4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #14 Update

If you missed this morning’s assignment, you can check it out here.

We got up at 3:15 a.m. in order to make our early connecting flight to Cincinnati this morning. It’s been a long day, but a good day.

We got into Cincinnati in the early afternoon, set up our booth, and then spent the evening manning the booth — and meeting many of my wonderful readers. You all mean the world to me and it was so great to get to meet so many of you in person. I look forward to getting to spend more time with you tomorrow!

The convention hall here is amazingly huge compared to our homeschool convention in Kansas!

Our simple booth {I’m not a big fan of the yellow, but we didn’t have any choice regarding that! If you’re wondering what’s on the table other than my books, those are freebie bags we put together with some fun freebies to hand out. Because it just wouldn’t seem like a MoneySavingMom.com booth without freebies! :)}

Earlier this week, I did today’s assignment. Here’s the junk drawer before I cleaned it out. {And in case you’re wondering why it looks so clean, it’s because I recently cleaned it out! Otherwise, it might be a sorry sight!}

And the utensil drawer. I’m not too happy with the after result — it still seems cluttered to me. Anyone have suggestions on how to make it more organized?

And my pile of 7+ items to get rid of: from the junk drawer and the utensil drawer. Some to throw out, some to stick in the garage sale boxes.

How did you do on Assignment #14? I’d love to have you share your progress and success with us so we can be inspired. Either post a link to your blog post below or leave a comment with your update.

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Other posts in the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home series

  1. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #1
  2. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #1 Results
  3. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #2
  4. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #2 Update
  5. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #3
  6. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #3 Update
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  8. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #4 Update
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  10. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #5 Update
  11. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #6
  12. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #6 Update
  13. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #7
  14. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #7 Update
  15. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #8
  16. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #8 Update
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  18. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #9 Update
  19. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #10
  20. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #10 Update
  21. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #11
  22. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #11 Update
  23. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #12
  24. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #12 Update
  25. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #13
  26. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #14
  27. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #14 Update
  28. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #16
  29. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #16 Update
  30. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #17
  31. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #17 Update
  32. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #18
  33. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #18 Update
  34. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #19
  35. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #19 Update
  36. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #20
  37. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Assignment #20 Update
  38. 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Printable Checklist and Daily Email Reminders

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Comments

  1. Heather Rentz says

    I recently bought a drawer organizer from Bed, Bath, and Beyond to help with the clutter in my utensil drawer. There is still a lot going on in the drawer but it looks a little nicer:-) Have a great trip!

    • Andrea says

      I have bamboo trays/organizers in my utensil drawer. And I keep a crock full of spoons/spatulas on my counter, but I’m sure that would push you over the edge ;)

  2. Katherine says

    I would suggest a utensil crock.. much more contained than letting everything slide around in the drawer! Also, I bet you could get by with fewer utensils. I make all our baked goods and do all our other cooking from scratch, and I have far fewer utensils!

    • Lisa says

      I second the less is more thought here. I had several of each at one point(from buying myself a set and being given so many secondhand sets). I told my hubby I was keeping all my silicone(cause I love it for it’s heat resistant properties) and 1 of everything else we had. We drastically reduced it. I did however, keep 2 large slotted spoons and 2 different spatulas. My measuring cup/ spoon sets are hanging on a hook installed directly under my cabinets, keeps them out of the drawers and off the counters while also being easy to access. HTH!

    • Laura says

      I agree with Katherine as well. I have one on my counter. Then in my utensil drawer I have 2 plastic trays to hold scissors, can openers, pizza cutter, ect. Then the bigger things like graters and rolling pin go along beside the plastic trays. It contains them all and still looks good.

  3. Denise says

    I don’t have a utensil drawer for that very reason…it drives me crazy to have so many different things in one drawer so instead I use utensil crocks (I have 2 – one black and one white from Bed Bath and Beyond). I keep my plastic utensils for my non-stick pans in the black one and all the others in the white. I love the crocks because I can see every utensil in them without digging around a junk drawer!

    But if I were to use a drawer I would probably try to section it off just like most of us do with our silverware. I’d put the different types of utensils in each slot.

