Organize Your Kitchen Drawer

When a utility drawer becomes a cluttered repository of duplicate tools and useless gadgets, it can boost your blood pressure just to open it, let alone find what you’re looking for. Here’s the fix.

4 Steps to Organizing

Photo: Brian Woodcock

4 Steps to Organizing

1. Brew Some Coffee: This is a perfect task for Saturday morning, before the rest of the household is up.

2. Dump Everything Out: Spread the contents of the drawer on a countertop or table. Group together tools of similar function. Discard any junk. Scrub out the drawer, and let it air-dry.

3. Sort and Cull Tools: Set aside duplicates, keeping the rest. Cull stocking-stuffer gadgets you simply never use.

4. Consider an Organizer: A beauty like the Hafele Cutlery Tray (shown in the after shot, $135) comes in four widths.

 

Keep: Two Sets of Measuring Spoons

Keep: Two Sets of Measuring Spoons

Keep two sets of spoons—one for wet ingredients, one for dry. Cups are only for dry, so one set is plenty.

Keep: Classic Corkscrew/Bottle Opener

Photo: © Ocean/Corbis

Keep: Classic Corkscrew/Bottle Opener

After 5,000 corkscrew inventions, this classic is still great—opens beer bottles, too.

2 Spatulas

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Keep: 2 Spatulas

Fish spatula: also fine for cookies. A silicone spatula does double duty, on nonstick or not.

 

Silicone-Tip Tongs

Photography: Randy Mayor

Keep: Silicone-Tip Tongs

Silicone tip tongs work with delicate nonstick pans and hot grills.

 

Citrus Reamer

Photography: Randy Mayor

Keep: Citrus Reamer

A simple citrus reamer is perfect for a quick juicing—almost zero cleanup.

Meat Thermometer

Photography: Oxmoor House

Keep: Meat Thermometer

We should all use meat thermometers more often. Digital is great, but a simple manual one works fine.

3 Peelers

Photo: Randy Mayor

Keep: 3 Peelers

A peeler for every job: regular (potatoes), serrated (tomatoes), and julienne (carrots).

 

Kitchen Shears

Photo: Oxmoor House

Keep: Kitchen Shears

A sturdy pair of kitchen shears is worth buying if you don’t have one.

 

2 or 3 Spoons

Keep: 2 or 3 Mixing Spoons

Two to three spoons are useful, but if you have seven in the drawer, cull!

Microplane

Photo: Randy Mayor

Keep: Microplane Grater

Another healthy-cooking essential: the multipurpose Microplane grater for garlic, ginger, hard cheese ...

Redundant Tools

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Toss: Redundant Tools

Knife skills or a grater can replace the cleanup fuss of the old-style garlic press.

 

Superspecialized Stuff

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Toss: Superspecialized Stuff

Items bought for a recipe you made only once? Time to go. (Looking at you, apple corer.)

 

Toss: Things That Melt

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Toss: Things That Melt

Plastic spoons, spatulas, spreaders, and whatnot. Toss and replace with heat-resistant silicone.

Toss: Outdated Designs

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Toss: Outdated Designs

Tongs are vastly improved from this wobbly model, though it does produce feelings of nostalgia.

Toss: Unnecessary Backups

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Toss: Unnecessary Backups

For some reason, we tend to accumulate spatulas. Two will do.

Toss: Irrelevant Junk

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Toss: Irrelevant Junk

It disrespects the Zen of the drawer to clutter it with orphaned bits and pieces. Zero tolerance!

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