Tidy Everything From Loose Lipstick to Flatware With the Best Drawer Organizers
Ready, set, declutter every room in the house.
Published Apr 28, 2022 7:00 PM
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Styling an open, floating shelf to show off our favorite coffee mugs or latest dinnerware purchase, or stacking up color-coordinated book spines complete with a framed piece of art, brings us joy and satisfaction. But then there’s everything else—including the clutter that we’d much prefer stashing away into a kitchen cabinet or closet for no eyes to peep.
But storing your items in a drawer doesn’t make them any less beautiful or important; they should be treated with as much thought as your carefully curated bookcase or bar cart. The best drawer organizers take your clutter and elevate it to look like a work of art, even if it is neatly tucked away, argues Nick Carmen, cofounder of Toko Design. “Your home should make you proud, and keeping it organized should be fun. Complement your style with the organizers you use—there are few things more satisfying than a beautifully organized space.”
To help you get started, we put together a list of the best drawer organizers to tidy any tools or rooms that give you trouble, from the kitchen to the bathroom to the bedroom, below.
- Best for cutlery: Rev-A-Shelf Tiered Cutlery Drawer
- Best for pantry items: The Container Store Home Edit Sand Bins
- Best for makeup and skin care: Toko Modular Organizer
- Best for jewelry: Yamazaki Home Accessory Box
- Best for clothes: Open Spaces Drawer Dividers
- Best for office supplies: Three by Three Seattle Drawer Organizer
- Best for papers: West Elm Slim File Box Set
Best for Cutlery: Rev-A-Shelf Tiered Cutlery Drawer
Height: 4 inches | Material: Wood | For: The kitchen
What we like:
- 2 drawer systems in one
- Add on a knife block or extra sections for plastic wrap
- Durable, clear-coat finish
- Must mount to your cabinet with brackets
Why we chose it: Hack your kitchen drawers to feel custom with sliding top trays.
If the kitchen is your main haven, we’re guessing you have an extensive knife collection and one too many cooking tools or ice cream scoops, in addition to all of your forks and spoons. And if the idea of parting ways with any of these extra pieces is too much, a tiered organizer maximizes whatever sort of space you do have to take it from overflowing to contained. Really, it’s like the hidden room of drawers—Rev-A-Shelf doubles up space for your silverware with preassembled accessories and a sliding top tray. While you’ve likely seen this brand’s innovative solutions for spices and narrow openings, this is what our home editor Lydia Geisel would pick if she could highlight only one organizer (two-tiered or bust, as she says).
Best for Pantry Items: The Container Store Home Edit Sand Bins
Height: 3 inches | Material: Wood | For: The kitchen
What we like:
- Warp-resistant wood
- Wipe clean only
Why we chose it: Consider these bins your pantry-sorting starter kit.
If you’re lucky enough to have pull-out pantry drawers, they’re likely wide open to fit a plethora of dried goods but deep, meaning reaching for those items stored in the way, way back will be a task—so much so you may even forget they’re there at all. Our solution? Section off a space for everything—your rice and quinoa, your pasta and cereal—with The Home Edit’s wood bins. Categorize by need with one big base bin, then add on a few smaller accessories for tinier packages like tea bags and sugar, to create extra compartments. Plus the cutout handle makes it easy to pull things out and forward so you can get a better look at what’s inside (and never let your groceries transpire past their expiration dates again).
Best for Makeup and Skin Care: Toko Modular Organizer
Height: Varies | Materials: Wood and steel | For: The kitchen, bathroom, bedroom
What we like:
- High-quality materials
- No tools necessary to install
- One of the priciest options on our list
Why we chose it: Completely customizable, this organizer is always the perfect fit.