      • AmazonsRock says

        I agree Darla! That’s the one item I seem to use at least one of, sometimes multiple, when I cook or bake.

        • Lisa says

          but rather than having a ton of different ones, why not have at most three and washing them/rinsing them as needed during cooking? Just a thought and not a judgement btw!

      • says

        I’m guessing Crystal stays away from wooden spoons as one of her children is gluten free and dairy free. Wooden spoons and cutting board are huge sources of cross-contamination!

        I am gluten free and don’t allow any wooden spoons or cutting boards in my kitchen. I definitely prefer silicone spatulas!

        • Andrea says

          Plastic spoons work fine, too. I was just pointing out that some people don’t find spatulas necessary at all.

        • Andrea says

          Also, she keeps her rolling pin in her utensil drawer (shown in picture), so everything in the drawer is contaminated.

          • says

            And that is certainly a personal choice! I do have to respectfully disagree that spatulas aren’t necessary…I have learned that spatulas do a much better job of scraping bowls, thereby wasting less food.

            Isn’t it wonderful how different we all are?! If plastic spoons or wooden utensils work for you, then I think that’s great. :)

  4. says

    My mom has some of that highly textured shelf liner (the kind that’s squishy and…beaded?) in the bottom of her gadget drawers to keep everything from rolling around.

  5. says

    I also use a utensil crock for most of my utensils. I cleaned my drawer with my measuring cups and spoons. It really need to be cleaned out. I did clean my junk drawer but I am not real happy with it. But at least I can find what I need now.
    My windows are also nice and clean inside. When it stops raining I will get the outside of the windows.
    Sounds like you had a good day at the conference.

  6. says

    I also keep most of the utensils I use regularly in a large glass jar/canister next to the stove. If you don’t have much on the counter, it doesn’t look like extra clutter and it makes it easier to find the smaller items in the utensil drawer.

    • Jennifer says

      I keep my ‘most often grabbed while cooking’ spatulas/wooden spoons and tongs in a container by the stove too.

      I found that vases work really well for this, especially ones that come from tulip arrangements. I’ve seen lots containers for sale at stores that are specifically meant for this purpose but it is just feels better to reuse something that has a nice memory like receiving flowers.

  7. Angelique says

    I can honestly say that was easier than I thought! Plus, it gave me an excuse to make a drawer sorter out of an old cereal box! I have been itching to come up with a reason to cut up a box, lol! Thank you again, I can’t wait to see what is in store for tomorrow.

    • Pamela says

      I have something similiar. It has four sections, and they are big sections (much bigger than for silverware). I love it. It keeps everything VERY organized.

  8. Alison says

    I use drawer organizing trays in all of my drawers. The utensil drawers each have two large ones. My drawer has the same amount of stuff as yours, but the trays make it *look* neater. Then you can separate/organize them a little better too.

  9. says

    I see a lot of people already mentioned it but I bought mine some various size trays to divide them up. I spent a bit extra and went with metal because I figured it would hold up better and be easier to clean (I can put them in the dish washer if I want). Hope the convention goes well today.

  10. says

    I use crocks for most of my cooking utensils and had forgotten about that until I saw someone else mention it. It does make it easier to find what you need. Looks like a lot of fun at the convention.

  11. says

    I think if you had some dividers in there it would keep things more organized. I have been staring at my junk drawer off and on for days trying to come up with some dividers or containers to make it more organized. I haven’t come up with a solution yet, but hopefully this weekend. Have fun at the convention.

    • Lana says

      I have some small square office drawer organizers for things like paper clips and rubber bands and I have the old green strawberry baskets for larger things which I am not sure are even made anymore. The office supply stores have many helpful organizers and Dollar Tree has some small baskets and such that are helpful. Somehow the junk drawer just stays junky at my house no matter what!

  12. Jennifer says

    I bought a large office drawer tray, the kind that are divided to hold notecards, pens, paper clips, etc. it works great and was very economical.

  13. Aimee says

    I noticed my in-laws have a separator in their utensil drawer like you’d have for your eating utensils. I think it makes it look more organized!

