Experts share the best ways to organize deep drawers to maximize space

Make the most of deep drawers in kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms with the help of expert advice

dark blue kitchen with white island and coffee cups
(Image credit: Future PLC / Jonathan Gooch)

Deep drawers are a blessing and a curse. They are spacious and can fit in large items that you don't want to be on display or collections of small items that would create clutter if left out. 

However, deep drawers also present challenges. They can themselves become cluttered, and the larger and deeper the drawer the more potential for things to pile up and accumulate inside. If you're not careful, you could even damage the contents, to say nothing of the aesthetically displeasing look of a messy drawer. 

In this article, we'll cover the main rooms where deep drawers often are found, namely kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Plus, we'll cover more unusual situations involving vintage or unique furniture pieces. 

The best ways to organize deep drawers

We spoke to interior designers and cabinetry specialists. Here are the best ways to organize deep drawers according to their expert opinions.

How to organize deep kitchen drawers

minimalist style kitchen rustic feel

(Image credit: Roundhouse)

Deep drawers are most commonly found in kitchens, where they typically form part of kitchen cabinet designs. You may have inherited cabinets with deep drawers from the kitchen's previous owner, or you may be about to embark on a kitchen remodel with custom-built new cabinetry. Either way, organizing your drawers correctly will make a huge difference to both the functionality and the aesthetics of your kitchen storage. Here are the best ways to organize kitchen deep drawers:

Think beyond dividers

Dividers are the automatic solution for deep drawers, but they're not always the best, or best-looking. Kitchen deep drawers especially benefit from exploring other options. Heidi Huddleston, a Certified Kitchen Designer and leader of Delicious Kitchens & Interiors, explains that 'there are peg systems and grid systems as well as inserts' you can use as your kitchen drawer dividers. 

If you really want to separate items within a drawer, you can also use a combination of peg dividers and a traditional drawer divider. We like this peg drawer organizer from Amazon.

Store heavy cookware with the lids on

According to Heidi Huddleston, 'since they are available with heavy duty runners, bulky items like cast iron cookware are easily stored with lids in place in deep drawers.' The sheer weight of cast iron or heavy ceramic cookware will prevent it from those items sliding around. This also makes all your favorite baking dishes and pots easy to locate visually as soon as you open the drawer. 

Heidi Huddleston
Heidi Huddleston

Heidi is leader of the Delicious Kitchens organization. She brings over 30 years of experience and earned her Certified Kitchen Designer Certification from the National Kitchen and Bath Association in 2001. Her designs have been featured Nationally and regionally in the media and recently Heidi won a National Grand Prize for her work in an historic home on Charleston’s Peninsula.

Store glass lids separately

A kitchen drawer with dividers

(Image credit: Adam Kane Macchia)

If you have cookware with fragile glass lids, the best option is to organize them vertically and separately from the pots themselves. Sarah Robertson of Studio Dearborn recommends using 'a combination drawer for pots and lids.  The flexible, vertical dividers keep lids organized, while the rest of the drawer is open for pots and pans.'

Sarah Robertson
Sarah Robertson

Sarah Robertson, AKBD, founded Studio Dearborn in 2008 as a unique source for exquisite kitchens with beautiful, functional storage. Sarah is a certified Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and is on the board of directors for Renovation Angel, a kitchen recycling not-for-profit.

Group similar items together

This method combines functionality with aesthetics, protecting fragile dinnerware from damage from heavier-duty kitchen items and creating a very appealing look on the inside of your drawers. Consider stacking handpainted items and use a pegboard to keep them from sliding off. 

Hide a kitchen appliance in a deep drawer

This is a great option for kitchens with limited countertop space or if you simply don't like looking at your toaster/coffee maker/mixer first thing every morning. Hiding the appliance in a deep drawer can be a brilliant way to save space and create a more streamlined, clutter-free look in your kitchen. This solution is especially useful for appliances you don't use daily.

If you are keeping an everyday-use appliance in a deep drawer it is a good idea to have it plugged in from inside the drawer. This might not be possible if the nearest power outlet is too far away from the drawer; otherwise, it may be possible to drill a whole at the back of the drawer and plug in the appliance without needing to take it out. 

You can also have a power charging station added to the drawer itself; you will need an experienced electrician for the job.

