How to Organize Drawers: Organization Tips for Every Room

Drawers. They are everywhere.

From your bedside table to your kitchen to your bathroom sink, your house is full of drawers and many of them are probably disorganized.

Don’t feel bad. It’s really easy for a drawer to fall into disarray. Honestly, drawers can be one of the hardest parts of your home to organize because they are often stuffed full of random things.

I mean, most of us have a drawer in our home called “the junk drawer.” We have a drawer specifically designated for us to just throw junk into it.

But, chances are, some of your other drawers (not just your junk drawer) are a little messy too.

So, how do you organize drawers?

In this post, we’re going to cover a few ways to organize the drawers throughout your home as well as giving a few tips to help you keep them organized in the future.

Organizing Drawers 101

Drawers get messy easily. That’s usually because it’s easy to just throw things in there without worrying too much about the organization.

But, when your drawers are disorganized, it can be super frustrating.

How often have you had to dig through a drawer for Scotch tape, or even dig through dresser drawers for a certain piece of clothing?

So here are a few tips to help you get started on organizing your drawers.

Throw Out Items That Don’t Belong Anywhere

The first step when organizing anything is deciding what items should go where. So, when you’re organizing your drawers, you need to go through the things in that drawer and decide if they should stay or go.

Take out each item and decide if it belongs there. If it doesn’t, ask yourself if would be better suited in a different part of your home.

You want to make sure you keep items in the room where you actually use them. So if you’re finding kitchen scissors in your bedside table drawer, make sure you take that back where it belongs.

If you find something that doesn’t seem to go anywhere and you don’t even use it, either throw it out or donate it to charity.

Categorize Your Items in the Drawer

Once you know what you want in each drawer, it’s time to categorize those items.

Look at everything that will go inside, and separate them into groups. This will help you figure out where to place items in the drawer, which is a tip that really helps to maximize space!

Stick similar items together. It helps to subcategorize too.

For example, don’t just have one big category for office supplies. Break those office supplies down into groups like paperclips, staples, scissors, etc.

Use Containers to Separate Categories

A great way to separate large sets of small items is by using small boxes or containers.

For example, toothbrushes and makeup brushes could be separated into small bins with lids. This will help you quickly find things in each drawer.

You could also use drawer inserts to separate smaller items and preventing them from getting messy and jumbled.

At the end of this post, we’ll talk about some products you can use to help store your items and maximize drawer space.

Organize Drawers with Labels

This is one of the last steps of the process, but it’s a necessary step for almost every drawer.

After you create the different spaces in your drawer, labeling those categories and areas will help keep those drawers organized in the future.

Labels make it easy to not only find exactly what you’re looking for, but they also help you remember where you need to put things back when you’re done using them.

Shop Labeling Supplies:

Organizing Drawers in Each Room

Now that we’ve covered the basics of organizing drawers, we are going to go over specific rooms and how to organize the drawers in that room.

Bedroom Drawers

How many drawers do you have in your bedroom?

Most likely, you have a lot.

You’ve got dresser drawers full of clothes, bedside table drawers, and maybe even desk drawers! (We’ll cover your desk drawer in the office section though.)

Organize Clothes with Dividers

Using drawer dividers in your dresser drawers can help because you can separate clothes by type, color, or occasion.

Drawer dividers keep your dresser organized by keeping your clothing in neat piles or sections.

You can buy drawer dividers for your clothing or you can make your own pretty easily with plywood, foam core, or a similar material.

Shop Drawer Dividers:

Fold Things Properly to Save Space

For any clothing drawers, make sure you find ways to fold your clothing so it doesn’t take up too much space.

If you have a dresser drawer just for t shirts, try rolling those t shirts instead of folding them. Or, you can fold them but keep them standing up, almost like you’re filing your clothes in your dresser drawer, instead of stacking them.

Not only does it help save space, but it also gives you easy access to the clothing you want since you don’t have to reach all the way down to the bottom of the pile to get out the shirt you’re looking for.

If you have deep drawers, you may want to store shoe boxes or small bins filled with clothes and accessories that aren’t in season (like scarves, thick socks, etc.) at the bottom.