  14. Dee says

    I made my own drawer organizer from different size boxes. Just cut to size. Cheap and easy!

  15. says

    All four of my utensil drawers have those plastic tray dividers, similar to what you have for silverware. My larger utensil drawers have bigger ones, which you can find at Lowe’s or Home Depot, specifically for larger utensils. Yes, I have four utensil drawers because I can’t stand things on my counters :), so I don’t have any cute canisters or other containers on my counters to hold my utensils

    • Pamela says

      Same here!

      I have three utensil drawers.

      One for silverware.

      One for large wooden and metal spoons, metal spatulas, rubber spatulas and anything else I might need while cooking on the stove top.

      My third one is for cooking prep. I have knives, rubber scrapers, medium size spoons, and all the other things needed for cooking prep.

      Everything is divided with large plastic dividers.

  16. Emma K says

    I have two green glass vases that I recycled and use for most of my utensils (which only works if you don’t mind having stuff on your counter). Like others mentioned I have a silverware divider for my measuring cups, spoons, small spatula, mixer parts, and can opener.

    Have fun in Cincinnatti!

  17. Justi Thomas says

    I use utensil holders from ikea. They are wooden and the dividers are customizable to make the compartments suit your needs. I use them in all my drawers. Everything stays nice and neat even if the spatulas seem to multiply

  18. stephanie says

    No need to spend a lot of money on drawer organizers. Head to the dollar store (Dollar Tree has them) & purchase the shallow plastic bins in the kitchen department. They are the right height for the kitchen drawers & you can basically wedge them in there so that you have a nice fitting sectioned drawer. Many of the bins have 2-4 bins sold together. so for a couple dollars, no more chaos. I have also cut down & covered cardboard boxes with contact paper in a pinch.

  19. juli says

    I use the white plastic baskets you can get at the dollar tree or Walmart.I think 3 for $1. Some of the long stuff won’t fit but once everything else has a place the rest of the space belongs to the long stuff. Cheap fix.

  20. Lana says

    I have 5 utensils drawers and I have all of them organized with those long narrow plastic baskets that come in 3 or 4 packs at Wal Mart or Dollar General for about $1.50. It is so easy to find anything I need since everything is separated. The baskets are not full to the top but everything has it’s place and I can locate anything I need very quickly. One selling point for our house was the huge amount of drawers in the kitchen and not having to cram them with stuff. Our old house had 4 and this house has 16 so I can really spread things around and stay organized.

  21. Michelle says

    I’ve thought about the disorderly “look” of my drawer (looks the same as yours) but I realized that I don’t actually have trouble finding things when I need them. Just don’t like the way it looks. I decided that for me a messy looking drawer is a better option than pulling all that mess out and popping it in a crock on the counter where I would then have to look at it all the time. =) I like my counters empty. So, my point is, if it isn’t functioning for you then change it, but if it is just the way it looks, then reach in, grab what ya need, and close the drawer……quickly. =)

  22. Pat says

    I have a utensil crock for spatulas, etc, that I use everyday. But I also have a large drawer, I am a utensil nut! I have dividers in the drawer which really helps.

    As far as the junk drawer, you call that a junk drawer, ha! Mine is 4 times that size, I have tools that I use about every day, plus tons of other “must haves”. I guess I’ll never be totally organized!

  23. says

    Instead of an organizing tray, try customizable draw dividers- The Container Store sells plastic boards that you cut with box cutters and then arrange in your drawers- the end result is very professional looking, and very organized. But, it will force you to purge some of your stuff because it won’t all fit once it’s divided. Purging kitchen utensils is hard for me because I love having just the right tool for the job!
    -Viva, from The Daily Citron

  24. Meadow says

    We use 2 “crocks” most of our utensils. We have 1 “crock” on top of the counter over by our stand mixer for all of our wood utensils (stirring spoons and serving spoons.) We have 1 “crock” in our bottom cupboard to the right of the stove for all our plastic and metal utensils (serving spoons, slotted spoons, ladles, and whisks.)
    And then we have 2 drawers for utensils. We have 1 drawer to the right of the stove for flippers and for heat safe spatulas. And we have 1 drawer on the opposite side of the kitchen next to our stand mixer that we use for spatulas.
    I realize that sounds like we have 200 utensils, but we really don’t! Our utensil drawers are 6 inches wide. And we actually use a vase for our wooden utensil “crock.”

