6 Key Questions to Help You Organize Dresser Drawers Efficiently

Bye-bye, overflowing dresser drawers! Clutter doesn't stand a chance when you follow our no-fail plan for clearing the chaos in this messy personal spot.

If you often find yourself battling a stuffed drawer overflowing with clothes, it may be time for a lesson in dresser organization. Follow our six-step process for decluttering your drawers and reassessing your wardrobe. With a solid organization system, your drawers will look neat and stay that way. Plus, it'll make picking out the perfect outfit easier than ever.

master bedroom storage

1. What Do I Own?

A clutter-free clothing dresser begins with a thorough inventory. Empty the entire dresser and sort it all into piles. Put like with like on the bed or floor. Avoid editing at this point, which will slow you down. Instead, look at your largest piles and sort and subcategorize some more. For example, you might sort tops into tanks, tees, and long-sleeved. Make labels as you work. Although labeling piles may seem silly, knowing all your options eliminates overthinking and speeds up decision-making.

Editor's Tip: When your dresser is empty, check that every drawer is sturdy and moves smoothly. Tighten corners with wood screws and run waxed paper over drawer sides and glides.

2. What Do I Wear?

Now you can start editing. Apply these four clarifying questions to figure out what to keep and what to let go of:

1. Do I Love It? Keep anything you truly love. You'll never forget (and probably regret) giving away something you love. But be aware that keeping a special item might mean getting rid of something else to make room.

2. Do I Use It? And if so, how often? Keep anything you use—and start storing the stuff you use most frequently in the most accessible places.

3. Do I Have More than One? If so, edit down to your favorite one or best ones (in the case of basics like t-shirts and socks).

4. Can I Get Another? If you think you might suddenly need an item or it could miraculously come back in style, remind yourself you can usually buy or borrow one.

walk in closet

3. Is a Drawer the Best Place to Store This?

When considering how to organize your dresser, a good question is, "Do I have a better place to store this?" You may want storage spots for specific types of clothing—or perhaps all your clothes. Consider hangers and hooks for work clothing. Try open shelves for folded garments that stack well, such as jeans, sweaters, and sweatshirts. It may be more convenient to stash undergarments in the bathroom. For a kid's closet, cloth storage bins are a great option for pajamas or loungewear.

Samantha Pregenzer, Simplyorganized.me

Move bulky items out of your drawers. Sweaters, sweatpants, and jeans are best organized on shelves; pants store well over hangers. Dedicate drawers to smaller items like T-shirts, underwear, and socks.

— Samantha Pregenzer, Simplyorganized.me
organized drawers with clothing

4. What is Each Drawer's Duty?

A helpful idea for how to organize your dresser is to assign one duty only to each drawer. For example, designate drawers for each type of garment (accessories, undergarments, tops, bottoms). Or it might make more sense to establish drawers by purpose like work, workout, casual, dress-up, or seasonal. Use sticky notes for the first few weeks to help your designations become habitual.


5. How Much Can I See Instantly?

Do everything you can to eliminate layers in drawers. Roll or refold clothing into packets that stand on end. Use spring-loaded dividers, bookends, and boxes to keep clothing standing tall. When clothes are folded and stacked in piles, the items at the bottom are often forgotten and rarely seen.

Kate Martin, Organizedjoyllc.com

Let go of those spare button envelopes you hide in the bottom of your dresser drawers. Give them to teachers for math counting manipulatives or donate to your dry cleaner so they truly get used, not forgotten.

— Kate Martin, Organizedjoyllc.com
white bedding dark blue accents

6. Where Do I Check My Look?

Consider moving finishing touches out of the bath or closet and establish a final primping station, using the topmost drawer and dresser top. Use a drawer organizer to keep brushes, bottles, and creams in place. Remember to return hair and beauty products to the drawer when you're done.

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