I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in 2014, shortly after it was released in the United States. I had never read a self-help-style book, but I had always struggled with clutter and felt like I was being pulled in two directions: I wanted to live in hotel room-like minimalism, but I also loathed getting rid of things. What followed was something I could easily describe as both life-changing and magic: My apartment became far less cluttered, but, more importantly, I felt freed from future clutter. It’s not that clutter and mess stopped building up (unread New Yorkers have a way of doing that), it’s that when it does, I can quickly cull it rather than agonizing over what I should and shouldn’t keep.
After the decluttering stage, I also took her advice on folding and clothes storage seriously. Like the discarding stage, I am not always perfect and leave clean laundry sitting around far too long (like right now, as I type this), but when it is time to put things up, everything looks neat, clean, and, most importantly, visible. Keeping socks, shirts, and even underwear standing at attention rather than piled on top of each other prevents my drawers from becoming black holes for forgotten concert tees and torn-up yoga pants.
Another reason I loved the KonMari method? It didn’t require a prescriptive system of products that might not fit into your own space. In the book, Kondo encourages readers to avoid too much purpose-built storage, saying that shoe boxes and strips of cardboard can help you stay organized. She even suggests you store things inside of other things for semi-visible storage, like purses in larger purses.
While I was able to follow the book almost to the letter, I did find that the use of old boxes and stiff cardboard was limiting in my deep drawers. (It is actually a children’s’ IKEA dresser, but thats a story for another day.) None were actually the size of the drawer itself, leaving weird gaps where things did disappear into black holes: stuff got thrown in between, behind, and under the boxes, or my DIY dividers would fall and frustrate me.
So even though the whole point of the KonMari method was to get rid of, not buy, things, I did buy exactly one thing. (Well, technically I bought it twice to get two sets). OXO’s expandable drawer dividers.
Unlike many drawer organization systems, this will fit just about any space, meaning you’re left with no gaps or unused space.You can also decide how much space you need for each section, and move it around easily as you change your mind. And unlike other expandable drawers, these are sturdy and don’t budget at all. See that black tread? Once you get it to the length you want, you lower the grey tab, activating a spring that works with the grips to keep it firmly in place, no screws or nails required.
I thanked the cardboard boxes for their service and sent them to the recycling bin, because my new drawer organization system was now sparking joy. Just take a look at the product shot from OXO to get an idea of how it works, because as much as I wish this was my drawer, my bras are not in that good of shape:
So if you, too, recently discovered that specific kind of organization magic, let me save you the wasted money on other organizers and just tell you: grab these for your drawers, your tri-folded underwear will thank you.
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