Organize & Clean

Before and After: A Zero-Cost, 10-Minute Reorganization Turns a Messy Drawer into a Tidy One

published Jul 15, 2022
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Before: drawer with cling wrap and aluminum foil

Buying organizing products is fun, but it’s far too easy for them to turn into a distraction that hinders efforts to get rid of things and wastes money. This is why organizing experts stress the importance of decluttering before buying containers and organizing products. When you wait until you’ve thinned out your belongings and then categorized them, you ensure that you won’t be neatly storing items you should have gotten rid of, and you can measure and buy precisely the containers you need. 

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Sometimes, though, decluttering gives you the containers you need so you don’t have to buy anything new at all! This scenario is especially convenient and resourceful, and it’s exactly what happened when Amanda Stickney (@montrie_co.organizing) set out to tackle her plastic bag drawer. 

Sarah’s bag drawer, where she stashed her boxes of Ziploc bags bothered her because she “always hated the look of Ziploc bag boxes. In this particular drawer, some of them would even nick the top and make it difficult to close.” No one needs that visual angst and frustration when all they want to do is grab a single item.

One day, as Sarah was organizing elsewhere around her home, she found herself in possession of a few extra drawer bins. “I had some spare time on my hands and was rearranging some other areas in my house, which freed up the drawer bins, and I figured they’d be perfect for the Ziploc bags!” she recalls.

To get rid of all the original packaging of her bags, Sarah used these bins to transform her messy drawer — all within 10 minutes and without spending a dime.

The only hiccup Sarah encountered was that it was surprisingly difficult to hold a handful of slippery plastic bags. Once she put them in the containers, she changed her mind about how she wanted to place them inside. “I thought the bags would be able to lay flat but it was awkward and so I stood them up instead,” she says. “It ended up working better because it looked neater and I also could fit more bags in the bins like that.”

While Sarah has her baggies sorted by size and knows where each one is, she does have each bin labeled so that her husband and babysitter know where each size bag is stored. Additionally, Sarah explains that labeling is also “important in keeping the drawer organized because I don’t want them pulling out several bags in order to find the one they need and not being able to neatly put the other ones back.”

Encouraging others who want to take on a similar project, Sarah suggests working with what you got at home first. “Most drawer bins will get the job done,” she says, pointing out that she now keeps her back stock items in their original packaging elsewhere. 

Now that her drawer is organized, Sarah gets a little pick-me-up each time she goes to get a bag. When asked what her favorite part of the project is, she says, “The look. It is so refreshing to open the drawer and not see chaos!” 

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