Using nothing but cardstock (plain or patterned), you can create some pretty DIY drawer dividers in a matter of minutes that will tame your drawer-mess monster.
Is there a place in your home which you prefer not even see it? We all have that place, right?
Let’s not start with the kitchen drawers please, so today I’m focusing on my own desk drawers.
A mess is an understatement. I can tell you that much!
At some point, it turned into a junk drawer where I can never find what I’m looking for!
I like to consider myself organized but still I have a few places that I’ve just left alone and forgotten.
Sometimes it just gets hard for me to focus on my organization. I tend to leave my own spaces for the last after a long to-do list and often times it gets forgotten.
Desk Organizing with DIY Drawer Dividers
The thing is I don’t enjoy the actual organizing action but I love having things, spaces and my life organized. So I try my best to find ways to organize each space in my home that I can actually keep organized and don’t have to go through it again and again.
This time I decided to go ahead and spend some time organizing my own desk. I started with my drawers inspired by I Heart Organizing strategy. They are not all finished yet but at least the 2 messier are pretty organized and so functional.
I think that’s the most important word in the organization field and so underestimated. You can have a perfectly organized space and zero functionality.
How do you organize desk drawers?
My Tip #1 would be:
First evaluate your space, how much you have, and what you need to place there. Focus on what REALLY needs to be there.
Then while you are organizing, place yourself reaching those things later and ask yourself:
How many things do you need to move to get it?
Will I put it back easily and then move back the things I had to move to get it?
If the answers are: 1 a few and 2 most likely not then your organization is NOT functional.
Let’s take this one step harder, ask yourself now:
Will my family easily take things and put them back?
I’ll leave this for you as homework.
Those things you think should be there, organize them in order most used to rarely used. Putting your most used very accessible areas.
So, these are my 2 first desk drawers. They needed urgent care. The last ones are not that bad so I could divide the work into 2 batches.
Check out the before and after:
Quite a difference, right?
The best part?
I spent about $5 (5,55EUR) on both drawers. I only bought one scrapbook paper block for all the DIY drawer organizers.
The thing was that plastic organizers come in fixed sizes and most of the time you end up wasting a lot of space. When you create your own custom drawer dividers you maximize your space and don’t waste an inch.
Making each box/divider takes just a few minutes. Of course, if like me, you need over ten of them you might spend a couple of hours making them. In my opinion, it was the best spent hours ever.
Another benefit of creating your own drawer dividers is that you make the necessary room for each item or group of items.
This way you have everything at your fingertips, you know exactly what you have and where to find it.
How to make these Drawer Dividers
You will need some basic supplies for this project.
- Cardstock (plain or scrapbook cardstock works perfectly)
- Glue (UHU, Tacky glue, or even mod podge works)
- Cutter (craft knife) and scissors
The first thing you need to do is empty your drawer and measure the inside.
Cut a piece of cardstock the exact size of your drawer. It should fit perfectly inside your drawer. This is to have an exact idea of your drawer space.
Decide how you want to organize your drawer’s content
Place your drawer template on a table and start placing your items on it where you think they should be. Here you are basically creating compartments for your item, tolls, accessories or whatever you need to keep organized.
Once you are happy with the placement, make marks with a pencil between each item or group of items.
Then trace lines around the items. You should get something like this (with your own spaces of course):
Test the pattern in your drawer to see if you like it.
Design your drawer dividers.
The pattern gives you the size of the base of your drawer dividers. Now you need to decide the height.
I decided I wanted to make the sides stronger so I added an overlap that fold’s outwards. But this is totally optional.
The formula to draw your drawer divider pattern:
Overlap – Side – base – side – overlap.
If you don’t want the overlap then it’s:
Side – base – side.
Always make your base 2mm shorter than the measures in your main design:
width – 2mm and height – 2mm
Cut the outline borders.
So once you finish you should have something like this and this is how it works:
Cut out the corners as shown above.
Then cut the 4 lines I showed in red above.
Why you don’t give specific sizes for the drawer dividers?
