How to Declutter A Messy Dresser

Organizing your dresser can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to feel that way! In this article, I’m going to show you easy ways on how to declutter a messy dresser. You’ll learn about my organizational system for all of your clothes, so you know what belongs where and how to avoid any future clutter headaches.  

Use this tip on how to declutter your bedroom and create a space you love to get dressed in.


It’s very easy for our dressers to become messy. Just one quick pull-out of a shirt can lead to a chaotic mess inside your dresser drawer.

Maybe you are just like me, and you also find it super frustrating when the first thing you wake up to in the morning is your messy dresser, with half-opened drawers and clothes sticking out.  

a dresser with opened drawers and messy clothes inside

The questions are, do we need and use all of these items? Should we keep this? Should we toss that? How do we choose? What do we do? 

If you want answers to these questions and would love to start your day without worrying about the mess inside of each drawer you open, then, check out these no-sweat decluttering tips and ideas. 

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Decluttering a Messy Dresser

If you are anything like me, then you love clothes. There is just something lovely about finding that perfect top and loving how it looks on us. But keeping more things than we have room for is another story.

Your goal is to decide what things you love and give them the room they need, so they last.

Step 1. Declutter  

Before you can organize your dresser, you will want to make a few decisions. Yes, we are going to declutter. Not the fun part I know, but it will make the organizing part of our project much easier to do.

Remember that the goal of decluttering is to remove the excess. By doing this, you can avoid having an over-stuffed and messy dresser where the clothes you spent so much money on risk getting snagged or stretched out. 

Before you start decluttering your dresser, have baskets ready to place the clothes as you work through them.

What basket do I need to sort my clothes in?

  • Donate – Things to pass on to those folks that need them.
  • Toss – Items that are too damaged to pass on.
  • Keep – Clothes that will be going back into your dresser.

I like to use laundry baskets for sorting clothes because they work perfectly. Grab a few and label them, be sure to keep them close to where you are working.

white laundry baskets labeled keep and give away

If, while you are sorting, you find you are getting stuck, here are a few questions that will help.

What do I have?

Before you decide what to keep and what to let go of, I find it is best to take a look at what all you have.

More often than not, the clothes we have is more than we need, and this can make organizing quite challenging. By downsizing just a bit, you will free up space. And that is our goal whenever we organize.

Do a quick purge of any clothes you can easily see that you do not need to keep. More often than not, these will be damaged things that you can toss. See more on this below.

Do these clothes still fit me? 

The next question is whether the clothes or items you have still fit you. Sometimes, we become too busy that we have yet to notice that we still keep the clothes that we have outgrown. 

I think, as women, we tend to keep these clothes even when we know deep down we will never be able to wear them again. I used to do this myself, and every time I saw that stack of size (how did I ever fit into these in the first place) jeans, I would beat myself up for not losing the weight so I could fit into them.

woman lying on her bed struggling to pull on her denim jeans

Let those clothes go. Release the pressure they give you. Be happy with where you are and embrace the clothes you now have. You have my permission to remove them and free up extra space.

D/M Pro Tip: Not a fan of passing things on to donation? Why not find yourself a closet buddy? A friend or family member you can give your items to that you know they will enjoy as much as you did when you wore them.

Do I love it?

Just because your clothes still fit doesn’t always mean you should keep them.

You will want to ask yourself if the article of clothing you are holding up is something you enjoy wearing. If you don’t, you can let them go to donation or to your closet buddy.

Only keep items you love, the clothes that make you feel confident, feel great when you wear them and make you look amazing as well.

D/M Pro Tip: You can also sell your clothes online to earn extra money. This is a great way to downsize your wardrobe without the guilt of money wasted.

man holding up clothes at a yard sale

Does this item belong in your dresser?

When organizing your dresser, it can be useful if you ask yourself if this is the best place to store an item or if there is a better option.

For some types of clothing, a dresser may not be the best storage place.

Work clothes, jackets, jeans, and seasonal wear may do better to be stored on open shelving in a closet. You can also use hangers, hooks, or other organizers to hold your things.

