With so many options for drawer organizers these days, it can take a bit of know-how to sift through the noise and find the perfect drawer dividers. I’ve broken down the process into 4 easy steps that will help you quickly and efficiently shop for and organize any drawer.
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My dad is notoriously hard to buy gifts for, but for his 70th birthday, he asked for bamboo drawer dividers for his kitchen drawers. I thought, now this is a gift I can get on board with! Even though his drawers were very organized to begin with, he was hoping to elevate the look of his kitchen by replacing the white plastic inserts with bamboo.
However, with so many options for drawer dividers, he didn’t know where to begin. Since I’ve been down the drawer organization rabbit hole a few times, I was happy to order and install organizers throughout his kitchen.
After taking some measurements and shopping on Amazon, I had each drawer planned out, purchased, and delivered to my door in two days. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share my 4 step method for purchasing, installing, and organizing kitchen drawers so you too can give yourself the gift of organized drawers.
How to Organize Kitchen Drawers
Step 1: Measure the drawer dimensions
There’s a reason I always carry a measuring tape in my purse and usually have another in my desk drawer. Measuring is key to making sure your project goes right the first time.
When measuring your drawers, make sure to measure the width and length inside the drawers. Any organizer you buy must be smaller than these dimensions or it won’t fit.
Don’t forget to also measure the height of the drawer. If the drawer organizer is taller than your drawer height, the drawer won’t close.
To help keep track of the dimensions, I like to use a notebook and sketch out each drawer, name it (either with a number or location) and list the length, height, and width.
Step 2: Decide what will be stored in each drawer
Once you have measurements, it’s time to decide what will go in each drawer. If everything is jumbled in your kitchen, start by opening all your drawers and listing out the categories that you see. For example:
- Serving pieces
- Small kitchen utensils
- Stove utensils
- Food wrap and plastic storage bags
- Kitchen towels
- Kids’ utensils and dishes
- Hot pads, trivets, and oven mitts
- Pens, pencils, scissors, etc.
Identify which categories you have and assign them to a drawer. Try to use new eyes to look at your kitchen to figure out the best layout. Plan out your drawers so that things are intuitive; stove utensils near the stove, silverware near the dishwasher, kids dishes in a low drawer, etc.
Step 3: Use your plan to go shopping
Now for the fun part! Once you have a solid plan and dimensions, shopping is easy. My favorite place to shop for kitchen drawers is Amazon because of the sheer number of options available. This means you are guaranteed to find a divider that fits your drawer, even if your drawers are small, Like my 10” and 7” wide drawers.
Here’s my process for shopping:
I search for what I’m trying to organize + the material I want the organizer to be made of. So for silverware, I would search “silverware organizer bamboo” and literally hundreds of options pop up. I then scroll until I find the layout I’m looking for and then check the dimensions. If the organizer isn’t a close fit, I keep looking. It’s OK to have a small bit of space on the side of the divider, but you want to find something that fills the drawer as much as possible.
If I feel like I’m having a hard time finding what I want, I will sometimes add the width in inches to my search, so “silverware organizer bamboo 12 inches”. This will often pull up options you hadn’t seen before or will narrow down the results to only organizers that will fit.
After looking at size, I make sure to check price and reviews. I look for decent reviews without huge red flags and make sure I’m finding the lowest price for the product. Often there are identical products on Amazon at widely different price points, so keep searching until you find the best deal.
There are a few drawer layout options that work well:
Drawer inserts – Can be made out of plastic or bamboo and are perfect for silverware, knives, spices, and kitchen tools. There are even some beautiful bamboo organizers for foils and ziplock bags.
Tension dividers – Great for breaking up space if you have wide, flat drawers. I love using these for organizing large or oddly shaped items like spatulas, tongs, whisks, and other utensils.
Individual plastic trays – You can create a completely custom drawer by using plastic dividers to fill a drawer and give each tool a home.
Larger plastic bins – For deeper drawers, plastic bins are great for storing kids dishes, food storage containers and dish towels.
Step 4: Organize!
Once you have all your dividers, it’s time to get them installed and organized!
If you are low on counter space, grab a few towels to lay on the floor and start placing everything from your drawers on the towels. (It’s cleaner than putting your forks directly on the floor).
While you do this, sort and place by category; all silverware together, all kitchen tools together, etc. Take this time to remove duplicates or any items you no longer use. Your finished drawers will be so much better if they have less in them!
Clean out your drawers with a rag and a multipurpose spray. Then, line the drawers if desired and fit the inserts into each drawer to make sure they fit. Use your sketches and notes to put everything away by category.
Once you have everything put away, be sure to take a few after pictures to send to your family and friends. The only thing better than an organized drawer is showing off your organized drawer. 😉
Click on the pictures below for links to products used:
And to see more of my favorite kitchen organization products, be sure to check out my Amazon Store. I have all these products (and more!) linked for your shopping convenience.