As our children grow and mature, they take on little personalities of their own. In our household, we have one child, my daughter, who has recently turned four. Over time, she has begun to develop her own “organizing persona” and during that process has developed definite opinions of how her room should be organized. Needless to say, those opinions do not always match my own.
Putting away the laundry has morphed into a battle of the wills. Once I realized how stressful and contentious the topic of drawer organizing had become, I decided to proactively set both of us up for success.
With this quick and easy drawer organizing project, my daughter and I have reached a mutual understanding on the following items:
- where clothing items belong
- that she can now “help” me with putting away the laundry, because we have established a labeling system that we agree on
- she is more willing to comply with “mommy’s methods” now that we both decided together how to organizing “her” space
Project Timeline: This organizing project will take about 30 not including the time to buy supplies.
Easy Steps to Organize a Drawer
1. Find the drawer that you avoid the most. My example is from my daughter’s room.
2. Remove all items from the drawer
3. Sort items into categories: for example keep, donate, trash, wrong size, give away to others, off-season
4. Take action on the categories: Once you’ve established categories, decide your next action step on each. Make note on a piece of paper (yes, actually write it down so that you will feel compelled to take the step). For all the “keep” items, put them aside for now. You will work with those items in a few minutes.
Action steps may include – Find a donation facility in your area, throw away any items damaged or stained beyond repair, find another home for items of the wrong size and so on. Once you’ve decided your next step, grab your calendar and plan time to take those steps.
Side note: Divide seasonal clothing. I suggest housing off-season clothing in bins in another place. This will free up much-needed drawer space and help reduce those “discussions” about why you can’t wear shorts in the snow.
6. Create groups from your “keep” items. For example: pants, tops, socks, pajamas
7. Evaluate how much space you will need and how to divide that space. I used expandable drawer dividers. I choose a more expensive item that was sturdy and had the look that complimented the room decor. There are many drawer divider choices in all price ranges.
8. Purchase and install your drawer dividers. I prefer the spring-loaded dividers. To install, you simply squeeze the ends together and insert into the drawer. Once in the proper 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).
10. Labeling the drawer area is an option depending on the age of the child. My daughter is 4 and learning letters and words. This gave us another opportunity for learning. In addition, label’s helped other family members (aka my husband) a map of where to store different types of clothing.
11. Evaluate your results: For ongoing organizational success, it’s important to periodically evaluate your drawers for needed changes. Organizing is an ongoing fluid process. One method doesn’t fit all projects so pick a time frame to review your project and then make a date with yourself to do the work. I always suggest to my clients to write the date in your calendar. You are more apt to remember if you make a calendar “date” with yourself. A great time to review your drawers is during seasonal change overs. I typically will step through this entire process again and make changes.