10 Easy Tips to Organize Your Dresser

a white organized dresser

The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

Are you the frustrated owner of a very messy or overstuffed dresser? Organizing all of those drawers can be a quick and simple process. The key is to start with a blank slate and only return items to the dresser that belong there—i.e., items that you want to keep and don't work better stored somewhere else.

Here are 10 tips to help you organize your dresser and keep it looking tidy.

  • 01 of 10

    Start With Empty Drawers

    starting out with empty dresser drawers

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    The first step of a dresser organization project is to remove all of the contents from each drawer—even pieces you plan to keep. Get every last item crammed in the backs of drawers out, so you know what you have and what you need to store. This is also a good time to dust the insides of your dresser drawers to get them ready to store your clean clothes.

  • 02 of 10

    Declutter Your Dresser Contents

    items taken out of drawers for sorting

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    Dresser drawers provide an excellent place to store T-shirts, tank tops, socks, and other articles of clothing. But they also can be a spot to pack away items you don't wear—and probably won't wear again. So once you have the contents of your dresser spread out in front of you, it's time to declutter. A good general rule is to donate, sell, or recycle a piece of clothing you haven't worn in over a year. Don't let ill-fitting items or pieces you don't love take up your precious dresser drawer space. Set these items aside in a clothes pile to get rid of.

  • 03 of 10

    Group Items by Category

    grouped clothing

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    Take inventory of the items you're keeping. It's ideal for dresser organization if you can dedicate individual drawers to a specific type of clothing—e.g., one drawer for T-shirts, one for undergarments, and so on. So split your items into categories based on how many drawers you have, taking into account how much will fit into each drawer. Within the categories, you can sort the items by color if you wish, so like colors will be grouped together once they're back in the drawers.

  • 04 of 10

    Don’t Fold Bulky Items

    items that can be hung up instead of stored in a dresser

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    If there is any bulky clothing, such as jeans or sweatshirts, in the contents of your dresser, consider moving it elsewhere. Such items can take up a lot of space when folded in a drawer. And drawers are really best to contain your thinner and smaller items. So instead consider hanging bulky clothing in a closet. Or keep items you don't use on a regular basis in storage under your bed.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Use Drawer Organizers to Separate Items

    drawer organizers for small items

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    If you're wondering how to organize clothes in drawers when the items are small or easily tangled, such as camisoles and socks, consider using drawer organizers. Rather than digging through a jumble of clothing, you’ll be able to identify and access each individual item when you need it. And each item will have a designated spot where you can replace it. Drawer organizers come in many shapes and sizes, so you're bound to find ones that work for your wardrobe and dresser.

  • 06 of 10

    Don't Use the Dresser Top for Storage

    fragrances organized on top of the dresser

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    To maintain a tidy appearance in the room, don't use the top of your dresser as a dumping ground for various odds and ends. Instead it should be a relatively clear, clutter-free zone. Treat your dresser top more like a spot for decor than storage. It's a good place to keep some jewelry or perfume bottles, as long as you display them in an appealing and organized fashion. A stylish tray to hold items you use often can be both decorative and functional.

  • 07 of 10

    Take Advantage of Extra Drawer Space

    linens stored in a dresser drawer

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    Maybe you were so good at decluttering the contents of your dresser that you now have extra drawer space. Don't let that go to waste. A dresser doesn't just have to be storage for clothing. It's also a good spot to keep handbags, linens, toiletries, and anything else you want easy access to in your bedroom. Or you could see whether some items you have hanging in your closet would work better folded and stored in your dresser to free up some closet space.

  • 08 of 10

    Differentiate Your Drawers

    white dresser drawers with black handles

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    If you can't remember what you have stored in each dresser drawer, don't hesitate to get creative with labeling them. For instance, you could color code your drawers with paint or different colored knobs. Or you could use stencils or stickers to write what's in each drawer. This type of labeling system works especially well for children's rooms to help teach them how to find clothing and put together outfits.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Rotate Clothing Seasonally

    clothing in box labeled "summer clothes"

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    It will be much easier to find items in your dresser when it’s not full of clothes you won’t wear again for several months. So store off-season clothing elsewhere in your home, such as in the basement or attic, an unused suitcase in the closet, or a container under your bed. However, if you have no alternative storage space, consider splitting your dresser into "off-season" and "current" drawers. For example, reserve the bottom drawers for off-season clothes, and rotate your wardrobe in and out of these drawers according to the weather.

  • 10 of 10

    Maintain Your Organization Method

    Like washing dishes, organizing your dresser can give you a sense of accomplishment—until you realize you have to tidy up again the next day. But ultimately the best organization system is the one you will use. So arrange your drawers in whatever setup makes it easiest for you to access and put away your clothes. If something’s not working, refine it. And don't forget to be on the lookout for unnecessary clutter finding its way into your drawers.