It’s never to early to teach your children how to get organized. Save your sanity by using this Organize DIY drawer organizing project to teach your children the organizing skills they need to get and stay organized in the future. 

This drawer project is one for the entire family.  We all need to be able to find our clothes quickly and easily. 

When did putting away the laundry turn into a battle of wills?

For the last year, my husband has complained about cluttered condition of my sock drawer. We have an ongoing debate over the number and types of socks that I retain in, as he likes to call it, my “sock inventory”.

Why does this matter you may wonder? Well after almost 20+ years of marriage, I am one of the lucky ones who’s hubby will help put away the laundry. Yeah! I’ve come to realize anything I can do to encourage his help is worth the effort.

I’m not the only one in our home with drawer disorganization syndrome. My daughter’s in the same boat. As a toddler, my Mattie was strong willed (a great trait for a grown up, but a little tricky when dealing with someone under 5), and then she emerged into a very determined grade schooler with her own opinions and organizing methods.

Drawer Organizing Project Before Picture

My daughter and I have somewhat opposite organizing personas (find out your organizing persona here) and she has developed definite opinions of how her room should be organized. Needless to say, those opinions do not always match my own. I am sure this is striking a cord with many of you, so let me tell you how I helped our situation. Then you can decide if this may be a project you’d like to try.

Drawer Organizing Photo - Before Photo
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Project Summary

Children’s Drawer Makeover

Experience:

Project Time:

Cost:

Supplies:

Preparation:   

Special Skills or Tools:

Beginner

30 minutes once you have supplies

Low to Medium

Drawer Dividers, Bins or Boxes

Purchase the drawer dividers and read the installation instruction

No tools needed to install the drawer dividers. Label machine to create labels.

Experience:      Beginner

Project Time:   30 minutes once you have supplies

Cost:                 Low to Medium

Supplies:          Drawer Dividers, Bins or Boxes

Preparation:     Purchase the drawer dividers and read the installation instruction

Special Skills or Tools:  No tools needed to install the drawer dividers. Label machine to create labels.

Once I realized how stressful and contentious the topic of drawer organizing had become, I decided to proactively set us all up for success. Before installing organizing solutions into the drawers, my daughter’s preferred method of searching for items was to pull everything out of the drawer, throw it on the floor, and leave it there “for someone” to pick up later. You know who that someone ends up being?  She can hold out much longer than I can.

Using the steps below, I organized several of drawers in our home. The biggest visual change was in my daughter’s room. Since the installation of this quick drawer organizing solution, my daughter and I have reached a mutual understanding on how she will manage her clothes and her room.

Organizing clutter with children

Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We 

agreed

on these

guidelines

  • Clothing items belong in drawers and not on the floor.

  • She can now “help” me with putting away the laundry, because we have established a labeling system that we agree on.

  • She was about to decide on the label text and to stick them in her drawers. This helped her have “buy in” on this project.

  • We decided, together, which drawer would house which type of clothing. She is more willing to comply with “mommy’s methods” since she helped to organize “her” space.

  • I won’t lie and say we don’t have bumps in the road from time to time.  But overall, even my husband agrees, that this set up is better.

Easy Steps to Organize a Drawer:

1.  Find the drawer that you avoid the most. My example is from my daughter’s room. The older she gets, the more I seem to avoid her room.

2.  Remove all items from the drawer.

3.  Sort items into categories: Sort Categories could include keep, donate, trash, wrong size, give away to others, and off season.

Go PRO Tip: Storing off seasonal clothing

I suggest housing off season clothing in bins in another location other than where your active clothing is stored (unless you have tons of unused drawer / closet space). Dividing your seasonal clothes, will free up much needed drawer space and help eliminate those frustratig discussions with your child – such as “Why can’t wear shorts in the snow?”  

Label the bins with category names (winter pants, summer bathing suites), description, and the range of sizes in the bin.

4.  Take action on the categories: Once you’ve sorted your items into categories, categories, take action on each.

Throw away the trash. Give away the donate items and move out the stuff that belongs to someone else or in another room.  Use a sticky note to remind yourself what action step to take with each pile.  This also helps other people know what you need them to help with.

For all the “keep” items, put them aside for now. You will work with those items in a few minutes.

Go Pro Tip:  Donate – your trash is another person’s treasure!

Here’s a Checklist of possible donation facilities in your area. 

Children's Drawer Organizing Project - After Photo

5. Create groups from your “keep” items. For example: pants, tops, socks, or pajamas

6.  Evaluate how much space you will need.  Measure the available space and compare that to how much real estate you need to house your Keep items.  This will help you decide if you will use one drawer per item type or if you will need to have multiple types of items in each drawer.

7. Decide how to divide that space. If you have more than one type of item in a drawer, divide it so that the groupings won’t bleed into each other.

I used Axis Spring Tension Mega Expandable Drawer Dividers, because I wanted a sturdy divider that my daughter couldn’t easily pull out.  I also wanted a color that complimented the room decor. There are many drawer divider choices in all price ranges. Check out our Amazon store for suggestions.

Shop the Organize DIY Amazon Store

For Supplies & Tools

8. Purchase and install your drawer dividers. Most are spring loaded and you simply squeeze the ends together and insert into the drawer. Once in the appropriate area, release your hold. Watch those fingers!

9. Decide which items work together and fold / stack items in the drawer. For example: sock and underwear, pants and leggings, play clothes sets (stacked by outfit for easy “do it myself” dressing).

Children's Organizing Project After Picture

10. Labeling the drawer area. My daughter was 4 when we first added labels to her drawers. Now at 7, she is still likes having them. In addition, drawers with labels help other family members (aka my husband) know where to store different types of clothing when he is putting away the laundry.  No more piles left for mommy, because “We don’t know where things go.”

If your children are younger, consider a laminated label including a picture of the clothing type along with the words. This will give you another opportunity for learning.

11. Evaluate your results: It’s important to periodically evaluate your organized drawers for needed changes.

Organizing is an ongoing fluid process. One method doesn’t fit all projects, all the time. So I suggest you pick a time frame to review your project to see if its still effective.

Make a date with yourself to review your drawer project during the change of the season. Write this date in your calendar so that you remember.

Organize DIY Organizing Children's Drawer Project

Last Thoughts…

Room to grow.  Give yourself extra space in your drawer to expand. I suggest building in 10% -15% of empty space for new clothes and for the ‘balled up clothing factor’. My daughter tends to ball up rather than fold her clothes. I built in extra room in each drawer so that she could at least shut them.  I figure, if you can’t change them, then make allowances to save yourself from going crazy when you walk in their room.

As they grow, so do their clothing. Every couple of years, you will want to step through this entire process again to see if there are any changes to your drawer layout.  This is especially true when organizing drawers for your children.  You will need to make room and rearrange items as the sizes increase.

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