Reader weigh-in: How do you organize your clothes dresser?

I prefer to organize my clothes in a five-drawer chest of drawers based on the order I put them on: undergarments in the top two drawers, then t-shirts, pants, and finally socks in the bottom drawer. Some clients I’ve worked with prefer to organize based on weight — light undergarments and socks in top drawers, and heavier pants and t-shirts in lower drawers.

If you had a chest of drawers that had drawers side-by-side, you could store clothing from left-to-right based on how you get dressed. Or, maybe you prefer to just stick clothes in whatever drawer has space at the time so that all of your clothes are mixed together.

How do you arrange clothes in your chest of drawers? What do you believe is the most efficient method for your lifestyle? We’re interested in learning how you arrange things in your home. Share your strategy in the comments.

74 Comments for “Reader weigh-in: How do you organize your clothes dresser?”

  1. posted by Kathryn Fenner on

    I have a modern chest of drawers with two shallow drawers over two deeper ones. The top drawer has panties and socks. The next has workout clothes, pants rolled, and camisoles. The deeper drawers are needed for my bras–rigid cups are too high to stack vertically in the shallower ones. I have folded t-shirts–in thirds and thirds again, stacked like record albums, with bookends behind them, so I can pick out which color (tip o’ the hat to Martha Stewart for that one) and shorts. The shirts are separated by sleeve length.
    Sweaters are folded flat on shelves in the closet, or hung on velvet hangers, if appropriate. You can hang cardigans by folding them in half sleeves to sleeves, and laying them over a hanger with the armpits at the top (another MS tip).

  2. posted by Tyler on

    I’d like to see that bookend method. Seems like the clothes would always be falling down when you take one item out. Do you have bookends for each piece?

  3. posted by meg on

    Dresser is a small four-drawer unit. Top drawer has jewelry, accessories, personal grooming stuff, winter hats and gloves, sunglasses, and spare reading glasses. It’s the stuff that I used to keep on top of the dresser, and still like to get at quickly or with a little more light shining on it. Second drawer is lingerie, third is socks and pajamas, and bottom drawer is lightweight tops and t’s, so it’s pretty much organized by weight and depth of the drawers. I keep sweaters on a closet shelf so they’re not squashed, and everything else is hung up, including shoes in a hanging shoe organizer. It’s pretty simple.

  4. posted by Ted Trembinski on

    I’m like you, order of dress, except my dresser is broken up to side by sides as well. Honestly though, I’ve been wanting to downgrade the amount of clothes I own all together and consolidate everything into the closet. I’ve recently purged the closet (aka goodbye pleather college jacket), but still don’t have nearly enough room for everything yet.

    On a slight tangent, do you store seasonal clothing or keep everything out year round?

  5. posted by Dotty on

    Strange, but I haven’t used a dresser in years. I hang and fold everything and store in the closet. Yes, socks and all undergarments too. Really simple and VERY minimalist!!

  6. posted by Ging on

    I have a 4-drawer chest of drawers, on the top are my undies, brassieres, socks; next are my light weight clothes–mostly shorts and shirts (I live in a tropical country, we normally have clothes meant to be worn only at home), next are tops & workout clothes (meant to be worn outside the house); on the bottom drawer are rarely used stuffs, like scarves and caps. I must also say that my clothes in each drawer are piled accordingly. … When it comes to my closet, at the extreme left are the seldom used clothes (mostly formal wears, mostly kept straight from the dry cleaners), then my formal blouses, then my sports shirts, jogging pants and then formal pants, at the extreme right are my pairs of shorts. The more accessible side of my closet is the right side, hence the more frequently clothing are the ones on the right side. … Normally I pick my clothes first, only then am I able to pick the appropriate underwear & bra. It has to be that way, can’t reverse the order.

  7. posted by Karen on

    Funny you should bring this up today. This morning I decided to remove things from my dresser that I seldom wear, in order to make room for the frequent items, which are squished in their drawers.

    I haven’t yet decided where the seldom items will go.

    I put small things in small drawers and larger items in larger drawers.

  8. posted by trillie on

    I have a wardrobe/armoire with a rack and one shelf for all tops and bottoms and so on, and an Ikea MALM dresser with six drawers (4 big ones, 2 small ones) for the rest. I organized the stuff inside by how often I need to access it, so from top to bottom it’s underwear and socks, exercise clothes, scarves and other accessories, bedding, blankets and throws.

  9. posted by Ell on

    I have a three-drawer bureau. On top are underwear and socks, because I have a lot of them and I don’t want to have to kneel or stoop too far to get the socks or bra I want. Next are my work clothes, and in the bottom shelf are workout clothes and jeans. Sweatshirts, skirts, and dresses are hanging in the closet.

  10. posted by Awurrlu on

    I organize by use and season; my husband organizes by type. We share a 6 drawer dresser so we each get two full-sized drawers and one small drawer. In my small drawer are my bras, panties, and my jewelry box. In my top full-sized drawer, I keep my current-season socks, pajamas, workout clothes, and tights. In my bottom full-sized drawer, I keep my out-of-season pajamas, socks, and workout clothes. (My few t-shirts and tank tops are hung with the rest of my clothes.)

