Organizing 202: The ABCs of Organizing – “D” Is For Dresser Drawers


By Sophia Noll


I’m often reminded of the “Jack in the Box” toy when clients open their dresser drawers! Items jump out, spilling onto the floor into a mix of miss matched stragglers. We’ve become experts at stuffing more than there is room for in our drawers. And why not? No one is going to see it so we’re safe. But take a good look because even our dressers are good representations, a little microcosm if you will, of our inner selves that is chaotically tucked away in those dresser drawers.


SocksFirst I want you to open up the drawers and pull everything out of them, yep EVERYTHING!! Now take a look at the drawers and feel how good the open uncluttered space feels. Remember that feeling because that is what you are striving for once everything is back and neatly placed in those drawers.


Now methodically go through your clothing and toss out what you haven’t worn in the past six months. Those holy stretched out undergarments (socks, panties, bras), leggings, tanks, and t-shirts need to go!!! You know what I’m talking about! Place out of season clothes in containers which can be stored neatly under the bed or in a closet. Corral like items together once this is complete.


What items go in what drawer is really up to you and what type drawers you have. Are some deeper than others, smaller, or bigger? Since you have weeded through your items it will be easier to decide. I will use my four drawer dresser as an example. My top drawer holds my socks, panties, and bras. The second drawer holds camis, leggings, and bathing suits. Third drawer I reserve for my t-shirts, tanks, and other non-hanging shirts. The forth drawer for jeans, shorts (in the summer), sweat pants and sweat shirts (in the winter), and yoga/gym pants.


For as many styles of undergarments as there are, there are as many, if not more, options for containers to organize them with. From cedar to plastic to bamboo to cloth… something for everyone’s taste. Love the honeycomb and diamond shape drawer dividers that keep socks and undies contained. If your drawers are smaller then I recommend the thin rectangular, clear plastic sock boxes which can be used for socks, bras, and panties. You can find them online or at the local bed and bath stores. Another favorite is the spring loaded drawer dividers that work well for the system described below.


Socks2There are several methods of folding your garments. How many of us have used the rolled-in-a-ball method for our socks? My hand is raised!! Well balls of socks take up way too much space plus it stretches the tops of the socks and shortens their life spans. Instead try this: Align the socks one on top of the other and turn the heel in so it doesn’t stick out, fold the socks in half, then fold it in half once more. Place it in a sock box organizer with the rounded edge side up. When done you have a nice neat row of socks and you haven’t stretched out the tops from rolling them into a ball!


Your bras? Try this: 1. Fold one bra cup into the other. 2. Line up the straps… the shoulder straps and the back strap (the part that goes around you)… make sure they are not twisted. 3. Fold the back strap twice… fold it once right to where the shoulder straps are attached and then fold it again straight into the cup. 4. Fold the shoulder straps into the bra. Then place them in a container one nested in front of the other.


Keep your underwear neatly folded and “filed” and contained in a sock box or any other container that you like. However you fold them let the end product be a nice little package that can be placed neatly in a container. This will allow you to see all of them at once, versus stacking them on top of each other.


Now it’s on to the t-shirts. We are going to file our t-shirts instead of stacking them. Yep, I said file them!! This is such a great space saving way to fold and store them and it looks great too!! Take your spring loaded drawer divider and place them in the drawer. Turn the t-shirt over so the backside is facing you and smooth it out with your hands… take each side and fold it to the neckline and smooth with hand then fold the sleeves back on top, then take the bottom of the shirt and fold making the neckline and the bottom of the shirt level and then smoothing it again. Then fold it once more which will make the t-shirt stand up on its own with the folded side facing up (like a tent ^). Once you have folded all of your t-shirts you can place them side by side, front to back, making several rows, standing them up like files in between your drawer dividers. So no more rummaging through the stack and disrupting the others which leads to a messy drawer.


Jeans and pants have a couple of ways they can be folded. Here’s just one way… Lay the jeans flat, front facing up, fold one leg over the other leg and smooth flat and make sure the legs are even. Fold the crotch in towards the legs, then fold the bottom of the jeans up so they align with the bottom of the back pocket. Then fold up the jeans again so they align with the bottom of the pocket. Turn every other waist band the opposite way when stacking them on top of each other. This will save space. Or you can use the filing system with your pants and jeans as well if your drawers are deep enough.


A nice final touch is to place something that smells good inside each drawer… Dab a bit of your favorite essential oil on a cotton ball, placed inside a baggy with a few pin size holes in it.


On those days that you are tempted to throw all the clean clothes into any drawer instead of folding them remember this article and resist!!! Try to “file” your clothes in the dresser drawers from front to back instead of piling one item on top of the other. With this system you get a full view of what is in the drawers and items stay neat! The filing system works for just about everything from undies to sweatshirts. You’ll be AMAZED! at the space you will gain implementing this system. Depending on the season, your items will change. Use containers to hold the small stuff like jewelry. If money is tight then get creative and use shoe boxes, pieces of cardboard, gift boxes, cracker boxes or cereal boxes cut open to create a sock or bra box. Go on line and do a YouTube search for how to fold any item of clothing…you will be amazed at all of the instructional videos there are … I had no idea!!! There’s even a video for folding “thongs”… who knew?!! In fact writing this article has motivated me to pull everything out of my dresser and reorganize it! The tea kettle is whistling and once I make my cup of tea I’m off to organize my dresser drawers on this cold wintery day.



Sophia Noll

Sophia Noll

Give the gift of Organization Sophia (In Its has been organizing people’s lives for the past ten years from Maine to Asheville. She specializes in Organization, Personal Assisting, Household Management, Staging Homes, Senior Downsizing, Packing/Unpacking Co-coordinating, Event Planning, and Concierge Services. Sophia also offers Skype or phone consults for those who want to do the work themselves but just need direction, advice, and ideas. Sophia offers free consultations and can be contacted at 828-333-3045.


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