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Tidy Life, Tidy Mind: 11 Habits of People with Organized Drawers

We all have that one drawer in our homes where all of the miscellaneous, don’t-know-what-to-do-with items seem to get thrown. Call it the junk drawer, the everything drawer, or some other name, it’s a place where clutter thrives. That’s all well and good, but the problems start to arise when all of your drawers start to resemble your junk drawer. When you can’t find your favorite pair of cozy PJ’s or no-show underwear because of all the stuff bursting out of your dresser.

Well, who cares? Does having organized drawers really matter? In fact, it does. There have been many studies showing the benefit of organized surroundings on your wellbeing. Take a look at a summary of some of the findings below, or jump to the infographic with organizational tips.

Physical and Mental Benefits of an Organized Home

Living in a tidy and organized space can positively affect both your mind and your body:

  1. Get Better Sleep - The National Sleep Foundation’s “Bedroom Poll” found that respondents who made their bed every morning were 19% more likely to report a good night’s rest.
  2. Feel Less Stressed - A study from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin revealed that women who described their homes as “cluttered” had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who described their homes as “restorative.”
  3. Increase Your FocusScientists at Princeton found that clutter can reduce your ability to focus on tasks, as the visual cortex can become overwhelmed with irrelevant stimuli.
  4. Stay Healthy and Active - Researchers at Indiana University discovered that participants who kept their houses clean were healthier and more active than those who had messy homes.

11 Organizational Steps You Can Take Today

Maybe doing a complete “Marie Kondo-ing” of your entire home seems a little unrealistic, and that’s okay. Taking small steps to organize your space can lead to bigger life changes in time - you can start with just one drawer or small daily tasks! Below are some ideas to get started, inspired by those people who, somehow, keep their drawers and bedrooms completely organized.

1. Empty Out and Declutter Drawers

First things first, you need to see what you’re working with. Pull everything out of your drawers so you can see how much space you actually have. Couldn’t hurt to give the insides a quick wipe out too to get rid of any dust and gunk that may have accumulated over the months (or years).

2. Label Drawers by Item or Season

Next, get out that old label maker (or paper and tape in a pinch) and assign each drawer a specific category or item. For your dresser drawers, you could label them by season or by category, such as Socks and Underwear, Tops, Bottoms, Sweaters, etc. For desk drawers, you could have categories like Papers and Documents, Books, Office Supplies, etc.

3. Fold and Separate Items

Now that you have your drawers cleared out, cleaned, and labeled, you can start putting your items back into place. Don’t just throw them back in there though, you should make sure to fold clothes neatly and place items in a way that you can actually see everything you have.

4. Put Away Laundry Right Away

You now should have everything currently in your dresser drawers organized, but what happens when you need to do laundry? The key is to put clean clothes back in their drawers right away. If your basket is full of clean laundry, where is your dirty laundry going to go? Right on the floor. You’ll end up picking through your clean laundry for certain items, while the rest of your clothes get strewn around the room. All you need to do is build an extra 15–20 minutes into your laundry routine to make sure you completely finish the chore.

5. Keep the Top of Drawers Clear

The top of the dresser is often a main clutter culprit. It’s too easy to throw a spare sock, earrings from last night, and car keys on top of your dresser, and those random items eventually build up. You’ll have an easier time mentally visualizing your drawers being organized if the outside doesn’t look like a mess.

6. Make Your Bed Every Morning

As we discussed above, studies have shown that people who make their bed every day get better sleep. Making your bed is also key to helping you visualize your bedroom organization goals. There’s something about a crisply-made bed that makes a space seem so much neater. Plus, keeping your blankets pulled up helps you keep your sheets clean.

7. Organize Your Closet by Color

So your bed, laundry hamper, and dresser are all set, but what about the closet? For many people, the bedroom closet is a huge stressor, as it tends to accumulate more clutter than almost anywhere in the house. The first step to take in dealing with the closet is to organize your clothes so you can actually see everything you have. Sorting by color is a great way to keep track of everything and makes putting together outfits in the morning that much easier.

8. Utilize Attractive Storage for Linens

In addition to clothes, bedroom closets tend to attract spare blankets, pillows, sheets, and random other pieces of bedding that you probably didn’t even know you had. To clear out these bulky items, purchase a couple of large wicker baskets or storage containers. Folding and storing your linens in these baskets will add a much more polished look to your room, and allow you to clear up valuable closet floor space.

9. Follow the “6-Month” Rule

Though not everything in your bedroom needs to necessarily “spark joy,” frequent purging is essential. Think about it, if you have too many clothes to fit in your closet and dresser drawers or too many linens to fit in your new baskets, what do you do with that stuff? The easiest way to handle this is to adhere to the “6-month” rule. If you haven’t worn that piece of clothing or used that blanket in 6 months, it’s time to toss it.

10. Stick to Just One Junk Spot

You’re only human, so allow yourself one, but just one, junk spot. This could be one of your desk drawers or one storage basket where you toss things that don’t have a dedicated place in your bedroom. However, the 6-month rule applies here too. If your junk spot starts to overflow, it’s time to purge it.

11. Create a Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Ideally, bedroom organization is a daily habit. You clean up as you go and place things where they should be. However, it may take a while before these tasks become habits. If that’s the case, you can create a weekly cleaning checklist for yourself. Include tasks like Fold and Put Away Laundry, Clear off Top of Dresser, Re-Sort Closet Clothes, etc.

Take a look at the infographic below for a visual guide to these simple bedroom organization habits:

And, that’s really all there is to it! By following these habits of people with organized drawers, you can make small, daily steps toward tidying up your bedroom and reaping the mental and physical benefits of an organized space. For underwear and apparel that you’ll never want to purge, make sure to visit Tommy John.