    My husband’s small drawer contains his watches and allergy pills. His top large drawer contains his undershirts, the lower one contains his boxers and socks.

  11. posted by chicsinger simone on

    I store stuff in a five drawer dresser, mostly like everyone else here, but I roll things up so they take up less room and are easily visible (rather than stacked). It also makes it easier to pack for a trip.

  12. posted by Senora H-B on

    I have a tall five-drawer chest of drawers. The top drawer is socks and compartments for my jewelry that doesn’t fit in the jewelry box on top of the dresser.

    The second drawer is camisoles and other undergarments. The next drawer is shirts to be worn to work and in public. The fourth drawer has work out clothes, pajamas, and old t-shirts for working around the house. The bottom drawer has jeans and sweaters.

    I used to use a piece of furniture that we now use in our dining room. It has two cabinets on either end and three small drawers in the middle. Moving into this tall dresser was a real upgrade.

    I also have some items hung in the closet–skirts, dresses, and coats–but that’s not where I go for my everyday clothes.

  13. posted by Marjory Thrash on

    I have the tall 5 drawer dresser; my husband has the long 9 drawer one.
    Top: underwear and socks, matches for my candle
    2nd: sleepwear & seldom used pieces like hose
    3rd: knit tops on one side, a few heirloom pieces of embroidery. They are safe there, and I get to see them when I open the drawer!
    4th: Sweaters (actually, there are just 2 sweaters, and I use the space underneath to keep things like presents out of sight from my husband – doesn’t work with my kids however).
    5th: I keep my emergency outfit there. Camille and Katrina came through our town; we do get put on notice for other hurricanes too. I keep 1 pair of knit pants, 2 knit shirts, a complete set of underwear and a small toiletry kit. These are NEVER touched, until those items in my regular wardrobe wear out. Then, I’ll replace the emergency outfit and put the old set into circulation. My husband keeps his emergency outfit in a duffel bag. The space also holds a few more heirloom pieces; I enjoy them much more seeing them every few months than I would if they were packed away.

  14. posted by Pat on

    I have a 3 drawer dresser in the bedroom where I keep all my ‘play’ clothes (stuff I would never wear to work but do wear out in public). I also have a 3 drawer in my closet that I store foldable clothes for work. My closet clothing is strictly for work/church, though I do store my bathing suit there (don’t know why). I too am preparing to downsize all my clothing. I wear so few items I’m not sure why I’ve been storing them so I’ve decided to eliminate and see how much extra room I can get.

  15. posted by kew on

    My dresser has 6 drawers. The top two are tiny half drawers; one is for swimwear and the other for special lingerie. The third drawer is the largest and houses my underwear, socks, and tights. The fourth drawer has t-shirts. The fifth is shorts/capris, PJ pants, and workout clothes, and the last drawer is for pants.

    My husband has the same dresser, but only uses the large drawer for socks and underwear. The rest is basically storage of old clothes that I desperately want him to get rid of. Everything he wears is kept in the closet.

  16. posted by Jane on

    My husband and I don’t have a dresser, but our bed is on a pedestal with 2 drawers on each side, which is where I store our out-of-season clothes. The small walk-in closet has rods, a couple of shelves, and 3 drawers. I store my husband’s socks, underwear, etc., in the 3 drawers. I use a shoe organizer that is hung on a closet rod and hangs down to the floor to store my socks, underwear, bras, rolled up sweatpants, belts. I fold and stack a few old T-shirts to use as winter PJs on a portion of one shelf that separates 2 sections of closet rods for short-hanging clothes.

  17. posted by Fi on

    I have fiver drawers:

    Top drawer – jersey tops/T shirts and such
    Second drawer – underwear (not socks)
    Third drawer – things for feet i.e. socks and tights (I have a lot of socks of various varieties; hiking, hand-knitted, light summer shoe liners, trainers, annd on and on – it definately needs going through!)
    Fourth drawer – sleeping/yoga/being at home clothes (these are pretty interchangeable)
    Fifth drawer – jeans and other heavy type of trousers

    Also a wardrobe for ‘smart’ clothes that need hanging up i.e dresses, suits, ‘posh’ trousers, coats. It also has a shelf for jumpers (pullovers) and a rack for shoes, which needs uncluttering too!

    Scarves and hats are in a small bedside ste of drawers, and waterproofs/winter coats in the downstairs cupboard.

    I have all seasons clothing out all the time. Here in the UK (even Southern England) you never can quite be sure when you’ll have a very cold summer morning, or a warmer than average winter day!

  18. posted by Jude on

    I sold my chests-of-drawers. I have a few built-in drawers in my bedroom. Socks live in two clear containers above my books. Everything else hangs in the closet. I’ve never found a dresser system that I liked. I love the space I created by getting rid of those clunky pieces of furniture.

