If the state of your drawers supposedly resembles the state of your mind… well then I’m in trouble! And not being able to find anything in my drawers isn’t helping! Last week we tackled cords… today we’re taking a look at cheap and free frugal organizing hacks for drawers so you can spot what you need at a glance and get things in and out with ease.
Here are 6 frugal organizing hacks for your drawers:
1. Hack a drawer organizer. Ikea sells them by the boatload, and though they’re not expensive individually, a full set can add up quickly. For solutions around the house, try using shoeboxes in your clothing drawers. This tutorial at Howjoyful.com even shows you how to make an organizer to custom size for shallow drawers, which would work for accessories, junk drawers, or kitchen drawers. You could also cut the bottom off a washed quart or half-gallon milk jug, or trim a cardboard wine box divider set down to drawer height (likely free at your local liquor store). Cost: FREE.
2. Drawer diagram. Have you ever gotten your pots and pans organized juuuuust so… and then someone else unloads the dishes and you can’t find anything? Make a drawer diagram to put in the bottom of a kitchen, junk, or office drawer to show where everything fits. Krisha at blog Jacks & Kate shows an example of making a drawer chart using chalk cloth, which is gorgeous but spendy. You could just as easily make one using the blank side of wrapping paper, held down with a few pieces of double-stick tape if needed. Cost: FREE.
3. Grippy bottom. Grip shelf liner in the bottom of a junk drawer can keep small items from rolling around and getting mixed or tangled as you open or close the drawers. You may also be able to purchase a grippy fabric, such as vinyl or velour, in a bargain bin at your local fabric store. Cut to size and if using fabric, tack lightly with double-stick tape. Cost: $5 for grip liner (about 4′ x 18″) or a few dollars for fabric. Let us know in the comments if you have an idea for a free grippy hack upcycling materials at home!
4. Drawer labels. In areas used by children, babysitters, or other family members, labels help everyone quickly see what goes where. Spoonful.com offers a page of printable drawer labels for clothing using words, and Creativewithkids.com has a printable drawer labels with pictures for children’s clothing. Just cut them out and attach with double-sided tape or mounting putty. You can also use a sheet of address labels (but you may need Goo Gone and elbow grease to remove them). Cost: a few dollars for card stock or address labels.
5. Roll or “file” clothing. This tip doesn’t even take any gadgets! Instead of stacking your clothing (t-shirts, pants) vertically in drawers, they are much easier to find when “filed” horizontally so that you can see every item of clothing at the same time. Then you don’t have to pull out ten t-shirts to find the one you’re looking for. Darkroom and Dearly blog has a good tutorial for folding t-shirts so they are easy to store and select from in this configuration. For socks, I roll mine and wedge them in like cinnamon rolls in the drawer for easy access. Cost: FREE.
6. Drawer paper. While it may not help specifically with organizing, sometimes having the bottom of your drawers covered with pretty paper can help you feel better about opening them and inspire you to keep them neater. Instead of purchasing drawer liners, try cutting a piece of cardboard to size and covering one side with wrapping paper or fabric, using double-stick tape. Make sure to wrap a little bit over the edge and secure on the back to keep it neat. Cost: FREE (items on hand), or a few dollars for a pretty wrapping paper.
Remember to empty your drawers first and toss, recycle, or donate anything you don’t need! The first step to an organized drawer is not having to sort through anything useless to get to the good stuff.
How do you keep your drawers organized?
In my kitchen gadget drawers I have some long tray sections that fit next to each other. They are perfect for keeping gadgets pointing all in one direction so that I don’t end up with a cross-hatch of gadgets. I know which gadget belongs in which tray and since they don’t cross over each other and tangle up, they are easier to find and don’t cause the drawer to get stuck.
Julie Hills says
Myke, that’s a great idea. I have several drawers in my kitchen that get jammed too often!\
Bargain Babe says
@Myke I recently bought a second drawer organizer and am so happy with it! We have one for spoons, knives, forks. But all the gadgets were wandering around messing up the rest of drawer! now I have a second organizer with two slots, one for measuring spoons and cups, and the other for the gadgets we use most, can opener, beer opener, etc. Works perfectly!
Carol Lee says
It might be a bit late to find now, but a few years ago, I bought several beat up Christmas ornament boxes on sale at Big Lots, pulled out the cardboard ornament dividers, put them in my drawers and voila! individual little “boxes” for socks, bras, panties, etc. And, I use ice cube trays to store my earrings and other small pieces of jewelry in my jewelry drawer. Everything is visible and untangled. Grippy fabric is a great idea for junk drawer … thanks! Think I’ll try an ice cube tray in there, too.
Julie Hills says
Carol, this sounds very similar to using the cut-off wine box inserts, but probably nicer looking 🙂 I love finding and repurposing end-of-the-season sale items!
Bargain Babe says
@Carol Lee That’s a great idea! WHen I moved in with my boyfriend, his sock drawer was a war zone! I found an empty shoe box, threw out the lid, and used the rest to hold the white socks. All the dark and colored and patterned socks get the rest of the drawer. It works!