What do you store in your kitchen drawers?

Mom23EsMarch 7, 2012

I'm trying to make sure I have a good balance between cabinets and drawers in my new kitchen. In my current little kitchen I hardly have any drawers and none of them are the larger kind. I'm so excited to get BIG drawers that I feel like I might be a bit over zealous about it. I also know that all these special cabinets cost more than just a plain cabinet.

So, what do you put in your kitchen drawers? The big ones and little ones?

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In my parents' kitchen there were three 36"w ones under the cooktop:
Deep-cereal and snacks
Deep-placemats, napkins, dishtowels, (and batteries for some reason)
A normal sized drawer to each side kept more utensils and knives, the one close to the oven had potholders trivets and hot pads

One deep squarish one kept bulky kitchen implements and the hand mixer and such. The other deep squarish one was a breadbox but we always kept candy, sugar and brown sugar in there.

One tray drawer, but we kept wide rolls of foil and wrap in there.

The other drawers were conventional sizes.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:35PM
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Kitchen drawers are so fun! I don't have anything IN mine yet but I have big plans for them!

"Filing" drawer to file pans. I believe this is about 45 inches wide:

Pegboard storage so I can store pots in their own little spaces. Also about 45 inches:

Here's a 36 inch wide drawer. This one has a bread bin on one side and then lift-out boxes on the other. Since this set of drawers is below my appliance cabinet where the kitchen-aid mixer will go, I expect to store flour, sugar and other baking items in the wooden boxes (not loose obviously- in containers inside the boxes). Since they lift out, I can take them elsewhere in the kitchen should those items be needed elsewhere:

24 inch wide drawer. There's a routed out thingy for utensils on the bottom and then a pull out drawer-in-a-drawer for a knife block:

Here's the routed out thingy:

Pyrex/Lasagna pan filing drawer. 27 inches wide:

Little utensil drawer. 24 inches wide. 3.5 inches deep. It's above fridge/freezer drawers. It will store an ice cream scoop, ice cream spoons, etc. (These are my beverage/snack fridge/freezer drawers below)

There's another utensil drawer:

Pull-out. Utensils will live here. This is 5 inches wide:

There are little 5 inch wide pull-outs along both top and bottom of the stove. One is a magnetic board w/ hooks for hanging; the top one is for pan lids and oven mits and there are two of the utensil ones seen above:

The sink has some too. The bottom will be for grocery bag storage. Top has a place for sponges. Other side has a place for foil, plastic wrap, etc.

Drawer inside of a cabinet. Going to store spices and other items needed for the kitchen in here:

Cookie sheet pull-out cabinet:

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 11:33PM
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I think you should ask what do you put in your lower "cabinets" if you have any. I don;t have any lower cabinets. I only have drawers so everything goes in them. Drawers are the best thing going. If we ever move the next kitchen will have to be renovated to all drawers. Never ever going back to lower cabinets.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 12:41AM
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a good balance would be all drawers with the possible exception of the under sink cabinet(s), a LS cab if you put one in, a trash pull out. that's about it. Some even put a drawer under the sink.

you can keep just about anything in them. We've had lots of threads on them - maybe more will post theirs here and/or the link to other threads.

I'm hoping to put in more drawers in about a yr and want to have 1 for my mugs and glasses (I don't have many so it can be a medium drawer in width and hght). My dishes (again - only a set for 4).
you can put all of your utensils in drawers, hot pads, trivets, dish towels. Things like colanders, strainers, funnels... glass bakeware, plastic storage containers, pots, pans, skillets, lids. Put a slotted rack in one for cookie sheets, muffing tins, lasagna pan etc (I bought a slotted rack at W for about 7.00).

Some put their canned goods in drawers, their dry goods and snack type items too.

Depends on what you have and how much space you have for drawers. A good number of shallow ones, some medium ones and enough deep ones for whatever larger things you have (I'd think that'd be pots, pans, large bowls, maybe smaller appliances).

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 12:46AM
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Just about everything! With the exception of my two sink cabinets and my Pet Center, ALL my base cabinets are drawer bases or pullouts with the door attached to the pullout (e.g., Trash Pullout, 6" base filler pullouts). Honestly, I have found that just about anything can be stored in drawers - including dishes and glasses, especially nice if you're on the short side. (We're a tall family, so we store our dishes and glasses in upper cabinets.)

Some examples (see the link below for a link to my Photobucket account).

BTW...the Pet Center was a mistake, it was supposed to be a trash pullout-type cabinet. Instead, it's a regular cabinet with two Roll Out Tray Shelves (ROTS) - better than stationary shelves, but not as nice as drawers or pullout-with-door-attached.

Pet Center:

Here is a link that might be useful: Drawer storage in Buehl's kitchen

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 12:52AM
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I am swooning over beaglesdoitbetter's drawers. I have 15 drawers on the bottom and 3 cabinets (including the sink).
Small: place mats, napkins, utensils, tools/ misc (one), flatware, knives (shallow under cooktop).
Medium: dishes, spices, pots/pans, mixing bowls/ pyrex
Large: small appliaces, large and odd shaped pots/ pans, reusable coffee mugs/ water bottles/ foil/ baggies/ etc, cereal/snacks (front)/tupperware (back)

My low cabinets hold vases, and one pull out drawer with serving bowls/ platters, and the sink stuff.

My uppers hold glasses, cooking oils, etc, trays/ cutting boards.

Have a pantry for food/ dog food/ paper bags

Can't imagine how it was before!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 1:34AM
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I attached a link to pictures of some of my drawers. The only real small drawer I have holds pot holders. The others range in size from 15" to 36". I did not get any of the custom inserts, I felt it was a cost I didn't really need to incur. Guess I forgot to take a picture of the big utensil drawer. My small appliances are in pullout shelves in lower cabinets across the room from the working area of the kitchen.

When planning your kitchen, if you're in doubt about whether to put a drawer or cabinet in a particular place, do the drawer. You won't be sorry.

Here is a link that might be useful: What's in my drawers

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:21AM
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Just about everything! Having drawers has given my kitchen much-needed organization. I am amazed at how much can fit into drawers, and it is still organized!

Here are just a few shots of drawers that have made my kitchen life so much easier--

Baking dish/pyrex storage (30" wide):

"Plastics"(30" Wide):

"Costco"/Snack drawer--one of three banquette drawers (36" wide and 15" High):

I love love LOVE my drawers! :)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Dividers can really make drawers work well. I only have doors were drawers would have messed up the overall "look" I do think almost all of my doors have roll out shelves except under the sink where it would bump into the plumbing.


Cooking utinsels

Plastic containers


Baking supplies


I'm adding three wide but shallow drawers with the new window seat. Not sure what I'll put in them, but I'm glad to be getting more drawers.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:59AM
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I think we have a good balance in our kitchen--we have 4 drawers over cabinet doors in the prep area:

1-36" wide for flatware
1-36" wide for cooking utensils
1-36" wide for foil, plastic wrap, baggies, etc
1-18" wide for pot holders & trivets

We have 2 deep 36" drawers under the rangetop for pots 7 pans.

We have a bank of 4-36" drawers on the side wall by the fridge:

Drawer 1 is the drop zone for keys, phones, pads, pens, etc
Drawer 2 is for table cloths, placemats, etc
Drawer 3 is for kitchen linens
Drawer 4 is for various bags--the ones from the grocery store, larger ones from Belk or Macy's or Panera Bread, etc

All but 1 of our standard cabinets have rollout trays for more efficient use of space. That 1 cabinet without rollout trays houses my taller stock pots. We have a full height 18" wide spice rack that holds spices, sprinkles, cooking spary, oils, etc. 1 full height baking sheet cabinet. And 1 12" wide cabinet with rollout trays for bread.

The backside of the island has 2-36" wide cabinets that house the DVDs for the family room & paper plates, cups, plasticware, etc.

I would recommend taking your kitchen layout and speccing what will need to go where. Then you will have a better idea of how many drawers you need, how many cabinets you need and what sizes. I do highly recommend the rollout shelves in the base cabinets as it enables you to use all the space inside the cabinet without having to crouch on the floor to get the items in the back--you just roll it out and everything is right there, easy to see & easy to remove.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 9:12AM
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Wow! I feel so behind the times now. I can't believe how wonderful all your drawer storage is. Thank you so much for sharing your pics. I'm so used to regular cabinets that it never occured to me to store so much in drawers. We are busting at the seams in our current house so I just tend to store stuff anywhere I can shove it- like several things always need to be removed from the oven before I bake. Sigh. It's so hard to imagine organizing it all.

Is there decent organizational stuff available aftermarket? I'm a bit worried about going way over budget if we get all the built in organizational stuff from the cabinet maker. Plus I'm a bit overwhelmed by the commitment if we get it built in. There has to be some stuff at BBB and Container Store, right? Or is the stuff that you can buy with the cabinets so superior in quality that it's worth splurging?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 1:31PM
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I am drooling over beaglesdoitbetter's drawers and kitchen. WOW!!! What a great space:)
I have very few drawers now but I keep kitchen linens, sandwich bags, aluminum foil, etc. in there. I can't wait to be able to store more in mine.
Mom23Es... I am a Mom to three A's btw LOL I am building a new kitchen too and found this forum to late to do anything about it, but if I could go back and start over...I would add way more drawers and the wider the better. Of course my kitchen is no where near as big as some of these, but get them while you can :)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 2:21PM
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For after market dividers, you can make your own with the drawer channels that they sell at Lee Valley hardware. We did this and it was easy.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 4:07PM
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I love looking inside of people's drawers!

shelayne, your pyrex drawer is fantastic. And macybaby I am green with envy at your knife drawer. Wow, I would love to have a knife drawer like that.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 6:59PM
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Wow! Such great ideas!!!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:28PM
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I bought my utensil divider-trays after market from BBB - they have some nice bamboo ones. My trays etc are stored above the fridge with wire dividers just screwed into the floor of the cabinet. Everything else is just placed into the drawers. I bought a horizontal knife block from a knife store. It is cheaper to do it yourself after market rather than having the cabinet guys build them custom.

I also didn't know how I was going to arrange the kitchen so it made more sense for me to go out and buy storage solutions after everything had a place.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 10:27PM
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'I have found that just about anything can be stored in drawers - including dishes and glasses, especially nice if you're on the short side.'

yep. I'm on the short side and can hardly wait to get more drawers for dishes, mugs and glasses. It's harder for me to reach up and even then I can only reach the 1st shelf!

I love seeing how everyone organizes their drawers!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 1:31AM
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beagles, I love those wood boxes in your third pic above. Did you purchase those or have them made by your cabinet people?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:46AM
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Normal stuff in drawers now.
Used to be mouse turds, but, I traded those for cat hairs on the countertop.
(I'm not certain it was worth it)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:55AM
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labpa I had them made by my cabinet people to fit. I'd bet they could make them for you to your dimensions and send them to you. Dutch Wood Kitchens. Very reasonable cost.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 12:41PM
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@ beaglesdoitbetter:

I love the look of your drawers, but wrt the knife storage -- it would drive me around the bend to have to make those extra motions to get at and put away a knife (open drawer, then pull on inner drawer, then pull out knife).

But cooking styles differ so much from person to person. I use a chef's knife for 90% of my knife work, and would be willing to keep the others (bread, utility, slicer, and paring) in a drawer-within-drawer if the chef's knife were available on the counter.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 2:46PM
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i have drawers in my kitchen cabinets.
Only drawers.
Nothing else.

So, drawers in my kitchen hold everything.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 2:52PM
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ellabee_2016 I don't cook. That's the difference :)
I use a knife to cut up watermelon and bread once in a while. That's pretty much it.
I got the knife block b/c I have a set of calphalon knives I want to keep nice and I don't want the knife block out on the counter.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 2:58PM
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WHO made your drawers???

Are they made by local carpenters or by a big company!

I need these!!!


Where can I get those dividers as in your Pyrex drawer?

Thanks, ladies!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 3:21PM
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eleena everything was made by Dutch Wood Kitchens except for the routed-out utensil drawer. Dutch Wood is a local company in Myerstown PA. They've gone as far and Washington and Brooklyn to do cabs for GW people. They are shockingly inexpensive for the quality of product they provide! I LOVE Dutch Wood!

The routed out utensil drawer was made by Wood Hollow Cabinets. I ordered it online and had it shipped. $225 or $250 I think it cost, plus shipping, including utensils.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Now I am jealous!

I don't live in that area. :-(

I am going to show the pix to my GC and see what he thinks.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 4:01PM
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beagles, the thought that went into planning your drawers! We don't have any overhead cabinets and store everything in drawers except for pullout pantries adjacent to fridge, for food storage, but I haven't designed the inside of the drawers in the elegant way you have. Still the drawers work well, and I don't miss those overhead cabinets at all.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 6:15PM
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shelayne - where are you drawer organizers from? I am especially curious about the one that holds all your casserole/pyrex dishes?

macybaby - how about you? Where did your tupperware dividers/organizers come from?


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:15PM
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My drawers are all IKEA. The dividers are the IKEA Rationell dividers that clip on to the sides of the drawers. If you have wood drawers, there are after market dividers or you can make your own with channels and wood strips from Lee Valley. IKEA has the Blum Tandembox, so the drawers are metal.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 3:11PM
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We did nothing but drawers in the lowers of our last kitchen excluding under the sink and corner lazy susan.

We put EVERYTHING in them and find them so much more useful than lower cabs.

We had pot and pan drawers for all our cook wear, all our knives and kitchen utensils, herbs, etc. They are a bit pricier than cabinets, but we just loved them and will try and do the same thing again in the new kitchen... assuming we can afford to!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:28PM
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