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Organizing Drawers

Drawers are a good way to organize tools and other supplies. The problem is, it’s all too easy for stuff to get lost in deep drawers. To solve this problem, I like to divide each deep drawer into two layers, as shown in the photo below.

Dividers. For the bottom layer, I made a divided box. When you measure for the box, you’ll want to leave a 1/16″ gap between the box and the drawer. This way you can take the box out if you ever need to.

The dividers are dadoed into the sides of the insert box. They also accept subdividers, so you can customize the box for whatever you need to store (drawing below).

The Totes. To take advantage of the space above the box, I made some totes to rest on top. Each tote has a pair of fixed dividers and a handle. Besides making it easy to organize small items, you can remove a tote from the drawer and take it right where it’s needed.

Making the totes is similar to making the divided box. But there are some things to keep in mind while building them.

It’s a good idea to allow a 1/16″ gap between the totes. This makes it easy to slip one tote in place while the other is in the drawer.

You’ll also notice that the rabbets and dadoes for the tote dividers are cut in the front and back pieces, not the sides like in the divided box. And don’t forget to cut notches for the wood handle and the groove for the 1/4″ hardboard bottom.

Have a nice weekend,

Phil Huber
Editor, ShopNotes

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