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Organized Life  Celebrate Living  Clever Kitchen  Outside Pleasures  Easy Décor
Use an Old Dresser to Organize-Try this unique storage solution for your garage or basement.
The garage or basement can easily become overwhelmed with cardboard boxes, tools and more. But organizing all of this stuff doesn’t require expensive storage solutions. You can easily make an old dresser functional again by using it for storage. Check out these inspiring tips for making this common furniture piece useful.

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Find a Dresser

If you don’t have an old dresser at home that you can repurpose for storage, there are plenty of outlets for finding one. Check classified listings in the newspaper and online or visit garage sales for great deals. You may also find inexpensive dressers at second-hand stores or flea markets. Don’t worry about how it looks because you’re going to give it a great new appearance.

Spruce it up

Give your old dresser a new look by adding a fresh coat of paint. Then make sure it’s functioning correctly with new or tightened drawer pulls. Just because the dresser will be in your garage or basement doesn’t mean it can’t look great! You can paint it in one neutral color or get creative with bright colors, stripes or designs. Here are some tips for painting wood furniture and fixing up drawer pulls.


  1. Wipe down the dresser inside and out to start with clean surfaces.
  2. Sand until smooth with fine-grit sandpaper. Brush off excess sawdust residues.
  3. Apply a coat of primer (white or gray) and let dry for 1 to 2 hours. Add another coat if necessary. Gently scrape the surface with a 3-inch putty blade to easily remove small bumps that may show up after primer has dried.
  4. Add a coat of water-based paint in even strokes, following the wood grain. Allow the first coat to dry, and apply a second coat if needed. Or add different colors, stripes or designs. For easy organization, you can color-code the drawers.

Drawer Pulls

To make your drawer pulls look and work better, remove and shine them with steel wool if they’re metal. Or you could re-paint them in a fun color. Use new screws and tighten the pulls when you put them back on. To replace with new pulls, measure the width of the current pulls before heading out to your local home improvement store.

Organization Ideas

Once your dresser is updated and ready to use, you’ll need to decide what to organize and how to do it. Try to designate each drawer for only one category of supplies or items and use some of these tips as guidance.

What to Organize

Organization Ideas Seasonal Décor: Use each drawer to safely store your seasonal decorations so they’re easy to find each year. Use a different drawer for each season or holiday.
Outdoor Items: If there are large drawers, use the dresser in the garage to store outdoor toys and sporting equipment such as bats, balls, gloves, helmets and safety pads. Organize the drawers by family member so each person knows where to look for his or her toys and equipment.
 Household Supplies: Try using the drawers to organize common household needs such as cords, light bulbs, batteries, and craft supplies. To keep your cords from turning into a tangled mess, roll them up and secure with rubber bands or twist-ties. Separate different types of cords by creating dividers with cardboard.
 Tools and Hardware: Sort out tools, loose or miscellaneous hardware and home repair or gardening materials. Store your most used tools in the top drawer and items you don’t need frequently in the bottom drawer. Use some of the tips below for organizing loose items.
 Kitchen Appliances:Stowe your kitchen utensils, flatware and placemats in style by organizing them in dresser drawers. For even more storage space, remove the top two drawers of your dresser to create a large, open shelf. With inexpensive tension rods, you can easily create dividers along the shelf, perfect for stowing bulky kitchen appliances that take up lots of counter space.
If you have a four-drawer dresser, try removing the inset from the third drawer, then use screws and a drill bit to fasten the two bottom drawers into a single, extra-deep drawer. Use it to house large mixing bowls, appliances and extra glasses with ease.
Tip: To add even more unexpected function to your kitchen dresser, place a large, old-fashioned butcher block on top—instantly, you’ve created an extra work surface, perfect for food prep.

Double Your Storage

In lieu of storing items directly in your dresser, try breaking your furniture piece down, converting the drawers into unique wall shelves.

L-brackets (2 per drawer)
Wall anchors (2 per drawer)
Ledger strip


  1. Remove the drawers from your dresser. Reinforce the sides by fastening L-brackets to the interior walls of the drawer.
  2. Paint the drawers and let dry. Use wall anchors to mount the pieces to the wall in an artistic fashion.
  3. Remove the frame from the inside of the dresser. Apply the ledger strip to the top of the furniture piece to mount the shelf on top.
Tip: Mounting dresser drawers to the wall is an easy and inexpensive way to add unexpected personality to your space. Choose a paint that lends a pop of color to your room—you can even experiment with new drawer pulls for added whimsy.

How to Organize

Utilize desk drawer or silverware organizers to create several organized compartments. For larger pieces use shoeboxes or plastic tubs to create bins for storing. If you want to collect small hardware items like screws, nails and hooks try this unique tennis ball storage idea.

Tennis Ball Storage

             1.  Using a utility knife, cut a small slit in one side of a                   tennis ball, squeeze the ball to expand the split and drop                   your screws or nails inside.

             2.  These portable storage solutions can be organized easily                   inside the dresser. Drill screws into the bottom of a                   drawer, and then drill small holes in the tennis balls to                   fit onto the screws in the drawer.

After you’ve decided how to organize, add labels to the drawers so items can be found easily. Get creative, by attaching custom labels or painting on the drawers.

You’ll love how well your dresser storage solution keeps these tough areas organized. Just make a commitment to keep the drawers clutter-free and your dresser will be a great organization tool for years to come.


If you like this article, you might also like:

Dump That Junk!
Make Storage In Tight Spaces

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