Unstick That Drawer

Do you have a drawer that is hard to open because something gets stuck? I’m guessing you do. Many of my clients do, and on occasion, even I have one.

I see this happen mainly in two places — the kitchen and the dresser. Occasionally it happens in the bathroom if you are lucky enough to have drawer space in your vanity.

There are two main causes for an overflowing drawer:

  • The drawer has too much stuff in it.
  • The items in the drawer need to be arranged a different way.

If the drawer has too much stuff in it, then the solution is clear. The best way to go about cleaning out a drawer is to empty it all out, then go through each item one at a time before putting it back. You’ll be surprised about some of the items that are in that drawer.

If it’s a clothes drawer, then there are probably things on the bottom of the drawer that you haven’t seen in a long time. Be honest about whether or not you will ever wear them. If it’s a kitchen or bathroom drawer, there are sure to be things you’ve forgotten about. There may also be doubles (even triples) of the same item. Get rid of what you don’t need.

You may also find that the drawer has strayed from its original purpose. Did pajamas find their way into your t-shirt drawer? Did batteries end up in your utensil drawer? By relocating the interlopers to their rightful locations and reestablishing the purpose of that drawer, you’ll reduce some of the overload and make it easier to find things when you need them.

If everything in that drawer really does belong in that drawer, and there’s nothing that you can get rid of, then consider arranging things a different way. In my kitchen, my utensil drawer has flat items (spatulas, cake server, pizza slicer) and rounded items (serving spoons, salad server). By keeping the flat items in one section of the drawer and the rounded items in another, I can nest them somewhat and prevent the drawer from getting stuck.

If a pile of clothing gets stuck when you open a drawer, consider folding the items a different way so that they stand up instead of lie down. It may take some experimentation to figure out how many times you need to fold each item so it fits in the drawer standing up — it depends on the depth of the drawer, and the length of each item. Once you figure it out, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to fit your clothes, and how nice it is to see everything at once.

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