How Do You Organize Your Kitchen Drawers?

In what would prompt a snort of skeptical derision from the mother who had tried every trick in the book to get her son to put his toys away in their chest every night, I’ve become more of an organization freak in my doddering years. I do it not just because organizing efficiently saves all-valuable drawer space, but also because I know I can count on forgetting where to find things when I need them. So if measuring cups sit next to measuring spoons, kitchen funnels and graded prep bowls, I’m going to be spending a lot less time rooting around among chip-bag clips, rubber bands, cherry pitters and ice-cream scoops, because the items I invariably use in concert are right there, near the counter where all the measuring and mixing takes, place, all right next to each other and ready to use. The same goes for everything else. The Microplanes, zesters, pitters and peelers? All siblings in the same drawer family. Ladles, salad servers, spatulas, kitchen tongs and wooden spoons? They’re splitting the rent in a centrally located Le Creuset crock with a prime view of the stove. But sometimes I think that even if I win these little battles drawer by drawer, I’m destined to lose the war. No matter how many times I organize and reorganize, clear and cull, ice-cream spades eventually find themselves rubbing shoulders with tubs of decade-old toothpicks, scraps of contact paper, a mezzaluna, expired batteries and stamps so old you’d need two to send a postcard. And the toughest one of them of all? Pastry cutters, my drawer-organizing kryptonite. It’s always interesting to peek at other people’s kitchen drawers and try to figure out what strategy they use. The one above, which was probably put together by an artist, for example, almost seems based on materials, a wood-versus-metal dichotomy, rather than my use-based one. I’ve seen countless others that seem like utensil gibberish to me, but where the homeowner can whip out a needed masher or kebab fork in a flash. So what’s your method or madness when it comes to organizing kitchen drawers? And what’s that one thing in there that you can never find a good place for? (Photo: Sara Bonisteel)

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