D/M Pro Tip: If you live in an area with four seasons, you can store out-of-season clothing in totes under your bed. This will free up lots of space while keeping your clothes nearby when you need them.

Is this item damaged or unrepairable?

Any stained, ripped, snagged, or stretched-out clothes belong in the “toss” basket. Please do not overthink this step. If it is damaged, let it go and move on. Remember, never donate damaged items.

D/M Pro Tip: You can add this tip to your clutter-free habits. Any time you are getting dressed for the day ahead, and you find an item that is damaged and cannot be repaired, put it into the trash bin.

a women with a hole in the elbow of her pink shirt

Step. 2 Clean the Dresser 

Now that your dresser is empty take this moment to give it a clean-up. Grab a clean damp cloth to wipe the insides of each drawer. You can also do a quick. clean the outside of your dresser, and get underneath as well.

Be sure to wait until it is completely dry before putting your things back inside.

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Step. 3 Organize Your Dresser

To make your dresser drawers more organized, break down your clothes or items into categories. Take a look at how many drawers you have available, the number of clothes you plan to keep inside, and the space you have in each drawer.

Think about your daily routine and design a dresser that will suit you. Make sure that your go-to items are easy to reach, such as your socks and undergarments. 

To help with organizing, try to group like items together as you designate a drawer for each clothing category.

Remember, the goal of organizing is to help you find your things more quickly but also to make putting your things away easier as well. The more you can put items all the way away, the less clutter you will have going forward.

Woman holding piles of clothes, closeup

How to Organize Your Dresser

Organizing your dresser is more than just putting things away; it also includes folding methods, designating drawers to specific categories, and using drawer organizers to keep things neat. 

Here are a few organizing ideas you can follow: 

Idea #1. File-fold Your Clothes 

One important task to keeping your dresser organized going forward is folding your clothes. It’s fine if you may have been used to storing your clothes by stacking and piling them together.

But let me tell you this organizing secret – folding techniques matter. 

I have found that by folding clothes vertically, like a file folder, I can more easily see just what things I have inside.

The file-fold technique is a convenient and simple way to have a good view of your clothes and avoid wasting time digging through things.

jeans file-folded vertically in an organized dresser drawer

You can also organize clothes by how often you use them, by colors, types, or in any order you like.

Idea #2. Use Drawer Organizers or Dividers

If your drawers have wide spaces for smaller items, you will want to use dividers and other dresser drawer organizers like small baskets, bins, or trays to separate them.

Using a dresser organizer is a  convenient way to maximize space and keep all of your essentials easily accessible.

tension bar in a bedroom dresser

Idea #3. Keep the Dresser Top Clutter-free

As much as possible, keep the top of your dresser free from clutter. Set a new clutter-free rule of not allowing this area to be a dumping ground. 

Here are a few tips that should help.

  • Use a bin to hold random items from your pockets.
  • Keep decorations to a minimum.
  • Use a makeup organizer to hold perfumes, makeup, or jewelry.

Step 5. Maintain Things on Autopilot

After decluttering and organizing your messy drawers, you might just find you love your new dresser layout but keeping it neat and tidy is another matter.

To keep your dresser neat and organized, give yourself this helpful clutter-free habit from now on.

Always put your things away. Yes, it’s simple, but trust me, it is life-changing as well. The more you can put things away, the less stuff you will have out, giving the appearance of a cluttered space.

Step #6. Make Decluttering A Routine 

Let’s face it, it’s really easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustles of life, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves how much our homes mean to us.

Schedule a time for decluttering and organizing to maintain a tidy space. Once a quarter, commit to sorting your dresser to refresh your items and keep them from getting too unruly. 

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Say goodbye to your messy dresser by trying and following all these tips and steps whenever your dresser is in shambles. 

Always remember to avoid unwanted items from reaching your drawer and sort them out to avoid unnecessary clutter. Try your best to resist the urge to keep all the things and let go of those you don’t love, need, or use. 

a person in a plaid shirt putting clothes into a donation box

Make organizing and decluttering a habit so you can maintain a tidy space you love to wake up with each morning! Say goodbye to your messy dresser and love your room again.

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