Clothes Drawer Organization Ideas

The struggle is real; I get it! So if you are looking for clothes drawer organization ideas, I am here to give you just that. Use these tips to keep the things you house in your dresser where they belong.

How to organize and streamline the space where you sleep so you can wake up in a space that is organized and easy to keep that way.

clothes drawer organization

When it comes to decluttering and organizing a bedroom, out of site is most definitely out of mind. At least, that was how I looked at things.

If I didn’t see it, it wasn’t as bad as all that, right? If my dresser drawers were shut, then how they looked on the inside did not matter because, from my view, everything looked just fine.

But the problem was that even though the floor was clean and the bed was made, the heart of our bedroom, the things behind the drawers and doors, was hurricane central.

a messy cluttered dresser

• Under our bed were hiding so many random things it was frightening.

• Our nightstand drawers were filled with anything extra that ended up in our bedroom.

• Our dressers were so crammed full of clothes we could only wear the things that were on top because they were the only clothes that WERE wearable.

We had so much shoved inside our dresser that every time we closed a drawer, it was like packing a month’s stay into an overnight bag. Sure, it was good in theory but let’s be honest….it’s not a way to live.

a woman in shorts kneeling on a suitcase that is overstuffed with clothes

By having an organized dresser, you can bring a bit of calm to your clothing chaos and take that first step to creating a bedroom you love to be in.

But before we go into your dresser, let’s discuss what you should keep there.

What to put in a closet vs. a dresser.

Let’s face it; not all clothes can be folded and kept in a dresser.

Some need to breathe. Some need to be hung up in a closet, so they do not get wrinkled or creased. And that is basically where your line will begin.


What clothes should be kept in a closet?

  • Clothes that wrinkle easily
  • Work clothes
  • Dresses
  • Suits
  • Dress shirts
  • Coats

What clothes should be kept in a dresser?

  • Pajamas
  • Underwear and socks
  • Jeans/sweatpants
  • Casual clothes such as t-shirts
  • Out-of-season clothes

D/M Pro Tip: If you struggle to keep your room clean, why not ditch the dressers altogether?

This works great if you have a larger closet or a smaller wardrobe. By removing the dressers, you force yourself to cut down on the amount of clothing that you have. I know it sounds scary, but we have been doing it for over 20 years, and I can honestly say that when it comes to clothes, less is most definitely more!

a bed in a room with a window seat, bench, and nightstands

Clothes drawer organization ideas

Before you can organize your dresser drawers, we first need to do a bit of sorting and decluttering.

Usually, I suggest doing things one at a time so you do not end up with a bigger mess than you are starting with. In this case, however, for this project, we are going to do a dump and sort, working on one drawer at a time.

This will help you to see exactly what you have so you can make better (and easier) decisions on what you want to keep.

Step 1. Set up a staging or sorting area.

Having a place to put your things as you sort is an important part and one you will want to start with before diving into any project.

Set out a few boxes or clothes baskets with clear labels to make the decluttering process easier.

white baskets with labels for sorting clutter into

Sorting Labels to Consider

  • Keep – These are the things that will go back into your dresser.
  • Donate – These are the things you will give to charity.
  • Give away – These are the things you will give to someone you know.
  • Put away – These things need to be put in a different room.
  • Maybe – These are things you are not quite sure about yet.

Once you decide to remove an item, it is best to get it quickly out of your hands and move on. By being confident with your decisions, you will make the sorting process a bit easier to deal with.

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Step 2. Focus on one drawer at a time.

When you keep your mind on smaller tasks rather than the big picture, you take away the overwhelm. And if you have a messy dresser, it may be better only to work and focus on one drawer at a time.

Give yourself a small goal of a drawer a day.

a dresser with opened drawers and messy clothes hanging out

There is nothing wrong with leaving your sorting boxes out for the week as you work through things. Remember, the smaller the steps, the easier this will all be to accomplish.

Let’s break it down.

First: Take a drawer and dump it out on your bed.

Second: Go through each piece of clothing and decide if you love it, use it, or need it.

  1. If you can answer yes to at least one of these questions, then put it into the keep pile (or box).
  2. If the answer is no, put the item in the box that best describes your next step.

Third: Continue until you have gone through every item from that one drawer.

Once you are done, you should have an empty drawer and items in your sorting baskets. Now, you can either move on to another drawer or save the next drawer for another day.

Step 3. Be firm with yourself.

Let’s talk for a minute…just you and I.

Are you really going to fit into that pile of clothes you have sitting off to the side? You know, the one that has that pair of skinny jeans sitting on top? That you haven’t been able to get up past your calves in over a decade??

Please, do yourself a favor and let them go.

Keeping them is not only unrealistic, but it’s also not fair.

Not fair to YOU.

I did this years ago, and it was the most liberating experience. The minute I got rid of my skinny clothes, I felt the weight of all that unnecessary pressure lift off my shoulders. Unrealistic pressure I was putting on myself.

Keep the clothes you love, not the clothes you wish would fit. And yes, there IS a big difference. 🙂

Step 4. Clean things out.

Once you have a drawer empty, take a few minutes to clean and wipe things down. Go one step further and remove the drawer so you can clean behind it as well.

woman wiping dust from the front of a dresser in a bedroom

When you wipe things down, you are not only cleaning away the dust but the mental clutter of a messy drawer as well. And this can be incredibly therapeutic.

Step 5. Decide what will be kept in each drawer.

This is the fun part! Your chance to rearrange things, so they work better, making it easier to keep your drawers mess free going forward.

Look at your dresser and decide which drawers are in your line of sight. The ones that are the easiest for you to get to.

This is your “prime real estate” and where you will want to keep the things you wear most often.

The rest of the drawers can be used to hold the clothes you wear less frequently. Out-of-season pieces, bulky winter sweaters, or exercise clothes, for example.

By keeping the clothes, you wear often easier to get to; you will be more likely to keep things put away.

an organized dresser

Step 6. Use containers to help keep things neat.

When looking for organizers, the ones you choose all depends on your organizing personality.

Basically, an organizing personality is one of two things.

Do you love pretty? Then pretty organizers are more your speed.

Do you prefer easy? Then simple organizers will be what you like.

By knowing just what you are drawn to, you will be able to set up a space that is easy to keep put away and mess-free.

Here are a few options you can use to organize the inside of your dresser drawers.

an organized dresser drawer

Step 7. Label so you don’t forget.

Nothing is more frustrating than taking the time to declutter and organize something only to forget what you put where. For this reason, I like to label each drawer, especially in the beginning.

This helps me to remember what belongs where which is super helpful, especially when putting clean clothes away.

Using a few sticky notes, briefly describe what you have inside each drawer. After a few days or weeks, you can remove the labels.

sticky notes on the front of your dresser

How to organize things on top of a dresser.

It’s funny how for some of us, the top of the dresser is a great place to drop our things.

From our pockets and purses or whatever happens to be in our hands when we enter our room. That open surface makes it so easy to empty out our hands. The problem is when we leave things there and forget to take the next step of putting them away.

To help, you can organize your dresser top to allow you to empty your hands but in a way that keeps things a bit more sorted.

Use organizers to hold routine times.

  • Sunglasses
  • Pocket change
  • Receipts
  • Jewelry
  • Smartphone
  • Wallet

By setting up a dresser from top to bottom, you will not only keep your clothes neat and organized but help them to last longer too.

Let go of what you no longer love so you can create space for what you do. I hope these clothes organization ideas are what you need to get started creating another space you love to use.

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