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Organize Desk Drawers with this Quick, Simple, and Cheap Solution

Organize desk drawers in minutes with this quick DIY solution

Last month I mentioned a bunch of home projects that I finally finished. Organizing our office desk drawers was a daunting task that I avoided for half a year. I avoided it until the day I couldn’t find the printer ink. In this post I’m going to highlight an easy, custom solution for organizing your drawers when you just cannot stand it for another second. And how you can do that with sturdy scrapbook paper.

The typical process for me going from concept to design to implementation of a home organization project goes something like this:

  1. Ignore a messy corner of our living/working space.
  2. Get annoyed by disorganization for months. Maybe a year.
  3. During that time, make half-ass efforts to “fix” the issue (like the “organized” drawers below).
  4. In one hour of I HAVE HAD ENOUGH, develop concept, design, and implement.
  5. Feel like a champion.
make these custom holders to organize your desk drawer

half-ass organization at its finest

And that’s exactly how it happened one day. I was looking for printer ink. I looked through the 6 drawers in this awesome Ikea drawer unit three times. Each. And I couldn’t find it. It was very annoying. So I tore that drawer down.

In my fury, I didn’t have the patience to shop for a solution. It had to be done at that very moment OR SO HELP ME…

#millenialproblems

So I crafted this solution by taking measurements of the drawer width, and maximized use of the textured cardstock paper stack I had in my stash for longer than I’ve had this disorganization problem.

Here are the steps. If it’s not clear or if you have any questions, comment at the end of the post.

What you need:

  • 12″ x 12″ paper, preferably heavy cardstock . You will need at least one or two more than the total number of drawer organizers that you’re making.
  • a pencil
  • scissors
  • stapler and / or tape (I used both)
  • a ruler
  • a 12″ straight line paper cutter will make it easier, but is not necessary

Total time: depends on how motivated you are. I did the entire project in an hour.

make these custom holders to organize your desk drawerMeasure the width of the drawer and estimate the size of the base of the box. This is a 2-dimensional shape. You’ll add the sides later.

To get the sizing, I used a piece of standard office paper (8.5″ x 11″) and folded the sides until I had the dimensions that fit. I measured it and rounded down to the nearest whole number.

Once you have the desired base dimensions, cut out a piece of card stock in that size. Place the paper in the drawer to make sure it fits. Make any adjustments to the dimensions. My final dimensions were 9 inches long by 3.25 inches wide – a perfect size for a stack of pens and pencils.

make these custom holders to organize your desk drawerOnce the base dimensions are finalized, you’ll want to add sides. This part is a little tricky because that shape needs to fit on a single piece of paper. I traced the shape of the base onto a 12″ x 12″ scrapbooking paper, rotating the shape so it was at a 45-degree angle on the paper.

On each side of the rectangle, I made a smaller rectangle, 2 inches wide. On the long sides, these rectangles are 9″ by 2″. On the short side, they are 3.25″ by 2″.

make these custom holders to organize your desk drawerOnce those rectangles are made, connect the corners with a diagnoal line (making a triangle) and intersect that line with a perpendicular line (making a “T”) from the corner of the base.

draw out paper drawer organizersWhen you cut the shape out, cut on all the outside lines so that it looks like this.

make these custom holders to organize your desk drawerYou will use this one as a template for the future cuts. Trace each outside line, including the bisect line, on the cardstock or heavyweight paper you want to use.

make these custom holders to organize your desk drawerYour traced line will look like this.

make these custom holders to organize your desk drawerAnd you will trace and cut as many as you need to organize your drawer.

Once you have them all traced and cut, start folding along the base. In this step you can use the original 2-dimensional rectangle you cut first to be your guide.

make these custom holders to organize your desk drawer> Fold each flap in towards the center of the rectangle, pressing down to make a strong fold (I run the edge of the ruler along the fold to make it stronger).

> Next, fold each triangular side piece towards the middle of that rectangle. In this step, you’ll see the box coming to shape. It will look like the next picture.

make these custom holders to organize your desk drawerThe last step is to use a stapler or tape to form the box by connecting those little triangle flaps together.

make these custom holders to organize your desk drawerThe best part is filling them with all of your miscellaneous office supplies and reveling in the glory which is a mess-turned-organized drawer.

make these custom holders to organize your desk drawerBecause I have a 6-drawer file cabinet, I also added labels to the outside of the cabinet to indicate the contents. My six drawers include: tape & staplers, pens & pencils, markers, sticky notes & flash drives, art supplies & push pins, and a random electronics drawer.

Organize desk drawers in minutes with this quick DIY solution

Right now those fancy “labels” are just sticky notes, but eventually they will be chalkboard stickers with white ink. And they will look awesome.

If you do this project, please send the results!

xoxo,

Julie

 

Organize desk drawers in minutes with this quick DIY solution

2 Comments

  1. Hey Julie, thanks so much for the inspiration. I have cleaned out my desk drawer made 3 x small and 3 x large boxes plus one long one for rulers etc. The drawer is a pleasure to use now. Will post on my blog and tag your blog. Cheers!

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