Separate smaller items with a shallow top drawer

Some drawers are so deep that they can fit an additional, shallow drawer on top of the drawer itself. Mandi Juskiewicz, Senior Designer at Dura Supreme Cabinetry, highly recommends installing a shallow roll-out drawer above and inside a deep drawer as ''a fantastic solution for many items. It quickly creates two tiers of storage within one drawer.''

Shallow drawers work very well for organizing small items like cookie cutters, lids, small Tupperware, or cutlery. And, as Mandi points out, they're useful not just in kitchens, but in  ''other rooms like bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and laundry rooms.''

The best ways to organize deep drawers in bedrooms

White dresser, armchair, black vase

(Image credit: Cotswold Company)

In bedrooms, deep drawers are found in closets, chests of drawers, and in dressers. While ideally, custom-built bedroom cabinetry will have smaller, shallower drawers to accommodate smaller items, very often, bedroom furniture comes with just a set of deep drawers. Fortunately, organizing these is easy. 

Use dividers to organize stacks of clothing items

The classic drawer divider organizing strategy works best in bedroom where deep drawers are often used to store stacks of t-shirts and underwear. These items will slide around if left to their own devices, so dividers are a must. 

The trick is to skip plastic dividers. They're typically not very well built, can scratch the inside of your drawers, and just don't look great. Instead, invest in wood drawer dividers, which can be bought on Amazon

If you like your bedroom storage even more stylish, go for the Marie Kondo Bamboo Drawer Organizers from The Container Store. These work as drawers-within-drawers and come in a set of different-sized containers. This makes them a great option for a makeup or jewelry drawer.  

Create a vanity grooming drawer

A bedroom drawer, especially a deep one in a dresser, is perfect for storing beauty tools like curling irons, blow dryers, straighteners, and other beauty and grooming devices. A vanity grooming drawer will have a power outlet installed inside it. 

Mandi reassures readers who may be wondering about the need to plug things in and out all the time: 'the power station is switch-operated so you can keep your tools plugged in and power them on and off quickly with a simple flip of a switch.'

The vanity drawer idea works equally well for bathrooms if that's where you prefer to do your grooming. 

The best ways to organize deep drawers in bathrooms

A modern bathroom with a green paneled wall and a twin basin

(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

Deep drawers are a godsend of a bathroom storage option. Bathrooms, perhaps more so than any other rooms, do not look or function well with cluttered countertops. So, a deep drawer is your opportunity to store all your backup bottles of shampoo, body washes and soaps, skincare products, and so on. 

The main rule is to keep towels and toiletries separate, always, with the exception of finely scented soap bars that can be used to fragrance clean towels. Just don't mix liquids/lotions with bathroom textiles: it's a recipe for a mess. 

Label bottles from the top

Heidi: ''For bedrooms and bathrooms clothing and linens are ideal in deep drawers, narrow things that are tall (think bottles) are easily identifiable if they are labeled from the top. Clear dividers can help here too. ''

Store the right stuff in the right place

One of the main issues people have with deep bathroom drawers is that they end up  filled with plastic tubs full of medicines, skincare products, and hand towels, in a way that makes these essentials hard to reach. 

To avoid the frustration of trying to find what you need in such a drawer, make sure you only store what you need exactly where you need it. If a drawer is a plumbing wraparound drawer right under your sink, it's a great place to store hand towels, toothpaste and toothbrushes - the things you need by the sink. If the drawer is next to the bathtub, store bath towels and mats there so that you can easily grab one. 

Always organize bathroom drawers in a way that makes it as easy as possible for you to use your bathroom. 

25 PCS Drawer Organizer Set Clear Plastic | $17.99, Amazon

25 PCS Drawer Organizer Set Clear Plastic | $17.99, Amazon
This set of organizer trays can fit a wide range of drawers and includes 25 storage bins in four different sizes to customize your drawer layout.


What is the best way to organize deep drawers in unique furniture pieces?

Most of these solutions work for traditionally shaped, rectangular or square drawers. What if your deep drawer is curved? Problem solved: use adjustable dividers. And if your furniture piece is valuable, make sure these are either made from felt or have felt protectors on the ends to prevent scratching. 

With these easy-to-follow tips in your arsenal, you can transform your deep drawers into storage perfection, whichever room they're in. 

Anna K. Cottrell is now a freelance writer, having previously been a Content Editor for Future's homes titles. She writes about interior design, property, and gardening. On H&G, she specialized in writing about property – buying, selling, renting – sustainability and eco issues.