Adjustable Kitchen Drawer Dividers

Written by heather swanson
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Adjustable Kitchen Drawer Dividers
Organise cluttered drawers. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

There is nothing more frustrating than searching through your kitchen drawers for the tool you need and not finding it. Organised kitchen drawers can make all the difference between having a frustrating cooking experience and having a rewarding one. Homemade adjustable drawer dividers are a simple, effective way to keep kitchen drawers organised and streamlined. Having the ability to adjust them allows you to change the configuration of the drawer as your organizational needs change.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • Table saw or hand saw
  • Sandpaper (medium-grit)
  • Router
  • 1/8-inch diameter router bit
  • 1/8-inch plywood

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Empty the drawer of all contents. Measure the front and back ends of the inside of the drawer. Make sure to measure both; don't assume that the measurements will be the same. Write down both the width and height of the front and back panels, subtracting an inch from the height.

    Adjustable Kitchen Drawer Dividers
    Measure accurately. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Mark the front and back drawer panel measurements on a one-half inch piece of plywood. Cut out with a table saw or hand saw. These two pieces are now the back and front drawer inserts. Check for proper fit by sliding them into the back and front of the drawer. Remove and make any necessary adjustments to the size. The fit should be snug but not difficult to insert and remove. Sand each insert lightly using a medium-grit sandpaper.

    Adjustable Kitchen Drawer Dividers
    A table saw makes clean cuts. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)
  3. 3

    Cut a series of grooves into the inserts using a router. The grooves need to run vertically on each insert; these grooves will make the dividers adjustable. With a one-eighth-inch diameter straight bit, make the grooves one-quarter-inch deep and 1 inch apart. It is important that the grooves be at the same distance apart in both inserts so the dividers will be parallel to the sides of the drawer. To cut the grooves in the inserts so they line up evenly, lay the inserts side by side and make one continuous pass across both pieces.

  4. 4

    Sand the insert again lightly after the grooves have been routed out. Slide the inserts into their appropriate location in the drawer. For added stability, use wood glue to adhere them to the inside of the drawer.

    Adjustable Kitchen Drawer Dividers
    Use wood glue for best results. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)
  5. 5

    Determine how many dividers you need for the drawer. Measure the new depth of the drawer; it will be less than before because the inserts are taking up some of the room. The drawer dividers should be the depth of the drawer and the same height as the insert pieces. Mark the dimensions on a piece of one-eighth-inch plywood. Cut the dividers out on a table saw or with a hand saw. Check the fit; the dividers should be cut at a length to make a snug fit, but not so tight that they are hard to insert. Lightly sand the edges of each divider and reinsert them into the desired grooves. The idea is to make them easily removable, so do not glue the dividers in place.

  6. 6

    Place the contents back into the newly divided drawer, and enjoy your organised kitchen.

Tips and warnings

  • Install front to back as opposed to side to side. This will allow for easier access and visibility.
  • Don't limit drawer dividers to the kitchen; use them to organise drawers throughout the house and garage.
  • Use protective eye wear whenever using power tools.
  • Wearing gloves will reduce the possibility of wood splinters.
  • Have a wet rag handy when using wood glue. Wipe up excess immediately.

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