Forget the medicine cabinet selfie, Toko promises to transform your bathroom drawers into a work of art—literally. The company’s name is inspired by the Japanese concept tokonoma, which describes the alcove of a home where paintings, pottery, and other decorative items are tastefully displayed. And yes, while we can see Toko’s modular organizer working in any type of drawer (especially the kitchen), this is the ultimate way to separate your skin care (line the products up on a spice rack) from your makeup (dividers will keep all your lipsticks together instead of rolling around with mascara tubes of the same likeness). And if all the possible configurations are overwhelming, you can default to Toko’s precreated layouts. The best part? There’s no math required—simply measure the width and depth of your drawer, round to the nearest half-inch, and Toko will figure out the rest.
Best for Jewelry: Yamazaki Home Accessory Box
Height: 2.8 inches | Materials: Polystone and wood | For: The bathroom or bedroom
What we like:
- Sleek, minimalistic design
- No assembly required
- Only 1 large compartment
Why we chose it: For displaying (or hiding) your jewels and trinkets.
Group like items together with Yamazaki’s accessory box. Normal jewelry boxes hide all your bits and baubles, but the lipped edge of this accessory box can easily fit into any dresser drawer and keep your most-worn items out on top for easy access, whether it’s the huggie hoops you put on every morning or the rings you keep on rotation. Inside, you can keep everything else, like watches, glasses, and bracelets or other accessories that are less likely to make an appearance. Or stack up a few if you have superdeep drawers.
Best for Clothes: Open Spaces Drawer Dividers
Height: 3.5 inches | Materials: Wood | For: The bedroom
What we like:
- Solid wood
- Free returns and 30-day trial
- Only sold as set of 2
Why we chose it: Keep your shorts from spilling over into your T-shirts.
One of the trickiest places to keep tidy, in our opinion, is a dresser drawer (especially if you happen to suffer from a shopping addiction). Rather than putting your clothes in separate boxes, try dividers; they will curb your tendency to pile all your garments into one giant pile. They also make it easier to see what’s readily available, cutting back on clutter (and the time it takes to throw together an outfit). Open Spaces’s extendable solid wood options are the farthest thing from flimsy, as most lightweight plastic dividers tend to feel, creating more tension between the sides of your drawers. Silicone stoppers on the end strengthen the grip and are gentle enough to not leave any scratches or marks.
Best for Office Supplies: Three by Three Seattle Drawer Organizer
Height: 1-inch | Materials: Plastic | For: The office
What we like:
- Mix-and-match sizing
- Great price point
- Reviews reveal some trays won’t sit flush
Why we chose it: Color-coordinated destinations for your pens and Post-it notes.
Tired of hearing your pens rolling around or being unable to locate your long-lost paper clips? Your desk drawer could likely benefit from this set of five different sized organizers. While it’s offered in a number of color ranges, we particularly love how a fun neon moment can bring a bit of happiness to a dreary home office (or WFH day). A lot of modern writing-style desks only come with a single slim drawer, but these dividers are shallow enough to slide right in without a hiccup. And we can’t help but appreciate the nonstick soft bases, which not only keep these cuties in place but prevent scratches from incurring, too.
Best for Papers: West Elm Slim File Box Set
Height: 12 inches | Materials: Acrylic | For: The office
What we like:
- Comes in a set of 3
- Slim and functional
- A filing system without the cabinet
- Requires a deep drawer
Why we chose it: Keep your bills, coupons, and work notes separated.
You don’t have to own a filing cabinet to keep your papers in order. Take advantage of a deep desk drawer with this bundle that comes with a chic acrylic box and hanging folders. We all have a tendency to let junk mail pile up, but this gives your papers a place to live if important enough to evade the recycling bin. The handle makes it easy to move it in and out for easy access, so you don’t have to worry about hunching over until you find the folder you’re after. Buy as many as you need (or as many as you can fit). Pro tip: If you already have manilla folders lying around, just buy the box on its own sans folders.
How We Chose These Products
The best drawer organizers are versatile—our favorite picks are suited for a range of rooms, whether you need a knife block for your kitchen drawer or stackable acrylic trays in the bathroom for your toiletries and cleaning supplies. We made sure our picks offered a range of price points—from less than $15 to over $100—with an emphasis on flexibility for personalized organization, but kept things simple. Too many compartments can get confusing (and tricky to fit). We also prioritized materials that were durable and sturdy (and sustainable!) to stand up over years of use.
