Welcome to Day 9 of my month long series “How to Organize Your Kitchen Frugally in 31 Days”. Every day during the month of October I will be sharing an organized space in my kitchen with you. My goal is to inspire you and give you ideas on how you can organize your kitchen.
If you missed it, you may want to read why I’m embracing my outdated kitchen. It might give you a little perspective on why the pictures of my kitchen organization won’t be “magazine worthy”, but helpful for real life organization.
Oh, the dreaded kitchen utensil drawers! Do you struggle with constantly having to dig through a pile of gadgets and utensils when you are making a meal?
Today I’m going to show you how I simplified things in my kitchen by separating gadgets from utensils. They are not the same thing, and do not need to be stored in the same drawer.
If you like to cook and bake, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that gadgets have babies. If you want to get a job done well, you just need the right tool, isn’t that correct? While I agree with that theory, your kitchen can become overrun with handy little gadgets before you can blink your eyes.
Confession: I am a gadget lover. I love technology and gadgets that make my life easier. But sometimes you have to step back and ask yourself how much you really need the things you have and if it’s worth taking up space in your kitchen to keep them.
I once bought a strawberry huller. Seriously? Why did I think I needed that? I can understand how it might come in handy if your favorite past time is making homemade strawberry jam. Mine is not. So why did I “need” that? I didn’t, so I got rid of it. I also thought I could use a cherry pitter at one time. I’m shaking my head right now wondering where my brain was when I had that thought since I think I’ve bought cherries 10 times in my married life. We don’t even really like cherries that much!
It is a very good idea to take a look at the things you have hidden in your drawers and evaluate how often you use them.
Here is the point: If you like it, have space for it, and use it – keep it! If it doesn’t meet one of those criteria, get rid of it.
So how do I organize my kitchen gadgets? First, I only keep gadgets I actually use and have space for in my kitchen. Second, I do not keep them with my cooking utensils. I’ll show you how I organize utensils, tomorrow. Third, I keep them “contained” in small baskets.
I used to have a knife block that sat on my countertop, but I just didn’t like it sitting out all the time and really wanted to keep my knives in a drawer. But, the cost of knife drawer organizers is crazy!
One day as I was walking through Ikea, I saw a wooden knife block I thought would work, and it was super cheap! This one is similar, but larger than mine. I brought it home and it turned out to be just a little too long to fit in the drawer. My handy hubby carefully cut off the end, then cut away the extra inches, and reattached the end. It turned out beautifully. It cost a fraction of other knife organizers and now fits perfectly in my drawer.
I already had my gadgets in contained in small baskets that I picked up at a dollar store years ago. One thing I do to maximize the effectiveness of a space like a drawer is to fill it with smaller baskets and containers so everything has a clear place to “belong”. Even my kids know that the front two baskets are for kitchen gadgets, so when they empty the dishwasher, they know where things go. The back basket is for candles and a few birthday supplies. I keep my other cake decorating supplies in my pantry, but since these are used so often, I keep them here. We have birthdays every other month in this house.
When I put the knife block in the drawer, I was left with a little space between the block and the baskets. It’s actually a perfect space to keep my son’s favorite “dinosaur sandwich cutter” and my tuna and hamburger presses. Even though they are not specifically in a container, they are still “containerized” and have a space of their own. It’s simple to put things away when they have a place.
If you’re curious what gadgets I keep in this drawer, I listed most of them here:
Finally, this drawer is strategically placed in my “Food Prep Zone” because everything in this drawer is used for preparing food. Tomorrow I’ll show you how I separated my cooking utensils and keep them in my “Cooking Zone”.