How to make your own drawer dividers

June 26, 2013

I told you a few months ago that I’m slowly but surely attacking the clutter hot spots around our house. At this rate I’ll be done next year in time to start it all over again, but whatever.

I’m on a mission in our kitchen to declutter the countertops. Mostly – not completely clear them off, but be smarter about the things we have out. 

I know it’s probably silly but lately all the utensils next to the stove were driving me crazy:

DIY gumball fish tank
See our gumball fish tank here

Especially considering we have a drawer right there that I use for the rest of the utensils:

utensil drawer organization

Problem was, as you can see – it was a hot mess. Every time I’d put something away I would have to try to close the drawer about five times before I finally got it shut. ;)

I realized it was getting a little ridiculous – who needs all those spoons? Really? Especially for someone who rarely hardly ever occasionally cooks? So I took about 15 minutes to declutter the situation.

You’ll notice the wonky drawer organizers in that pic above – that was a little DIY project I did years ago. (I saw the idea at Stephanie’s site here.) At the time I didn’t secure them well enough so they weren’t working so great.

All I did was take scrap wood from the garage and cut it to the width of the drawer and then nail it in. Stephanie just used glue for hers but that didn’t hold well enough for me. So I needed to add one more nail to each side to make them more secure and I used the little trick I used years ago:

DIY utensil organization

I used my Frogtape to mark off where the wood was so I could nail into it without missing. Does that make sense? Cause otherwise this happens:

Make your own drawer dividers

(The nail didn’t hit the wood and came out the side.)

Obviously you still need to have good aim. Gah!

In hindsight I wish I would have installed the wood slats the long way instead of across, but if I remember right I was trying to work with scraps of wood I already had.

So once the organizers were secure again I started the purging and reorganizing. The bigger items went into a cabinet in the kitchen with like items and all the grilling stuff went outside underneath the grill:

By the way, those little marshmallow sticks telescope out and are perfect for making smores! :) I got them at the Target dollar spot last summer, not sure if they still have them.

We had doubles and triples of plenty, which I pared down. And then I found things that I have NO idea why we had:

Uhhhh…what are those?

I was able to purge plenty so now I don’t even need the holder next to the stove anymore, which was my goal:

gumball fish bowl

On a side note, Squish the Fish is doing AWESOME! We’ve had this Squish for three years now and he’s the most spoiled fish I’ve ever known. My husband loves him. You can see more about the gumball fish tank here.

But let’s marvel at the lovely utensil drawer, with a (little) room to spare:

DIY drawer dividers

One drawer done, eleventy billion to go.

And one thing you don’t ever think you’ll do until you blog – take a picture of your utensil drawer and share it with the world.

This little spot makes me feel like I did a lot – I find decrapifying is a lot more manageable when I tackle little bits at a time.

So do you have too many spoons in your kitchen? Can you close your utensil drawer??

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  1. No doubt about it Sarah... you are CLEVER!! I've been tackling some clutter spots as well. After ten years of being a mom, I'm still surprised what we find under the beds (aside from dust bunnies)!!
    Keep at it and we'll be breathing free and easy!

  2. Those white plastic thingies go with a George Forman grill...they are for scraping the grease/goo off. The black thingy looks familiar.

  3. I felt so much better after getting rid of a bunch of junk out of my utensil drawer. BUT! The white things you didn't know what were, go to like a George Foreman or inside grill type thing! It scrapes the burnt parts off the grates. :) I tossed mine and I don't regret it so far.

  4. Good job! I love a well organized drawer! :)

    And those white "spoons" look like the ones that come with the George Foreman Grills, maybe?

  5. I'm pretty sure the white utensils were from a George Foreman type grill where you use them to scrape grease out of the creases. Does that sound familiar? Pretty sure I had one like it back in the day when I had a Foreman. Before I admitted I never used it & gave it away :)

    LOVE your blog, btw! Just found it & am completely addicted :)

  6. Those white things are spatulas for a George Foreman grill :)

  7. I am in the same boat. I feel like I look around and feel like everything is out of place and needs organizing. It gives me anxiety! We have only been in our house just over a year now and it's time to make it work for us!
    My hubby is in the custom kitchen business and make me a fantastic utensil drawer plus spice holder when we moved in. I love it!!

  8. Totally me. My husband is actually fed up with the utensil holder on the counter. But I cannot get all of it in my drawer....I began a kitchen clean-out months ago, with the intention of installing some of those drawer divider and for some reason didn't get very far. Story of my life. The tape idea to know where to nail-brilliant!! Now I'm inspired to give it another go!! Thanks :)

  9. And the black utensil looks like it goes to an omelet maker;)

  10. Hey, looks great! I just moved in with my boyfriend and I feel like every drawer/cabinet in the kitchen looks like your Before. Ugh. We have triples and even quadruples of some stuff! And he throws a fit if I get rid of anything. We have three sets of pots and pans, including mine. What did he need two sets of pots and pans for?!

  11. Love it, when we buy our next home ill be sure to implement this! Um and how did I miss the fish until now!?! Love it!

  12. Looks great! My drawers are in bad shape and I have the same problem of getting them to close or open. That is next on my to-do list.

