The correct way to organise your kitchen drawers according to TikTok

Is this the way your kitchen drawers are organised?
Loading the player...

If you’ve ever tried to make a cup of coffee in an unfamiliar kitchen, you probably know the struggle of trying to locate the mugs, the coffee and the sugar. But, as a viral TikTok video uploaded by user @jamesy.juce reveals, there’s one place in almost every Australian kitchen you’re probably already familiar with without even realising it: the kitchen drawers. Turns out most people organise their kitchen drawers the exact same way.

WATCH: A TikTok user explains the right way to organise your kitchen drawers

According to the video, the first drawer is reserved for cutlery. The second drawer is for cooking utensils like tongs, spatulas and the like. The third drawer, he contends, is for tea towels, cling wrap and aluminium foil. The final drawer is basically a junk drawer filled with receipts, paperwork and spare cables. In the video, @jamesy.juce asks “If this isn’t your kitchen drawer set up, are you even Aussie?”

Open plan kitchen and dining room
(Credit: Nick Watt /

So do you organise your kitchen drawers the same way? Or are they in a state of disorganised disarray? 

If you answered yes to the latter, never fear. To help you get your kitchen drawers back in a state of harmony, we asked Elain Maytom, Senior Showroom Designer at Freedom Kitchens for her expert tips.

How to organise your kitchen drawers

1. Don’t throw everything in together

“Divide and conquer!” says Elain. “Dividers like those designed into cutlery drawer trays are the best way to keep items separated into logical groupings, making everything easy to spot at a glance.”

“Use inserts with variable dividers which are stylish and affordable, and won’t slip and slide around inside the drawer.” Depending on the style of your kitchen cabinetry, choose colours and finishes to match and a combination of individual trays to make up the best solution for your needs.

Grey kitchen cutlery drawer organiser

Expandable utensil tray, $59.95, by MadeSmart.

Joseph and Joseph compact cutlery drawer organiser

DrawerStore Compact Cutlery Organiser, $24.95, by Joseph Joseph.

2. Get rid of utensils you don’t use

“We often inherit bits and pieces or accumulate them when we lose something and replace it, only to find the old item later,” says Elain, who suggests doing a cull of the contents of your cutlery drawer before you rearrange it to see exactly what you’re working with.

“Sort cutlery and utensils into two piles,” she suggests. “Those you like and use regularly (or can see yourself using in the future), and those which you never anticipate using, or don’t like the look of because it doesn’t match anything else.”

“Be brutal when it comes to the old ‘junk drawer’,” says Elain. “The kitchen isn’t the place for it – reserve your kitchen drawers for kitchen items only.”

Organised kitchen utensil drawer
(Credit: Chris Chen /

3. Organise the drawers in a way that makes sense to you

Knives, forks, spoons left-to-right, or right-to-left? Handles in first or facing out? These are questions that can baffle even the most determined de-clutterer!

“There are no hard and fast rules here, and it also depends on the compartments of your cutlery tray,” says Elain. “However most people intuitively work from left to right. If you prefer to lay everything out the way you would a table setting, then go for it – forks on the left, followed by knives with blades facing inwards (or to the left), followed by spoons.”

Organised kitchen cutlery drawer
(Credit: Nick Scott /

“It always makes sense to have the handles facing out and nearest to you, so that’s what you grab hold of when taking them out.”

4. Use dividers to keep larger utensils in order

“The utensil drawer can quickly get overly cluttered and messy with all of the odd shapes like egg whisks and wooden spoons, so it’s very handy to have dividers here,” suggests Elain. 

“Again have all handles facing out to you, and group like items together – i.e. group baking utensils separately from the everyday cooking utensils.”

“Sharp chef’s knives are best stored in a knife block to avoid any accidents, or making the blades blunt.”

Grey in-drawer knife block organiser

DrawerStore kitchen drawer organiser tray for knives, $33.21, by Joseph Joseph.

Wooden in-drawer knife block organiser

Swiss Classic in-drawer knife holder, $112.20, by Victorinox.

5. Group like items together

“Try to group like items together where it makes sense,” says Elain. “For example, your BBQ brush and scraper. Tea towels should have their own dedicated drawer, and it’s also nice to have a separate drawer for your foil, cling wrap, and baking paper.”

How to organise a cutlery drawer in 3 steps

Step 1: Assess

Assess all your existing cutlery, utensils and any other odds and ends you currently store in your kitchen drawers by taking them all out, one drawer at a time.

If you’re in the process of designing a new kitchen then this step will help you when choosing pre-assembled drawers and trays.  If you’re simply de-cluttering and re-organising then this step will help you determine what style of drawer inserts and dividers you need to get.

Beige kitchen
(Credit: Maree Homer /

Step 2: Sort

Sort into groupings of like items. Give away or sell anything you don’t really need – if you don’t use it now or intend to in the future, then it’s just wasting space.

Step 3: Organise

Place your items back into the drawer trays with dividers, keeping the groupings together as much as possible.  You can make an exception where it makes sense according to the size of the compartments.

Related stories