Because each drawer is different and what you store inside too. Each item or group of items takes up different spaces so what I show you here is how to figure out what spaces you need and the sizes so you can create your own perfect custom dividers that will fit your specific needs.
Just to give you an example I changed the desk a couple of years after I published this and now the dividers move around the new drawers. I’m planning on creating new dividers to fit the extra space.
Assembling the drawer divider
The overlaps should be folded outwards:
I recommend Scoring the folding lines. It gets so much easier to fold the paper. But it’s totally optional.
Then the sides are folded inwards.
Apply glue to the flaps and glue them to the sides on the outside.
Then glue the overlap.
Let it dry for a few minutes and there you go!!!
Make all the drawer dividers you need and start putting them in your drawer.
We got some pretty new drawer dividers here!!!
Put all your items back in your drawers
Put all your items as planned inside of the drawers and see the amazing difference a few dividers can make.
Time to put those drawers back into the desk.
I seriously am completely in love with how they turned out.
How to Organize a Messy Drawer Recap:
- Declutter the drawer. Take everything out and be honest about its use.
- Sort, group, and arrange similar items into piles.
- Plan storage solutions like some pretty diy drawer dividers.
- Arrange your storage inside your drawers.
- Most importantly, maintain your drawer organization so you don’t need to organize it again!
Frequently Asked Questions
I can think of a gazillion things but I have only experience with two, cardstock and cardboard from boxes. Using the technique I’m showing here, anything less heavy than cover cardstock might not hold for long and way too heavier might need tweaking in the formula I’m sharing here.
But the truth is, dividers can be made out of anything. It will depend on your skills and how perfectionist you are. You can use a wide range of pretty cardstock, or upcycle boxes and cover them with fabric or wrapping paper just to give some ideas.
I can’t say I have used them all but I could say any type. BUT it will really depend on the material you are using. Some types of cardstock and paper get wavy and wrinkly with some glues. That’s why I love UHU so much.
However, some alternatives would be double-sided tape, white glue (if your cardstock is strong enough), hot glue, cold silicone (again if your cardstock is strong enough).
Pretty much any drawer. If you find strong cardstock, you can use it in your kid’s drawers, dresser drawers, or your utensil drawer (although I would probably use contact paper as well to protect the dividers). Just make sure wherever you use them, they get in contact with humidity, water, or way too heavy things that might damage your dividers.
More Organization Ideas to try:
If you enjoyed this DIY drawer dividers tutorial, you might find useful these organizing ideas too:
DIY Drawer Dividers for Desk Organizing Tutorial
- Cutter or Scissors
- Embossing tool (optional)
- Cardstock plain or scrapbook cardstock work perfectly
- Paper clips
- The first you need to do is empty your drawer and measure the inside.
- Cut a piece of cardstock the exact size of your drawer. It should fit perfectly inside your drawer.
- Place your drawer pattern on a table and start placing your items on it where you think they should be.
- Once you are happy with the placement, make marks with a pencil between each item or group of items.
- Then trace lines that surround the items. You should get something like this (with your own spaces of course):
- Test the pattern in your drawer to see if you like it.
- Time to design your drawer dividers.
- The pattern gives you the size of the base of your drawer dividers. Now you need to decide the height.
- I decided I wanted to make the sides stronger so I added an overlap that folds outwards. But this is totally optional.
- Formula to draw your drawer divider pattern:
- Overlap – Side – base – side – overlap .
- If you don’t want the overlap then it’s:
- Side – base – side.
- Cut the out line borders.
- So once you finish you should have something like this and this is how it works:
- Cut out the corners as shown.
- Then cut the 4 lines I showed in red.
- The overlaps should be fold out wards:
- Then the sides are folded inwards.
- Apply glue to the flaps and glue them to the sides on the outside.
- Then glue the overlap.
- Let it dry for a few minutes and there you go!!!
- Make all the drier dividers you need and start putting them in your drawer.
- We got some pretty drawers here!!!
- Put your all your items as planned in your drawers and see the amazing different a few dividers can make.
- Time to put those drawers back into the desk.
Liked this solution to organize your desk drawers? Don’t forget to share with your friends!
Til' next time...