  19. posted by Rob O. on

    We have a pair of Ikea MALM 6-drawer chests set side-by-side in our master bedroom – a “his n’ hers” arrangement, if you will. We both keep socks in the topmost two half drawers. From there, I keep folded skivvies & undershirts in the second drawer, shorts in the third, and the fourth is for assorted whatnots.

    We’re using Ikea (notice a trend there?) a couple of packs of the KOMPLEMENT storage cubes in assorted sizes to help segregate different color socks and to keep stacks of clothes from getting strewn all around within the drawers.

  20. posted by Rue on

    I don’t think a dresser is really needed. I only have a small two-drawer dresser-type thing in my closet, and I keep socks and underwear in the top, and PJs and shorts in the bottom. Everything else gets hung in the closet. It’s so much simpler than trying to dig t-shirts and the like out of a dresser drawer (especially when the one you want is in the middle of the heap – messes up everything else trying to grab it!), and keeps them from wrinkling on the folds as well.

  21. posted by Kathryn on

    I recently converted our bed into a platform bed sitting on IKEA 1×5 Expedits similar to this one:
    I’ve got 5 of the bins, which I use to store: 1. short-sleeved t-shirts; 2. long-sleeved t-shirts; 3. pants/shorts; 4. socks & unnerwears; and 5. PJs and misc.

    I typically roll t-shirts and pants, but everything else just gets tossed in a bin. It’s great when it comes time to sort laundry–we can just dump the basket on the bed, open up all the bins, and toss-toss-toss. I find that rolling shirts reduces wrinkles and makes it easier to see more of the contents of the drawer at once.

    I also like that I can pull the bins up on the bed if I’m having a hard time finding the exact X that I’m looking for.

  22. posted by Molly on

    I would love a smaller solution than what we have.

    – Our bed has drawers; we store stuff like wrapping paper, ice skates, and my cutting mat (for sewing) in it, plus my husband’s underwear and sock.
    – Closet contains polos, pants, dress shirts, sweaters (folded, in sweater organizer), shoes (hanging shoe organizer), towels (in an elfa shelving unit), and out of season clothes (2 rubbermaids on the top shelves).
    – Dresser 1 contains my bras/underwear in drawer 1, my socks/pjs in drawer 2, my tshirts/shorts/summer non-work clothes in drawer 3, and my husband’s tshirts in drawer 4. Drawers 3 and 4 are quite deep and really good for our piles of tshirts (we’re working on that).
    – Dresser 2 contains my sports bras in drawer 1, my gym clothes and swimsuits in drawer 2, my husband’s shorts in drawer 3, and drawer 4 is currently empty.

    I would love to get down to the closet and the underbed drawers. And maybe 1 dresser. But we are definitely not there yet.

  23. posted by Cathie on

    I don’t have a highly sophisticated system for my own clothes, just underwear and nighties in my top shallow drawer, and everything else in the other drawers. It probably would save a minute or two if I were more organized.
    I do keep my 7y.o. son’s dresser organized, though-he has a tall dresser and can’t reach the top drawer. I put extra sheets, bathing suits, soccer clothes in that drawer, shirts in his next two drawers, shorts and/or pants in the next drawer, underwear and socks in the 2nd from bottom, and pj’s in the bottom. He can change his underwear by himself, and he likes to pick out his pj’s.

  24. posted by Amanda on

    I have a chest of 5 drawers. First: medication, travel accesories, extra contact lenses, batteries, buttons, safety pins. Second: underwear bottoms, socks (hosery, atheletic) bras. Third: Short sleeve tops. Forth: sweaters. Fifth: workout clothes, bathing suits, shorts, too dressy for work tops.

  25. posted by Liz on

    We have an Antonius closet system from Ikea ( with three rods and two 6-drawer frames – two rods up, one rod between the drawer units. One drawer unit is for me, one for my husband. He keeps socks, undies, workout clothes and comfy clothes in his drawers, in a giant mish-mash because that’s easiest for him. My drawers have those pop-up boxes in them for organizing my undies, bras, socks, pjs, sweaters and tank tops. Everything else gets hung up. I hang my shirts by colour on the top rod, and my pants and skirts on my half of the bottom rod. Hubby hangs his tees and dress shirts on the top rod, and his pants and shorts on his half of the bottom rod. The shelf above has his (heavy) rugby shirts (all 10 of them! He’s a bit of a clothes-whore!).

    The whole closet actually just fell off the wall the other day – it decided it was time for a purge πŸ™‚ – so now it is organized and beautiful, as it should be.

  26. posted by Patty on

    @Tyler — Here’s Martha Stewart’s folded t-shirt w/bookend method:

  27. posted by Cameron on

    I use hangers and a closet and threw away my dresser years ago. Socks are in a bag that hangs on a hanger.

  28. posted by Julia on

    I very carefully place newly-laundered clothing in whichever drawer will still close after adding one more item.

    Okay, I’ll admit it needs work.

  29. posted by Jasi on

    I don’t. Everything is hung or folded in my simple closet system. There are two flat drawers for undergarments. Socks are in the downstairs closet in bins beneath the shoes. Easy.

