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How to Organize Your Dresser Drawers


Dresser drawers
Photo Credit

We’ve shared tons of closet organization tips here at CF — check out the closet makeover series and the dorm room organization tips article just to start. By now, you probably have a handle on that.

However, nearly every dorm room comes equipped with a dresser as well, and keeping those dresser drawers organized can be quite a task! Piles of stacked t-shirts and workout clothes can suddenly topple over during the search for a particular piece, and pretty soon the drawer looks like a tornado blew through it. We’ve all been there.

Want to know how to keep your dresser drawers neat and easily navigable? Read on as we talk about the best tips for dresser drawer organization!

Top Drawer

It is an unfortunate reality that the top drawer of your dresser or desk usually becomes the “junk” drawer, where everything that doesn’t really have a home ends up.

The important thing to remember when organizing dresser drawers is that similar things must be grouped together. Sticking with that rule will help you immensely when you’ve only got five minutes to get ready for class.

Also, don’t clutter up the top of your dresser with toiletries and items you’ll only use a few times a month. Store them in the top drawer (or elsewhere in your room), and leave that precious surface for showing off your favorite jewelry and makeup!

top drawer
Product Information: See-and-Store Containers, Deep Drawer Organizers, Tapered Fabric Bin

Try these products to help with top drawer organization:

  • Circular containers can help corral everything from bobby pins to hair ties. Use them to keep track of small accessories that could otherwise get lost!
  • Clear acrylic deep drawer organizers are perfect for your nail polish collection, or smaller perfume bottles.
  • Use a shallow fabric bin to organize larger products, like your hair dryer and curling iron. You could also use them to corral your feminine products–they’ll look much nicer in a bin than in their original packaging.

Middle Drawers

Blue dresser
Photo Credit

Here’s where you’ve got to have a game plan. Think of your daily needs — do you go to the gym every day, or is it more important that you can see all of your clothes at once? (For me, if I can’t see the piece of clothing, I’ll probably forget that I own it!)

The second drawer (underneath the top) is a good place for delicates:

  • Keep your underwear neatly folded and “filed” (so you can see all of them at once, versus stacking them on top of each other) in a nice woven or fabric bin.
  • Lay bras one inside of the other, so that each one supports the structure of the other, like they’re displayed in lingerie stores. Try to avoid folding them in half, since this can shorten the life of the bra.
  • You could also keep tights or socks in this drawer (neatly folded, of course!) in a separate bin, so that they don’t encroach on space reserved for other things.

The next few drawers should be tailored to your daily schedule:

  • Do you frequent the gym? Keep workout tops, shorts, socks, and sports bras together, so you can grab your gear and go!
  • Do you need to see all of your t-shirts and tanks in one place when you’re getting dressed? “File” your t-shirts and you’ll always be able to see your entire collection.
  • While we’re on the subject, learn how to fold a t-shirt in two seconds. This video changed my life.
  • If you’re tight on space, learn how to Army roll a t-shirt instead. I do this when I pack, it saves so much space!

Bottom Drawer

Home stretch! The bottom drawer is extremely versatile, since it is generally used to store rarely-used items, like spare bedsheets and out-of-season clothing.

  • Use Space Bags to store extra bedding and winter jackets, since those items often have lots of air in them that takes up space.
  • Tie a ribbon around bedding sets that go together (fitted sheet, flat sheet, duvet cover, and pillowcase) to keep them organized (and pretty!) the next time you wash your sheets.
  • Alternatively, store each sheet set inside one of its pillowcases, a la Martha Stewart, for easy stacking.

What do you think?

How did you organize your dresser drawers? What goes in your top drawer, and how did you divide up the middle ones? Do you have any other tips for drawer organization? Let us know with a comment!

Posted on on September 5, 2012 / Filed Under: Dorm Room / Tags: , , , , , ,

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16 Responses to “How to Organize Your Dresser Drawers”

  1. 1
    September 5th, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I chuckled about the top drawer. Mine is a junk one indeed and I thought I’m the only one who does that lol.

    My underwear drawer is so messy. I fold them on for of each other and it’s nice to one point, when I start looking for something specific and it all gets so messy. I consider getting separators or something like that to help me organize my undies and socks… I really like the video of how to fold your tshirt in 2 seconds but it never works for me. Gotta practice!

