How to Maximize the Storage Potential of Every Drawer in Your Home
Keeping all of the drawers in your home organized with the essentials you rely on each day is a must. In fact, it's an open-and-shut case: When you make these sliding storage spots work harder, your office, kitchen, and bathroom go from frustrating to fantastically functional. Try our simple, chaos-proof systems, and never rummage for a battery or Band-Aid again. Ahead, we explore our favorite ways to get these storage spaces in their tidiest form.
Sifting through look-alike thumb drives, cables, and cords can leave you—and your stuff—tied in knots. To organize phone and computer accessories, pop them into clear plastic containers, like the round jars we repurposed from an art-supply store, and old-school cassette and videotape cases with hinged lids that snap shut (yes, they still exist!), pictured above. Label them, and then you can easily toss whatever you need in your bag on the way out the door. And when you work from home, your electronics can, too: If the drawer is in built-in cabinetry, use an easy-install docking drawer outlet kit to plug devices into; if it's in a desk, skip the kit—just drill a hole in the back of the drawer. Last, insert a felt-lined tray as a soft landing pad for backup batteries and cameras.
Shop Now: LaCons Flip-Top Containers, 3 ounces, $1.25 each, dickblick.com; VHS Tape Cases, $12 for 10, bagsunlimited.com; Clear Cassette Polyboxes, $4.25 for 10, sleevecityusa.com; Courant Catch-2 Essentials Charger in Camel, $80, staycourant.com; Kawabon Small Leather Tray, in Golden Moss, $68, graf-lantz.com; The Container Store Label Maker by Brother, $50, containerstore.com; Blade 15-Amp In-Drawer Outlet, $244, dockingdrawer.com.
Doctor in the House
If your medicine cabinet is narrow or nonexistent, an apothecary-inspired drawer stocked with first-aid supplies can save the day. For a uniform look, stick with a single material; ours is kitted out with widely available vintage milk glass, including ramekins, cups, and dental-instrument trays with built-in partitions (available on Etsy and eBay). You can create a similarly cohesive setup with glass dishes and votive holders, or any vessels in the same color. Line them up and decant your pharmaceuticals and wellness essentials, so it's obvious at a glance if inventory is low, and you're at the ready for ouchies, itchy throats, and any mini-emergency.
Presidio Smart Nesting Storage Trays ($111 for a set of two, californiaclosets.com) are stylish space-savers: They're slim enough to fit inside the shallowest drawers, and the smaller nestles snugly atop the larger.
Beauty to Behold
The foolproof recipe for an orderly vanity: Transfer sectioned flatware and utensil trays from the kitchen to the bathroom, and instantly streamline your get-ready routine. Elegant and quick to clean, these marble styles are unfazed by spills and smears, but metal and wooden ones work well, too. The narrower slots intended for cutlery can hold makeup and grooming tools; the larger compartments accommodate hairbrushes, leave-in treatments, and tress accessories. And if an insert doesn't completely fill the width of the drawer, not a problem: The narrow niche is perfect for stashing slim styling tools, like the flat iron at bottom right.
Stick the Landing
With a rubberized backing that provides no-slip grip, this Container Store Canvas Drawer Liner ($16 a roll, containerstore.com) won't budge, and the canvas on the reverse keeps items from sliding and colliding.
There are lots of hidden gems in your jewelry box, but if you don't see them, you won't wear them. Bring bling front and center with your favorite small dishes in complementary colors. To anchor them securely, line a drawer with a fuzzy fabric like felt or velvet, or place a small ball of museum putty under each one. Arrange like items with like, so when an outfit calls for a gold bracelet or hoop earrings, you can grab, get your glimmer on, and go.
Shop Now: Kaneko Kohyo Rinka Bowls (holding bracelets), 12 cm, in White, $32; and 8 cm, in Black, $24, rwguild.com; Oji Masanori for Jicon Petal Small Octagonal Dish (holding black pendant), $28, nalatanalata.com.
Excavating cookware from the depths of a kitchen drawer can bring you to the brink of a tantrum. But with Rev-A-Shelf's Drawer Peg System (from $96, rev-a-shelf.com), it's child's play. Simply measure the bottom of your drawer, choose a gridded wooden base to fit, and insert the dowels to form vertical guideposts. Now pots, stacks of plates, and sets of mixing bowls will stay upright and orderly. The modular design not only maximizes space; it's aces for oddly shaped items: We see you, trapezoid box grater, and we'll never scrape our knuckles rooting around for you again.
Junk No More
Everyone, even the tidiest person, has a rogue drawer crammed with random household stuff. Now you can turn the catchall into a brilliant kit for domestic MacGyvering. The customizable Toko Modular System (from $12, tokodesign.com) has made-to-measure bamboo and steel inserts, so birthday candles, zip ties, twine, picture-hanging tools, and tinned mints (we could go on) all have a proper home. Just type in the width and depth of your space at the website, and choose a configuration of boxes, dividers, knife blocks, and spice racks that fit it to a T. To assemble, slide the pieces into the metal rail framework, and rearrange as needed. The best part: no tools (or secret-agent skills) required.