Easy Ways to Organize Messy Drawers

Easy Ways to Organize Messy Drawers

Save your sanity, and tons of space and time, with these simple tricks.

By Lorraine Allen

Drawers are great places to dump things and keep them out of sight (and out of reach of curious kids and puppies, too). They’re great for storing supplies we use daily, from paper to paper clips, socks, utensils, and towels. But because we keep them closed most of the time, the messes they can harbor – and the clutter we dump in them and forget about for years – can amount to a whole lot of junk that we don’t use, don’t need, and are far better off without.

When our drawers are packed full, they become more of a chore to deal with than anything else. We waste precious time looking for things we know we put in there, somewhere, between all the other odds and ends that have been there forever. But all it takes is a little time and some empty containers to save yourself even more time and effort, and reorganize messy drawers into clean, neat storage spaces for anything you want!

Starting in your bedrooms, dump out all your drawers and get rid of anything that doesn’t belong in them. In my experience, sometimes a drawer can be half-full of things that have no place being there! Using empty shoe boxes is a great way to keep things like socks or underwear from sliding all around. You can divide up drawer space this way too, making more room for other stuff and keeping each item separated and easier to find.

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In an office or desk drawer, once you have cleared everything out, use an extra kitchen-drawer utensil tray to help separate things like pens, erasers, staples, and so on. For kids’ desks and play spaces, jars with lids and clean, empty cans are perfect for storing anything from beads to pom-poms, crayons, pens, markers, etc. Corral papers in letter trays or shallow boxes (or folders or binders). Kids like putting things in containers so it’s a nice way to teach them to be more organized and tidy, too.


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Kitchen drawers might be the ones we use most of all, and they can easily be reorganized in the same way. Consider keeping things you use most often on the counter so they are not taking up so much drawer space. A large can or old chipped vase make a great utensil holder for spatulas, mixing spoons, and whisks you want to keep handy. In deeper drawers, use clean glass jars of all sizes to store everything from matches and sauce packets to rubber bands, spices, tea, grains, nuts, or dried fruit. Because jars are clear, you can easily see everything at a glance, while keeping each item well-contained and safely stored. Separate containers make it easy to move things around, too, if you need to make more space, or are looking for something stashed behind other items.

How do you keep your drawers organized and clutter-free?

Lorraine Allen is a writer and mom to one spunky first-grader and one squirrel-obsessed dog. You can follow their delicious, allergy-friendly cooking adventures at FeedingLina.com.

Image ©iStock.com/eurobanks

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