Make This: Tame cluttered drawers with quick and easy DIY organizer
Jan 25, 2014 | 6789 views |  0 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Deirdre Long/The Anniston Star
Deirdre Long/The Anniston Star
Maybe it’s a late New Year’s resolution, or maybe I’m feeling overcrowded from sharing space with Christmas presents — a Thomas the Tank Engine table served double-duty as our coffee table for several weeks — but lately I’ve been on a streak of purging and organizing. And now that the new laundry and bathroom are built, we have extra storage space so I want to get things in their places.

Notice I said built, not completed. My husband and I are doing all the finish work ourselves — painting, shelving, etc. The kitchen’s getting even more attention, as the walls had to be patched in some places, so there’s been lots of sanding and cutting and cursing — and dust. But it’s all coming together. The new cabinets give us twice as much storage as the old ones, and to take full advantage of the extra space, organization is key. I have utensil holders for most of our items, but when it came to the drawer in my baking station — yes, there’s now enough room to dedicate a little corner just to baking — things were a mess.

I’ve turned to Pinterest for my decorating and organization ideas, and it hasn’t let me down. Yes, I could probably buy an organizer, but I needed one that would fit around my measuring cups and spoons, cookie cutters, candy thermometer and other baking and cooking tools.

Speaking of Pinterest, check out our new Pinterest page at There are boards for every category of food (i.e. breakfast, lunch, entrees, slow cooker, vegetarian), decorating and organization ideas. And, of course, a couple of boards for craft and DIY ideas, as well as some gardening, too. I’m telling you, if you need inspiration for any project, look on Pinterest.

Now back to organization. All it took to get my baking drawer in order were a couple of yardsticks. That’s why this project is great. It’s easy, requires no special tools (just a utility knife or box cutter) and it’s pretty inexpensive — wooden yardsticks are less than $1 at Lowe’s. Sure, Lowe’s gets free advertising every time someone opens your drawers, but that’s a small price to pay for organization.

There are just three steps to this project: Measure, cut and fit. Measure your drawer and determine how you want the contents of the drawer to fit. One of my priorities was to reign in my rolling pin, which had a tendency roll back and forth in the drawer, slamming into the back and front every time it was opened and closed. I ended up leaving most of the stuff in the drawer and working around it, to make sure everything had a home.

Once you determine how long your piece of yardstick needs to be, score a line on the yardstick at that measurement on both sides. Keep scoring several deep lines on either side of the yardstick, then line the scored edge up on the edge of a table and snap it at the mark (the table edge helps make a clean break). Use the utility knife to clean up any rough edges.

Quick note: If you’re handy with a power saw, this project can be completed even faster. I wanted to watch the latest episode of “Downton Abbey” while I worked, and it was naptime for the kids, so I opted for the quieter, indoor-friendly utility knife. And I was still done well before Lady Mary said her goodbyes to Sir Gillingham.

To make the organizer fit in the drawer, the original method calls for setting up the sticks on a work surface in the pattern you want in the drawer, gluing all the pieces together, letting it dry and then inserting the whole organizer into the drawer. My method was simpler — the pieces I cut were a very snug fit, so the pressure of the different pieces pushing on each other (and the tight fit on the edges) holds the whole thing in place, no glue needed. And since they aren’t set with glue, I can add, remove or rearrange the pieces however I need them. This also makes the project renter-friendly, since nothing is permanent.

I used two yardsticks for my drawer, with a 13-inch piece leftover (small pieces of yardstick make good paint stirrers, so I’ll be holding on to that). You can find the original project and tutorial at
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