4 Brilliant Drawer Organizing Tips That Everyone Needs to Hear

published Sep 10, 2021
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Messy drawer with before tag
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Whether we realize it or not, the state of our kitchen drawers affect the efficiency of our kitchen. Think of all of those precious minutes you’ve spent digging for that missing measuring cup or your favorite wooden spoon! And what about all those times when our drawers get jammed because a can opener or egg slicer has gotten in the way?

So, when we stumbled upon a useful Instagram post about organizing kitchen drawers from professional organizer Janelle Cohen of Straighten Up By Janelle, we were intrigued. Curious about her strategies, we asked Cohen — who counts Los Angeles-based celebs and influencers as her clients — for more of her ideas. Here are some of her super-smart tips for organizing kitchen drawers. Let’s take a look!

Credit: Sarah Crowley
Ta da! Inspired by Cohen's advice, we got this drawer in tip-top shape.

1. Dedicate a section of a drawer just for awkward-shaped kitchen tools.

To organize awkward-shaped tools, like a potato masher or a citrus squeezer, Cohen suggests leaving one entire section of a drawer only for awkward-shaped tools. For example, section off the last bit of space in a drawer to neatly lay down these tools. If you have room, it’s even better to designate one entire drawer to hard-to-fit kitchen items. This tip helps to give these tools their proper space, and it makes everything easy to find!

2. Evaluate what you have.

A key step while organizing is to carefully evaluate what you have, says Cohen. “People can accumulate a lot of kitchen contraptions that seem like a great idea, but sometimes they end up taking up more space than they are valuable or useful,” she says. She suggests eliminating items being kept for what she calls hypothetical situations. “Keep only the kitchen items that really serve you,” she says.

3. Play around to maximize space.

Lay out the kitchen drawer as if you are playing the game Tetris, she says. “Play around, move things, and try placing [things] in a few different positions to be as efficient as possible,” she says. “Organizing is all about rethinking the obvious and getting creative.” For example, Cohen has found that it’s best to store nested measuring cups upside-down. This way, the cups take up as little room as possible, and the handles won’t end up getting caught in the drawer. Try laying things out around the perimeter of your drawer first, and working your way in.

4. Consider skipping organizers altogether.

Sometimes it’s best to put especially large, awkward items in a drawer with no divider so that there’s more space, Cohen explains. While it’s easy to look to organizational drawer dividers to wrangle the mess, they’re not always the best solution. Dividers add a little thickness and can sometimes make bigger items, like a potato masher or a citrus squeezer, harder to fit. Try setting up your drawer without any organizers whatsoever.

How do you store awkward-shaped kitchen tools? Tell us in the comments below.