to clean under and around the drawer as well. Wipe the exterior. A clean slate helps organize more efficiently.

What basic organizing supplies should you have on hand?

Keep drawer dividers, cutlery trays, small bins and trays, drawer liner, labels, hooks, and jars available. Even better, have some supplies ready in your most cluttered drawers. Multi-packs of various sizes come in handy for customization.

Should you organize by frequency of use or category type?

Use a combination approach. Group things by category like gadgets, utensils, towels, food containers. Then arrange most-used items in the front and lesser-used items in the back. This achieves both organizational systems.


With some clever organizing hacks, you can conquer the chaos of crowded kitchen drawers. Use divider, trays, bins, racks, and containers to compartmentalize items. Designate certain drawers for certain purposes and utilize vertical storage space. Labelling and cleaning also helps keep everything neat. With a bit of effort, you can enjoy organized drawers that make your time in the kitchen more efficient and enjoyable.