Welcome to Coming Clean, a monthly column where writer Lauren Viera finds the best products for the toughest-to-clean parts of the kitchen. Along the way she just might convince you (and herself) to actually enjoy this whole cleaning thing.
If you're looking for the best utensil organizer, your drawers might be kind of a mess. That's okay. We've all had an out-of-control utensil drawer held together by a basic, overburdened plastic organizer at some point in our lives. Maybe you purchased your organizer a few moves ago for drawers that were a slightly different size than your current set. Maybe a well-meaning relative took you to Target to buy supplies for your first apartment 10 years back and picked up an organizer that's now scratched, warped, and covered in a mysterious layer of gunk. You're nothing if not tolerant of your utensil organizer's flaws: If it’s oversize, it snags the drawer; too small, and it slides around. It’s the one part of your kitchen life that hasn’t seen an upgrade since college. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Having flatware handy and organized isn’t just important when it's time to set the table. Spoons, in particular, need to be readily accessible so you can taste your food as you’re cooking (which will allow you to make adjustments along the way and get better results). And of course if you're storing your cooking tools in an in-drawer organizer, you want to have your most used whisks, spatulas, and cooking spoons accessible. Bottom line: Utensil organizers should simplify grabbing what you need. Ready for a remedy? We’ve compiled the best utensil organizers for every type of drawer, cook, and utensil.
Madesmart’s organizers may look basic, but that's the beauty of them: The trays are nothing fancy, but they're well made, have optimally sized compartments, and have non-slip feet that keep them from sliding around your drawers. They're made with plastic that’s designed to be easy to clean, so you can wipe the random cooking spills that somehow seep into your drawers (I'm looking at you, coffee grounds) away with a cloth—or wash the organizer in the sink with dish soap. The trays are available in both small and large sizes, so you can find the assortment that best fits in your drawers. (The small tray's dimensions are 9.00" W x 13.00" L x 2.00 H. The large tray's dimensions are 13.00" W x 16.00" L x 2.00" H.) Bonus: The black version is infused with an antibacterial treatment.
iDesign’s clear plastic interpretation of the classic utensil tray looks cute, especially if your kitchen drawer’s interior is natural wood or cute contact paper. This tray won’t slide around either—it’s finished on the bottom with non-skid grip feet for a secure fit in any drawer larger than the 12.8" L x 15" W x 2" H tray. It includes four smaller compartments for silverware, as well as two larger compartments that would work well for storing spatulas or wooden cooking spoons.
$15.00, Bed Bath & Beyond
If you’ve got at least three inches of clearance from the bottom of your drawer to the top, consider this layered organizer. The unique design allows you to stack utensils in separate compartments on an angle, meaning you can squeeze more into a single drawer.
Here's another smart option for deep drawers. This model slides open, expanding vertically. It also has a bonus stackable tray that fits above your flatware that's perfectly sized to accommodate tiny items like cocktail picks, chopsticks, and demitasse spoons.
$22.00, West Elm
On the other hand, if you have extra-wide drawers, you’ve got three options: Live with the gaps; search for a long, skinny compartment to cram next to your utensil organizer; or pick up an expandable organizer like the one below, which adjusts to pack more into your drawer. It expands from 12 inches to over 22 inches wide.
The combo knife/silverware solution
This Ikea organizer is designed to fit seamlessly within Ikea’s cabinetry (or any drawer that can accommodate its 15" x 20" dimensions). And if you like to store your kitchen knives or steak knives conveniently alongside your flatware, this tray has slots designed to keep them sharp.
The versatile solution
Who says the best utensil organizer has predetermined utensil compartments? These spring-loaded, adjustable bamboo dividers allow you to design the drawer of your dreams. Use them to section off your drawers and create custom-sized slots for the tools and silverware you plan to store there. Roll out some drawer liners before fitting the dividers in place (lining your drawers will keep them safe from nicks and chips, and also make them easier to clean), and you’re good to go.
Did you even know something as utilitarian as a utensil organizer could be so beautiful? Leave it to Marie Kondo to nail such a practically beautiful design for this exclusive Container Store line. The dividers for the utensil organizer can be removed to expand the size of the compartments, so after you've done the KonMari method and narrowed your cooking tools and silverware to the true essentials, you can make them fit perfectly into this organizer. Buy it alongside the beautiful matching silverware organizer.
$40.00, The Container Store
Originally Appeared on Epicurious