15 Organizing Ideas for Your Drawers
Junk Drawer No More
After purging any obvious trash, bundle all “like” things (business cards, unmarked keys) that you want to keep. Fit the drawer with multi-sectioned inserts. Think about which of the kept items are most important to you: Advil, lip balm, a Post-it with your wireless password? Then fill each compartment accordingly. When you’re finished, banish any overflow to a large Ziploc bag in a high cabinet. Mark the calendar and check the bag in two months. If you haven’t missed the contents by then, toss it.
Inserts, Store-Bought Division
Cut a piece of newspaper to the size of the drawer. Bring it along when you shop for drawer inserts to help you puzzle together a close fit. It’s okay if the pieces don’t fill the space exactly; gaps can hold items like rulers.
Prefer to make your own inserts? You have plenty of options. Clip together sturdy little cardboard jewelry boxes to create neat storage for pens and pencils, lipsticks, plastic flatware—whatever is cluttering your drawer. Slice off the tops and the bottoms of cereal boxes and fill them with loose odds and ends. Or try shoe boxes: Cut them in half, along the length or width, and fill the resulting compartments with folded briefs, socks, or stacked bras.
Divide and Conquer
If you’re unsure of how best to split a small drawer, default to equal quadrants. Then sort by style or color—whichever makes it easier to spot, say, that one pair of undies you need for those white jeans.
Don’t neglect your nightstand: Apply the same compartment principles there, supplying catchalls for your remote, glasses, lip balm, and such, leaving the top free for your essentials.
(Not) On a Roll
To stop pens and paper clips from rolling to the back of a desk drawer, line it with a layer of nonskid rug pad.
Add Some Décor Drama
For a flash of style with every pull, line the inside of a drawer with wallpaper cut to fit. Attach with double-stick tape or removable mounting squares so the lining won’t shift. The strategy: Make the lining so pretty you’ll want to keep things neat so you can actually see it!
Beauty products scattered in your bathroom? Use a utensil tray in your bathroom drawer to keep small items like tweezers, nail clippers, and makeup brushes organized.
Create a Cooking Zone
In the kitchen, assign a deep drawer as close to the range as possible, if one is available, to store your pots and pans.
Wrap It Up
Over by the refrigerator, designate a drawer where you can keep plastic bags, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap together to make quick work of storing away leftovers.
Contain the Food Containers
Those plastic tubs are great for storing your leftovers, but the various bits and pieces can be frustrating to sort through, especially when random empty cottage-cheese tubs and the like are mixed in. First step: Toss anything that has lost its lid. Now categorize the keepers, organizing both tops and bottoms by size and shape.
Strategize the Storage
Tuck the biggest glass square or rectangular piece in a corner of the drawer. Find snug spaces for all other angular glassware, slipping in round pieces last. Leave tops on glass containers and stack pieces (don’t nest—glass might stick together and break). Nest plastics, storing sideways if upright is too high for the drawer. Store plastic tops separately from their bases, since a seal can create a stale smell. “File” large tops in a desktop paper sorter. Stash smaller tops in a little bin and they won’t disappear. Corral any small items in a cup.
Try a Tension Rod
To keep pot lids from rattling around, position a short tension rod near the front of the drawer as a divider. Stack pots and pans in the larger section and lean lids against the rod on the smaller side.
Do you have a smorgasbord of spices stuffed in a drawer? Toss anything that’s old or that you never use: Whole spices are good for only three years, ground spices for two. Then pick a drawer in a cool spot, away from the oven, to stow your 12 most frequently used spices. Clear glass jars will look clean and crisp and let you see what needs refilling.