Quick and Easy Closet and Drawer Organization Tips

Declutter once and for all with these ideas on how to store smaller items within cabinets, drawers and closets.

By: Laura James
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Even if your house looks organized, you might still have some work to do. Surface-level cleaning is easy and often necessary – just find a place to hide any and all visible clutter. That philosophy works for a quick cleaning fix if you’re short on time or have unexpected guests, but it probably means you have several junk drawers and chaotic closets.

Organize desk drawers with drawer dividers

Cardboard Drawer Dividers

Large drawers are great for storing paperwork, but small desk items should be separated into small sections with drawer dividers to help keep everything organized.

A solution to this problem is making sure you have storage containers within storage containers. Give everything a designated place. If you have a large closet, put baskets on shelves so you can assign belts, hats or shoes to a specific basket, for example. For an office space, instead of dropping push pins, paper clips, sticky notes and extra staples all in one drawer, use upcycled egg cartons or muffin tins to organize these smaller items before placing in a drawer. Storage within storage will not only help keep clutter out of sight, but it will also ensure items will be in the same place every time you go to reach for them. 

Divide and Conquer Clutter

Store in Containers

Store in Containers

Store all your office supplies in containers, drawers, baskets and bins. Putting all these supplies out of sight will give your office a decluttered look.


A close up of two organization boxes in a drawer with office supplies in it.

You can head to the office section of a home store or you could even DIY your own dividers out of cardboard and cover them with fabric.

Recycled Tuna Cans

Save your tuna cans. After you give them a good cleaning, put them in drawers for organizing any and all items.



Repurposed Madeleine Pan

You've probably seen muffin pans repurposed as organization, but have you thought about using a madeleine pan? The shallow dishes are perfect for holding small craft supplies. You can keep supplies separated and place the pan in a drawer or cabinet in between work sessions for ongoing craft projects.

Craft Materials In a French Cookie Tin

Clean Out Your Kitchen

Before you know it, you have three muffin pans, two loaf pans and more molds than you can count. Recycle them in your own home by using the handy compartments as organizers for tiny craft and scrapbooking supplies that desperately need a home. Designers Amie and Jolie Sikes, known as the Junk Gypsies, gave this French cookie tin a brand-new life outside the kitchen by using the sections to hold buttons, beads, shells and other easy-to-lose craft accessories. The tin is even attractive enough to keep out in the open.

From: Junk Gypsies

Labeled Bins

Any closet or pantry needs labeled bins. They look nice and help you find what you're looking for more quickly. You don't have to spend a lot of money on nice bins or woven baskets though. These bins are inexpensive plastic, covered in spray paint.

Gold and White Bins in Organized Pantry

Gold and White Bins in Organized Pantry

Spray paint made for plastic can give dollar store bins a more expensive metal look. Once the bins are dry, add labels for a perfectly organized pantry.

Photo by: Melissa George, Polished Habitat

Melissa George, Polished Habitat

Pantry Organization Made Easy

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Let It Slide

Slide-out racks, drawers and baskets make finding everything you're looking for a breeze.

Up, Up and Away

Make the most of your space, and don't be afraid to stack items all the way to the ceiling when you keep a handy step stool within easy reach.

Spacious Surprise

With a swing-out pantry, you can maintain a sleek look in the kitchen while still having plenty of room for all your cooking essentials.

Time to Purge

Looking to start fresh? Clear all expired, useless products. Then organize what's left into clear, pullout bins. This process will make cooking dinner and packing lunches a snap.

Photo By: Toni Hammersley

Feels Like Home

For a kitchen pantry that fits your every need and makes use of all available space, combine a moveable cart and behind-the-door storage.

Walk About

A walk-in pantry with shelves stacked high on either side offers plenty of space for spices, canned goods and even dishes. Plus, there's still room to walk around.

Push and Pull

A pullout pantry is the perfect way to gain useful storage space without taking up too much space on its own.

Moving On Up (Or Down)

Make use of adjustable shelving, and make room for all your favorite treats and products.

©Image courtesy of ClosetMaid

On Display

When your pantry is this organized, there's no reason to hide it. Skip the doors, and make your kitchen seem larger in turn.

