How to Clean and Organize Your Kitchen Cabinet Drawers

Spring time is the perfect time to muck out the house and clean it from top to bottom. At our house, one of the more challenging spring cleaning tasks is cleaning and organizing the cabinet drawers in the kitchen.

One problem in keeping kitchen cabinet drawers tidy is trying to figure out a way to contain all those randomly sized kitchen tools, utensils, drying towels, and other gadgets. Without some kind of organizer, kitchen tools are subject to breakage whenever the drawer is pulled open or slammed shut. In my own kitchen, I used a combination of utensil organizers and shallow utility baskets to organize my kitchen tools, linens, and gadgets. This lets me combine similar items so they are easier to find and protects the utensils from damage. Kitchen organizers can be found in bedding and bath stores, kitchen stores, and discount department stores and are often priced at under $5 -10 per unit.

With an armful of new organizers and a couple of rolls of washable shelf paper, you can now begin spring cleaning the kitchen cabinet drawers.

Empty first. As you empty the kitchen drawer, take assessment of what is inside. Donate tools and gadgets that haven’t been used in the past couple of years, throw out what’s broken, and get rid of spices and other loose “bulk items” that are past their expiration dates.

Vacuum and Scrub. If your kitchen cabinets are full of crumbs (like mine always seem to get), it’s a wise idea to vacuum up the crumbs with a crevice tool before washing the inside of the cabinet. Once the drawer is free of crumbs, wipe down the inside with a mild vinegar solution using a soft rag. For stubborn grit in the corners, an old tooth brush works great. Let the drawer dry outside in the sun before continuing.

Line with washable shelf paper. Shelf paper protects the kitchen drawers and keeps them looking new. I prefer the non adhesive washable paper myself since they are easy to remove for cleaning. Scrubbable shelf paper also tends to have a bit of “grip” which prevents organizers from sliding around in the drawers.

Drop organizers in place. You should arrange the organizers in a way that makes sense for you. What works for me is to organize my kitchen tools and supplies by function. For example,
Silverware and serving utensils are kept together in a top drawer
Measuring cups and spoons are stored together in the same basket
Mixing tools (wisks, egg beaters, hand mixers etc) have their own drawer
Can and bottle openers, and bottle stoppers share a shallow basket
Dish rags, scrubbies, and dish towels are packed together in a single drawer

Even though cleaning and organizing the cabinet drawers in your kitchen may seem like a huge job, it’s definitely worth the effort. The time spent in organizing your kitchen this spring will save you countless hours in meal prep in the months ahead.

More by this contributor:
Creating storage space in a teeny tiny bathroom.
Organizing your pantry and food storage areas.
Where to move dishes to create more storage space in the kitchen.

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