  30. posted by Melissa on

    What do you do with all of your pajamas and running gear? My workout clothes demand at least one full drawer.

    My dresser is organized as follows… one drawer to underwear/undershirts, one to t-shirts/tank tops/sleeveless tops, one to pj’s (I’m always cold so I keep four pairs of flannel pants in my pj drawer year round), one to gym clothes, and one mixed drawer.

    I’m rather busty which has led to two problems 1. bras unfortunately don’t fit in my dresser. They constantly get caught at the top and become ruined from the wood rubbing on the fabric. Needless to say, I’ve had to relocate them…

    2. I need to have a handful of tank-tops that I can wear under my button-down shirts. I try to get basic matching colors so they don’t stand out (white sometimes does, depending on how lightweight the shirt is)… the gap between buttons is never appropriate.

  31. posted by Ceanne on

    I have an old 4 drawer dresser that has a shallow top drawer–I use the top drawer for my undies.

    The next drawer is for pj’s and loungewear.

    Second from the bottom is tank tops/t-shirts/casual shirts, and the bottom is shorts and sweats.

    I don’t know why I chose this way but it seems to work for me. I don’t always go into the bottom and second from bottom drawers but use the top two daily.

    I keep my socks in a basket on the shelf in my closet.

    Not sure if you want this or not, but I keep my closet organized by color–pants on one side and shirts on the other. Having the colors together helps me to get ready more quickly as I dress according to how I feel that day.

  32. posted by Rebecca on

    My husband and I do not share a closet. Our organization aesthetics (and hanger tolerances) are vastly different, and our closets are tiny. My husband has the closet in our bedroom, I have the closet in the guest room. We also have two dressers in the bedroom, in which I get more and better drawers, because when we have houseguests, most of my clothes are in the guests’ bedroom!

    In our bedroom, I keep undergarments, pajamas and socks in the tall dresser, and tank tops/camisoles, bathing suits and cover-ups, and a couple of pairs of jeans in the short dresser. I chose what to keep in the bedroom based on what I need to feel covered, warm, or want the most privacy to change into or out of.

    Seasonally, I don’t swap out socks for seasons, but my husband does (he wears socks every day; I wear them about 6 months out of the year). Our off-season hanging clothes go on garment racks in the basement, due to the small size of our closets.

  33. posted by strawbrryf on

    I ROLL my t-shirts and lay them down. Still stable but exposed.

    Here’s a picture from my blog

  34. posted by Little Q on

    i only have enough clothes to fit in one drawer. pretty simple. i stack like with like within the drawer. okay, i do hang a couple items in the closet: two dresses, two sweaters, one heavy winter coat, one lighter spring/fall jacket, and two scarves (one heavy, one light). i keep my shoes in the closet as well. so, what’s in the other four drawers in the dresser? my husband’s clothes! haha, he’s not as into minimalism as i am. πŸ˜‰

  35. posted by Jenn on

    I would love to use the rolling method, but I find it always leaves my things wrinkled. Suggestions?? Am I just rolling too tight?

  36. posted by Beth on

    I learned long ago that in my world the dresser is where clothes go to die, and I’m way to visual to use it for clothes. My fiance uses the dresser for his stuff, all of my stuff is in the closet. Hanging shelves for underwear, socks, bras and miscelany, sweaters folded on the top shelf and absolutely everything else hung up separated by tops and bottoms, work and weekend.

  37. posted by Erin on

    If it can hang, it likely hangs in the closet, but I still have a long horizontal dresser with 3 columns of drawers. It acts as an extension of our tiny 4′ x 7.5′ bathroom. (That includes the shower.) I use the top surface like most people use bathroom counters – lotions, jewelry organizers, and then a few pictures at the end farthest from the bathroom. A mirror hangs on the wall above the dresser. In the drawers closest to the bathroom, I have things that people would keep in a bathroom cabinet – Top: make-up, hair brush, deodorant, nail care, other small things… Middle: Feminine things. There are a few in the bathroom, but the rest go in the drawer. It’s a really small bathroom. Bottom: hair dryer, pedicure kit, extra loofahs.

    The rest of the dresser holds undies, socks, workout clothes, pjs, swimsuits, and hair accessories that I don’t use often. The depth of the drawers increases as you move down the dresser, so bigger things go on the bottom. There’s no real pattern to it.

  38. posted by Beth on


    My workout clothes are hung up with my casual clothes, and I have a trunk on the floor of the closet for my PJs

  39. posted by mimi on

    I’m wondering what to do with a dresser that has one very deep bottom drawer. It is the depth of at least two top drawers stacked ontop of each otherr. .. id say its about 17inches deep. I don’t want to stack clothes that deeep. What should I do?

  40. posted by sarah on

    @ mimi,
    I believe the deep drawer is not ment for clothes. My nana kept a blanket and pillows in it.

  41. posted by WilliamB on

    I have two dressers some with long drawers, some with small side-by-side. I organize my clothes roughly by weight: undergarments in small drawers, tshirts in the top long drawers & sweats in bottom long drawers. Pants, jeans, work clothes and sweaters are in the closet.

