Inside: a step-by-step guide to clearing the clutter from your dresser
Imagine this: you walk into the bedroom and take in the dresser – old magazines and catalogs covering the top, with random pieces of paper sticking out, and drawers that won’t close because clothes are spilling out of them. Yikes, how stressful! If this is the situation in your bedroom, it’s time to declutter your dresser.
A clutter-free environment goes a long way toward better sleep and less stress overall. I have a long post to help you declutter your whole bedroom, but today’s focus is the dresser. Let’s take it from the top and turn it into a clutter-free, organized zone that helps you get the day started on the right note.
- clear off the top surface
- empty out the drawers
- sort everything into categories
- take out the Trash pile
- box up the Donate pile
- fold and group remaining items, like with like
- put it all away
1. Clear off the top surface
Seriously, this is where you want to start decluttering your dresser. Once the horizontal surface is clutter-free, it will be less stressful to look at, plus you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment each time you see it as you scan the room.
As you take things off the top surface, think about what you really need to keep and what is just there because you haven’t thrown it away yet. Anything you don’t need and don’t need to keep can go straight in the trash, recycling, or the donate pile. Arrange the rest on top of the dresser in a way that works best for you (and looks nice).
2. Empty out the drawers
This can be decidedly less than fun, especially if you’re putting everything on a freshly made bed, but just go with it. If your drawer contents don’t overlap, you can do this one drawer at a time. But if your socks or t-shirts are in multiple drawers, it’s better if you get everything out in one big pile and go from there.
3. Sort everything into categories
This is where the going could get tough because you may be tempted to keep everything. But don’t. Instead, really assess each t-shirt, sock, and bra and consider if it’s earning its keep. Here are the categories:
- Keep: these are the things you love and wear often. Just check that they’re not pilling and that they are free of holes, with no threads hanging off anywhere.
- Donate: these things are still serviceable but are not your favorite or not your best colors or you simply don’t wear them for some other reason.
- Trash: here you’ll put all the clothes that are beyond their useful life. That means anything tattered, stretched out, holey, or otherwise not appropriate for wear.
- Sell: this stack is for things you can sell. I would caution you to designate items as Sell only if you have designer garments and/or accessories in excellent condition and don’t mind spending the time to sell them. It’s not for the faint of heart.
- Mend*: this last pile is for things that are your favorite but need a little TLC. Maybe a small hole that needs to be repaired, or a pair of pants that needs to be hemmed shorter to go with your new shoes.
*Caution: only designate items as Mend if you’re actually going to mend the clothes – whether you do it yourself or take the garment to an alteration/repair specialist.
4. Take out your Trash pile
No, really, take it out of the house and put it in the large trash bin outside. Or in the trash chute if your neighborhood or condo has one. It’s easier if you bag it all up first. Don’t just pile up the bags in your entryway. Take them out for good.
5. Box up your Donate pile
You’ll be more likely to actually get it out of the house if it’s all boxed up and ready to go near your front door. Or even better, in your car – then you can stop at the thrift store next time you’re out grocery shopping.
5.5. Move your Sell and Mend items out of the room
Obviously, this step only applies if you actually have any Sell and/or Mend items. The point is to get them out so that only your Keep pile remains in the bedroom.
6. Fold and group like with like
We’re almost done with decluttering your dresser. Hang in there. All that should be left now are the garments you’re keeping.
You want everything neatly folded at this point. If you have any tops that are not folded, fold them now so that they stack easily. You can also roll your things if that is your preference. Whatever works best for you.
Now let’s group things by type, so T-shirts together, socks together, etc. You may also want to arrange them by color. It might make sense to you to just keep red away from white, or you might want to do the whole ROYGBIV thing. Everybody’s different. You do you.
7. Put it all away
Grouping your clothes gives you a solid idea of how much space they will need in your newly decluttered dresser. If you have a small stack of socks, maybe they can share one drawer with your underwear. But if you’re a sock fiend, you may want to give them their own drawer.
This step is where organizers and drawer dividers come into play. They are very handy for keeping smaller items in place. Organizers are also fabulous for your jewelry drawer if you have one.
Remember the cluttered dresser from the beginning of this article? After these seven steps, the view should be very different: clutter-free, calm, and peaceful.