In this before and after, my client who frequently hosts parties and playdates needed help organizing a large armoire with 12 drawers. Over the years these drawers have been filled with things from party napkins, to batteries, to candles and coloring books. It’s a beautiful piece of furniture that became the ultimate junk drawers.
One of the goals of this project was to create personal drawers for her 2 kids to keep their homework and school supplies organized. We also wanted to make sure every drawer clearly defines what belongs inside.
BEFORE: Armoire with drawers
Facing the armoire was a long dining table. We started the process by clearing the table to create a workspace. Then we emptied out drawer after drawer and placed each item on the table by category (Office supplies, tools, party supplies etc.) My client told me after 20 minutes that if I wasn’t there she would have stopped already. This reaction is normal and expected since drawers like these are the most difficult to sort through. You are making thousands of decisions for items you’ve ignored for a long time. And very often you will find multiples of the same thing because when things get lost under the pile, you end up purchasing a new one. These 12 drawers and 4 shelves took 5 hours to declutter. Let’s take a closer look at some of these drawers.
I want to point out that we did not purchase any small containers for the interior organization. My client had a big collection of holiday and thank you cards, so I used those boxes and lids to create these “bento boxes” to create divisions.
The plastic containers that hold the craft paint were once food containers. My client had a stack of them ready to be recycled, but I suggested we use them inside these drawers. What amazes me with my work is that almost every client’s home already has containers that work. Ziplock bags are also great for holding markers and paint brushes.
We all have various charging cables and plug that ends up all around the house. Here, we gathered the cables and wrapped them with rubber bands. Another box holds all the plugs. Keeping with the charging theme is batteries. The same type of batteries goes int he same ziplock bag so there’s no need to label them.
My client likes to hang pictures on their walls, so we kept the hammers handy next to the picture hanging supplies.
My client enjoys entertaining. We placed together everything she needs for hosting a dinner party with candlelight. Ther are the special serving utensils in one drawer, cloth and printed paper napkins in another. By having drawers like these, she can ask other family members to help set the table while she’s cooking, and they won’t need to ask where anything is.
Originally these greeting cards were all in separate boxes or piled up in different drawers. I sorted them by holiday, separated the envelopes and filed them by size. Then finally, I used a label maker, and a few of the tallest envelopes to create dividers for each holiday category. This filing system will make it very easy for her to find what she’s looking for. And all those boxes and lids were put to good use as shallow containers for the other drawers!
This drawer is for my client’s daughter. The empty space is for her school notebook and folder. She has a tray for her pencils, sharpener, and erasers. The drawer also holds her kindle, calendar book, and a container of hair products used each morning to get ready for school.
Her brother has the same set up with his things. These drawers are side by side and labeled with their name. Their mom told me they loved their drawers so much they were showing them off to their friends. : )
Since organizing these drawers, the whole family has been enjoying easy access to what they need. They feel lighter overall knowing that each drawer is neat and has a purpose. They feel less stressed getting ready in the morning and during homework time.
Do you have drawers like the before photo? I hope the tips shared here can help you declutter. If you get stuck, I’d be happy to help.