Make your own DIY drawer dividers to organize little things in your drawers... like office supplies and crafts!
Today I want to show you how to sort and organize your drawers! Especially how do you organize those drawers that you have full of little things that are all messed up! Like your junk drawer or your craft drawer!
For example, here's one of my drawers with some stuff in it. This is a big mess and it's really hard to find things in it! And messy drawers like this seem to get worse over time if left unchecked. But do not worry! Organizing drawers doesn't have to be a challenge. Follow my simple four-step PACT system and you'll have a clean, tidy drawer in no time. PACT stands for Purge, Evaluate, Contain and Label. FEDERATION.
The first step to tidying is emptying, so empty the drawer completely. Remove all items and spread them out over a large work surface. This gives you the ability to assess what you need and what you don't, so you can sort your items more efficiently.
Once all your items are out of the drawer, it's time to evaluate and categorize them. You might have a category for tools, another for materials, and another for little things like tape or glue sticks that don't fit anywhere else. As you sort each item, ask yourself if it's important or if it can be thrown away or donated. If it's something you don't use regularly, try to find another home for it or eliminate it altogether.
I find it helpful to have a box and trash can nearby while I work on sorting. Everything that can be donated or donated goes in the box. Everything that needs to be thrown away goes in the garbage bag or the trash can.
That way, you should only have the things that belong in your drawer!
After sorting everything into categories, it's time to STORE everything, that is, putting it back in the drawer in containers by type or size. If necessary, use smaller boxes and dividers to keep items separate and easily accessible. This will help prevent clutter from piling up in the future, keeping everything organized right from the start. I find this part the most challenging, so I have four ideas for how you can include little things like this. I will share them right away.
And the fourth step is to mark everything. Labeling each box or section makes it easier to find supplies next time, and also reminds you which items go where in case they get mixed up again in the future. Use labels that clearly state what each container contains, so there's no confusion later when looking for something specific. If your drawer is only one type, it's okay to label the entire drawer and not the individual boxes. Since this drawer is full of children's crafts, I'll just refer to them as "children's crafts".
So this is my PACT system and it always works great. just right? So let's talk about the step that most people have the hardest time with: containing everything. Here are five ways to contain it all.
First, you can buy ready-made drawer dividers, like these SpaceAid Bamboo Drawer Dividers. They're great because they're adjustable and stretchable with built-in tension rods hidden in the divider. And they are also very resistant. These bamboo drawer dividers also come with organizer labels so you can label everything. You can see the link to these drawer dividers at diy jennifermaker drawer dividers dot com slash. The biggest downside to these drawer dividers is the space they take up - they're quite thick. Also, they don't fit exactly and you end up with an empty space. However, I really like how you can place the dividers in different slots to customize the space to your needs.
Second, you can buy small plastic containers like this one, which are perfect for small things. I found them on Amazon - see diy drawer dividers jennifermaker dot com slash for details. These are easy to use - just place them in your drawer wherever you need them. I also really like these because they aren't very tall, so they fit perfectly in smaller drawers like this drawer, it's from the Alex chest of drawers from IKEA, of which I have a lot. The biggest downside to using small plastic containers like this is that, like our solution above, they often don't fit exactly and you end up with empty spaces. But with containers like this, it's an even bigger problem. This may or may not work for you; Of course it depends on your needs. If you're buying small plastic containers, be sure to measure the height of your drawer before you go so you don't end up with one that's too tall to fit.
Thirdly, you can make your own small containers or boxes and place them in your drawers so you don't have the problem of empty space. These boxes with embedded labels are cut, folded and glued from plain cardboard. You can make them in five different shapes: small squares, large squares, small rectangles, large rectangles and long rectangles. And you can also resize to fit your drawers. At jennifermaker.com/156 I have a complete tutorial on how to do this, as well as free patterns and files - you can even make them on a cutting machine! They are easy and fun.
Fourth, you can make your own drawer dividers! I recommend that you make partitions from kraft cardboard or even chipboard; However, I don't recommend regular cardboard as it is a little fragile. The best part about making your own is that you can adjust them to fit your drawer size. Let me show you how I made the dividers for this drawer.
First, measure the length, width, and depth of your drawer. You need all three measurements to get a good fit.
Next we need to create strips to match our drawer. I find them the easiest to sort and cut on a Cricut cutting machine, so let me show you how to do that quickly. I actually made some drawer dividers for you! You can find them for free at jennifermaker dot com slash 494: just click Libraries in the red bar at the top, click Get Password to get a free password if you don't already have one, or click Join Library and have a look . go to page 494 and click on it to download it.
First, open Cricut Design Space and create a new project. Upload the SVG to the file I provided. If you're not sure how to do this, see jennifermaker dot com slash svgs for step-by-step instructions on how to unzip and load SVG files. After loading, you will see three objects that look like this. These strips are the current size for the shorter, narrower IKEA Alex drawer, which looks like this one. To customize the size of these for your drawer, you can either resize the strips to your drawer dimensions, or simply cut and glue several to make them long enough, then use scissors to trim them slightly to fit your drawer. drawer.
Let me show you how to cut and assemble the ones I already made. Since these strips are just the right size for my drawers, our next step is to fold them so they are just enough to fill the drawer. That means having six strips across the width of the drawer, those are the strips with the tabs sticking out at the top. And then we need four strips that go the length of the drawer, these strips come in two pieces with the stars on the ends, we're going to join them together before inserting in the drawer. Everything is sized to fit a Cricut rug at this point - if you resize any of your strips, remember that they will fit your rug. If not, I recommend cutting additional strips and gluing them together later.
To duplicate a track, first ungroup it, select a track and click Duplicate. So we're folding it until we have six strips wide and four sets of strips long. When we're done, we'll have 12 objects on our canvas.
