Solving the Big Issues: Top drawer

Last week someone asked me in the comments about cleaning the house about the cutlery drawer. There are many drawers that deserve their own posts – a drawer series perhaps?! But today I thought that we would tackle the top drawer – the cutlery drawer.

My drawers, in fact, most of my kitchen is set up the way whoever was kind enough to help me with when we moved in. This task usually goes to my long suffering Mother in law who gets roped into helping us unpack almost every kitchen we have lived in as a couple. Who knows what order the cutlery should go in?

Who knows what should make the top drawer and what should make the next drawer down? Are there rules? What’s good practice?

My drawer is a bit of a dog’s breakfast. There appears to be no order and or method to my madness. Some plastic kids stuff on the side (then why is there a baby spoon in with the teaspoons I am asking myself?!), then knives, forks then spoons. WHY? Who knows?! They all appear to be the same size, so I’m unsure why they aren’t in the order in which you set the table – fork then spoon then knife? Dear LORD WHY IS THE MEASURING SPOON IN WITH THE TEASPOONS? Surely this happened when I was away?

I also mix my sizes in the same compartment. You know how cutlery can have a small knife and fork? Well they all get thrown in together. Same with dessert/soup spoons.

Over to the side there I have a serving spoon thrown in with steak knives and STRAWS. This post is actually making me a little woozy now that I see all this.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have some drawer organisation to attend to. Namely the top drawer. Before I get started, tell me how it SHOULD be. Tell me that yours is a little like this? Sometimes too much order can be a bad thing right?!


  1. My mum unpacked mine and she put the small cutlery stacked (forks on forks) and then upside down in the same section the big forks stacked and god knows why I have kept this up for 18 months now,

  2. My drawer is very much like this, down to the random purple curly straw! I have a bad habit of not shutting the drawer properly, then crumbs get in it – gross! So it gets a wipe out once a week, but all the same stuff gets chucked right back in there! I am looking forward to the day when I can get rid of all the plastic crap in there.

  3. We use spoon, fork, knife and teaspoons at the fornt – that is always how it has been in my life and I am very very reluctant to change it. A very clever trick a very smart lady taught me was to have your dessert spoons one way the soup spoons upside down in the same “compartment”. I have adopted this for my forks and knifes. Maybe a litte OCD but it makes me happy when I open the drawer.

  4. This is pretty much identical to my top drawer. Except spoons (in all their wondrous sizes) are switched with the forks. There is plastic cutlery in amongst it all and random ‘frequent use’ utensils like the veggie peeler rattling around in there too. And I’m cool with it…I guess?

  5. Mine looks like yours at the moment. In every house I have ever lived it goes knives, forks, spoons and teaspoons at the bottom and chopsticks- random others in the big bit on the side. Now that we have kids their small cutlery gets mixed in with everything else.

  6. I used to have a very organised top drawer…we inherited some amazing cutlery from my husband’s family but it involves butter knives and steak knives and fish knives and all sorts of spoons so order was essential.

    Now of course that Baby C is on the scene, chaos reigns…and the top drawer is no exception. There are plastic baby implements in every top drawer compartment.

    And I must admit that my second drawer is, and always was, a mess…tablespoons with bottle openers and a take away menu or two!

  7. Well it all depends on the number of compartments doesn’t it? You can’t separate the different sizes of cutlery unless you double the number of compartments. Who HAS drawers that big??

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  9. Traci Sparkle Devlin says

    Mine is so shameful that I need to bow out of this conversation…

  10. Knives, forks, spoons (dessert spoons up and soup spoons down), then steak knives and peeler/cheese slice/mini whisk in the long column to the right. Teaspoons, skewers and bottle opener at the bottom.

    All our plastic spoons/forks for the toddlers are in a separate toddler drawer along with all their tiny plastic bowls and plates etc.

  11. We had to move our knives from one side to kind of in the middle because of little hands – its the kid stuff that makes mine look at mess and for some reason we only have 3 not matching soup spoons, looks like I need to go shopping!

  12. Oh dear Beth – horrifying and a serious disappointment! Of course forks are on the left, spoons in the middle and knives on the right (ready to set the table). Tea spoons and baby spoons can ‘live’ together (for the moment) at the bottom and skewers, chop sticks, and cheese knives in the larger compartment on the side. My 4-year old likes to help unpack the dishwasher and quickly learnt the rules… ! It is the drawer I use the most and I’m not sure I could cope with it not being in order.