    Putting socks in a drawer near the floor would make sense, since I sit down to put my socks on. Hmmm – I may change things around.

    I like to see everything I have, so my folded clothes are stair-stepped a bit rather than being perfectly stacked, and no drawer is close to full. If I consolidated I could use half the dresser space but since both are built-ins, there’s no reason to do so.

    I organize my closet in a way that helps me tell what I wear and what I don’t. I have four sections: suits, jackets, pants, shirts. After I wear something it goes on the left side of the section. So if something spends most of its time on the right side I know I don’t like it and can give it away.

  42. posted by Vanessa on

    I’ve always sorted my drawers from light on top (socks, underwear, some sleep wear, bras, etc) then the middle drawer is shorts and shirts I may wear around the house, and the bottom was always for junk or my work scrubs which I consider junk πŸ˜›

    The other half is my boyfriends stuff which is haphazardly organized at best. But lately I’ve been thinking about switching things up. There are a lot of clothes in those drawers that I don’t wear so I need to do a thorough sweeping of my drawers. I’m almost positive I can fit the clothes I wear into those drawers. I’m thinking of trying personal on top, shirts in the middle and shorts/pants on the bottom.

    Yay for more closet space!

  43. posted by snorris on

    I purchased 3 of the Sterilite 3 drawer roller carts and put them in the lower section of my closet eliminating the need for a chest of drawers. Top ones hold undies, sock, and pjs. Second row is for lesser used items like sweats, bathing suits, and winter items like gloves/scarves. Bottom is the barely used items. I love the extra space I have now in the very tiny bedroom

  44. posted by Lauren on

    I keep the clothing I wear the most in the drawers on the left side of my dresser because my closet is to the left of my dresser. That way I have a shorter distance between the two areas. I keep stuff I wear every day (undergarments) in the top left drawer and go from there. Works great for me!

  45. posted by *pol on

    What an odd question!

    PJ’s in the drawer by my bed (so I can find them in the dark after my hubby has hit the hay).

    Socks and undies in the shallowest drawer so I can sort and see easily. (But I keep my bras hanging on hooks inside my closet to keep them from being crushed)

    Everything else is in the closet either folded for the shelves or hanging… my husband has taken over the other drawers in the dresser for his undies/socks on top, shirts in the middles and jeans on the lower drawer… so I guess he goes by weight?

    But the only way I can live with an 8 foot closet and simple chest of drawers is the “one in one out” rule. If I want new PJs for Christmas, or another pair of bright, fluffy socks, I have to be prepared to get rid of a like item that I already have. Sometimes that’s very hard to do!

  46. posted by Tabbycat on

    I live in small apartment, we don’t really have room for dresser. There are two closets, my boyfriend has the smaller one and I have the larger one, it was the other way around but we switched after awhile b/c i have more stuff than he does. I have some small plastic drawers that stack. One is for underwear and one is for socks. I have a few others that have some other things in them. I have some built in shelves in the side of my closet so some of my pants are stacked on those and some of the shirts I am not really wearing right now are stacked on higher shelves. I have the same shirts in multiple colors and I have some duplicates so I keep some stashed away till the other wear out, unless I leave town and need them to avoid doing laundry while I’m gone. everything else is hanging up in the closet. I have one of those hanging shoe organizers, i used to roll my pants and stuff them in there, but I decided to change things up and stack them on the shelves a while ago and put my shoes in there, b/c they were always all over the place.

    I’m still working on finding what will work the best for the small space I have. I also have some hooks that I hang my work pants on and whatever work shirt I am wearing when i come home from work. that’s what I wear most days so I like them in easy reach and I don’t want to have to fold them every day or put them on a hanger. I just work at a Target though so my clothes don’t have to be perfectly pressed or totally wrinkle free.

  47. posted by *pol on

    Oh and the super deep drawers I always thought were for bulkier items like sweaters or blankets… ?

  48. posted by lucy1965 on

    I have two large drawers built into the bed platform: I work from home and live in a part of town where “clean, covered and open wounds bandaged” is the order of dress, so I don’t have much in the way of office or formal clothing (and what little I do have resides happily on one bar of a 40″ wide closet).

    One drawer is for workout clothing, underwear and socks, and at the moment all but two pair of socks are in a Space Bag downstairs (average temp is 95F in summer); the other for T-shirts and yoga/sleep pants, all of which are neatly rolled and put in sections separated by plastic dividers.

  49. posted by Alaska on

    I have a fairly small closet, and way too much clothing, so I keep most of it in my bureau!
    The top drawer is 2 small drawers side by side – undies in one, socks in the other.
    Drawer #2 is the deepest, and holds my nice/dressy shirts (except for button-downs, which go in the closet), bras, and swimsuits.
    Drawer #3 is tee-shirts.
    Drawer #4 is dress pants and jeans.
    Drawer #5 is workout clothes, pajamas, and shorts.

