Before and After: 3 Messy Drawers Get a Makeover With $1 Trays from Target

published Oct 12, 2019
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Credit: Ashley Poskin

I love my desk, I truly do. And I’m an old fashioned desktop computer gal, so I sit at it daily to check emails, edit photos and you know—do everything one might sit at a desk to do. I also share my desk with my husband who uses it hoard paper, write letters, and store ledgers. Lately though, our shared space has turned into a mishmash of things that at one time had been set on top of the desk then hastily swept into the drawers while clearing off the top. 

It looked awful, and it took more time than it should have to simply find a pen. It made me start to consider what we should be storing in the desk to better meet our needs versus what we were storing in the desk because we thought that was where certain items were supposed to be stored.

So I took on an organizational overhaul, decluttering as much as I could from our workspace, plus adding in some affordable trays to keep what was left over looking more orderly.

Here’s how it went:

Credit: Ashley Poskin

I knew that at least half the items in the desk would be finding another home, but wanted to be prepared with organizational trays for the things that stayed, so I headed to Target to see what I could find. I basically had three requirements:

• not ugly
• very affordable
• shallow, because my middle drawer is just around 2″ deep

After searching through office supplies, back to school supplies, the bullseye dollar spot section, and home decor, I ended up in bathroom organization, of all places.

I found these bath trays from the Made by Design line and they ticked every box. The shallow trays were just $1 each (I mixed these wider, flatter ones with these narrower ones), and the deeper tray was $5. I loaded up on all sizes and headed home where I removed everything into sorted piles.

First up, the left drawer.

Credit: Ashley Poskin

The left drawer is still my husbands drawer and holds everything he uses on a weekly basis. I was able to stack the shallow trays 3 high which allowed me to maximize space while keeping organized. I stored the old bill books and other important paperwork in a different filing cabinet, bagged up loose papers for shredding, and stored his current ledgers in the very back of the drawer.

Credit: Ashley Poskin

Next, I conquered the shallow middle drawer.

Credit: Ashley Poskin
Credit: Ashley Poskin

There was so much in here we didn’t need—it was like a junk drawer. So I decided the middle drawer should be dedicated to only the things we reach for most often: pens and pencils, chargers and earbuds, chapstick, lotion, and bobby pins. With the shallow trays, I was even able to create a space for excess jewelry I always seem to remove/fidget with while working at my desk.

Last, I sorted through my dedicated drawer on the right.

Credit: Ashley Poskin

First, I removed items we used once or twice a year (or not at all) like old digital files (CDs, old flash drives), old cell phones, and other digital accessories and placed them in a storage box with a label to free up the most space.

Then, I filled my drawer with the things I reach for the most: camera equipment, wipes (because my desk is in the sunroom with all the windows open, so the outdoors are always blowing in and settling on the surface), an eye mask, candy, hair scarf, and crayons for doodling.

It really just came down to reassessing how we were using this particular piece of furniture, and then re-organizing it to make it work best for us. I’m relieved to finally be able to quickly find what I’m looking for, and somehow love my desk even more now than I did before!