10 Simple Tips to Transform Small, Cluttered Drawers and Make the Most of a Limited Space

Let’s get real for a second. Your small drawers are a disaster zone. You toss stuff in there, hoping it’ll magically organize itself. But it doesn’t. 

What if I told you that with a few simple tricks, you could turn those chaotic spaces into models of efficiency? No, seriously. You can. Here are 10 simple yet effective tips to transform your small drawers from cluttered nightmares into organized havens. 

1. Declutter

Happy young woman standing in front of open drawers of dressing table and taking out toiletries from drawer.
Image Credit: Kostikova Natalia and Shutterstock

Before you even think about organizing, you need to declutter. Yeah, I know, it’s not the fun part, but it’s necessary.

Go through the drawer and remove anything you don’t need, use, or even remember owning. You’ll be surprised at how much junk has accumulated.

Decluttering is the first step to making your drawers functional and organized. It’s mandatory. Plus, it saves you from wasting time organizing stuff you don’t actually need.

2. Use Drawer Dividers

Drawer dividers.
Image Credit: dalivl@yandex.ru
and Depositphotos

Drawer dividers are a game-changer for small drawers. They create sections for different items, keeping everything in its place. You can find adjustable dividers that fit any drawer size. This helps prevent items from mixing together and makes it easier to find what you need quickly.

3. Add Small Containers

woman organizing drawer toiletries in bathroom.
Image Credit: dalivl@yandex.ru and Depositphotos

Small containers or trays are perfect for organizing small items like office supplies, jewelry, or toiletries. Group similar items together in separate containers. This not only keeps things organized but also makes it easy to grab exactly what you need without rummaging through the drawer.

4. Implement a Labeling System

Woman hands organizing cotton pillowcase storage in basket with sticker tag mark at closet shelf closeup. Female tidying up maintaining domestic space household comfortable organize with sticky label.
Image Credit: Kostikova Natalia and Shutterstock

Labels are essential for keeping track of what’s in each section of the drawer. Use labels on the dividers or containers to identify the contents. This way, you’ll always know where everything goes, and it will be easier to maintain order.

5. Opt for Clear Organizers

Colorful stationary supplies in clear container.
Image Credit: Lilit Amirkhanian and iStock

Clear organizers make it easy to see what’s inside each compartment without opening them. This transparency helps you quickly locate items and ensures you don’t forget about things hidden at the back of the drawer.

6. Store Like Items Together

Top view closeup housewife hands tidying up cutlery in drawer general cleaning at kitchen. Woman neatly assembling fork, spoon, knife accessories for eating use Konmari storage organization method.
Image Credit: Kostikova Natalia and Shutterstock

Group similar items together to keep the drawer organized. For example, in a kitchen drawer, keep utensils, measuring spoons, and small gadgets in separate sections. This makes it easier to find what you need and keeps everything in its designated spot.

7. Use Drawer Liners

Adult white man inserting a clear thick plastic drawer liner with lines in it into a bathroom drawer. Closeup of adult guy lining a green wood and white bathroom drawers with plastic protection.
Image Credit: Serenethos and Shutterstock

A non-slip drawer liner can help keep items from shifting around. This is especially useful for drawers that contain small, loose items. The liner provides a bit of friction, helping items stay in place.

8. Consider a Junk Drawer for Essentials Only

junk drawer.
Image Credit: Liudmila Chernetska and iStockre

If you must have a junk drawer, limit it to essentials only. Use small containers to keep items like batteries, rubber bands, and spare keys organized. Regularly clean out the drawer to avoid unnecessary buildup.

9. Use Binder Clips and Wraps for Cords

cord wrapped.
Image Credit: happycreator and Shutterstock

Binder clips aren’t just for your office papers. Clip them to the edge of your drawer to hold and organize cables neatly. Or wrap each cord neatly with a cord wrap. This keeps cords from tangling and makes it easy to grab the one you need without rummaging through a mess.

10. Try Multi-Compartment Trays

Different stationery in open organized desk drawer indoors.
Image Credit: New Africa and Shutterstock

Multi-compartment trays are ideal for organizing small miscellaneous items. They fit neatly into drawers and offer various sized compartments for different items. This keeps everything organized and easily accessible.

11. Purge Regularly

woman cleaning and organizing drawer.
Image Credit: Kostikova Natalia and Shutterstock

Regularly go through your drawers and remove items you no longer need or use. This habit helps prevent clutter from building up and ensures that the items you keep are essential and used regularly.

Theresa Bedford is a nationally syndicated writer. Her work has been seen on the Associated Press Wire, Blox Digital, and MSN. She writes about productivity, money, and simple living to help people focus on what really matters in life.