  50. posted by Trish on

    My husband and I each have a closet. In my closet I hang everything, with baskets on the top shelf for socks and underwear. I would LOVE to get a nice closet organizer system one day, but this works for now. Our bed linens are also in my closet, on the top shelf.

    In my husband’s closet, he has a sterilite 3-drawer container that hold socks and underwear, and he folds all his pants and arranges them on the top shelf.

    No dressers for us! πŸ™‚

  51. posted by Caroline on

    My top drawer has 3 cd storage sized popup boxes that hold my underwear and socks and a 4th one for seasonal items like gloves or bathing suits that get swapped out and stored elsewhere, plus there’s a torch in the corner for power outages
    2nd drawer holds tshirts and camis
    3rd drawer holds either more tshirts or sweaters depending on season
    4th drawer holds sweaters
    5th drawer holds jeans and yoga pants
    Bedlinen and nightwear live in drawers under the bed
    My closet is a small alcove fitted with a rail and a shelf above, with a basket in the bottom for shoes that I want to replace with something more organised instead of rummaging for a matching pair!

  52. posted by empty on

    I’m another person who doesn’t have a chest of drawers and keeps everything in a closet. Our house is old and thus the closet has a shelf at waist level and two rods, one above and one below. I keep boxes that hold underwear, socks, and workout clothes, on that closet shelf, as well as the few stretchy shirts and sweaters I shouldn’t hang. Pajamas go in my nightstand drawer. Pants and skirts hang on the upper rod, shirts on the lower rod. I have a hook on the closet door (inside) that holds long things like a bathrobe and a couple of dresses.

    Obviously this method is for minimalists. My closet is a reach-in no wider than the door but there’s room for everything, and plenty of unused space as well. I’ve gotten many more compliments on my outfits since I pared down to clothes that fit in the closet, actually. And it’s nice having everything in one place.

  53. posted by Annie H on

    I organize my clothing by weight. I put my light stuff such as underclothing and socks in the top drawer, t-shirts in the 2nd drawer and pants in the 3rd. I’ve never thought of why – it’s the way I was taught to oranize my clothes.

  54. posted by aspires2b on

    The clothes are in my drawers in the order I put them on, although I didn’t realize it until I read your post: underclothes in the top, then t-shirts (folded into thirds to fit the drawer), then jeans/sweatpants, then pajamas. Sadly, the bottom drawer is reserved for my “if only” clothes–if only I were two sizes smaller, if only I had a shirt to match these pants, etc. I haven’t yet mustered the fortitude to completely unclutter my clothes. But the quantity of “if onlys” is much smaller than it used to be πŸ™‚

  55. posted by Menopausal Entrepreneur on

    I have lingerie in the top drawer then shorts in the next one down, followed by workout clothes and socks (mixed but that really doesn’t work!) in the third drawer. The fourth has nice tops and the bottom drawer is for t-shirts which don’t get used as much as the other clothes. I keep my sweaters, sweatshirts and winter accessories in a cedar chest.

  56. posted by Jasmine on

    I have a dresser with seven drawers: three small ones in the top row, and two rows of two larger drawers. In the top row, I put sunglasses, extra make-up, scarves, gloves, and extra buttons and straps. The next row has a drawer for tank-tops and a drawer for lingerie and socks. The bottom row has a drawer for pajama pants and a drawer for shirts and sweatshirts I sleep in. It’s a simple system, but it probably could be organized better.

  57. posted by teamcurtisfamily on

    Heh heh, this is a great discussion. It seems that the personality of the individual would have a huge impact on which way you prefer to “organize” your clothes.

    I laugh because being a Sanguine personality, organizing of clothes is lest important to me, however, my wife being the more detail oriented has a “system” to her madness!

    Great comments posted on this one! πŸ™‚

  58. posted by Kalani on

    I don’t have a dresser either. Socks, underwear, and sundries such as my bathing suit or stockings get put in square baskets that sit on my closet shelf. Everything else gets hung up, with a small stack of items that are easier to shelve, such as jeans and T-shirts.

    The closets in my house are very small, and the combination of this and the anti-dresser system seem to keep my clothes in check.

  59. posted by Laramie on

    I have a huge dresser that I’ve shoved into my walk in closet because my bedroom barely has room for a bed, much less my book shelves and crafting table. The dresser has six drawers with two stacks of three. The upper left drawer is pajamas, upper right is undies and socks, and the middle right is my t-shirts, which I fold the way the navy taught my father to. Folding them the traditional way means they fill about the front two thirds of the drawer with two stacks side by side, and a third stack without a home. The bottom right drawer is for stuff I don’t wear that often, like my silk slips or camisoles. The bottom two drawers on the left just have random junk that I’ve been meaning to go through, but those drawers are a bit hard to get to because of the hanging close in the way.

    The rod, on the other hand, is very nice for me. It’s split into three sections: Jeans, Blouses, and Dress bottoms (skirts and pants). I am very proud to say that I have finally gotten rid of all the wire hangers in my closet. πŸ™‚

  60. posted by Marie on

    Interesting comments!

