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Organizing in 10 Minute Blocks: Chest of Drawers

chest of drawers

Springtime is a good time to organize your chest of drawers. Seasons are changing and some things you have been wearing all winter are either ready to be retired or rotated. People use their chest of drawers for different purposes. A lot of it depends on what other clothes storage options you have. It really doesn’t matter what you store in your drawers as long as you have a plan.

Each drawer should have a purpose. Storing like items together makes it easier to put items away and easier to find items.

Here’s an example

Let me use my chest of drawers as an example.

My top drawer holds my socks.

My second drawer holds underwear.

My third drawer holds short sleeve shirts.

My fourth drawer holds long sleeve shirts and a couple of dress sweaters.

My bottom drawer holds shorts, a couple of yoga outfits, and one set of scrubs.

As you might have noticed sweatshirts and jeans don’t live here but are stored elsewhere.

10 minute blocks

It’s hard for me to schedule big chunks of time to do deep cleaning and organizing. I find it easier to chunk the tasks into 10-minute blocks of time. I can often do two or three 10-minute blocks in a day but maybe not in a row.

Use the cards

Diane Quintana and I developed a card game – Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time. This year I decided to use these cards. The way the cards work makes it easy to stop after 10 minutes and come back later.

There is one card for the top of the chest. Since the top of my chest is relatively uncluttered, I accomplish this task in about 5 minutes.

Then there is one card for tackling the individual drawers – one drawer at a time.

The sock drawer

sock drawer

I started with the top drawer  in the chest of drawers which is my sock drawer, I took everything out, and placed the items on the bed. Then I took a damp sponge and wiped out the drawer. Next I tossed a couple of pair of socks that had developed holes in them. I put aside to darn a very favorite pair that was beginning to get a hole in the heel. I tossed a bandanna that I had bought early in the pandemic thinking I would use it as a mask. Then I matched up all remaining socks and put them back in the drawer according to types – socks with support, actual support hosiery, heavier winter socks, and the lighter weight socks. I also keep here a device that helps me put on support hose. Done in less than 10 minutes.

sock drawer - after

Next I did the second drawer in the chest of drawers which holds the underwear. I emptied the contents onto my bed and wiped out the drawer. Then I sorted like items together and tossed anything that was beginning to look sad and out of shape. Finally, I put the remaining items back into the drawer. Again, done is less than 10 minutes.

My time was up for that day but on a later time I followed the same procedure with the remaining drawers.

What was left for me to do in order to say “done” was to clean the chest of drawers with a damp sponge and put a coat of wax on it.

In conclusion

What seemed like a tedious task became quite manageable when broken down into small steps.  Now all the drawers are organized. I can easily open and close each drawer and I can see at a glance what is in them.

The point is that if you break down big jobs, like organizing a chest of drawers, into small parts it is not overwhelming.  The job can be accomplished easily, and you will feel relieved that the job is done.

If you want help or just some accountability in working your organizational plan join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space For You clutter support group. Click here to read more blogs on this topic.


Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of four books as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients

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