This $13 IKEA Closet Tray Is Actually a Stylish, No-Fail Drawer Organizer

published Jan 7, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

When my life is in chaos, I start organizing my apartment. The world outside of my window could be on fire, but I feel a small sense of control when my closet is filled with bins and shelf separators and when the pantry has carefully labeled containers and crates. 2020 was the poster child for chaos, so you can only imagine just how tidy my one-bedroom apartment is now.

During my tidying frenzy though, I ran into a bit of a snag when it came to setting up my WFH space: I couldn’t find drawer organizers that would actually fit into my desk. I built my own table using stock IKEA products, choosing a butcher block tabletop and an ALEX filing cabinet as one of the desk “legs.” I was, however, crushed—some would say unreasonably—when I discovered the SUMERA drawer inserts IKEA sells for desks didn’t actually fit into the ALEX drawers.

I wanted an insert—and not bins—for two reasons. First, it looks nicer when you open a drawer, and it’s completely encased by an organizer. Second, a well-fitting organizer means less shifting and sliding of individual bins every time you open or close a drawer. Though I’ve since learned you can use museum putty to keep smaller drawer organizers in place, that still doesn’t solve the aesthetic issue of my first point.

I went into full Eeyore mode and walked around IKEA sulking, eventually taking my moping self to the closet department. Maybe being surrounded by off-white bins and the whoosh of soft-closing drawers would help perk me up? Turns out that this did the trick, but only because I found something unexpected for my desk there. While weaving in between the custom closet displays, I spotted a dark gray organizer meant for nightstand essentials and wardrobe odds-and-ends—things like glasses, jewelry, and scarves. It was the RAGGISAR closet tray, but it looked like the exact size of my ALEX desk drawers.

I grabbed one of the trays and ran over to the office department, and it slid into the desk seamlessly. Success! 

Credit: Marlen Komar

Even though they’re designed for watches, ties, and other accessory-like objects, the RAGGISAR closet trays fit pens, highlighters, small notebooks, and sticky notes perfectly. Typically, desk drawer organizers are hardshell plastic, but I love the soft felted gray finish of these. They make my desk setup look much fancier than it is and fit like a glove, so there’s none of the loud shuffling and such I wrote about above. Even better, they’re stackable should I want to really utilize EVERY square inch of the filing cabinet’s double-high base drawer one day. That’s priceless!