Today's mission is to get rid of your dresser drawer clutter, by decluttering excess clothing within those drawers.
Yesterday we focused on decluttering the top of your dresser, so today is the day to dig into the contents of the drawers themselves and keep only the clothing that you like or need, and that you have room for.
This mission is designed to be done while working on the Bedroom Organization Challenge here on the site, which is one of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges. That's because often a dresser is found within your bedroom, and not inside your closet itself, even though it holds clothing. But of course, you can also do this mission whenever you need to within your home.
Please note that you will need to do this mission for each dresser that you have in your home, including for yourself and for kids, and we'll talk more about kids' dressers below, in the next section.
I've designated dates on the declutter calendar for you to do the kids' dressers as you work on their closets and bedrooms later in the Organized Home Challenge, so don't feel like you have to do those now, but instead first focus on your own folded clothing within your dresser drawers.
How To Know If You Need To Declutter Your Dressers
Dressers and wardrobes are two of the main ways we store our clothing that is folded, and not hung up in our closets. But anytime you have clothes in drawers it is easy for them to get crammed in there and jumbled up, especially if you have more inside the drawers than really fits.
In fact, I'd say the main reason to declutter your dresser drawers is to make the process of opening and closing these drawers easier for you.
Here's a great way to figure out if you've got too many clothes in your clothing drawers -- if you dread putting away clean laundry.
There can be other reasons you dislike putting away clothing beside cluttered clothing drawers, but I guarantee that if your drawers are cluttered that you'll absolutely detest putting stuff away inside them because it is soooo much more effort than it otherwise should be to get it done.
Once you've taken the time to remove the excess, and have plenty of room inside the drawers though, the whole process of putting away laundry becomes a breeze. It really will make that task easier, as well as making getting ready in the morning each day easier as well, since it will be easier to find the clothes you do want to wear.
How To Tackle Decluttering Your Clothing Drawers
My suggestion for decluttering dressers is simple: focus on only one drawer at a time.
Since typically drawers are relatively small spaces you can remove everything from one drawer and then evaluate each item and decide if it earns its spot back inside the drawer.
Once you've done the first pass, and decluttered clothing from all of your drawers, one drawer at a time, it's time to sort your clothing and put like items with like, making sure all your socks are in one drawer, and shirts in another, as opposed to located in multiple drawers.
This quick sorting will help you see how many of different varieties of clothing items you actually have, and may allow you to do another round of purging, getting rid of more t-shirts for example, once you see all of them combined together.
The other part of decluttering dressers that you need to keep in mind is that you've got to keep decluttering until you either have space for everything you're keeping, without everything being crammed in there, or you've got to find a new place to store some of that clothing you do want to keep but that won't fit easily inside the dresser drawers.
Making sure you only keep what you have room for is an important part of the process, so think of your dresser as a large storage container that limits what you can keep based on its storage size.
Keep sifting through the clothes you believe you're keeping until everything fits, which means you might make a couple of decluttering passes through the clothes stored in your dresser.
Additional Instructions When Decluttering Kids' Clothing Drawers
In general the instructions for decluttering dresser drawers is the same for both adults and kids.
You can declutter your kids' dressers when we're working through the Kids' Closet Organizing Challenge or Kids' Bedroom Organizing Challenge here on the site, both of which are also part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge. (If your kids are older, make sure they help with the decluttering process, to learn this life skill and also to begin being responsible for their own stuff.)
However, when you are decluttering kids clothes from their clothing drawers you should keep in mind that it's important to do this task more regularly than you do for yourself. I suggest twice a year around the time the seasons change, such as back to school time, in the early fall, as well as during the spring.
The reason for this is that unlike for adults, kids are constantly growing, which means their clothing becomes too small for them more frequently.
If you find yourself getting frustrated each morning, or evening, as you're helping your kids get ready for school or for bed, because they're not able to find the clothes that fit, it's almost a sure sign you need to clean out the dresser drawers.
All those clothes that are too small are taking up precious room in the drawers and making the process of getting ready take sooooo much longer than it should, for everyone, since everyone has to move them around to find the stuff that does fit.
If you do a quick decluttering session at the beginning of each major season change, both warm and cool, it can help you every single day to make the process of dressing much easier and less of a hassle.
Top image courtesy of a reader, Holly, and second image courtesy of another reader, Xahra
How You Fold Clothes In Your Dresser Drawers Can Make A Big Impact
Finally, I want you to consider how you fold your clothes in your dresser drawers as you work on decluttering and organizing the contents of them.
I didn't always realize this, but how we fold and place the clothes in the drawers makes a big impact on how much we can fit in there, and also how easily the organizational system either stays in place or gets messed up quickly.
You can see from the pictures above that folding your clothes in a specific way can make a big impact. The first photo in the collage is from a reader, Amber, who used the folding technique I'll link to below in her own drawers. Folding that way, plus a bit of decluttering, and see how she has so much more room left now?
Similarly, the second photo is from another reader, Holly, who uses the folding technique, plus an organizational tip, to help her kids keep their clothes more organized and in better rotation. She explained, "I have three kids and I do all of their drawers like this. I pair 1 top with 1 bottom and so on and then line them up on their sides. In the morning we pull out the outfit furthest to the right and then as I wash clothes I put them away furthest to the left. This way everything gets worn, instead of the same few outfits getting picked over and over."
I love this idea, and I wanted to share it because I thought you might too! Thanks for telling me about it Holly.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!