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How Do I Organize a Cutlery Drawer?

B. Miller
B. Miller

One of the simplest ways to organize a cutlery drawer is to purchase a designated drawer organizer for this purpose. This will generally feature five or six individual vertical sections, separated by dividers, in which to place different types and sizes of cutlery. It may also feature a larger horizontal tray at the bottom or top for storing larger items such as serving forks. If you prefer not to purchase this type of cutlery organizer, you can divide the cutlery drawer yourself by making individual inserts, though this will require a little bit of do it yourself know-how.

Generally, a cutlery drawer organizer will feature five sections because this corresponds to the common number of different types of cutlery. It does not matter which order you place the cutlery in. Many people start with butter knives all the way on the left, followed by forks and spoons. Placing the dessert forks next to the large forks, and the teaspoons next to the tablespoons, is often the preferred organizational method, because then they are easy and logically arranged when you reach into the drawer. Ensuring that each piece of cutlery has a designated space will also make it easier to put clean dishes away, rather than simply having a jumble of cutlery in the drawer.


Some kitchens will feature built-in cutlery drawer dividers, so it will not be necessary to purchase a separate organizer. These might run the entire length of the drawer, and are helpful for storing larger items such as spatulas, larger knives, or serving tools. If a kitchen does not feature this, some people choose to build their own by cutting pieces of wood to fit into the drawer. Instructions can be found online, but this is a fairly simple do it yourself project. For a temporary solution, the cardboard boxes that cutlery sets come in often feature appropriately sized dividers and will usually fit nicely into a standard drawer.

If you find that all the cutlery and kitchen tools you own will not fit in your cutlery drawer, it may be a good time to go through your items and get rid of any old or broken things, or tools that you never use, no matter how convenient they may seem. Some people also find that taking larger items out of a cutlery drawer can help make the drawer easier to organize. A canister for storing spatulas and ladles might be helpful for the counter, as well as a knife block for keeping larger knives safe and out of the way.

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Discussion Comments


When we had our kitchen redone we had the cabinet installed with built in kitchen drawer organizers. In the past I always had the plastic ones that you have to awkwardly stick in and I think they look tacky. I told myself that if I could ever have my ideal kitchen I would build the organizers right into the fixtures.


I seem to have to buy a new cutlery drawer every time that I move. For whatever reason I can't seem to hold on to one from apartment to apartment.

Luckily they only cost a couple of bucks at most big stores. And since I live alone I do not have a lot of silverware.


Safety is an important consideration when organizing a cutlery drawer. You want to make sure that you have safe easy access to all the knives in the drawer and you do not have to go rooting around amongst the blades.

It is way too easy to nick a fingertip or slice open an index finger. Do yourself a favor and keep only the knives you need and keep them well organized.

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