Monday, October 4, 2010

16 October Featured Space: Kitchen - Disastrous Drawers {part 1}

I have a little secret.  OK, to me, it's a HUGE secret.  That secret comes in the form of three drawers that live in my kitchen.

The kitchen is often referred to as "The Heart of the Home".  And in our case, that definitely holds true.  It is where we spend the most time together as a family, chatting, cooking, eating, doing homework, coming and going....

Because SO much goes on in the kitchen, I thought it would be a good idea to feature the space, again.  Especially because we have more organizing in the works to make the space as efficient as we can for this busy family of five!

So back to these three drawers I mentioned.  These three drawers are definitely the most opened and closed drawers in the whole house, and they are also the most unorganized and embarrassing drawers.  EEK!

Don't believe me?  Oh, it's shameful!

See?!!  Told ya it was awful!

Lets take a closer look shall we?  Not only are the drawers messy, they are not that safe either... like out our knife drawer:

Yeah, knives half haphazardly tossed into a drawer divider?  Not the best idea.  And can you say, gadget overload?  Who could find anything in there?

Oh, but it doesn't get better....

This drawer is all for our baking goods:

And this one is for more kitchen utensils {and apparently some potholders}:

Can you imagine the nightmare this was causing us on a nightly basis?  I really think I have lost sleep over this situation.  The only thing these drawers had going for them is they were still able to open and close, some of the time...

Until now.  I took a stand against these drawers of chaos and did something about it!  And the result is incredible.  And anyone else out there facing this situation can do it too!  It's REALLY easy!

I just emptied the contents of every single drawer into a large basket {with the exception of the knives}.

So now the drawers look a little something like this!

SO much better already.

Because the "Less is More" mentality worked so well when I was purging down my clothes to fit into my bedroom closet, I decided to apply the same concept here.  We obviously had WAY too many things in the small drawer space.  That was obvious.  And deciding how to pare down was actually pretty simple.

The basket lived in the kitchen with us for a total of two weeks.  It wasn't great living with a large laundry basket in the kitchen for this amount of time, but the end result was worth it, so stay with me.

Each time we needed a utensil for cooking or baking, we went to the basket.  Once we used and washed the utensil, it went back to the drawers.  After two weeks, whatever we didn't use, it was time to say goodbye to!

No need for the "EASY" button here, anyone can do this, no assistance needed!

And yes, I did this last month.  I wanted to try it out and live with the lesser amounts before I gave this tip... and so far, we haven't missed ANYTHING we got rid of!  Our "donate" box was a large box full of random utensils and gadgets, like ones that only have one specific use {like a garlic press, it's nothing a knife can't handle}, or duplicate items {like four varieties of measuring cups and spoons that no longer made a whole set} and other miscellaneous things that we never needed or used that were just taking up all that valuable space!

We tossed some things too {like cookie cutters with rust on them, ew!}. 

And if you are a little skeptical on the two week theory, you could always keep your donate box an extra two weeks just to make sure you don't need any of those goods before you haul them away!  And I can't forget to mention, there were definitely a couple of kitchen staples that I had to make a decision on, like a potato masher and soup ladle. If you know you will absolutely use it throughout the year and have nothing that you could use to substitute in it's place, then it stays. You definitely have to make some of your own decisions in the end, but the two week basket trick sure is an eye opener!

So stay tuned to see how I made these drawers just dreamy {there is a little sneak peak on the sidebar if you hadn't seen that yet}!  And if you have an insane utensil drawer secret too, can you let me know so I don't feel all alone on the crazy utensil drawer island?  Who pledges to take on the two week challenge also, to live a less cluttered, more organized, "less is more" life?

Hey peeps!  Wanna see the finished product?  Check out the drawers here and some additional storage ideas here!


  1. This is a great put the items in a basket to see if you'll use them! We only have two kitchen drawers (which drives me crazy) so I try and keep them simple. I do need to work on my utensil drawer soon.

  2. How did you handle things that only get used a couple times a year but you don't want to part with like Christmas-themed cookie cutters, etc? I won't make snowflake cookies in the next two weeks but that doesn't mean I want to get rid of them.

  3. um I kid you not... I have those exact same measuring cups, dino sandwich cutter and christmas cookie cutter set! And my drawers look just like that haha..

  4. I am new to your blog and I just love it! I am a fan of organizing myself, but never seem to find the time. You have motivated me to tackle all the projects. I love the 2 week challenge. I just might have to try it!!

  5. abstika,

    Great Question! There were definitely a couple of kitchen staples that I had to make a decision on, like a potato masher and soup ladle. If you know you will absolutely use it throughout the year and have nothing that you could use to substitute in it's place, then it stays. You definitely have to make some of your own decisions in the end, but the two week basket trick sure is an eye opener!


  6. Hi Jen,
    I found your blog a while ago (sorry...I don't remember where!) and have become a regular follower. This post struck such a chord, because we have a big, deep utensil drawer in the kitchen that is an absolute nightmare! Just the other night, my boyfriend ended up cutting his finger trying to find something in there (to add insult to injury, we never found the spatula we were looking for!). Anyway, just bought a big, expandable cutlery tray to try and tame the chaos. Will definitely use your basket idea and will try and remember before/after photos! Thanks for the post!!

  7. OK, I am 100% with you. My challenge is SIX kitchen utensil drawers. That doesn't include the 8 little cubby drawers that need purging too. I will let you know how it all shakes out!! :)

  8. Jen,

    thanks for the quick answer. I was just thinking to myself that I may start to store holiday cookie cutters, etc. with my holiday decor so that it's not taking up space in my kitchen on a regular basis.

    I'm off to tackle drawers right now!

    Thanks for the motivation!

  9. I have a friend who did this too so I will give it a try. I unclutter my "junk" drawer several times a year but the other drawers not so much. I did just do one drawer yesterday and the shelves in the fridge!!!!!!!!! YIKES! We had some OLD stuff!!!:):)

  10. I can't wait to try this. I have 3 full drawers and they always seem to get stuck on something and won't open. LOL!

  11. Oh, this looks so fun. Now... if only I had some drawers. Or cabinets. sigh. Guess for now I'm stuck with my "coffee can on the counter" method. :D

  12. I can't wait for the final reveal! :)

  13. Yep...totally agree! We could always use without most of the stuff! I have also weeded out as much as I can around here!

  14. LOVE it!!! and you made me laugh!
    Great job!

  15. My first response is..."I won't have anything left in the donate basket after two weeks"...which is exactly what got me into my utensil drawer procrastination mess!

    I'm starting this challenge this week. Ok, maybe next week. :} Thanks!

  16. I have a drawer just like this. I took out all the things I don't use. It is much better now. I need to do the donate thing. I hate having things around that I do not use. It made me laugh when I saw this post, I was complaining about "this drawer" only the other week to my husband. He told me everyone has one messy drawer like the one that was bugging me. Love your blog by the way. I am bit obsessed about things being in their place. You have given me soo many ideas.


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