    How many utensils you have really depends on several factors one is how big your kitchen is, and one is how many people you have working in it at one time, and another one is how many different processes you have going at one time.

    Mom has thought about getting rid of a couple spatulas, but when there are 5 or 6 of us in the kitchen at the same time, and she can’t find a spatula she thinks about going out and buying another one! :)

  25. Kay says

    We section ours – have two long plastic bins that I inherited somehow so I can create five sections with it.

  26. says

    I hate having my utensils out because I don’t like them getting dust or grease on them and I feel like they clutter up the counter top, so I keep them in a drawer as well. I have purchased shallow baskets for the drawers and simply divide up utensils by category. We’re military and often change houses, so sometimes this works better in one kitchen than another, but for the most part, I’ve never had an issue. I’ve found baskets at Wal Mart, the dollar store, and the most recent were purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I also put shelf liner down in the drawer which helps keep the baskets and loose items from rolling around.

  27. Courtney says

    Our most-frequently-used utensils are kept in a pretty crock on the counter.

    For our drawers, I got a bunch of clear plastic Madesmart drawer organizers from the Container Store. They come in several different sizes in either rectangle or square shapes, so you can arrange them according to your needs. Our drawers look so much tidier and more organized now.

  28. says

    I have a couple of crocks for all of my cooking utensils (spatulas, spoons, ladels, etc.). I also have one for all of my silverware. These have a home on my counter. Then, for my drawers, I purchased some cloth dividers at dollar tree and use them to keep everything organized (or attempt it anyway!). With little ones accessing the drawers to help set the table, etc. my drawer does not stay organized very long. I also like the idea of the cereal boxes as dividers! Great idea to recycle or upcycle! :)

  29. Emilie says

    I have two crocks as well. One by the stove with things for cooking, and on the opposite counter for baking untensils. I still have a drawer with the items that are too big or odd to fit in the corcks: grill tongs, egg slicer, salad tongs, apple cutter, etc. The drawer is really really deep so it is hard to organize it. I need to get some baskets from the Dollar Tree and work on it this weekend. It is called the “scary drawer” because of the random items in it and it is not really safe to dig through.

  30. Katie H says

    This is how I organize my utensils. (Though I’m kind of cluttered elsewhere, I’m fairly happy with how my drawers work):

    1. Utensil crock on the counter for my heat-resistant nylon utensils. Everything in it I use frequently (two spatulas, three stirring spoons [one slotted], one oxo tongs) except the potato masher – which I may just get rid of.
    2. I have two utensil drawers, roughly separated into baking and non-baking utensils, with some crossover so they don’t get over-cluttered (and because husband cannot ever remember what I bake with). Non-baking stuff is closer to hand, as I am usually more rushed and trying to keep stuff from burning on the stove when I grab for it.
    3. In the baking drawer, I have a small tray for basting brushes, and another for icing tips and pumpkin-carving stuff. I’d like to get another tray for tea-making stuff.
    4. In the non-baking stuff drawer, I have a long tray for my skewers, the microplane (since it has no guard), and I throw my instant-read meat thermometer in there so it doesn’t get lost. I’d like to have another 4-6″ by 12-15″ tray for silicone cooking spatulas and wooden spoons, and a small tray for corkscrews and other small wine-bottle accessories (like the stopper my crazy Aunt Sooz gave us that is the hind end of a reindeer, head-down in the wine bottle). Growing up, the equivalent drawer in my parents’ houses had a tray for the sharp knives, but I have a knife block for those and love it.

  31. says

    Just pick up a few inexpensive shallow plastic containers. Not every item will need to be in a container but you could try to seperate your cookie cutters and smaller items into the containers for a little more organized look (not that your drawer looks that unorganized to me). I’m not a big fan of the crocks, I used something similiar and even though it was nice for the easy access when cooking, it took up counter space (and I like to keep as much off my counters as possible) and just started to feel like a dust collector that had to be cleaned a lot more than storing those items in a drawer.