    We have three dressers and a closet. They all have some sort of categories such as inner layers, tops and bottoms and seasonal clothes.

    My antique dresser has five fairly small drawers. In the top drawer is underclothes: panties, bras and slips, also my pajama tops. Everything is folded or I’d have no space! The next drawer is subdivided, so I use it for socks (athletic, dressy and winter), and hair accessories+scarves. The next three drawers are for short sleeve casual shirts, bulky jeans, leggings and foldable trousers, and finally a catch-all for fuzzy pajamas or warm layers.

    My husband’s dresser is similarly arranged. Five drawers: underwear, undershirts and running shirts in the top, then socks and ties, Tshirts, shorts and god-knows what all, and finally camping or recreational clothing like thermal layers and running shorts.

    We’ve both found that certain shirts (for working out/sleeping) worked best in the top drawer where they would be found easily instead of buried among the general shirts.

    My favorite discovery in folding is that if I fold my husband’s undershirts twice over, I can pack more of them in neatly. I get four stacks of shirts (running/under) plus underwear in one drawer.

    We finally got a third dresser to store bulky winter clothing. We each get two drawers for sweaters and long-sleeved winter shirts. The bottom drawer is for random recreational gear like snow pants, thermal layers and swimming suits.

    Sometimes I arrange mine by color. Right now I’m dividing them into favorites and other to see what I actually use.

    The closet is divided 2/3rds in my favor, but I organize all of it. Like another commentator noted, the formal clothing gets pushed to the edges. From the middle, my husbands third runs: long sleeve shirts, short sleeved shirts, work trousers, jeans, and random suit jackets he hasn’t worn in years. He likes to hang his jeans for some reason. My 2/3rds from the middle runs: belts, cardigans, jackets, lingerie, blouses, dressy trousers, skirts and dance dresses, and dressy dresses and a suit.

    I’ve been experimenting with arranging by sleeve length and color. I like it so far. Every so often, I hang the clothes hooks backwards and turn each one around only when I wear something. It helps me see which clothes I actually wear!

    Oh, and my child’s clothes are crazy, mostly because she is constantly outgrowing things. The dresser we use most frequently runs: diapering gear, pajamas, tops (divided into seasons) and pants. Dresses are hung up. Hanging side pockets hold socks, her current shoes, and wash cloths.

    In the closet, I have several bags and boxes of clothing arranged by size/age for future years, including a box for footgear of all types, and a bag of outerwear (coats, gloves, hats).

  61. posted by home office on

    If you’re really serious about getting your dresser organized, the first step is to start over. Clear out all the drawers in the dresser and place your clothing in roughly organized piles. With everything sorted out, decide what clothes will occupy which drawer.

  62. posted by Marie on

    I also keep a bag from our bedroom door handle for anything to be donated. Any time I notice a clothing item that doesn’t fit/doesn’t work, I put it the bag instead of back in the closet or drawer.

  63. posted by Sue on

    I just removed all of the dressers from my bedroom. I finally realized I don’t like using drawers to store clothing. I hang most of my clothing. Bulky sweaters, workout clothing, pjs, shorts, and tanks went into my drawers. I was always tearing everything out of the drawers because I wanted that one workout tank that had slipped all the way to the bottom and back of the drawer. Very annoying.

    I had long ago removed my socks, underwear, and other little things from the drawers because those drawers became a complete mess. I keep all of that stuff in bins, seperated by type (sport bras, regular bras, underwear, wicking work-out socks, regular socks, outdoor/hiking/speciality socks) on a shelf in my closet.

    I replaced my bedroom set with several Expedit shelves from IKEA. I also bought a few of the drawer inserts, and a lot of the door inserts. The smaller items (tanks, thin workout tops) go well in the tiny drawers. The other items get stacked in the cubbies.

    I’m finding that having my items in a single stack behind a door works a lot better than having stuff in drawers.

    I’m a little amused that I got rid of very nice furniture for something from IKEA, but it looks good and works well.

  64. posted by tay on

    Okay…I haven’t read the reply’s to this post yet, but wanted to say THANK YOU. I’ve been thinking of how to ask this question….It may sound silly but figuring out how and what to store where in the drawers and also in the closet has been my biggest hinderance to staying organized as far as my clothes are concerned. I just won’t put anything away…It’s hillarious really.

  65. posted by chrisbean on

    Oh. I have a serious system.

    Top drawer: work-appropriate pants. I “roll” them, as if packing in a suitcase, so I can see all pairs at once.
    Next drawer (divided): left section, socks; center, undies; right side, bras and bits.
    Next drawer: foldable shirts (mostly work-appropriate, mostly cotton/blends, all sleeve lengths) and thin-knit cotton or cashmere (mostly v-neck) sweaters. I put them folded on-end (like a horizontal bookcase) rather than ontop of each other, so I can see every single thing in the drawer at once. No need for drawer dividers or silly extras. (I always put clean laundry in the front of each row; anything that stays in the back of the drawer too long is out-of-service.)
    Next drawer: bulky sweaters.
    Bottom drawer: jeans and not-for-work pants.

