Confession: I’m an organizing freak. I label, schedule, make lists, etc, etc. and I get such a sense of satisfaction out of it. I know, I know… I’m such a geek! But I find it so much fun and let me tell you when I finished this underwear drawer organizer I was super satisfied. For one, it was FREE to make and two, it keeps my underwear nice and tidy. Doesn’t take much to put a smile on my face.
Normally I would clean and organize my underwear drawer about 2 times a year – usually between seasons – probably because I was trying to squeeze in my winter socks with my summer socks and ran out of room. No matter how hard I try though, my hard work is always for nothing – it’s back to being a mess in no time. I guess it’s because it’s so convenient to just throw things in and it’s really not something that we really think about organizing much. But why not? When you think about it, we use it every day and sometimes more than once a day! Why not spruce it up some?
What brought this on? Well, I saw an infomercial on TV awhile back of this nifty underwear drawer organizer and I thought to myself – “hey! I can totally make that and for free”. One of my 2016 goals this year is to create a capsule wardrobe and the first step to creating one is getting rid clothes that you don’t use and to organize, organize, organize! Well, what a perfect time to make this underwear drawer organizer… just in time for the beginning of my capsule wardrobe (stay tuned for that one).
I was real close to becoming the “crazy organizing lady” with this project – I almost (ALMOST) got the labelling machine out and came real close (REAL CLOSE) to labelling all the little compartments… socks, bras, thongs. HAHAHA! I didn’t go that far but to satisfy my labelling needs, I’m going to create one of these dividers for some of my art supplies that I keep in an old dresser. I can label away all day with that one!
To tell you the truth, I was a little embarrassed about showing my underwear drawer to the world (especially the before picture) but I’ll tell you what, now I’m kind of hoping someone will open it by mistake (how does that happen?!) because my underwear drawer never looked so good!
This DIY project will not only help you organize your drawer – it’ll keep it that way. You simply cannot just throw stuff in anymore you’ll have to put them in the compartments which will force you to keep it organized. Oh and did I mention you can make it for free! For FREE!
Also, you can get as technical and as pretty as you want. Decorate it with pretty scrapbook paper or spray paint it any colour you want. I didn’t – I just left the cardboard look to it. Call me crazy but I like the look of it. You can also go ahead and make different sized compartments if you want – it’ll take a little more technical work but I’m sure it’ll be well worth it.
Have fun with it and careful of those paper cuts (ugh!)!
DIY Underwear Drawer Organizer!
Material needed for the Underwear Drawer Divider:
- 2 large flattened cardboard boxes
- Box cutters
- Ruler With Non Slip Cork Base, 18 Inches
- Optional: packing tape and popsicle sticks
- Start by measuring the inside of the drawer. Measure the inside length, width and height. Mine was 13 x 31 x 5.5 inches.
- Sketch out your drawer and decide how many compartments you want and how big you want them. I wanted to keep my design super easy so I made a quick sketch and came up with these calculations: 31 inches makes five 5 inch wide compartments and one 6 inch wide. 13 inches makes three 3 inch long compartments and one 4 inch long. So that means, I would have 24 compartments. That was enough for me.
- With my sketch, I figured out how many pieces of cardboard I needed. So, if you look at the picture above (the green lines are the cardboard), I would need 3 horizontal pieces and 5 vertical smaller pieces. Also, keep in mind that you will have to take about 1/2 inch off the height – so that you’re not struggling to shut the drawer. I calculated that I needed five 13 x 5 inch pieces and three 31 x 5 inches pieces.
- Flatten your cardboard boxes completely (there’s usually a seam glued inside the box that you can just rip open) and measure out your big and small piece using the calculations that you came up with the previous step. Cut them out using your box cutters, ruler and your cutting mat. Be careful – if you’re not used to cutting cardboard, it’s a bit hard – just remember to keep your fingers out-of-the-way. Also, you most likely won’t get a nice long straight 31 inch piece because of the bumps created by the folds of the box’s corners but I’ll show you how to fix that later. Easy peasy.
- Once all your pieces are cut, begin by marking the width measurements of your compartments on your bigger pieces. For example, the width of my compartments were 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 and 6 inches. So, I drew a straight vertical line at those points.
- Measure the middle point of the first and last vertical line. My cardboard pieces were 5 inch tall, so my middle point was 2.5 inches. Draw a horizontal line from the first middle point to the last.
- Cut vertically from the middle horizontal line down on both sides of your mark – leaving a gap that’s about the thickness of your cardboard. The thickness of my cardboard was 1/8 of an inch. You’ll notice that the tops of the 1/8 inch gaps will be hard to cut because it’s such a small gap but you can use scissors to cut this part or just cut a small horizontal line with your box cutters. It’ll be a big bigger than your gap but it won’t matter – your design will work anyways.
- Repeat the same process with the smaller cardboard pieces: mark the length measurements of your compartments first (mine were 3, 3, 3, and 4 inches), then the middle point on both ends and draw a line straight across. Cut the gaps at the marks to about the thickness of your cardboard.
- Now your ready to put your underwear drawer organizer together. Basically, you’ll insert the gaps from the big pieces into the gaps from the small pieces or vice versa – it’ll come out the same either way. Keep in mind that if you have some compartments that are bigger than the others, these will have lined up in the same row or column as the others of the same size. To avoid confusion, I drew a star on the ends of my smaller pieces that I wanted to face the front and the same on the bigger pieces.
- Start by putting together one big piece and one small piece. Insert the bottom gap of a small piece into the last right gap of a big one. Push them together until the bottom and the top are flush together. Now insert the last right gap of the next big piece of cardboard into the middle gap of the small piece that you’ve already used. Repeat the same with the last big piece until you have something that looks like this (birds eye view):
- Now insert the other small pieces into the gaps in the bigger pieces just like you did previously. It may take a little wiggling around – especially if your gap measurements are not spot on but it’ll work out in the end.
- You’ll notice that you may have ends that aren’t straight on your underwear drawer organizer because of the folds in cardboard, like the picture above. You can fix these if they bug you (they did for me) by taping a popsicle stick on both sides with packing tape. This will keep it straight. However, if those compartments are filled while inside the drawer – it would straighten itself out without having to use popsicle sticks.
- Now your finished building the organizer. I would suggest taking out your drawer completely from the dresser before inserting your organizer. You’ll most likely have to trim a few ends of the cardboard to make the organizer fit – that’s okay. I had to trim quite a few of mine.
- Finito! Now your ready to organize your underwear drawer organizer to your heart’s content.
Despite all the steps, this underwear drawer organizer is quite easy to make and let me tell you has made such a difference in my “underwear drawer world”.
Another bonus to this project is it will force you to get rid of the stuff you really don’t use. I had so many socks that had holes in them that I was happy to pitch (nothing worse than holes in your socks!) and not to mention the underwear from 1998 😉
This post was included in Roud Tuit’s Link Party: