How to organise kitchen utensils - smart tricks to tackle kitchen clutter

Decluttering advice and space-savvy solutions for storing utensils in your kitchen, whatever its size

Detail of a kitchen worktop with white brick tiles and copper accessories
(Image credit: Future PLC/Darren Chung)

If cooking is your thing, you may be the type of person who has a utensil for everything. From pots and pans for every occasion, to all manner of bakeware, spatulas and tongs. But where does it all go? It's easy, as you build your collection, for the kitchen to become disorganised. Luckily there are plenty of ideas for how to organise kitchen utensils, to keep your kitchen clutter-free so you can easily find what you need, when you need it. Get started with organising kitchen cabinets, and then you can move onto smaller items in your kitchen.

'Kitchen utensils need to be stored as close to where you cook and prepare food as possible,' explains Alex Main, Director, The Main Company. 'A utensil drawer next to the stove or oven is usually an ideal place allowing them to be easily accessible. Incorporate partitions within your drawers so that utensils can be organised and stored correctly for easy use. Ensure the depth and width of the drawers is large enough to handle the utensils you are planning to store.'

Detail of a kitchen worktop with white brick tiles and copper accessories

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

How to organise kitchen utensils: get started

Now you're ready to  get organised, there are a few tasks to do before deciding on the storage solutions that'll work for your space.

  1. Take time to declutter Before you start reorganising the whole kitchen, go through all your utensils and check for anything that's broken or seen better days and see if you have any duplicates. Take time to think about how to organise your kitchen utensils.
  2. Group items together Rather than chucking everything in a drawer or cupboard together, divide utensils into groups and store these items together: Baking utensils and bakeware; Daily cooking utensils (spatulas, tongs, graters etc; Pots and pans; Baking trays and roasters; Cutlery; Chopping boards.
  3. Keep them within easy reach Now think carefully about where to store them. It might be that you find it easier to have utensils you use daily stored by the hob, for example. Baking kit and utensils might be best stored in a cupboard as you won't use them every day. Think about the type of cooking you do most and organise your utensils to suit.

How to organise utensils drawer

Open kitchen drawer with wooden drawer organiser for cutlery and utensils

(Image credit: Kitchen Makers)

We're all guilty of having one of those drawers. The type where everything is shoved in no particular order, but a quick reorganise can help make the kitchen feel less cluttered. Organising kitchen drawers is a task worth doing, and there are some perfect solutions for storing utensils in drawers.

  1. Empty the drawer Take all of your utensils out of the drawer or drawers and give it all a good clean. Wipe around the drawers to remove any crumbs and freshen it up.
  2. Divide up the space If you don't have one already, buy a drawer divider or tray, that way you can easily separate your utensils and cutlery so it doesn't end up a big cluttered mess. If you have a couple of drawers for storage, use one for cutlery and the other for storing cooking utensils.
  3. Get sorted Start organising your utensils into each drawer. If there is anything you find you don't use on a regular basis think about storing it with other lesser used items to prevent the drawers becoming overly full.

How to organise kitchen utensils – tips and tricks

1. Use a door for storage

Back of a white kitchen door used to hang utensils and magnetic spice jars

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lisa Moses)

Utilising cupboard or kitchen doors for storage is a handy way to organise utensils. 'Hanging your utensils from hooks on the wall is a great way to store your utensils and keep them out of the way but also within reach whenever you need them,' says Ryan McDonough, My Job Quote. 'This will save you taking up room in your drawers and will ensure that your utensils are always easily accessible as and when you need them.' 

This is a great trick for organising a small kitchen, as it doesn't take up any extra space. Magnetic knife strips are another great way to store things on walls and doors to free up worktops.

2. Hang pots and pans from the ceiling

White kitchen with small kitchen island with wood worktop and pans hung from a rack suspended from the ceiling

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

If cupboard space is tight then a ceiling pot rack (like Amazon's ceiling hanging pot and pan rack) might be just the answer for organising pots and pans in the kitchen. If you are keeping pots and pans on show, try not to overcrowd the rack to prevent it from becoming cluttered and consider buying pots and pans in matching styles for a cohesive look.

