11 clever ways to organize kitchen utensils

Organize your kitchen utensils once and for all, whether you have drawers, cabinets or even just a tiny corner of counter space

Organized kitchen utensils in a wooden drawer organizer
(Image credit: Courtney Kowalske)

Organizing kitchen utensils can be tough. Maybe you’ve moved and nothing fits into those drawers like they used to in the previous house. Or maybe you don’t have a lot of drawer space at all and you’re trying to figure out how to organize utensils on your countertop without creating a cluttered space...

Whatever your woes may be, we talked to a handful of experts for their top tips so you're sure to have your utensils in order soon and be on your way to an organized kitchen once and for all!

How to organize kitchen utensils

Sometimes you may find you have too many mismatched utensils and they’re not fitting right. 'Streamlining the same kind of silverware instead of a bunch of mismatched sets is imperative. Everything just fits a lot better and makes room for other important utensils,' says Courtney Kowalske of Organized Acourtingly.

Whatever your struggle may be, we’ve asked the experts their best tips on storing kitchen utensils. Whether you're organizing knives, forks, spoons and all the rest in a deep drawer or, neatly on the kitchen counter, everything is possible.

1. Declutter and Condense

Organized kitchen utensils in blue jar

(Image credit: Gigi Mermaid)

Start by removing everything from your kitchen drawers and containers. 

'Take inventory of what you have and get rid of duplicates. A couple of spoons and spatulas are fine, but you don’t need four turkey basters and five spaghetti serving spoons,' says Kowalske. 

If you’ve had your utensils for a long time and they’ve seen better days, it may be time to invest in something new. 'I upgraded my cookware and was able to get rid of so many old plastic and metal spatulas and spoons – so I keep my wooden ones in a canister on my counter,' says Gigi Mermaid of Fearless Mermaid.

2. Consider Custom Drawer Organizers

Organized kitchen utensils in a custom made drawer

(Image credit: Stacy Chia)

Drawers come in different shapes and sizes which can create an organizational nightmare when you’re trying to find a space for everything. 

Stacy Chia, founder and director of A Mindful Method, a luxury interior organizing company out of Seattle, Washington says, 'Through experience, we have discovered that customizing your own utensil drawer utilizing different size drawer organizers is the most space efficient. We generally steer clear of any pre-set utensil drawer organizers as they don’t allow us to create the most optimal system for each unique kitchen.'

3. Pick expandable dividers

Organized kitchen utensils in drawer with expandable dividers

(Image credit: Stacy Chia)

If your drawers aren’t a standard size, expandable dividers may be the answer. They will adjust to the length or width of your drawer, allowing you to create multiple sections for organizing your utensils. 

4. Say yes to Storage bins

Organized kitchen utensils in clear storage bins for drawers

(Image credit: Stacy Chia)

More and more kitchens have deep drawers in the design, but what’s the best way to make them functional? 'Deep utensil drawers can be tricky without the right product. We usually choose between expandable clear or bamboo dividers and deep drawer bins, whichever makes the most sense for what you are storing,' says Chia.

5. Use every space with Hanging organizers

Kitchen utensils hanging from hooks

(Image credit: Yamazaki Home)

Smaller kitchens aren’t always equipped with a lot of drawer storage and countertops can quickly become cluttered when there’s not a lot of space. This can make it hard to find a home for utensils. What’s the solution? 'If you’re tired of countertop utensil holders that collect water and residue, there are a lot of alternative hanging options to explore!' says Alyssa Young of Yamazaki Home, whose products, according to their website, are 'designed to make life at home simpler, tidier and better.'

'There are so many ways to get clever with storage space in the kitchen! If you are lacking drawer space and have a lot of bulky utensils, you can create storage out of thin air with an under-shelf hanging hook. Ours attach to your cabinets to provide flexible hanging storage wherever you need it.'

6. Make the most of Peg racks

Organized kitchen utensils in cupboard with pegs

(Image credit: Little House Simple Living)

Another great idea, especially if your space has a more farmhouse kitchen or vintage vibe is a peg rack. 'If you’re short on space or just want a classic cozy feel in your kitchen, add a peg rack. It’s a great way to display handmade wooden utensils and measuring spoons,' says Wendy Walker, founder of Little House Simple Living.

7. Don't forget Knife organizers

Organized knives in drawer

(Image credit: Mariah Hilsenbrand)

Finding safe and practical storage for your knives is essential. There are countertop storage options, but if you have children those may not be the best option. They are also not ideal if you don’t have a ton of countertop space. 'I like to keep my counters as clear as possible so I added a knife organizer to my utensil drawer. I only keep the utensils I use most often in this drawer to keep it uncluttered.' says Mariah Hilsenbrand of Worcester Run. 

8. Store your least used utensils in the pantry

large pantry with in-cupboard lighting in a large white kitchen

(Image credit: Brayer Design)

Many of us have utensils that we don’t use everyday, but we do need them on occasion. 'Anything I don’t use on a weekly basis I store in another organizer in the back of my pantry. I still have those items when I need them, but they’re out of the way for daily cooking,' says Hilsenbrand.

It makes total sense to incorporate these items into your pantry storage instead, whether that's a totally separate space to your kitchen or a dedicated cupboard, adjacent to your cooking area in an open plan design. 

9. Use pitchers and vases

Organized utensils on a counter in white kitchen space

(Image credit: Mariah Hilsenbrand)

Cute and easy on the budget if you pick them up from thrift stores or flea markets, pitchers and pots, even vases, make great utensil storage containers that will add design interest and flair to your space also. 'If I do store utensils on my counter, I try to blend them into my decor. For example, I placed all my wooden items and my whisks in large white vases. I love finding ways to make my home both stylish and functional,' says Hilsenbrand. 

10. Think Crocks and metal tins

White ceramic utensils pot on kitchen counter in grey

(Image credit: Charity Gentry)

Using crocks and vintage metal tins to store your utensils on your counter is both practical and beautiful! Charity Gentry of Mornings on Macedonia says, 'I like to use cute crocks to store my utensils on the counter because I don’t have much drawer space. It’s both pretty and functional which is what I strive to have for my decor.'

Organized kitchen utensils in cupboard

(Image credit: Little House Simple Living)

Walker agrees and adds, 'Antiques like crocks and vintage metal cups are a great way to store kitchen utensils. Use different sizes and colors for a variety of items.'

11. What about disposable utensils? 

We are a generation on the go and sometimes using disposable utensils is just more practical. But sifting through the cardboard box of assorted plastic utensils to find that elusive fork can get frustrating. We store our real utensils in a drawer, why not disposables, too? 'My favorite way to store plastic ware in a drawer is by using narrow pantry bins from The Home Edit,’ says Penina Sanik, founder of Organize by Nina. ‘Accessible for the kids; easily maintainable for you.' 

Organized kitchen utensils with Home Edit containers

(Image credit: Penina Sanik)

Kitchen utensil organization can be tricky, but it’s definitely not out of reach! Having a place for everything helps save time and stress. 

Dori Turner writes blog posts and feature articles on affordable design and DIY from her home in the heart of Oklahoma. She has a passion for teaching others how they can transform their home on a budget.

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