  13. I just posted a photo of my horrible drawer like this on facebook/instagram. I should probably use your technique to fix it up!

  14. It looks great! I like the dividers. It would be hard to secure them so easily if they were going the other way. I have always kept to the rule about allowing yourself ONE utensil drawer. I have never counted the knives, toothpicks(etc), silverware and serving silverware in this. Just the bulky plastic and metal gadgets, large serving spoons, spatulas, etc. One thing I can't figure out is my old house had a drawer only about 11 inches wide, so I allowed myself a jar on the counter for the spatulas and wooden spoons. It was a small kitchen and I was ok with that. But in my new house, the drawer is nearly twice as wide and my utensils are jamming it all the time. The only different thing is I was putting them sideways instead of straight forward, (and had my grilling utensils in it for a while). I think when the utensils are straight forward they "shuffle" in better? Maybe I just need to break it in, with what works here (we've been here 3 months).

  15. I have never liked having much on my counters and dust on my utensils grosses me out...add in frequent moving and my collection is only what I use. Rest assured, I have my little clutter areas; in fact, my husband's was simply thrown into a box and it still hasn't been sorted through after the last move!

  16. I think the black thingie is maybe for some sandwich maker? Something where you close the lid and it makes pockets. That redheaded lady sells it!! :) And someone already explained the George Foreman doohickies. Nice job on the've inspired me!

  17. Are you the dishwasher unloaded at your house? That is where my organization goes awry, hubs unloads and his mind must work so differently then mine.

  18. Great solution. I just helped one of my sons set up a new kitche, so I shared a ton of things with him. Now mine looks pretty good. Yours is fabulous. Hugs, Marty

  19. Hey Sara...
    Not that you care since you probably pitched em', but the "mystery utensils" to the right are George Foreman grill cleaners! Now you can sleep better ! Ha! :)

  20. Kitchen looks great "decrapified"!! I love your fish tank!!!!~~Angela

  21. omgosh your brilliant. I will definitely be doing this to my crazy drawer!

  22. I'm definitely going to try this! Thanks for sharing!

  23. We have WAY too many. I cook a lot and married a guy who cooks a lot so we have 172 spatulas. I need to pare down I guess.

    PS... those white things on the right go with your George Foreman grill.

  24. Decrapify is now my new favorite word! As the anti-hoarder, I practice it daily.

  25. Love how you organized your drawers! I was thinking of doing something like that (and make my own drawer dividers), so thanks to you post, I am going going to try it now! :)

  26. thing on the left seems to be for making crepes and spreading out the batter?

  27. thoughts exactly!

  28. Your drawer looks fab. I think pretty much all of us have those drawers that just take on a life of their own and seem to grow. I actually have three drawers (narrow) of utensils and a container with some on my counter. Problem is I actually use them. I am anti hoarding but I am a constant cook. I need that zester and herb mincer, and George Forman thingy. Really I do.....but I promise I will get in there and see if there are maybe a few things that can go since you have shown me the light, though I bet I even have sun glasses in there. Squish and his bowl are awesome!

  29. Too funny. I've had slats cut for months that I have been waiting to install once summer break hit. I've been gone from home for four weeks now, but the FIRST thing on my to-do list is to get those puppies in. I have an old crock sitting next to my stove for the "essential" tools that I use frequently and a plastic tub in the pantry for the not-so-frequently-used ones. The problem is that once they come out of the plastic tub they get placed in the crock. Now, the crock overfloweth. YIKES! You must do gymnastic twists to get anything in. Pfft.

  30. I started using a crock on the counter to keep my utensils in yrs ago when I noticed that "something" was nibbling on my wooden spatula in the drawer (I also went to plastic utensils). Now that we have just moved to a new home, I only have 3 drawers in my kitchen so I have to continue to use my crock on the counter - only now I'm on the hunt for a new white one. I would die for a kitchen with multiple drawers!

  31. I recently went through all my cabinets and drawers and organized each one! You can see the tour here:

    I love your new utensil drawer dividers...looks like it was meant to be that way all along! :)

  32. The black thingy is for a GT Express - did you have one of those at some point?

  33. two things on the right - obvi for the Foreman grill!! lol

  34. Ack! Now I feel guilty about my canister of utensils next to the stove! But it a Le Creuset pretty orange container!!

    Those white things could be for scraping grill pans that have ridges

  35. Thanks for the tip on getting the slats nailed in at the right place. Genius!

  36. We have way too much in the kitchen but since I'm not the cook in the house I don't get rid of utensils. I'll get rid of crap elsewhere!!

  37. Ha! I go through my utensil drawer about once every two years. . .it's the size of the one *under* yours :) I truly look at everything and ask myself if I've used it in the last 6 months. . .the answer is usually "yes". I do keep my hand mixer, grill utensils, candy/meat thermometer, skewers, etc. in there too. I was just noticing this week that I need wooden spoons :) I know this post was about getting rid of things but since most of our family members use the kitchen I try to have what they need on hand. I like your dividers (and solution for getting them in) and may have to do something like that -- with a drawer as big and deep as we use some things do get "lost".
    Thanks for taking the time to share! It really is the "little" things that make the difference. . .


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