Our Shopping Checklist
“Traditionally, a lot of drawer organizers were made of plastic,” explains Carmen. And while we love the clarity of acrylic, it isn’t the only option to consider, especially from a sustainability standpoint. A few of our favorite drawer organizers are made from wood, which is durable enough to withstand nicks from sharper objects like flatware, but can still house softer assortments like linen and cloth.
Fixed or Modular
The main difference between the types of organizers—aside from whether they have a specific destination, such as the best silverware drawer organizer or best bathroom drawer organizer—is whether they’re fixed or modular. Most are sold as solid boxes or bins that you can either stack or add extra compartments to, giving them a modular component that feels customizable but are still predetermined in size. Adjustable dividers and sliding trays, however, can be selected prepurchase to best fit your needs. And yes, while they can run on the pricier side, they’re guaranteed to utilize every inch of space you have (especially if you have an awkward or teeny-tiny drawer). But before hitting “add to cart,” it’s important to know the overall dimensions of the area subject to organizing in order to avoid having to deal with products that are too wide or too tall to prevent your drawer from closing.
Install and Application
Most drawer organizers are as easy to set up as removing them from the packaging and sliding them in, whereas others may require a bit more finessing (Rev-A-Shelf, for example, needs to be assembled and screwed into the sides and front of your cabinet drawer, but doing so ensures nothing will ever move out of place).
The key, though, is setting yourself up for long-term organization. “Less is usually more,” explains Carmen. “When you’re getting organized, it can be helpful to think through how you actually use the space: What do you interact with most, and what types of objects typically go together?” Designing from this perspective can also help you stop putting things away at random and messing up all the hard work you did in the first place. Try to keep things down to the essentials and don’t be afraid to throw away or donate whatever you aren’t using, he adds.
Q: What’s the first step to decluttering my drawers?
According to professional organizers Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit, you have to remove everything out of the designated drawer first and start paring things down. “The space should be completely empty when you begin. It might look messy at first, but trust us, this is where the magic happens,” they share. Once everything is laid out in front of you, start categorizing. “You may be tempted to skip this step, but it’s important. Categorizing makes editing visually easier when deciding what you keep, toss, or repurpose (especially if you have any duplicates),” explain Shearer and Teplin. “Then editing boils down to asking yourself three questions: 1.) Do you need it? 2.) Do you ever use it? 3.) Do you ever want to use it? If the answer is ‘no’ to any of the above, it’s time to ditch or donate. Keep two labeled bins or trash bags close by to keep everything in order.”
Q: Is there a difference between an exceptional drawer organizer and an average one?
Of course. If you’re wary of a high price tag, just look at the materials (plastic versus wood) and the best drawer organizer’s ability to work within the dimensions of your drawer. That’s why modular organizers are one cut above the rest. “Drawers come in all shapes and sizes, and so do your things!” points out Carmen. “The last thing you want is not to be able to organize your favorite items because they don’t fit inside the product you’re using.”
Q: Do I have to organize my junk drawer?
Honestly? It’s up for debate. Nearly every home inevitably ends up with a junk drawer—it’s the one place where all your miscellaneous items can live (often because there’s no other suitable place). Designer Justina Blakeney has told us it’s the one spot she’d rather leave uncategorized. Or do as pro organizer Julianna Strickland suggests and reframe the drawer’s purpose altogether as a “utility drawer.” In which case, adding a simple container to keep loose pens or batteries from rolling around every time you open it can make it feel tame but not too controlled. (Just make sure you aren’t hanging on to any unnecessary receipts or old grocery lists—those really should be tossed.)
The Last Word
The best drawer organizers are key to decluttered living—sort all your knickknacks with space dividers, bins, sliding trays, and modular boxes to prevent your drawers, closet, or dresser from turning into a miscellaneous catchall. By creating a destination for categorized items—whether it’s makeup and skin care, toiletries and cleaning supplies, or food and flatware—you’ll create more order than ever before and with minimal upkeep.