  32. misty gorman says

    I use two vintage crocks (one from a rummage sell and one from my grandmother) to store my utensils by the stove. They look pretty, too! I used to keep them in a drawer and could never find the one i needed. I have them sorted between cooking and baking. IU can always spot the one i need in a hurry.

  33. Hannah @ Heart of a Working Mom says

    Looking forward to meeting you at the VA homeschool convention, Crystal!

  34. sarah says

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE my utensil drawer!!!! i bought a bunch of “rubber coated” pencil dividers from the dollar store in different sizes and they are a few different “categories” (cutters: apple corers, cheese slicers etc., spatulas, wooden spoons, Scoops:ice cream, melon ballers, measuring cups and measuring spoons)

    LOVE it I know right where EVERYTHING IS and right where it belongs too!!!

  35. Kristy DeGraaf says

    We have an insert that goes in our drawers that helps a lot. They were here when we bought the house, so it might have even come from the cabinet guy when they put the cabinets in? I like ours because they fit exactly in the drawer so they don’t jiggle around like the ones I’ve got at walmart before. And they are white plastic so they look so nice when we clean them out!

  36. Marcelaine says

    Sometimes something can look organized but not actually be organized. For example, you could put a pile of papers into plastic sheet protectors and then into a binder, but if there’s no method behind it then you just have a binder full of paper and you still won’t be able to find what you’re looking for.

    But sometimes the opposite can be true. Your utensil drawer may not look perfectly neat, but if you don’t have a hard time finding the utensil you want, then I don’t see a problem with it. Organization is about more than appearance.

  37. Chasity says

    As for clearing out your utensil drawer I would suggest paring way down. I have found having a flip spatula, whisk, rolling pin, silicone spatula for mixing/scraping, utensil for spaghetti, large spoon, can opener and veggie peeler to be all that I’ve ever needed. My utensils are also divided into two small drawers-one for baking and one for cooking. So maybe that’s all you have too but since it’s all in one drawer it looks like more:)

  38. says

    Junk drawer belongs to dh! Ha! I’m off the hook today!

    Utensils are good. Wonder if she’ll let us off on the Sabbath?

  39. mrs. lynn says

    If you want to keep them in the drawer, they make these plastic tension bars for drawers, that might work depending on the size of your drawer. They sell them at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I personally have all my things divided into 13 plastic shoe size boxes with labels on them of what’s inside. I store them underneath my sink. I also keep cake decorating stuff, cookie cutters, etc. down there too. I like it but my husband and son don’t. They think it is too hard to have to read the labels.

  40. Jenn says

    Ok, so I see that most have already suggested a utensil crock. I’d have to cast my vote in there as well. Another suggestion, I keep my cookie cutters in a repurposed cookie tin in a cabinet – keeps them all together and out of the way. My rolling pin and and other baking items go in that cabinet as well.

  41. Marjie Schaaf says

    I used some plastic shoe boxes that somebody wanted to get rid of to separate my utensils. They work great!! The lids got used in the bathroom cabinets to store the cleaning supplies on.

    I have also found that the cardboard bottoms from the “Velveeta” cheese boxes work really well in keeping smaller drawers organized. They are sturdy and you can line several up within a drawer. And the price is right!

  42. says

    I don’t know if anyone else mentioned this, but I use a Tool Turn-About from Pampered Chef (http://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/prod_details.tpc?prodId=15585&catId=96&parentCatId=123&xPrntItmId=2172) is the closest I could find. I’ve had mine since 2000, and it’s still in great shape! I love that it has dividers and layers, and I can spin it around to find just the thing I need. I know a lot of people don’t like a “cluttered” counter, but I stick mine in the corner of my counter, and I use tools from it daily. I think I paid about $12 for it when I got it, and it’s well worth the $1 per year price it’s currently at, but I bet it lasts more than another 12 years :)

  43. says

    I was at your booth today:) I was hoping to meet you in person since I have read your blog forever, but you we’re speaking. I did get your nook and freebies though, can’t wait to read it!