There are two things that drive me nuts about my kitchen, a messy utensil drawer and pots and pans all stacked up and the one I need is at the bottom. If you think about it, and maybe do a little online searching, there is a ton of options out there to fix these problems. Although most options are commercial available, most are over priced. I decided to tackle the utensil drawer first. Right now we use a store bought rack to organize the spoons forks and knifes.
The main problem is everything else like pizza cutters, can openers and other useless kitchen junk. This stuff just falls any where it will fit around the utensil rack. The solution to the problem seems simple, add some dividers for all the kitchen junk and a top sliding rack for the utensils. Getting the utensils up into a separate drawer allows for much more space underneath to organize all the kitchen junk. First measure the outside dimensions of your drawer, I made my organizer a 1/4″ smaller than the drawer opening to make sure it will fit easily.
Then lay out all the kitchen stuff the way you like. Measure the width of each section so you know where to put the dividers.
Material is totally up to you, I bought 1/4″ poplar for the dividers and 1/2″ thick poplar for the outside perimeter (allows room for cutting dados). Joinery at the corners are a simple tongue and groove setup. One side has a 1/4″ rabbit cut using a dado stack. This basically leaves you with a tenon. The other side of the Corner has a 1/4″ deep dado cut a 1/4″ for the edge, this basically leaves you with a mortise. I also cut a 1/4″ dado for each divider.
The top utensil holder will slide back and forth on a set of drawer slides. I had some concealed drawer slides lying around which worked well but a normal full extend slide will do the same thing. My drawer is 21″ long and I made my utensil holder 10″ long .
Just make sure your drawer slide is The same length as the holder. The holder is divided into 4 equal spots, one for spoons, forks, knives, and steak knives. For the bottom, a 1/4″ plywood should be fine. Once all constructed I coated everything with latex paint and installed the holder to the drawer slides and then the drawer slides to the drawer.
The second organizational project is a pot and pan rack. This is not an original idea, I have seen something similar to this commercially available for sale all over the net. It is a super simple project that gives your kitchen a real custom feel.
First I made a holder for the drawer slides. Construction was simply 3 pieces of plywood screwed together to make a U shape. The width of the opening should be equal to the width of the two drawer slides plus the width of the holder. My opening was 2 3/8″ wide.
The holder is constructed with two strips of plywood 1 1/4 ” thick and spaced apart with a 5/16″ spacer. This allows for a 1/4″ hook to move freely along the length of the holder. A piece of maple was attached to the front with screws.
The maple is oversized enough to act as a handle. You can grab the underside of the maple to open the holder. To install the rack, I centered the rack In the middle of the cabinet and screwed it to the top of the cabinet cross supports.
The hooks can then be place into the slots and held in place with a large fender washer and nut. I just used regular nuts but a cap nut would be much nicer.