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Five Easy Steps to Organize Drawers Using Dividers

how to build a double drawer - McCornick spices organized in a double drawer.

It looks like January is the month of endless resolutions ... From diet and exercise, to overcoming personal challenges, and organizing just about every part of your life.

Well, I don't know much about diet and exercise, but organization is right down my alley, not only during January, but all year long.

Three years ago, I posted pictures of the messy drawers in my kitchen. 

These are the pictures you don't want the world to see, but anyways, you go ahead and publish them as a good reminder of the work you need to tackle.

Then, time starts rolling and before you know it, two full years have passed and you've done absolutely nothing!

How to build a double stack drawer unit -complete details.

Yep. It was only until last year that I brought organization to the drawer in the kitchen island and wow, it made a HUGE difference! Not only did I created a main divider for this drawer, but a double drawer/divider was also installed to take advantage of all the space that big drawer had.

You can check that entire project right here: DIY - Double Drawer

Throughout last year, I also brought organization to these little drawers close to the stove, but I haven't share those transformations with you yet.

Let's take a look at them with the following before and afters:

Drawer 1

I got rid of those hideous plastic dividers and now it looks much better. But I still want to add a double drawer in here. The only problem is I don't know where to store those measuring cups, those are the only ones taking more vertical space than I want to give them. The extra drawer would be used to store the knives I have in a wood block on the counter.

Drawer 2

Remember the infamous drawer number 2?  Gee, what a disaster this was! Many of those items, like the serving spoons and pretty tongs, went to live in the top drawer of the kitchen island. The other items that I use when cooking stay in here.

I even got new stuff! We are lemon/lime lovers. Tea with lime, salads and chicken with lime or lemon you name it. Well, that yellow citrus juicer is the only one that passed the test of brutal use! We have been using it for a whole year and it's still going strong. I got it HERE.
Same thing with the garlic press which came with the pink garlic peeler. <3

Drawer 3

The before of the spice drawer was wasting lots of space, that's why a double drawer was installed in here. I still have a bit of space to fill up.

Again, if you want to build a double stack drawer unit check HERE my full tutorial.

Drawer 4

This final drawer was the last one I organized. I'm loving how easy is to find things in here now. Kitchen towels, gloves, trivets, pot holders and even the apron, they all fit in here!

So, after all this organization, I like to share with you the following FIVE EASY STEPS TO ORGANIZE DRAWERS USING DIVIDERS:

1.  Use wood to build the dividers.

If you're a woodworker, you might have lots of scrap pieces of wood you want to use and that's fine. However, most of the time I prefer to buy strips of wood to create these dividers.

It's the easiest way to go. You'll find them at most Home Depot stores in a similar way like in the picture above. You will only need a hand saw to make the cuts across each board.

These boards are all 48 inch long. They come in different thickness: ¼", ½", ¾", and different kind of wood: Pine, poplar, oak.

I like to use half inch poplar stock. Quarter inch material is too light; its too unstable, bends easily, and ¾" material is too chunky to use in small drawers. The width of the boards depends on how deep the drawer is.

For the upper section of double drawers, I always use ½" x 2" x 4' (remember that 2" is in reality 1½").

2.  Empty the drawer and organize its contents

The first step in organizing a messy drawer is emptying it completely. Get rid of stuff you no longer use and start bringing items that you want to keep back. Place everything into the drawer and see what's the best way to create a divider.

Keep the most used stuff to the front of the drawer.

3. Measure and cut the dividers

Once you're happy with how everything looks, start creating the dividers.

Here, the first divider to be set was the one all along the drawer. Then came the cross sections.

Once you're happy with your entire set up, take all the pieces out.

4.  Prep and assemble the dividers

Sand all the pieces to get rid of sharp edges. Bring them back into the drawer and mark where they need to connect.

Using a square ruler extend those marks on both sides of the board. One side is the glued-in side, the other is the line to drive the nails.

Ryobi Cordless Brad Nailer
Place the first two pieces on a flat surface (use clamps if needed), apply wood glue on both connecting pieces and then, secure them together with 1" brad nails. Continue with all the other joins.

* I've heard you can use Clear Power Grab - Instant -all purpose- Interior construction adhesive to connect the dividers, if you don't have a brad nailer. Well, I haven't use that product, I might give it a try on a future project to see if it works. ;)

Use a clear poly spray to protect the wood.

5. Bring the divider back into the drawer

My rule: Never attach dividers to the drawer. They should fit nice and tight, but you should be able to get them out of the drawer without any trouble.

My two reasons why I don't attach them to the drawer are: Changing the drawer's pulls would be a pain with those extra pieces inside. And, if I change my utensils or buy new stuff, I might want to reconfigure those spaces to fit those new items.
Hey, another reason is that it would be easier to clean the drawer without the divider inside. ;)

building wooden divider to organize stuff inside a drawer - Kitchen drawer, bathroom drawer

Well, I hope you've found new tips and ideas on how to bring organization to those messy drawers.
I would love for you to share any tips you might have down the sleeve. Thanks! ;)

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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  1. Great ideas. I have a couple of 'double stack' drawer units, too. I did not build them myself but had them put in when we remodeled the house and added a kitchen. I love for things to be organized. You are so handy to be able to do that yourself.
    Have a great week- xo Diana

    1. Thanks Diana! I love those double drawers. The things we learn! Many times I just wonder how am I able to build all that stuff. :D I wish I could be better with words and general writing like you are. Writing poems is waaaay out of my comfort zone and hey a book.. not even close! I'm waiting for the release of your second book. ;)

  2. I love how neat and tidy all the ‘after’ drawers look! Most of the drawers in my kitchen are in dire need of some organization. Your post is a great inspiration!

    1. Oh Melissa, I wish I could go and help you organize them! All that organization makes me happy. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. These dividers look amazing and seem easy to build - thanks for the step-by-step! A note on the measuring cups - I added cup hooks to a piece of scrap molding and attached to the inside of my top cabinet door with command strips - no holes in the cabinets and the cups are easily available. (Did the same with the measuring spoons on the matching cabinet. I'm too short to stack them on the same cabinet door)

    1. Thanks so much for the tip! I did something similar years ago. The problem right now is that I'm running out of cabinet doors! :D Well, I still have a couple. That's gonna be my next project. And yes, command strips are the way to go. 👍


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