3. Upcycle plant pots

Terracotta plant pots used for kitchen utensils on a kitchen worktop

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Storage doesn't have to be expensive and can give you the chance to be creative. DIY kitchen ideas are perfect for updating your kitchen on a budget. Pick up a few plant pots from your local garden centre, choosing different sizes – a tall one for larger utensils, medium for smaller ones and a small planter for cutlery. You can even paint them to match your kitchen colour scheme. This way you can keep utensils organised, but make it stylish too.

4. Divide up with drawer organisers

Open kitchen drawer with wooden organiser for cutlery and utensils

(Image credit: Neptune)

The easiest way to keep utensil drawers in order is with a drawer organiser. There are many different styles available online making it easy to keep things in order. If you're planning a kitchen revamp it's worth factoring in drawer storage into your design. Planning storage early on in the process can make tackling how to organise kitchen utensils much easier.

5. Choose vintage jars

Glass jars used to hold kitchen utensils and cutlery on a white kitchen worktop with pink geo tiled splashback behind

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Utensils don't always have to be hidden away in cupboards or drawers and if you have some vintage or pretty glassware it can make the ideal way to store cutlery. Group together three jars or pots and use one each for spoons, knives and forks so people can easily help themselves come mealtimes.

6. Make a display of chopping boards

Green wall with a selection of wooden chopping boards hung to create a display

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

What's not to love about a beautiful collection of chopping boards? Maybe trying to find somewhere to store them! With an aesthetically pleasing collection like here, why not make a feature of them in their own right and turn them into wall art. 

Hang hooks at varying heights along a wall and use them to store your chopping boards. Before fixing hooks in place, make templates of your chopping boards and check the layout against your wall so you can achieve a balanced, well-organised look.

7. Hang a peg rail

For a subtle kitchen storage idea, hang a peg rail along the wall and paint it the same colour so that it coordinates with the room's look. This way, when the pegs aren't being used they blend nicely into your kitchen decor. 

Dark blue kitchen with wall panelling and a long peg rail for kitchen utensils and cleaning equipment

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

Where should kitchen utensils be stored?

'The first step in organising your utensils is to rationalise,' says Ben Burbidge, managing director, Kitchen Makers. 'We all have a core set of tools that we use to cook with so identify what they are and which zones in the kitchen you use them in.'

Making sure everything is close to hand when you need it is key, according to Ben.

'The next stage is to group them together. There are items which will need to be accessed quickly and easily such as wooden spoons, tongs and slotted spoons, which require quick access and proximity to your cooking area. Although it's key to keep countertops clutter free, these are sometimes best situated on hooks or countertop, open storage vessels for practical ease of access.' If you do want to keep worktops totally clear, consider storing utensils on kitchen shelving ideas at an easy height instead.

How can I organise my kitchen utensils without a drawer?

Black and cream kitchen with open shelf running along the length of the kitchen for storing pans

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

'Utilise the space above the cooker to save cupboard and drawer space, by adding a metal rail with hooks for an easy way to access and display utensils, pans and other kitchen accessories,' explains Alex Main, Director, The Main Company 'Alternatively, a more traditional look is a utensil pot that can be kept out on the worktop.' 

How do you organise a cooking utensils drawer?

'If you haven't been fortunate to design your own kitchen or are in the process of doing so, make sure you always consider how you integrate drawer dividers,' says Ben. 'They help you group together similar utensils and make it far easier for you to locate what you need.' 

Amy Hodge

Amy Hodge has been working on interiors magazines for over 11 years. She's a freelance writer and sub editor who has worked for some of the UK's leading interiors magazines including Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors. She started at Style at Home just after it launched as food editor and is now chief sub editor for Ideal Home, Style at Home and Country Homes & Interiors.