  13. Oh dear Beth – horrifying and a serious disappointment! Of course forks are on the left, spoons in the middle and knives on the right (ready to set the table). Tea spoons and baby spoons can ‘live’ together (for the moment) at the bottom and skewers, chop sticks, and cheese knives in the larger compartment on the side. My 4-year old likes to help unpack the dishwasher and quickly learnt the rules… ! It is the drawer I use the most and I’m not sure I could cope with it not being in order.

  14. I have moved away from the cutlery drawer and put knives, forks and spoons in their own large mason jars on the counter. It can be transported right to the table or outside or just left conveniently on the kitchen cart. Makes unloading the cutlery from the dishwasher a breeze too. Plus it looks snazzy. It started when I deemed our VERY old cabinets, complete with layers of lead paint under there somewhere, a health hazard. I love how it is working out.

    Next drawer should be the busy drawer! I’d LOVE to know what people do with that conundrum!

  15. Mine is all over the place! Too many things in a small drawer divider…so it’s really a lucky dip at the moment. Any tips on what you have in your kitchen drawers would be awesome as we are about to start a kitchen reno in the next month! Jacinta B

  16. I found great cutlery sorting holder things (honestly what are those drawer inserts called) at Bunnings that you can cut to size to fit your drawers. Works brilliantly.

    My boyfriend has much stronger views on this that me so he rearranged my cutlery when he moved in. We have dessert spoons, then big forks, then butter knives, then normal knives across the top and teaspoons plus peelers in the slot at the bottom. Other cutlery is in the next drawer down.

  17. From Left to Right we go knives forks spoons.

    In every house I visit though it seems to be

    Left to Right Spoons, Forks Knives.

    I thought I was the odd one but it seems there are a few more of us out there.

  18. I cleaned out mine yesterday. For some reason it seems to get crumbs in it. How does this happen?

    Random question Beth. Do you have a le creuset? Do you love it? I really want/need one.

    • Margie – I do! I have a suacepan as well as a round casserole type dish. They cannot be beaten – wash and wear SO well. I’ve had them for 10 years now and they are all still in excellent condition. Well worth the investment!

  19. Yes Margie, mine gets all crumby too. Yuk! Pretty much the same as yours Beth, although we have random stuff in their like, corn forks, straws and nail clippers WTF??

  20. I too have a largish cutlery drawer but yesterday I bought a smaller insert that fits nicely above the other one. With just the two of us at home, and very seldom having visitors for meals, I decided to leave the bulk of the cutlery in the lower section and our needs in the new upper level. Unfortunately my cutlery doesn’t sparkle and shine like yours but then it is VERY old. The worse part of cutlery drawers is keeping them clean. They tend to be left open when kitchen jobs are being done (particularly by MOH) and ‘bits’ drop in from time to time. Yours look very well organised and I wouldn’t worry about the odd piece in the wrong section. Just all part of the fun it. xx

  21. Incidentally I have splades on the left followed by forks and then knives, and small spoons and cake forks in the front section. The larger section on the right is for serving spoons etc. I guess being right handed it is automatic to have forms on the left and knives on the right? Teaspoons by the way are in an upright container in the cupboard with the coffee, tea and sugar. Now that’s different eh?

    • Mimsie! It’s perfect! I LOVE that you have splades. We should all have splades! I would love to know the method to your teaspoon/airtight container madness….x

  22. Looks pretty similar to our top drawer.
    What I want to know though is – do you have a junk drawer? My husband hates ours, but I maintain everyone needs a junk drawer in their house!

  23. Our top drawer looks pretty similar to yours.
    What I want to know is, do you have a junk drawer? My hubby hates ours and thinks they are pointless but I maintain everyone has one and they are a must have!

  24. The handiest trick that I have picked up from staying at furnished apartments is to stack your dessert spoons into one another and put into one compartment and then stack your soup spoons into one another and put them into the same compartment – but upside down. Works a treat!
    Cindy F

  25. For a messy drawer, plastic drawer tray is ideal to use to organize every stuff inside your drawers.

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