Written by Bonnie Roberts (last updated January 25, 2022)
When was the last time you cleaned out your flatware drawer? If yours looks anything like mine, there are crumbs and junk at the bottom. You probably have several different styles of flatware that don't fit together. Maybe there's stuff in the drawer that shouldn't be there. Since you use this drawer several times every day, it's important that you find what you need quickly. Read on to find out how to make your flatware drawer sanitary and convenient.
To organize your flatware, you'll need a tray with wells or a collection of little bins. Select something that will fit the shape of your drawer. Decide how many different compartments you need. Some people only need 3: for knives, forks, and spoons. You may want to divide things further, though: steak knives, soup spoons, baby spoons, chopsticks, different sized utensils, etc.
Once you've found something that has enough compartments and fits your drawer, wash it out with hot, soapy water and let it dry. Take everything out of the drawer. Dump the crumbs out over a trashcan and wipe the drawer clean. Fit the tray or compartments into the drawer. If there's extra room in the back of your drawer, roll up a towel and tuck it in to the space to keep the tray from sliding back whenever you close the drawer.
Now it's time to go through the drawer's contents. You probably have more pieces of flatware than you actually use. I'd recommend keeping just one style of flatware so that it stacks neatly. Either donate the superfluous pieces or put them somewhere else in case you need them later. Put measuring spoons and cups in a different place, unless your drawer is large and you have extra compartments for these items. Don't try to put too many things into this drawer. Saving space is not the important thing; we're going for convenience and organization.
Sanitize the flatware you've chosen to keep, either in hot soapy water or the dishwasher. When it's dry, put it neatly in the drawer, dividing everything into the proper compartments.
One thing I do that seems to make this process go quicker is organizing the dirty flatware as I'm loading it into the dishwasher. I put all the spoons together into one compartment, the forks together, the butter knives, and so on. Then when unloading the dishwasher, it's as easy as grabbing the whole bunch from each compartment and placing it in the drawer. This also minimizes the handling of clean utensils, which keeps them sanitary.
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