Then you can use your drawer as storage and put the clothes you want access to on top of those bins.

Organizing Bedside Table Drawers

When organizing your bedside table drawer, you want to make sure you have a place for everything.

You don’t want to store too much in your bedside table drawer, so just keep items that you really want or need, like Kleenex, phone chargers, and maybe a book or two or some headphones.

Use small clear bins or small drawer organizers to keep your smaller items organized.

Nightstand Organization for a Restful Night's Sleep

Shop Clear Drawer Dividers:

Bathroom Drawers

In bathroom drawers, I like to use drawer organizers or small clear containers to categorize and store my things.

You can find one that works with the measurements of your drawers, but I like to have space for the following categories:

  • Toothpaste (and toothbrushes unless you keep those somewhere else)
  • Floss
  • Hair ties
  • Clips or bobby pins
  • Brushes and/or combs
  • Lotions
  • Cotton balls and Q-tips

You will probably have other categories and sections you’ll need in your own bathroom, but those are some good basic ones to have.

I would suggest keeping makeup in another drawer if possible, and store washcloths with towels in a deep drawer or bathroom cabinet if you have one.

Kitchen Drawers

To organize kitchen drawers, you’ll want to be specific with what kind of drawer organizers you use.

For the utensil drawer, you can use an organizer that is specifically designed to separate all of your cutlery and kitchen utensils.

There are also organizers that can help you separate and organize plates and bowels if you’re keeping those in a drawer instead of inside kitchen cabinets.

Pegboard dividers are life-savers with deep drawers or keeping plates from sliding around when you’re closing the drawer.

Shop Kitchen Drawer Organizers:

Office Drawers

Whether you actually have a room designated for an office or not, this section is meant for any desk that you have in your home.

Designate the Top Drawer for Small Items

With most desks, there is a small drawer at the top center. Use that drawer for pens, pencils, paper clips, rubber bands, etc.

It’s best to keep these small office supplies in a way that you can reach them but still have everything organized neatly.

I would highly recommend using small containers that can hold items without letting everything get jumbled when you’re opening and shutting the drawers.

Make a Drawer Just for Paper

With the drawers on the side, try to categorize them into a paper drawer, a supply drawer (for extra items like staples, printer ink, etc.), and a file drawer (unless you have lots of files at home, then you might need a separate filing cabinet).

Depending on how many drawers your desk has, you may be able to subcategorize it anymore, but work with the drawer space you have to keep things in tidy sections if possible.

Junk Drawers

Everyone has a junk drawer. It’s just a fact of life.

But just because you keep miscellaneous supplies in that junk drawer, doesn’t mean it actually has to look like junk.

Organize your junk drawer so each item has its own place.

Take batteries out of the large, awkward-sized packaging and separate them by type in a container with sections.

Put the keys and spare change in small plastic bowls or boxes.

When you make a small section for each item in your junk drawer, it will keep it looking tidy and organized. And you won’t have to rummage through it again!

Shop Office/Junk Drawer Organizers:

Products That Will Help Keep Your Drawers Organized

We’ve talked about a lot of products, and while you can DIY one that works for your drawers to save some money, here are some that we recommend. They won’t break the bank!

  • Dividers (there are tons of great products in this category… you can get some for your dresser drawers, pegboard for your kitchen, or some for utensils)
  • Plastic bins and containers (I like using these to organize my bathroom drawers and my bedside table)
  • Containers with lids (these are great for items that you don’t want getting dusty, like cotton balls or other bathroom products)
  • Drawer organizers (this helps with storage in your junk drawer and office desk especially)

Start Small

Organized drawers will make your life so much easier. Seriously. But it can be overwhelming to think about fixing every drawer in your house at once.

So start small!

Organizing doesn’t have to be difficult.

By just taking a few minutes out of your day, you’ll find things in that drawer much more easily and it will look less messy!

Take it one room and one drawer at a time. Organize slowly.

And, before you know it, you’ll have a home full of tidy and organized drawers!

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