Wood Drawer Organizers

Submitted by Ana White on Sun, 03/20/2011 - 23:11
| Print this plan

Building wood drawer dividers for existing drawers can be easy and easily customized for your drawers. With this simple plan, you can divide and conquer even the messiest of Junk Drawers.

Welcome, welcome, welcome to our dream home.

And thank you for your patience and understanding with the site as we've made this move.  I know that there have been many issues, and I'm sure there will still be some bugs that need to be worked out, and I appreciate so much that you are working with me on this, and share my vision for less browsing, more building. 
Please, shoot me an email if you have a site suggestion.  I can't promise to answer every email, or take every recommendation, but I do read and make decisions based on your feedback.  Thank you to those of you who have already submitted feedback.
I also appreciate everyone's patience with me as I focused my time toward building the site instead of building projects, and have not been able to post as often as usual. I cannot wait to get back to building and building more!
It isn't just my posts that have been neglected in this past month.  As I look around my home, swear the scale is broken (true story - I went over to the neighbors today to weigh myself because I was certain our scale was broken . . . and it's not) and try to figure out which room to start on first, it's not in dismay.  I actually feel oddly accomplished at the chaos.
Have you been here?  You've been up all day (and probably all night too), haven't sat for a second, you cooked, cleaned, paid bills, did laundry, cooked again, did the dishes yet again . . . and then your husband comes home and looks around the still messy house and says "Sooooo . . . what did you do today?"  
The most difficult part of being a homemaker for me has always been feeling like no matter what I do, how hard I work, I am not accomplishing anything.  And some kind person is going to comment that we are raising beautiful children, and what could be more accomplishing than that, and they are absolutely right.  But on a day to day basis, my biggest struggle has always been seeing that first, and seeing the room I just cleaned get destroyed in five minutes and being okay with picking it all up all over again.
But as I look around at our home in it's current state of disarray, it says to me, Ana, you do matter.  Because look what happens when you are not there to straighten up a bookcase that you think no one will ever notice, do an extra load of laundry, clean the tub.  That little bit of dusting here and there, though never enough, it does matter.  I am making a difference.  
So in an odd way, I find myself encouraged to start getting my home back into order.  And you just gotta start in the kitchen, and I decided to tackle my room of shame.  Rather, drawer of shame.
I still am trying to come to terms with the fact that this very drawer has been this horrible for several YEARS . . . and for about the cost of a cup of coffee, and for about the amount of time it takes to drink that cup of coffee, I could have had this . . .
Especially considering I spent $100 on plastic organizers for the matching drawer . . . and they just don't every stay in place quite right.  $2 and an hour.  Why didn't I do this years ago?
Do you have a junk drawer?  Take this morning and organize it with dividers, and I'm going to show you just how.
Custom to fit your Drawers


Shopping List

1 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long

Common Materials
2 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
Cut List

Cut to fit your drawers

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

One thing I learned when designing and developing this website was that you have to think in columns. The junk drawer is no different. First we need to divide it into columns. So take a measurement of the inside depth or your drawers.

That is of course after you have done the most difficult part - clean the drawer out and then remove it from the cabinet.

Step 2

If you have an extra wide drawer like I do, you may wish to use two dividers. For a narrow drawer, just one divider down the center. First and foremost, consider what you will be storing inside the compartments. Bills? Envelopes? Letter sized paper? Pens and pencils? Take some time to consider as you plan your dividers. Lay the main dividers out as shown above.

Step 3

Then screw two smaller dividers to each of the long dividers as shown above. Do not make the compartments so small that you cannot reach inside the compartments easily.

Step 4

Finally, add the center dividers to divide up the center space and to keep the side dividers in place. Use 2" screws and glue.

Step 5

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Finish Used
Because this drawer is going to hold eating utensils, I simple gave the wood a good sanding a a coat of mineral oil to seal it.
Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.


Tina Bucci (not verified)

Tue, 09/11/2012 - 10:06

I went through the same struggle recently - trying to find drawer dividers, only to be disappointed with the outrageous cost. I was using them in my bedroom to keep my husbands drawers from becoming utter chaos lol. I settled on cardboard. I cut cardboard pieces from old boxes and covered them in dollar store decorative laminate paper. I have to say I am pretty pleased with the results. They certainly aren't as sturdy as wood would have been, but they do the job I needed (and have a little give to shove one more sweater in!). Just thought I'd share for someone looking for another solution. I'm just getting started with wood myself, so cardboard is less intimidating lol.


Wed, 08/20/2014 - 10:59

I have made a couple of drawer dividers for utensils (spoons, forks, knives). I found it helpful to cut oval sections out of the tops of the dividers as it results in easier access to items and also prevents scraps on knuckles. I simply measured in 1 1/2 inches in on the ends of the dividers and marked the spots with a pencil. I then placed an upside-down plate on the marks and traced around the plate for an outlined half oval for cutting. I used a jig saw to cut out the sections and sanded as needed. Using this technique resulted in uniform cuts for each section and gives it a professional appearance.