©Image courtesy of ClosetMaid

Separation Anxiety

For an extra dose of organization, invest in shelf separators to keep similar items grouped together.

©Image courtesy of ClosetMaid

Make It Happen

Are you making the most of your space? If you don't have adequate room in your pantry, consider turning a closet into a luxurious walk-in pantry.

©Image courtesy of transFORM

In Clear Sight

Keep fresh produce in sight and on hand with see-through wire baskets — also great for storing snacks!

©Image courtesy of ClosetMaid

Adding On

If you need to add pantry space but don't have the money to renovate, simply add spacious shelves to your walls for a custom look on a budget.

©Image courtesy of Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

Dose of Color

It may not help add storage, but a fresh coat of paint in a fun hue can certainly lift your spirits and make dinner prep a little more fun.

©Image courtesy of ClosetMaid

Make Your Own

If you're really running low on pantry space, it's possible to add pullout shelves to a basic cabinet. The result? A storage-packed mini pantry!

©Image courtesy of MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

Simple Stacking

Whether you're looking to keep dry goods fresh or to group small items together, you can never go wrong with clear, stackable storage containers.

©Image courtesy of California Closets

Problem Solved

Think you'd have to have a walk-in pantry to ever have enough storage space? Think again! This pantry, which makes use of pullouts of every kind, creates all the room a person could need.

Photo By: Steven Rossi Photography

China Cabinet Alternative

Store your dishes right alongside your nonperishables with wire racks made especially to keep plates safe and sound.

©Image courtesy of ClosteMaid

Tray Cute

Make pans and platters look right at home with vertical shelves that make finding and pulling out the right one a piece of cake.

©Image courtesy of California Closets

Standalone Solution

One pantry option that often gets overlooked is the standalone pantry unit. But it's the perfect solution for those who don't have a pantry but do have an empty wall or two.

©Image courtesy of ClosetMaid

Hanging Storage

Don't forget about using the inside of closet and cabinet doors. Instead of letting restaurant menus and random papers take up space in a kitchen drawer, attach a folder to the inside of a cabinet. Use closet doors for hanging shoes and freeing up floor space, or for a non-wardrobe closet, put craft or office supplies in a shoe organizer for easy access and concealed clutter.



Tiny Closet Converted Into Home Office
Elizabeth Joan Designs
Closet Door Shoe Rack

Tiny Closet Converted Into Home Office

Even the tiniest closet can provide ample storage space for a home office. This hall closet is equipped with desk and storage bins. The always-functional shoe holder provides pockets for everything a working girl needs when conducting business from home.

Photo By: Elizabeth Joan Designs

Closet Door Shoe Rack

The upstairs bedroom is the only area in the loft that has closets. In order to take full advantage of their interiors, Erin outfitted the backs of the doors with full-length shoe storage. This frees up precious closet space for sweaters and bags.

Teacup Jewelry Storage

There’s nothing worse than trying to untangle jewelry. Prevent chaos by giving jewelry separation.

Tea Cup and Saucer Jewelry Organizers

Teacup Organizers

We can never have too many ideas when it comes to organizing and displaying jewelry. If you're not short on storage space, reserve a vanity or dresser drawer just for holding bracelets, necklaces and rings. Designer Lynda Quintero-Davids wanted to add as much style and function to her client's dressing table, so she used tea cups and saucers for storage.

Pin-Worthy Jewelry Storage Ideas

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Rake Repurposed as Jewelry Organizer

Old lawn tools find new life when draped with colorful necklaces. Tie a string across the top for the perfect earring display.

Photo By: Lauren Lanker; The Thinking Closet

Necklaces Displayed on Branches

Money may not grow on trees, but jewelry certainly can make branches beautiful. With an interesting vessel and a few branches, you can display your necklaces and keep them tangle-free.

Photo By: Ashlee Park; My So-Called Crafty Life

Framed Jewelry Organizer

Think your gems are picture perfect? Remodel a frame to show off your works of art. Board up a frame back, add a few eyehooks and attach a homemade drawer (this one's made from scrap molding) to show off your adornments.

Photo By: Jennifer Moore; Monaluna

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