Decluttering the kitchen drawers actually turned out to be harder than I expected at first. Somehow, after I had organized my pantry, I thought the kitchen drawers would be easy. As usual I was wrong – and I had to do some research on line. I bought some new storage pieces to make my decluttering successful

Start by Emptying the Drawer Completely

My first mistake was in decluttering the kitchen drawers was not to empty each drawer completely.  When I had decluttered my pantry, I had pulled everything off each shelf and then organized.  Why didn’t I think to do the same thing this time?  After going around in circles for a while I did some research on the internet and found an article, Hacks and Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen Drawers.  That article suggested pulling the drawer out completely, turning it over and emptying everything out and starting from there.  This helped a lot.

Still, each time I started to declutter, I threw away all the soy sauce packets and rubber bands in the drawers.  Next I collected pens and pencils but suddenly found even more soy sauce packets and rubber bands.  Wait! Were they populating in my kitchen even as I reduced their numbers?

Pare Down the Peelers

Empty all your kitchen utensils—big and small—onto a workable surface. Then, sort through them and ditch any redundant, broken, or otherwise unusable items.  This actually felt pretty good.  After all, how many cake frosting spatulas do I really need?  My daughter is graduating from the University of Chicago Booth School this spring.  Maybe she can use an extra frosting spatula!  It isn’t the graduation gift she was hoping for but….  I confess that I kept two peelers for those great days when family is home and helping me make the Christmas potatoes au gratin.

Another way to go about your kitchen utensil purge is to follow professional organizer Amy Bloomer of Let Your Space Bloom.  “We have this simple rule that makes sense for most clients. For example, if my client cooks frequently and she hasn’t used a utensil in a year, then we donate it,” says Bloomer. “For clients who don’t cook that often, I’ll use a two-year rule instead.”

Start decluttering your kitchen drawers by donating any utensils that you are not using.  My Sister’s Place and A Wider Circle can use your duplicate utensils to help someone begin a new life.

Tackle the Knives

Decluttering the kitchen drawers took me next to the knives!  Clearly I needed to make a small investment in this project to maintain strong long term results.  I also wanted a safer way to store the extra knives that would protect the blades from damage.

Target had the perfect drawer knife block {about $30 on sale} and some plastic drawer organizers.  Wayfare had others that were equally attractive.  I already have a big Cutco knife block on my countertop, but I have other knives that don’t fit there which I still want to keep.  The drawer knife block gave me that extra storage space and forced me to decide which knives to keep and which to discard.  I am proud to say that I threw out about ten old knives.

Having decided to christen this drawer – at least in my own mind – the sharp drawer,  I collected all the cheese knives and put them in one of the shorter sections of the organizer.  The final short section was reserved for peelers and the pizza cutter.


Un-name the Junk Drawer

Most of us have a “junk drawer” with miscellaneous items – just make sure you actually need what you keep!  Look for old batteries, extra office supplies, candles, tools, phone chargers or extra cords that you no longer use, etc.  Chances are the batteries are dead, the office supplies are dried out and you don’t own the phone or laptop that that cord goes to.  Even better – decide you don’t need a junk drawer at all.  If it is worth keeping then it is worth keeping in the right place.

When I tackled my junk drawer I was amazed at the number of keys that I have – that I have no idea where they go.  How many Allen wrenches does one family have.  I don’t know – but I had ten and they all looked the same to me.  This time I resorted to several baggies to collect and contain tools and keys.  Not as pretty but equally effective!

Take Aways on Decluttering the Kitchen Drawers

Rome wasn’t built in a day – and my kitchen drawer clutter wasn’t either. I wasn’t able to make a dent in the clutter in an afternoon so I broke it up over several days with 15 or 20 minutes at a time.  I didn’t try to create piles of items to donate since it is particularly hard to do that during COVID. I settled for finding things to throw out – the things I had not been using for years – liked the cracked wooden spoon or the old knife with the chipped blade.  With those things gone, I can find the things in my drawers that I want to use.  I feel good about the small accomplishments – and in this year of dislocation, that is a pretty good thing!

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