  2. 2
    September 5th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    This is more or less how I organize my dresser, with one difference. I keep tees and bras in the same drawer so that I can grab the right bra for a particular shirt. I suppose it’s as much of a time saver to have tops and bottoms side by side and grab your unmentionables together after, but I tend to build my outfits from the top down, so this is what works for me.

  3. 3
    September 5th, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Nice piece. Can you do a piece on how to rock red/purple polka dot pants.

  4. 4
    September 5th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Great article! I finally got around to organizing my clothes this past weekend, but it’ll be back to the usual mess soon enough! lol

  5. 5
    September 5th, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    This gave me an excellent idea! Whilst I’m a stay at home college student, I’ve been trying to find ways to organize things around my room. These tips are solid and practical! Thanks a lot!


  6. 6
    September 5th, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I mean I totally use my middle drawer for the workout clothes! Also you forgot to tell everyone to board fold their T-shirts……….awk<3

  7. 7
    September 6th, 2012 at 2:05 am

    LOL! I remembered when I was still in college living at a dorm and im all alone in my room so my things was cluttered all around, my intimate apparels, jeans near the door, sports clothes at the foot of my bed, and to sum it all up I dont know where was clean and laundry clothes. XD
    It is chaotic yet sometimes I miss it.. :)
    thanks for this post BTW. I am actually doing this like what Maria Patenaude does..

  8. 8
    September 6th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I felt like they were looking into my dresser while I was reading this! This is the exact order I have my dresser drawers organzied. Thanks for the army-roll links and containers!

  9. 9
    September 6th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I used the “filing your t-shirts” method for my t-shirt drawers, and by far it’s been the best organizational tip I’ve used thus far. I can fit more t-shirts in a drawer than I ever could before, and I can find any of them easily! Definitely recommend it!

  10. 10
    September 6th, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I like this post, but I disagree on the folding your bras comment. I find that my bras last quite a while despite folding, and they store so much more easily! They fit perfectly in smaller Ikea cloth box organizers, and you can still best them into each other. Cotton bras – fold the bra, inverting one cup and resting it in the other, structured/fancy bras – fold, twisting the bra at the centre point so that both cups are right-side-out but nest in each other. Clothing storage is at such a premium for me that it is definitely worth it to fold my bras. Plus, that’s how they are stored in the back room of the lingerie stores, anyway.

  11. 11
    September 6th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I “file” my t-shirts too, otherwise I forget they exist as well! I definitely need bigger drawers, mine currently has t-shirts and vest tops in one, long sleeved tops and leggings in the next, then jumpers-that-i-cant-fit-on-a-hanger and then pyjamas….and then under my bed I have a box of underwear, a box of socks/tights and a box of the pyjamas I currently use for this season (it makes them easier to get to than the drawers!)
    And don’t even get me started on the boxes/baskets/bags that my hair and make up stuff is “sorted” into!

  12. 12
    April 17th, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I would like to share thisd simple solution to organize your clothing drawers I came across. ECO friendly separator that you can use for home and travel keeping clothes neat, flat and EASY TO FIND!
    LOL thats what the label said and IT WORKS!

    I really enjoyed this article and had to share my experience with a product that helped me and my messy life! HA!

  13. 13
    May 12th, 2013 at 3:46 am

    My drawers are the most convenient ever. I have 9 drawers, 3 rows and 3 columns.

    Top Row: assorted underwear and sleepwear (I use flattened cardboard shoe boxes to separate everything) ; hair ties, clips, bands, curling iron, etc. ; CDs, DVDs, electronics, batteries, etc.
    Middle Row: long sleeve T-shirts and thin sweaters (I sort them by sleeve length) ; tank tops (I have so many, they get their own drawer!) ; short sleeve shirts (sort by level of casual)
    Bottom Row: jeans (sort by style) ; ultra-dressy or difficult pieces ; personal pieces like photo albums, ID info like birth certificate, copies of important documents

    My bed also has drawers attached to it, so I store my bedding in there, it’s super convenient. Things like toilet paper and feminine products stay in the closet for no one to see.

  14. 14
    December 11th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I organize some of my drawers by topic. For example, one drawer has all my workout gear, so I can easily get a shirt, shorts and training bra. Then another one has winter gear; sweatpants, bed-socks, slippers, jumpers. One full of summer clothes and swimwear.
    It doesn’t seem like the most organised thing, but i find it works for me.

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