A dresser drawer filled with shirts folded vertically. #folding
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How To Declutter Dresser Drawers

Sharing tricks to help you organize and declutter dresser drawers and clothing with awesome tips from a professional organizer.

How To Declutter Dresser Drawers

Taking time to declutter dresser drawers and closets is a big and usually daunting challenge–there’s no way to sugar coat it! Most of us have too many clothes and it’s difficult to part with items with sentimental value.

When I made a big purge of old clothes after my daughter was born, it was tough to give up some of my pre-baby clothing that didn’t fit anymore or had seen better days. To take the emotion out of it a bit, I came up with a method of weeding these clothes out. If there were any shirts or pants I wasn’t ready to part with, I turned the hanger backward in the closet as a visual prompt. If and when I actually wore the item, I turned the hanger around. After a few months if any hanger was still backward, I donated or sold that piece of clothing.  My wardrobe is drastically smaller, and the items left are ones I actually wear and enjoy!

Once I finished my clothing declutter, I knew it was time to do the same with my husband’s clothing.  But every time I tried, something would come up and I’d hastily rearrange everything  he owned to make it work with my clothing in our shared master closet. I made sure we both had enough room for all of our clothes, and because he has more t-shirts and folded items, I gave him more drawers in our dresser in hopes of keeping him organized.

Declutter Drawers

Well, It didn’t go so great! Within a matter of weeks, his t-shirts were completely disorganized, forming one giant pile in the drawer.  And, somehow, that giant pile gained some undershirts, which were supposed to be stored in a totally separate drawer!  None of his sweatpants made their way back into the dresser once they were worn and washed. And his sock drawer lost its color-coding system. Can you say #organizationalfail?!

Before Dresser Drawers
© The Organized | 2016

How To Declutter Dresser Drawers

In our house, the person who does the laundry has final say over the organizational system used for the closets and drawers.  I do my husband’s laundry, so that puts me in charge! It also means when my kiddos are old enough to do their own laundry, they are responsible for how their clothing organization. No questions asked from this organized mama!

So it’s time to try a completely different organizational system for these drawers. I have no idea if it will last, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Step 1: Empty Dresser Drawers

Start by emptying out all the dresser drawers. Like dump it all onto the floor or bed and refrain from feeling overwhelmed. If you like, line the drawers.  For this project, I decided to leave the drawers as is.

Step 2: Sort Clothing

Next, sort through all the clothing.  Put the clothing into piles: keep, donate, trash, and sell.

Once all the clothing is sorted, remove the donate, trash, and sell piles from your space.  Only leave the clothing you are keeping.  If possible, keep  large, plastic bins either in your garage or your mudroom specifically for donating and selling.  When you are working on a project, just dump your stuff into those bins.  When you see that the bin is full put it into your car and take it to your local donation center. This is the most efficient method of collecting and donating that I’ve found over the years!

Step 3: Categorize Clothing

Categorize all your remaining clothing into piles.  For example, all socks go together, all t-shirts go together and all long-sleeved shirts go together.  By categorizing your clothing, it will make it easy to put things away.  Just put them into piles so you can visually see how much of one specific category clothing you have.  Make sure you have every single piece of clothing that you want to put into that drawer so you can make sure everything fits perfectly.

Step 4: Fold Clothing

Next, fold all the clothing.  For this project, I folded my clothing based on the suggests from Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpShe suggests folding clothing so you can see everything you have in your drawer.  Start by laying your shirt face down.  Fold one-third of the shirt onto itself.  Fold the other one-third of the shirt onto itself.  Then, fold the shirt into thirds.

Folding T-Shirts
© The Organized | 2016

Step 6: Designate and Put Away

Designate a drawer for each of  your  categories.  For example, you should have a drawer for your socks, a drawer for your shirts and a drawer for your pants. I love keeping my clothing categories separate so nothing gets mixed up with a different type of clothing.  It makes it easy to find and keeps things contained.

Start putting all of your categorized folded clothes into the designated drawers. I love using drawer organizers for projects like this: the honeycomb sock organizer and these cedar adjustable drawer organizers are both awesome to keep the socks and shirts contained.

Drawer Organization
© The Organized | 2016

Pro Tip:

Color-coding items is a great way to easily see what you have and help you determine what articles of clothing you might need based on color.  There are two ways to color-code your items in drawers: first is to mix all your different clothing categories (i.e. all blue t-shirts and pants) together in a color-coded manner. The other way is to sub-categorize all your clothing, and color-code that way.  All t-shirts would be color-coded in your drawer.  Then you move onto color-coded long-sleeved shirts. Both ways are great options, you just need to pick one that works for you.


After Shirts Dresser Drawer
© The Organized | 2016

After a couple of weeks with this method, one thing isn’t working as well as I hoped. When we start to wear the clothing the rows start to droop from their nice upright folded position. I hope that this won’t end up creating more of a mess in the drawers than before, so we just have to wait and see! I’ll update you in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, fingers crossed!


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1 thought on “How To Declutter Dresser Drawers”

  1. Pingback: Use the KonMari Method to Declutter Your Home - The Organized Mama

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