How To Declutter Dresser Drawers

Dresser drawers and closets can be the biggest areas to tackle when trying to declutter your home.  It can be challenging to part with clothing that might have some sentimental value, but no longer works with your current wardrobe.  I know that when I made a big purge of old clothes after my daughter was born, I had a tough time giving up some of my pre-baby clothing.  Either the clothing didn’t fit me anymore, or they just were just overly worn.  And then there were a few shirts that needed to be retired from my wardrobe because I haven’t worn them since forever.

But, having to say goodbye to some outfits was challenging.   If there were any shirts or pants that I wasn’t ready to part with, I would turn the hanger backwards in the closet.  When I would wear the shirt or pants, I would turn the hanger around.  If, after a few months, the hanger was still backwards, I would donate or sell that piece of clothing.  My wardrobe drastically reduced in size, but everything I kept were items that I actually wore!  It felt amazing to have only clothing that was useful to me.

Once I decluttered my wardrobe, I knew it was time to do the same with my husband’s clothing.  But every time I tried to declutter his clothing, something would come up and we weren’t able to go through his stuff.  So I would just rearrange everything that he owned to make work with my clothing.  Since we share a master closet, I wanted to make sure we each had enough room for both of our clothes.  And I gave my husband more drawers in our dresser in hopes of keeping him organized.

Declutter Drawers

Sadly, the organizational system we created together did not do the job.  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 suppose to be stored in a totally separate drawer!  None of his sweatpants made their way back into the dresser once they were worn.  And his sock drawer lost its color-coding system.

Before Pants

I decided that I needed to try a different system for his shirts, sweatpants, socks, and undershirts.  The person who is responsible for the laundry gets to have final say over the organizational system used for the closets and drawers.  So, that means when my kiddos are old enough to do all their own laundry, they are responsible for how they are stored in their drawers.  No questions asked from this organized mama!

Before Dresser Drawers

How To Declutter Dresser Drawers

But, for now, I am the one doing all the laundry, so I am the one who creates these organizational systems.  I decided 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.

Empty Drawers

Start by emptying out all the dresser drawers.  If you like, line the drawers.  For this project, I decided to leave the drawers as is.


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.  I suggest to have 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, take it to your local donation center.  By using this system, you are able to be more efficient when collecting things to donate and sell around your home.


Categorize all your remaining clothing into piles.  For example, all socks go together.  All t-shirts go together.  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.


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

Designate a drawer for each of  your particular categories.  For example, you should have a drawer for your socks.  A drawer for your shirts.  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.

Dresser Drawers After

Put It Away

Start putting everything away in the designated drawers.  I also suggest color-coding your drawers, so you can visually see what you have, are able to find what you are looking for quickly, and get an idea of what articles of clothing you might need based on color.  There are two ways to color-code your items in drawers.  The first is to put all your clothing together in a color-coding 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 long-sleeved shirts, which would all be color-coded.  Both ways are great options, you just need to pick one that works for you.

Drawer Organization

I love using drawer organizers for projects like this.  I used this honeycomb sock organizer.  I also used these cedar adjustable drawer organizers to keep the shirts contained.

After Shirts Dresser Drawer

The only thing that is not really working for me with this method of drawer organization is keeping all the clothing in the upright position.  When we start to wear the clothing and get it dirty, the rows start to droop.  I am hoping that this won’t end up creating more of a mess in the drawers than before, so we will just have to wait and see.  This is actually the first project I have done that I am totally unsure if we will continue to use the organizational system I created.  Fingers crossed that it works!