Now just select your Cricut; You can use any Cricut to cut kraft card stock, including Cricut Joy. Then click Do and click Continue. Now select your material: I'm using kraft cardstock, so I'll click on search all materials and use a K to search for 'kraft'. Select it and add more pressure for a cleaner cut.
I use Cricut White Kraft Board which is perfect for this project. I just lay a sheet on my mat, use a brayer to stick it well and load it into my Cricut, then press the flashing button to start cutting.
When cutting is complete, turn the mat over on the work surface to release the kraft paperboard without bending or tearing.
When you're done, you'll have these parts. Your first task is to assemble all the parts that need to be assembled. With this set I cut, I just have to assemble my long strips. To make it easier to see where to connect them, I put stars in the bottom corners where they connect. Just match the stars, there's only one way to match them and stick them together. This is how they look when they are all together.
Now let's open our empty drawer. I like to lay some pretty cardboard on the floor before adding my drawer dividers; You can cut it with a paper cutter or scissors. Now put all your long strips in the drawer; I recommend positioning them so that the end with the groove closest to the east end faces the rear. This places the small compartments near the front of the drawer and the larger ones near the back, which I think is the best way to access different sized compartments.
Now take a shorter strip and place it on top of the strips. I recommend that you place the front strip first, then the back strip, and fill in the remaining strips.
After placing the drawer dividers, decide if you are happy with them. If you want stronger splitters, you have two options. Cut another set of strips and fold them all in, this will make your dividers stronger. Alternatively, you can shorten and glue the corner brackets. I've also provided a pattern for corner brackets in the file I'm sharing at jennifermaker.com/diy-drawer-dividers. These are simple strips that you can cut, fold, and glue to the corners where the dividers meet to make them stronger and more tightly connected.
And that is! Now put all your items back in the drawer; Make sure only items that belong there go there. And now you can write the contents of each compartment in the tabs above. I highly recommend you do this because a labeled compartment is less likely to contain things that don't belong in the drawer AND it's easier to put things back where they belong... which means you'll find them easier later.
If you like something a little different, label printers are relatively inexpensive tools that make labels super neat and easy to read. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, from standard label printers that print sticky lettering onto strips of paper to advanced models with computerized printing capabilities. I have several types that I like to use, and I also like to use my Cricut to make fancier paper and vinyl labels. I have lots of tutorials on how to make labels - from self-adhesive vinyl and sticky labels to printed and cut-out stickers and stock labels! You can find them all over jennifer maker dot com. But no matter what type of label printer you choose, using labels for storage organization, accessibility, and identification makes everything a lot easier and more fun.
Remember, if you want to make any of the exact designs I've used, I'm providing them completely free of charge! To get them go to jennifermaker dot com slash DIY Drawer Dividers - this also has links to the exact tools and materials I used to make everything I've shown you today, including the finished dividers and boxes I've shown you earlier - even makers of hang tags! which I like and recommend! There I also linked all the tutorials for my DIY drawer chests and other lettering projects.
Well, if you're struggling with the MOTIVATION to work on decluttering and organizing your drawers, I understand. I really do. I'm not always motivated to clean and tidy; In fact, I'm rare! This is the absolute truth!
So I'm with you on the battle bus. Here's what I recommend: First, set some goals and rewards. Decide what kind of result you want and then set a timeline for yourself. For example, if your goal is to get your drawers in order by the end of this week, break it down into smaller tasks that are easier to complete in that time frame. Let's say one drawer a day. Then reward yourself when you hit each milestone! This will help keep things manageable and give you something to look forward to.
Once you've defined your goals and rewards, it's time to create a schedule. Make time for cleaning every day (or every week). Knowing exactly when to start the task can help you avoid delays and add structure to your plan. Set reminders for yourself so you don't forget or reschedule your organization's meetings. It helps if those reminders come from outside sources like family or friends who can hold you accountable! Or share your goals and progress with a group of people who are on the same journey as you:
I also recommend that you focus on one drawer at a time. Especially when motivation is low, it can be tempting to want to tackle everything at once just to "get it over with", but this can quickly lead to burnout or even discouragement if things don't go fast enough. Or you could end up with everything out of your drawers and no motivation to keep going, meaning you've just made yourself a bigger mess. Instead, focus on one area at a time until it is completely neat and organized before moving on to another area. You can always move something from one drawer to another if you later decide it belongs somewhere else. But if you take on too soon, the task will seem more daunting than it really is!
I know tidying up can be a daunting task, but with these tips, my easy steps and practical solutions, I hope I've motivated you to take on the challenge step by step! Set goals, rewards and schedules and take small steps to get organized. You'll feel accomplished and ready for whatever comes next!
And if you're getting a Cricut cutting machine to organize or decorate, or already have one you need to master, I encourage you to set it up and learn from ME in a free mini-course I call Cricut Kickoff. It's a fun, friendly way to get to grips with your Cricut. I'll walk you through everything from unpacking, setting up, and making your first cut to understanding all the tools and materials you need, as well as those you don't. Then I'll show you the Cricut Design Space so you can feel comfortable using it. I do this for all Cricut mower models and all devices: desktop, laptop, iPhone, iPad, and Android. And it's all free. Sign up at cricutkickoff.com today
And if craft organization is your biggest struggle, be sure to check out my 30-day craft room organization workbook to see everything you need to do to get clean, tidy, and organized in 30 days. For more details visit jennifermaker.com/craftworkbook - over 15,000 crafters own this workbook and use it to successfully organize their stuff!
And that's all for today! Hope you found this drawer organizer useful and feel motivated to break through your clutter! If yes, share your photos with me. I love to see what you do!
Until next time, Jennifer Maker is reminding you to create a life you love!