Professional organizers offer their tips and tricks.

Claire Harmeyer
Mar 08, 2021 @ 1:37 pm
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how to organize dressers drawers
Credit: Getty Images

I'll be honest: It looks like a tornado went off inside of my dresser drawers. Although I consider myself an extremely organized person, my dresser is mysteriously the one place where that structure ceases to exist. Socks and underwear commingle, sports bras and T-shirts are thrown haphazardly into one pile, and I can hardly shove my jean drawer closed. It's a mess.

My dresser needs a makeover, stat. Studies prove that an organized living space does wonders for your well-being and stress levels, and there's no better time for a refresh than the spring. So, do yourself a favor and revamp your dresser ASAP. To help us along the way, I spoke to co-founders of NEAT Method, Ashley Murphy and Marissa Hagmeyer, and co-founders of The Home Edit, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, who offered their tips and tricks for organizing dresser drawers—and keeping them neat.

How to organize your dresser:

First thing's first: Folding your clothes a certain way is a huge space-saver and makes finding clothes way more convenient. "We love the file folding system, which is when you fold items and place them in rows from the front of a drawer to the back, rather [than] stacking them from bottom to top," Hagmeyer tells HelloGiggles. "We believe this is the best way to maximize drawer space and ensure you can easily see everything."

Shearer and Teplin (who recently partnered with Ancestry to bring meaning to spring cleaning) call file folding "a cheap form of therapy" as it's so calming. Plus, Murphy points out that color-coordinating your closet from dark to light will make the drawers look even more satisfyingly organized. "When you're putting away laundry, file fold your garments and place them back in their row when you put them away," Murphy advises. "If you need a little more help, you can even place a small label inside the front of each drawer section, so you know what goes where."

How to fold clothing items:

  • Shirts: "Lay your shirt front side down on a flat surface and fold each side a few inches toward the center," Hagmeyer explains. "Next, fold the shirt in half from bottom to top, then fold in half again, so you have a rectangular shape that can be placed in a drawer with the nicely folded side facing up." Plus, "The trick to knowing whether you folded a shirt correctly is if the shirt stands up by itself with the folded side up," Shearer and Teplin explain.
  • Leggings, jeans, and pants: "Place your leggings/jeans/pants on a flat surface and fold them in half lengthwise, so it looks like there is just one leg," Murphy advises. "Continue to fold them in half from bottom to top until they are a rectangular shape that will fit the height of your drawer. [Then,] place them in rows in your drawer with the folded side facing up."
  • Underwear: "Set your underwear down and smooth it out," Murphy says. "First, fold each side toward the center and then fold the bottom toward the top once or twice depending on the height of your drawer."
  • Socks: "Place one sock directly on top of another and continue to fold them in half until they are the height of your drawer," Hagmeyer recommends. "Place your socks folded side up in the drawer in rows. This will assure your socks are always in pairs. Insider tip: keep a missing sock bin in your laundry room, so you can find their lost mates."
  • Bras: "It's best to hook your bras closed, tuck the straps behind the cups, and place them in a drawer in rows from front to back," Murphy says. "Avoid folding them in half as this can cause the cups to lose their shape."

Dresser drawer organizers:

Drawer organizers are an affordable way to keep everything inside in its place. "We love our expandable acacia drawer dividers for separating all types of clothing—especially shirts, pants, athleisure, and workout wear," Hagmeyer says. "They blend with almost any shade of wood and come in two heights and two lengths, so they can pretty much fit in any size drawer."

Expandable Drawer Dividers

"We're also fans of these divided linen drawer organizers for keeping smaller items such as socks, underwear, and bras contained," Murphy says.

Linen Cambridge Drawer Organizers
The Container Store

There are also organizers for underwear, socks, and bras, too.

Simple Houseware Underwear Drawer Divider

Happy organizing!