• Every Little Thing

{Declutter Challenge} Kitchen Utensils

Updated: Feb 13


It's surprising how much stuff can accumulate in our kitchens, especially in our drawers as they are kept closed and away from prying eyes and so can quickly get messy.

These days there is a kitchen gadget for every conceivable task, but just because that pineapple corer or pastry wheel seemed indispensable when we bought it or was given to us, doesn't mean that deserves to take up space in our kitchen years later. How many utensils do you have just because 'it might be useful one day'?

Hoarding kitchen utensils is not going to make you a better cook or your food more enjoyable.

Cooking can already be time-consuming, and no-one wants to waste time trying to find utensils.

If your kitchen utensils are a tangled mess of whisks, tongs, spatulas and spoons, It's time to do a mini kitchen edit to simplify, organise and make them easy to find.

ORGANISE

To begin organising, remove EVERYTHING from the drawer, don't be tempted to leave anything.

Then clean out the drawer. If it's been a while since it had a clean, now it the ideal time. Vacuum out the crumbs and give it a good wipe out.

If you also have a container on your worktop, don't forget to include these as well. Also, check other drawers for utensils have been stashed elsewhere and bring them all together.

Spread the contents of the drawer out on a clear surface, so you can clearly see what you have, and then start sorting into like for like category groups. For example, serving utensils, cutting utensils, measuring cups and spoons, whisks, spatulas etc.

At this point, you'll probably realise that you have lots of wooden spoons that you don't really need.

DECLUTTER + SIMPLIFY

Now that you can clearly see all the utensils that you have picked out your favourites and most frequently used and out them to one side.

You are now left with the not so important things. Free up some space by letting go of any unnecessary items. Some decisions will be easy - like letting go of the rusty can opener or the icky cooking spoons. Other things might be a little harder to decide.

It's Ok to let go of...

Items that you rarely use. Melon slicers or ballers, different types of cheese grater... These are all great if you use them regularly AND you have plenty of space, but if not you'll feel better by freeing up space and letting them go.

Duplicates. While two rolls of tin foil will quickly be used up; you don't need more than one ice cream scoop, corkscrew or can opener - keep the best, let go of the rest.

Things that are broken or don't work very well anymore.

What to do with unwanted items.

Take to the recycling centre or throw away anything that is rusty or doesn't work.

Collect together any unwanted items still in good condition in a bag ready to drop off at the nearest charity shop.

STORE + CONTAIN

Now that you only have left the things that you really need and use, and have organised categories you want to keep it that way.

If you haven't already got a drawer organiser or dividers, or what you do have isn't effective, it's worth investing or upgrading to keep your drawers tidy and organised.

Drawer organisers are the perfect way to create order out of chaos and will keep your utensils neatly separated by type so that you never have to rummage around for what you need.

It isn't always necessary to add storage, but I believe that for large kitchen drawers where things can float around and too easily get messy, or drawers that hold a lot of things - drawer organisers are worth every penny.

That said, drawer dividers are not all created equal, so part of really maximising the storage is finding the 'right' ones for YOUR drawers and lifestyle.

How to choose and fit your storage

Before buying any new storage, you need to measure and plan it out first.

Measure the height, width and length of your nice clean empty drawer.

When working with clients, I also like to line the drawer with greaseproof/baking paper so I can make a template of the drawer using a marker pen.

Place each of your keep categories back into the drawer so that they fit together making the most of the available space. You might need to try a few different arrangements but play around until your happy that everything fits as best as possible.

If you have lined the drawer first with template paper, you can draw your dividers onto the paper, to help when looking for dividers. You can also take a picture for reference.

Once you have all your measurements and categories laid out, you can start looking for dividers and organisers to fit your drawer space and categories.

It's worth shopping around to find the best fit for you. Even with really exact measuring, planning and shopping, it's pretty rare to find off the shelf organisers that fit your drawer perfectly. So, do what you can to maximise any space leftover by adding extra individual trays or boxes. You don't want to waste any space.

You can buy dividers in stores like Ikea, TK Maxx, Homesense, B&M Bargains, or online at Amazon, Store | A Place for Everything, Lakeland, and The Holding Company.

Types of organisers and storage

ADJUSTABLE DRAWER DIVIDERS

These suit various sized drawers, so work well if you are struggling to find other organisers to fit your drawers. Make sure that you check the height and width before buying.

INDIVIDUAL AND INTERLOCKING TRAYS

I prefer to buy individual organisers or adjustable dividers to give some flexibility. Using clear acrylic drawer dividers allows you to see the drawer space and prevents the drawer from feeling overcrowded.

ALL-IN-ONE DRAWER ORGANISER TRAYS

For me, I've found it very difficult to find all in one/pre-made drawer organisers that fit drawers or the contents perfectly. The slots are never big enough, the spaces are never in the right places, and there is nearly always wasted space.

DIY DRAWER DIVIDERS

If you have the time, or the skills for a bit of DIY, you can make your own bespoke wooden dividers!

KNIFE BLOCKS

Always worth adding to a drawer if you are storing sharp knives - to protect the blades and your fingers!

Once you have put your storage and keep items in place, everything now has a home and is easy to find. Make sure you keep it that way by questioning any new items "Do I really need this?" and "Is there an item that this is replacing that I can let go of?".

For more Kitchen Declutter Challenges and a free checklist - visit the Kitchen Edit Page


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