    Dresses, skirts, blouses, cardigans are in the closet.
    T-shirts and pj/workout pants are in storage cube in closet.

  66. posted by Patty on

    When I was younger it was top drawer for small items like underwear, bras and socks. Middle would be shirts and lower would be shorts and pants. I don’t really know why other than it seemed to work for me. Now neither my husband nor I have a dresser. Our house has his and her closets so we hang as much as possible. Above the hanging rods are shelves thus we place folded pants or tshirts on shelves (or a laundry basket on the ground for my husbands folded shirts) and have baskets on the shelves for the smaller under garments and socks. Shoes are on the floor under the hanging clothes.

  67. posted by Kate on

    Great post and so timely for me. Just yesterday I reorganized my dresser because it literally was not functional and FILLED with things I no longer wear, which are now in the donate pile.

    I re-org’d it like this: (top to bottom – 5 drawers)
    1. undergarments, socks, tights (sectioned with shoe boxes)
    2. sleepwear and workout clothes
    3. sleeveless shirts
    4. short sleeved shirts
    5. long sleeved shirts

    Yes, I have a lot of shirts! And I am loving the Martha Stewart bookend solution, which I think will keep my shirts from getting all jumbled up when I’m trying to find something.

    Sweaters and jeans are folded and stacked on a shelf in the closet (separated by those “sweater separaters” you can get at the Container Store). Work pants, skirts and dresses are hung in the closet. Jewelry, etc. is on top of the dresser, in the process of being organized more functionally/prettily.

    Next step: organizing shoes and getting a nightstand that actually has a drawer instead of just an end table.

  68. posted by Allen on

    Wow, it’s been a long time since I have posted.

    I have an antique dresser I inherited (that I should take better care of). The very top drawer is very thin, and it holds orphan socks, my hankies, and my two sleeping pants folded up.

    The drawer below that is divided into three (as designed). The far left has black socks, the far right has white socks, and the middle has my underwear. It is like this, because my boxers/boxer-briefs, when rolled up, fit better into the middle one.

    Below that are my t-shirts.

    Below that (in the deepest of the drawers) are my jeans, my shorts, and swim trunks.

    I think i did it just because of how it would fit into my dresser?

  69. posted by cammy on

    I have a 5 drawer dresser, with the top three drawers hidden behind cabinet doors.

    Top drawer (shallow): Tank tops and camisoles
    Second drawer: T shirts and other knit shirts
    Third drawer: Pajamas and work out clothes
    Fourth drawer: Sweaters
    Fifth drawer: Still more sweaters

    Underwear, bras and socks are in bins on the closet shelf. It’s a small closet with little hanging space, so things I would normally hang have to be folded and put in the dresser. Moving the smaller items, like socks, out of the dresser gave me enough room for the foldable stuff and the closet just fits the hanging clothes.

  70. posted by Mark Harrison on

    Two “half width” drawers at the top, three “full width” drawers below.

    Top left: Pocket squares
    Top right: Socks (four shoe boxes therein, each containing blocks of socks for “different purposes” – work, casual, skiing, etc.)

    Second drawer: Underpants, long-johns on the left (I’m not US based, I live in a climate where these are standard wear for a couple of months each year!)

    Third drawer: T-shirts, plain on the left, patterned in the middle and right.

    Bottom drawer: Jumpers (do you call them that, or would sweaters be a better word?)

    Shirts, Suits, Sports Jackets (I come from an area where these are office atire more than suits), Ties, and Trousers all hang…

  71. posted by Leigh Ann on

    I only use a dresser for socks and underwear. I used to sort them socks in one drawer, and underwear in another, but not anymore – all goes in the same drawer. Everything else gets hung up – even sleepwear, shorts, scarves, etc. This works better for me, I can see everything I have – if it’s in a drawer I tend to forget I have it. Luckily I have plenty of closet space.

  72. posted by Kate on

    I’ve just recently acquired and organized a dresser for myself. I used to have one drawer in a dresser I shared with my husband, and/or I would use plastic containers on shelves.

    I have to share the one interesting part of my (personally ingenious) idea for organizing it, because it’s at the back of my narrow closet: I put my pajamas in the bottom drawer, which only clears the floor by about an inch. The reason for this is that I have to be organized enough that the drawer opens everyday so I can access my pajamas, keeping the floor clear of (most) clutter. So far, so good! And that’s big progress for me!

  73. posted by gypsy packer on

    Keep it all in the closet and use a single-drawer vintage washstand with bottom cabinet, for electronics storage.
    Drawers stick, mildew, slip their tracks, aggravate.

  74. posted by Tabitha on

    I ONLY store socks, sleep wear, undergarments and jogging clothes in drawers. All other folded items I keep on closet shelving – I’ll completely forget what jeans or t-shirts I own, especially if they are in drawers (I’m a very visual person). I agree with some of the other comments on deep drawers – I can’t keep clothes in them; I mainly use them for boxes of photos and extra sheets (things I don’t look at often).

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