Expertly Organize Your Silverware Drawer (Finally)
You’re in a rush in the kitchen and give the silverware drawer a push with your hip. Cluck! It slides back open because it’s filled to the brim with cooking paraphernalia of all descriptions. Then it’s 30 seconds of table utensil Tetris to get the drawer to close the whole way.
If you can’t control the chaos of the world around you, then you can at least take back your cutlery drawer. We’ve got tips to help you organize your silverware drawer, determine how much silverware is too much, and figure out where to donate utensils that your family doesn’t need.
How to Organize your Silverware Drawer
If you’re sticking with the traditional drawer instead of other storage methods, there are proven steps to get things organized:
- Start fresh. First, empty the drawer. That’s right—everything comes out! Once it’s all out in front of you, start to decide what stays and what goes. If you haven’t used a specific utensil in a few months, it may not need to be in the silverware drawer. The seldom-used (or never-used) items might find a better home somewhere else in the kitchen or in the “donate” pile.
- Use a liner. Place a drawer liner under your silverware organizer. This keeps the organizer from sliding when you open or shut the drawer in a hurry. Consider giving the organizer a rinse if it’s dusty or appears to have food or crumbs on it. Just make sure it’s dry before it goes back in.
- Count it out. Determine how much silverware you need per person in your family. This calculation involves many factors, including how responsible everyone is about doing their own dishes. Families with dishwashers may need more silverware, as there may be a few days between wash cycles. If you do your dishes by hand, you can usually get away with just two to three spoons, forks, and knives per person.
- Save some for guests. If you entertain often, add a cutlery set per person that you normally entertain. Depending on how often you invite people over, you may even consider taking these extra pieces of silverware out of everyday circulation to reduce clutter.
More Creative Ways to Organize Your Silverware
Over the years, your silverware collection can outgrow your day-to-day needs. To keep it all organized and accessible, it’s worth looking at a few ways to use your drawer space efficiently and think outside the box.
- Go deep. Who says your silverware must go in the shallow silverware drawer? Instead, use a deeper drawer to store your silverware vertically in jars, old glasses, or divided containers. Plastic cups and containers reduce the slight clinking sound when the drawer is opened or closed.
- Use jars. Get out of the drawer altogether! Find appropriate-sized glass jars, and place them on the table(s) where they’re easy to grab. Put a dozen spoons, forks, and knives in the jars. This method is especially nice if your family eats at multiple places throughout the home, such as the table, the kitchen bar, and the porch or patio.
- Use a cubby. Take a note from fast food joints and make a dedicated silverware station in the corner of your kitchen. Since you need your silverware during almost every meal, putting it away from the busy areas around the stove and ingredients is a great way to keep kids (and spouses) out of your way while you’re trying to cook!
Related Topic: Kitchen Storage and Pantry Organization
Organize Silverware the Way You’d Set the Table
Inside your drawer, we recommend lining up your cutlery to mimic a formal table setting. That means ordering your silver in this order, from left to right:
- Butter knives
If you have a set of sharper knives, consider putting them in a dedicated knife block instead of the silverware drawer. If that’s not an option, consider bundling them together and wrapping the blades in a thick cloth napkin or dish towel to protect fingers from those sharp edges.
How Much Silverware Is Too Much
You almost certainly have too much if you’re asking this question! But if you only have two to three sets of silverware per family member, plus a set to entertain an additional four people, you’re probably set. So, for a family of four, having fourteen complete sets is plenty. Any more than that is probably too much.
Here’s Where to Donate Silverware
Don’t hold onto extra silverware, and don’t throw it away, either. After you’ve gathered a pile of utensils you no longer want, first offer it to friends or family.
Otherwise, you can usually donate silverware to organizations like:
Just can’t let go? Expand your cabinetry to meet your needs. Make your kitchen, and every room in your home, work for you and your family.
Get Your Whole Home Clean and Organized
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