Drawer dividers are a handy way to combat the clutter inherent in small storage spaces. In the bedroom, small dividers keep individual pairs of socks or sets of lingerie sectioned off. Drawer dividers in kitchen drawers prevent forks and spoons from mingling or keep the junk drawer marginally neat. These versatile organizational tools can be designed for any drawer in the home with simple supplies.
Drawer dividers can be made with a variety of materials with varying levels of durability, flexibility and price. Cardboard is a very affordable divider material. Cut cardboard strips from items destined for the rubbish bin, such as old boxes. For small drawers you may even use the cardboard backing from a pad of paper. The downside of cardboard is that it isn't very sturdy and may need to be replaced periodically. Plywood is a more durable solution. Strips about 1/4-inch thick should suffice for most drawers. Adding duct tape or packing tape to the joints of cardboard and wood glue to plywood will increase the durability. However, these adhesives make rearranging the pieces impossible if you decide to reorganise.
Homemade drawer dividers can be created using a simple construction method. Cut the dividers to the length or width of the drawer, depending on which direction you want them to go in. Trim dividers 1/2 inch shorter than the drawer. Once you have prepared the dividers, cut a notch in each place where the dividers will intersect. Cut notches in the top of horizontal dividers and in the bottom of vertical ones. Each notch should be half as deep as the divider. When the pieces are lined up and fit together, these notches will hold everything in place.
A series of identically-sized squares is the simplest design for drawer dividers, but this solution may not work for all items. Create some dividers that are shorter than the length of the drawer to cut off a single box or two instead of the whole row, which will leave large sections on one side of the drawer for big items such as clothing, with smaller sections on the opposite side, ideal for belts, jewellery or hosiery. Sections don't need to be arranged in perfect squares and rectangles either. Shift your dividers to sit at diagonal angles for an attractive diamond-pattern instead.
The interior of your drawers may not be on permanent display, but a touch of colour can add an invigorating touch to an otherwise dreary storage space. Paper on the bottom of drawers will provide a decorative backdrop for the contents of the drawer. Some drawer papers are designed to provide an enticing scent as well. To dress up the dividers themselves, cover cardboard with wrapping or scrapbook paper and secure with rubber cement. Plywood pieces can be painted or wallpapered before they are put together.
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