Organizing dresser drawers

Last week was Intimate Apparel Week in the United States, and I want to acknowledge the event with something that’s intensely personal: your dresser drawers.

I’m a 45-year-old man but I still organize my clothes according to how I was taught as a child. There’s really no logic in place, like perhaps frequently-worn items in the top drawers, etc. Yet to me, it makes perfect sense. In fact, this system is so deeply ingrained that I can’t even entertain the idea of doing it any other way. Here’s how I organize my dresser drawers. I’d love to know what your method is.

In the top drawer I place sleepwear, socks and underwear. There’s no question about the very top drawer. It has been and forever shall be “the pajamas, socks, and underwear drawer.” I roll up each of these items like a burrito to maximize space used.

The second drawer is for t-shirts and only t-shirts. I have a lot of t-shirts, so many in fact, that my wife has issued several temporary buying freezes. I fold t-shirts in thirds lengthwise (arms and sides together) and then in half and in half again. This way I can fit several into a single drawer.

I only store short-sleeved shirts this way. Long-sleeved shirts are hung on hangers, as are my button-down shirts. I’ll admit that sweaters kind of exist in a no-man’s land for me. You can’t hang them as the hangers produce ugly “bumps” in the shoulders, and they’re too bulky to store in drawers. During sweater season, I usually place them on top of the dresser.

Drawer three is for jeans or shorts, depending on the season. Again, they’re folded up nice and small for efficient use of space. Finally, the last drawer is for what I call “dress pants.” I almost never go in this drawer (I can wear jeans to work), unless there’s a wedding, funeral or job interview I must attend.

Tangential items like belts and hats hang on nearby hooks.

Like I said, there’s no rhyme or reason here. I spend a lot of time organizing, uncluttering and making my systems work efficiently. But here’s an example of something that comes down to “…because I said so, that’s why.” It works for me, so why fix it?

Do you have a system for dresser drawers? Speak up.

7 Comments for “Organizing dresser drawers”

  1. posted by Sandra on

    Like you, I fold t-shirts in thirds lengthwise, but then I roll them starting at the neck. Those neat little rolls sit nicely on a shelf in the closet. I have a husband who just can’t operate the washer and dryer…LOL, nor is he able to fold anything. He’s great at hanging everything on hangers though, and he loves to vacuum!!!

  2. posted by laura ann on

    I hang all our dress pants on pants hangers (100% polyester pants) along with several “dress outfits”, tee’s go in drawers and we have same type set up as you. I would suggest getting a tote with a lid and put sweaters in it with several dryer sheets to keep bugs out. We live in the deep south and we don’t own sweaters, only several light jackets and rain wear. I do clothing purges twice a year end of summer and end of winter of items not worn that season.

  3. posted by Pat on

    I have a trouser trolley, and I love it! This is a rolling rack that slides under my shirts. It is basically a frame with wooden bars that run crosswise and hook on the ends. I hand my jeans, my casual pants and my dress pants on the bars. Want a pair of pants? Just slide the trolley out from under the shirts and lift off the pants, bar and all. Roll the trolley back in and the closet is nice and neat. My husband had bought one for himself and one for an aunt of his. (Sorry, I don’t remember where he got it.) When the aunt died, I claimed the trolley.

  4. posted by Jeannette on

    My dresser also has three drawers.
    Top drawer: underwear
    Middle drawer: long-sleeved t-shirts (I live in Maine, so they’re often needed year-round)
    Bottom drawer: turtlenecks and long underwear in winter; short-sleeved t-shirts in summer
    Jeans and sweaters are folded and live on shelves in the closet
    Socks also live in the closet, in a hanging shoe organizer (meant for the door, but I hung it on the wall).
    Fancy slacks, buttoned shirts, and skirts, etc., hang on hangers.

  5. posted by G. on

    On hangers – Jackets, button front shirts and dress pants
    Drawers – Underwear, socks, knit tops
    Closet shelves – Tshirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, jeans, shorts, and handbags
    Closet hooks – scarves & belts
    shoes I don’t wear often are in a shoe shelf on the closet floor.

    When we built the house, I spent a good amount on wire closet storage systems. I have much more shelving than hanging space in all closets except the coat closet. One of the best purchases made for the house, IMHO!

  6. posted by SkiptheBS on

    I hate drawers because they try to stick if they can get away with. I do have one for rolled socks and the rarely worn pantyhose. Like Sandra, I roll work T shirts, shorts, and sweats and shelve them. Casual Ts are hung on velveteen hangers with “good” clothes. I use a men’s multi-peg tie hanger to hang panties and save space. Finally, I have two hanging jewelry cases devoted to small electronics, computer tool cases, chargers, and cords, meaning no junk drawer. When everything goes to USB-C, I’ll eliminate one. Jewelry goes elsewhere.

  7. posted by Kate on

    Dude – KonMarie all the way! Plus I use separators inside drawers so my undies and socks won’t mix.
    Also I always keep top drawer for stuff that I already had once on me but they can be used again (like pajama, clothes for walking around the house that I currently use).

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