Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Organizing a kitchen drawer

I needed to do something to start organizing so I’d start feeling more at home here. I function better when I can find the thing I need when I need it.

The kitchen drawers were a mess.  Like this one.


And this one.


And this one.  Yes, it does have an organizer in it but there was wasted space around it.


At first I tried putting some items on the fridge with a magnetic towel rod and some shower hooks.  I hated it.  It just looked cluttered and ghetto.


At my old house I had made drawer organizers out of cardboard.  I could do the same here but I wanted “pretty” when I opened the drawers.  No one is likely to see these but they will make me happy in the kitchen.

I bought some foam core board, a couple of rolls of shelf grip, and some contact paper.  I measured the depth of the drawer to find that 1 1/2″ was deep enough to contain things but not be too deep.  The length was 17 1/2″ allowing 1/2″ for the front and back end pieces to fit.  So I cut several strips of the board.  Quilting rulers are great for keeping straight lines.


Next I lay out the utensils in what I thought would be a pleasing format.  I had room for some sharp knives as well.  I can change it as I work.


Next I dry fit some foam core strips to see how it looked.


I covered each strip with some pretty contact paper.  I get so engrossed in the creating I sometimes forget to take a photo.  These are strips for a second drawer organizer.


I put the front and back strip in first then started gluing the pieces into place.  A tiny bit of hot glue held each strip in place.  Nothing is glued underneath.  Just at each end where it touches the front and back pieces.  Same with the cross pieces.  Just a drop of hot glue on each end of the cross piece will hold it to the long piece.  The whole thing as one piece can be taken out to clean the drawer when necessary.


As each section was completed I lay the next utensil there so I’d know where the next strip should go.  I fit more in there than I thought I could.  As you can see it changed a bit from the way I started.


I liked that drawer so well I went on to do the food prep drawer.


Yup, I like that one too.  The two drawers are side by side and are very handy to use now that they are organized.  When I’m preparing meals everything I need is in this area.  Ok, there are a couple of other drawers with food prep items used less often.  There is another drawer next to the stove with utensils for cooking.  I’ll do those other drawers after I buy more foam core board and contact paper.

This was so easy to do and didn’t cost much.  I bought the board, shelf liner, and contact paper at the everything’s a dollar store.  So each drawer cost about $3 to complete with left overs for other projects.  And, I got the stuff off the fridge so it doesn’t look so cluttered.  I like a clean fridge.

I hope I’ve inspired you to create an organized drawer or two for yourself.

15 comments on “Organizing a kitchen drawer

    October 2, 2016

    Are “rolls of shelf paper grip” sort of like contact paper for shelving?? Or like those rolls of very thin foam or rubber protector linings?

    • Anita
      October 4, 2016

      Shelf grip is that thin rubbery stuff to keep stuff from sliding and contact paper is more like paper with really strong glue on one side.

  2. Emma
    September 29, 2016

    You and I are leading parallel lives, as I’ve also recently moved into a new home and I also organized my drawers. There is something so calming about opening these up and seeing everything neatly in its place. At a time when people are buying more, stuffing every corner of their houses with stuff, it’s refreshing to walk into a minimalist type environment. Certainly I know my brain becomes more peaceful when there is no clutter. I used to hoard my stuff but a series of moves forced me to purge. I’m almost at my happy place now. I enjoy your posts. Hope things are better with your neighbour!

    • Anita
      September 29, 2016

      The neighbor isn’t a bother anymore. She doesn’t have anything to complain about anymore. You are so right, my brain does feel better with less of the visual clutter. I still have a lot of stuff to unpack and purge but I’m holding off until some more work is done to the house. Its easier to move things around out of the way of workers when its in boxes. Thanks for reading my blog. I hope I can give readers more fresh ideas.

  3. Margie in Toronto
    September 23, 2016

    Very nice job! I love to have everything tidy and organized like that. I’ve just spent the past few days, moving furniture, cleaning and re-organizing just about every room! I’m almost done!
    I thought I’d have to buy a few new items but you’d be proud – I managed to reuse and repurpose items that I already had! Didn’t spend a dime!

    I thought I would send you a blog site that I like to visit. She is quite good at reusing things (like cereal boxes etc.) and doing things herself instead of simply buying new. She might give you some new ideas that you’d like for your new home.

    • Anita
      September 24, 2016

      Oh wow Margie, you’ve been really busy. Yes, I’m very proud of you. For both the ambition to organize the whole house and for doing it the frugal way. Doing the Snoopy happy dance here for you. I’ve visited Jill’s site in the past but hadn’t lately. I’ll go have a look again. She has some good ideas.

  4. camcoogan
    September 23, 2016

    very creative. Looks fantastic but was it a lot of work. Do you have an idea of the cost of each drawer organizer?

    • Anita
      September 24, 2016

      I bought everything at the ‘everything is a dollar’ store and I did have left overs for other projects so about $3 per drawer or less.

  5. Linda Smith
    September 22, 2016

    Wow! That’s impressive. I may just have to try that.

  6. Jasna
    September 22, 2016

    WOW, What a great idea!!!

  7. captnmike
    September 22, 2016

    Beep Beep!!!!!!!!!

    Nice call on the foam core – I have used it for many things but never thought of using it in a drawer – Thanks

    • Anita
      September 23, 2016

      Hi Captnmike, I hadn’t heard from you in awhile. Glad you stopped by.

  8. Cynthia
    September 22, 2016

    How clever! My drawers need something like this, and the price is just right. Yours look so neat and easy to find things in.

    • Anita
      September 23, 2016

      Yup, custom fit means easy to find things.

  9. Trisha
    September 22, 2016

    Looks great! It never occurred to me to use foam core, great idea, thanks for this.

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