How to Organize the Silverware Drawer in Your Kitchen

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This article will explain how to organize the silverware drawer in your kitchen.

Organize Silverware Drawer

The silverware drawer is probably one of the most used drawers in your entire kitchen. This is the space that holds your everyday

  • teaspoons
  • tablespoons
  • dinner forks
  • smaller dessert forks
  • table knives
  • and a few other odds and ends

You use these utensils to eat (obviously) but also to cook, stir, measure, cut and so on and so forth.

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So, if this space isn’t working for you then your kitchen can quickly become dysfunctional.

When reorganizing your kitchen or setting up your new kitchen there are some things you should consider when you organize your silverware drawer like:

  • location
  • size
  • what to store in this kitchen drawer
  • getting the right silverware drawer organizer(s)

Where You Should Locate Your Silverware Drawer

Location, location, location – where you locate your silverware drawer is very important.

In a small kitchen you may not have many choices but if you have room for flexibility then pick a good location.

You want your silverware drawer to be close to:

  • the kitchen table,
  • the dishwasher, and
  • near the stove.

Basically, smack dab in the middle of your kitchen.

The ideal spot would be in a kitchen island, if you have one.

Before our kitchen remodel, we did not have an island so I kept the silverware in a narrow set of drawers next to the dishwasher. Definitely NOT ideal.

When we decided to remodel the kitchen, I actually mapped out the drawers and cabinets and what I would store in each one before construction even started.

I chose an 18″ drawer in the center island directly across from the dishwasher as my silverware drawer.

Make Sure The Drawer Has Enough Space for Your Silverware

Measure silverware drawer

At this point you need to do two things:

  1. Measure the amount of available space in your drawer, and
  2. Take stock of the amount of silverware that you actually have.

I mentioned above that my drawer/cabinet combo was 18″ wide, but the actual useful space in my drawer was only 16″ wide by 14″ deep.

To measure your available drawer space make sure you take your measurement from the inside wall of your actual drawer to the opposite inside wall.

Measure both the length and the width this way and WRITE IT DOWN!

I recommend putting the note in cloud system like Evernote so you always have it with you – especially if you go to the store to buy your silverware drawer organizers.

What Will You Be Storing in This Drawer

Earlier I mentioned some of the more common items you would store in a silverware drawer like spoons, forks, and knives.

My silverware set came with 2 sizes of spoons and forks, table knives, and a set of matching serving utensils – we actually got 2 sets since there are 6 of us and we always seem to run out of clean utensils.

I decided that I would store the serving utensils in a different drawer but I wanted to keep odds and ends like

  • chopsticks,
  • toothpicks, and
  • a set of smaller dessert type spoons

in this particular drawer.

Finding the Right Silverware Drawer Organizer

Now, given that I had the inside dimensions of the drawer and the items that I wanted to store, it was time to look for the right silverware drawer organizer to fit my needs.

Personally, I am NOT a fan of the “all in one” kitchen drawer organizers that have space for each type of utensil. I find that they never exactly fit my drawer and I always have extra random stuff that there is never a designated space for.

Instead I prefer to divide up the drawer space with smaller individual bins.

I found these clear plastic kitchen drawer organizers from Inter Design that I love. They come in all different sizes so you can mix and match the ones you want to fit your space.

I ended up with 4 of these 3″x9″ kitchen drawer organizers by iDesign for my standard spoons and forks (2 sizes of each) and 2 more in the 3″x12″ size.

They fit perfectly like puzzle pieces with 5 going across the bottom drawer vertically and one of the 12-inch organizers going across the top of the shorter ones horizontally.

It was a pretty tight fit, but I had a little extra room at the back of the drawer to slide in a few packs of chopsticks.

A Basic Principle of Kitchen Organization

One of the basic principles of kitchen organization is to try to keep like items together by category.

In my mind a silverware drawer should be filled with all of the items that I use to eat food with. My goal was to keep it all in one drawer without overflowing into a second drawer.

If I had more eating utensils than what could actually fit, it would be up to me to either give away some of the extra items or make the decision to put the overflow into a second location.

Thankfully everything fit.

A Little Bonus That Happened

Bosch dishwasher silverware tray

When I decided to locate the silverware drawer in the kitchen island across from the dishwasher – I did not realize this really cool thing.

You see, since we remodeled our whole kitchen we also purchased a new dishwasher.

The model we chose is a Bosch 800 series with three tiers – the top being a silverware tray.

So now, we can open the silverware drawer and pull out the dishwasher try and put our clean silverware away very easily.

I love it when things work out that way!

Ready to Organize Your Silverware Drawer?

When it comes to kitchen organization, there is not one single right answer.

Everyone’s space and needs are different. You have to do what makes the most sense for your family and lifestyle.

If you have a silverware drawer setup that works for you, please take a photo and send email it to me along with your explicit permission for me to use the photo on my website.

I will definitely feature you in a future post!

Happy organizing!

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How to organize your silverware drawer

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  1. I couldn’t agree with you more about how most all-in-one silverway trays never seem to fit the drawers you want to use. This is the first apartment in which I’ve lived where I could fit my tray into the drawer; previously, they were all too narrow (and it’s not that wide of a tray). I like iDesign dividers you used; another trick I like is to store half of the forks and spoons upside down (vertially) in a space (sort of like shoes in a shoebox) to double the utility. You have six in the house, so you need more silverware, but for me, on my own, I can stack the tablespoons bowl-up and the teaspoons, and the teaspoons right next to them, bowl-down, and do the same with the salad forks and the dinner forks.

    1. Hi Julie,
      That is a great trick – half up and down. Before we our kitchen redo I had to do that because the drawer I used for silverware was so super narrow.You would think that a proper silverware drawer would be a basic thing in a kitchen, but that is not always the case!

  2. It’s funny how much joy we receive from organizing a single drawer! When our systems (even the small eco-system of a drawer) work well, it makes life flow so much better. I love how you got that unexpected bonus from your kitchen redesign of being able to empty the dishwasher’s clean silverware directly into your utensil drawer.

    1. Hi Linda,
      It is so true – when things just work and you don’t have to think about them – you free up mental space to deal with other, more pressing issues.
      And I also love the dishwasher/silverware drawer setup. If we ever move, replicating that will be one of the first things that I try to do!

  3. It really is those small things, like being able to easily move clean silverware from the dishwasher into the drawer, that make life sweet! Who wants to walk across the room with clean dishes? I always try and put the majority of storage near the dishwasher for this reason. If you save one minute a day, that is hours over the course of a year!

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