I remember watching a television show about organizing once, it may have even been that guy on Oprah who tells everyone they need to throw everything out in order to be a sane and balanced person. He’s a bit extreme that guy.
Anyhow, whoever it was said if you haven’t used a kitchen utensil in the past 6 months to throw it out.
That person was an idiot.
At the very least they didn’t do a lot of cooking.
I have kitchen utensils that I may only use once every year or two but when I need them, I NEED them. Like my shortbread cookie press, or the battery operated whirly thing that stirs my sauces when I can’t stand by the stove doing it myself for an hour.
So rest assured and sleep soundly because I am NOT going to tell you to throw your kitchen utensils out.
Welcome to Day 4 of the 5 days of organizing!
I thought I was getting pretty clever a few years ago when I took all of my wood utensils out of the kitchen utensil drawer and put them in a crock beside my stove. And it was clever and really handy.
But it still left this mess to contend with every day.
So yesterday I grabbed the drawer, pulled it out on the counter and started organizing. Like I said, I’m not going to make you throw things out, but there may be a few things you know you really can throw out.
Like the red plastic sundae spoon from Dairy Queen.
For your most successful kitchen utensil drawer clean out EVER follow these steps:
1. Take each piece out and assign it to a pile.
- Small and hard to find
Hard to find things like small knife sharpeners or those metal pins you use to close up a chicken or turkey butt to hold the stuffing in, are easily lost to the bossier tools like spatulas and meat tenderizers. Keep the tiny things separate in a small box in your utensil drawer so they stay in one place and are really easy to find.
- Used often
I use my wood spoons and spatulas the most often, so those are the ones I keep out, within reach. Plus they look really nice in either a modern white canister or an old crock.
- Used occasionally
Any other tools that I use often like tongs and measuring cups go front and centre in the drawer. I can now just reach in, see them immediately and grab em.
- Used rarely
Tools I use rarely get the spot in the drawer that’s the least convenient to get things out of. In behind a couple of boxes and to the back of the drawer. That’s because I only use the blades for my electric knife, and my candy thermometer once or twice a year and I don’t care if those things are a little out of the way to grab.
- Never, ever used at all, ever.
The red plastic Dairy Queen spoon is a fine example of something I could toss without any anxiety. Well not a lot of anxiety anyway. If things get really hairy and I find I’m in some kind of red plastic spoon emergency, I can always head to Diary Queen for another one. Plus there’s the added bonus of getting the Peanut Buster Parfait that comes free with every spoon purchase.
2. Now that everything is out of the drawer, dump out all the weird crumbs that somehow get in there, even though you’ve never once eaten toast over your utensil drawer. Wash the drawer.
3. Buy some rubber mats. You can usually get them at most Dollar Stores.
Line your kitchen utensil drawer with a rubber mat cut to size. It does a stunningly good job of stopping your utensils from slipping all over the place when you open and close the drawer. So everything you put down, will stay where you put it.
And the ta da moment …
I could have made things look a lot tidier but that would just be lying. Nobody’s going to carefully place everything in their drawer. You’re gonna carefully place for the first 5 times you use then drawer, then you’ll go back to just chucking things in there. It’s human nature. We’re chuckers.
The other way I was able to make space in my drawer was by assigning things I found in it to different areas. I had my food colouring and a few cookie things in the drawer as well, so I moved those to a tin that I have that holds all of my cookie cutters and supplies. I also had my canning tools in there, which I only ever use when I’m canning, so I moved those to the basement where I keep my pressure canner.
If I really wanted to go over the top I would have cut and fit small pieces of wood to create different sections to my drawer. And that’s exactly what I would have done, were I not installing an entirely new kitchen in oh …. a week or two.
The fact that I cleaned out this drawer at all is a testament to what I am willing to do for you, The Art of Doing Stuff readers. I am SO dedicated to you I am willing to clean out a utensil drawer that’s only going to be in business for the next week, so that you, the loyal readers, have motivation to clean out your own drawers.
Plus I couldn’t find my chicken butt closing pins.
Have your own tips? Tricks? Let everyone know.
Want more STUFF like this?