10 Easy Tips to Organize Your Dresser

Dresser

Daly and Newton / Getty Images

Are you the frustrated owner of a very messy or overstuffed dresser? Don’t worry, organizing all those drawers can be a quick and simple process with these 10 easy tips. Let Operation Organize Dresser commence!

1. Start With Empty Drawers

As a general organizing rule, it’s best not to try to reorganize the contents of your drawers while those contents are still inside said drawers. Always take everything out before you start to sort, rearrange, or re-fold your clothes.

2. Declutter Your Dresser

Dresser drawers provide an excellent place to store t-shirts, tank tops, socks, and so on. They also provide an excuse to hang on to items that you may never even wear. You can declutter your dresser by asking yourself whether you’d keep each item if you didn’t have a handy drawer to store it in. Is it worthy of taking up precious space on your single closet shelf? Even if you’re not interested in minimalist capsule wardrobes, it just makes sense to remove what you don’t use.

3. Group Items by Category—and Beyond

It’s probably obvious that it’s easier to find your clothes when you dedicate one drawer to tops, another to undergarments, and so on––when it comes to dresser organization ideas, this one isn't exactly groundbreaking. But it’s even better to split your stuff into as many categories as you reasonably can. Divide your tops into tanks, short-sleeved T’s, and long-sleeved T’s. Or sort by color: all the black socks together, then brown, then white, or whatever works for you. The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to grab what you need and go. And if you find your clothes frequently escape from their sections, try drawer dividers, plastic bins, or shoeboxes to keep them in line.

4. Don’t Fold Bulky Items

If you’re keeping bulky clothing like jeans or sweatshirts folded in your dresser drawers, try moving them elsewhere. If you have other options—ideally a closet where you can hang up your pants and keep your heavier tops folded in a hanging bag. Or, consider storing bulkier items under your bed. Let your dresser drawers hold thin, easily-folded or rolled items instead and you’ll really save space.

5. Use Organizers to Separate Small Items

If you're wondering how to organize clothes in drawers when they're small or easily tangled, like camisoles and socks, look for organizers that are split into small squares or rows. Rather than digging through a jumble of pieces, you’ll be able to identify and access each individual item when you need it, and quickly replace it again later. Cube-shaped organizers work well if you own lots of pairs of tights, and there are other options for items of all types.

6. Keep the Top of the Dresser Neat Too

The top of your dresser can be a perfect surface on which to organize jewelry or accessories. Keeping it free from clutter will motivate you to maintain your system of organization inside the dresser as well. 

7. Take Advantage of Extra Drawer Space

If you’re in the unusual position of having too much storage space, remember that your dresser doesn’t have to be reserved for clothing. You can store linens, office supplies, gift wrap, or practically anything in an empty dresser drawer.

8. Differentiate Your Drawers

Can’t remember which drawer has the workout clothes and which has the scarves? Get creative with different colored knobs, stickers, stencils, paint, or anything you like to remind yourself where everything lives. This works especially well in children's rooms.

9. Rotate Seasonally

It will be much easier to find items in your dresser when it’s not full of clothes you won’t wear for another four months. Store off-season clothes in the basement or attic, an unused suitcase in the closet, or under your bed, so the only clothes in your dresser are those in your current wardrobe. If you have no alternative storage space, split your dresser into “off-season” and “current” drawers—for example, reserve the bottom two drawers for things that will be useless until next winter, and leave them alone until it’s time to make the switch again.

10. Personalize Your Method so You Can Keep It Up

Like washing dishes, organizing your dresser gives you a sense of accomplishment—until you realize you have to do it again the next day. Ultimately, the best system of organization is the one you will use. So arrange your drawers in whatever setup makes it easier for you to access and put away your clothes. If something’s not working, refine it; with a bit of practice, you can develop a method that works for you.