Dressers Make Excellent Storage Containers

I love today’s guest post topic because I too love to use dressers for organizing. They are so versatile as you are about to see and can often be purchased inexpensively second hand!  Please welcome Amy from the blog, A Nest for All Seasons here today!

After Christmas and the winter birthdays, I tend to do a toy purge. There are so many broken toys, various pieces of junk, etc, etc everywhere and it just about drives me bananas. While I’m tossing and donating toys, I keep the momentum going and start going through all of my dressers. …and I’m not talking clothes. You see, our house is full of dressers — a dresser for this, and a dresser for that and a dresser for just about anything you could think of. They are wonderful storage pieces, they are often found for free on the side of the road and they can be painted and accessorized to fit into the room in which they are placed.

Example #1 The Sidebar Dresser

This dresser was found for free on the road and given a thorough cleaning, a coat of white paint and some sanding and planing to keep the drawers from sticking (Thank you Alex!). This “sidebar” is placed under a mirror ($5 at a yard sale) and adjacent to our dining room table. Contrary to the traditional china and flatware, our sidebar is filled with food styling and accessorizing pieces, along with a bit of decor and candles. It holds things that I will use throughout the year, and anything that has NOT been used gets tossed or sent to the basement for long term storage. These drawers are high priced real estate in this house and I want them to be beautiful and organized inside.

Curious about how to create a vignette that makes your dresser read more sidebar than dresser?  You can check out my recipe for a  Sidebar Vignette right HERE!

Example #2  The Tools, Art and Games Dresser

A calendar, organizer pockets and bins and buckets
make turn this dresser into a full organization station!!

This dresser was also a freebie on the side of the road and it is one of my favorites – check out that detailing!  The bottom 2 drawers hold board games that we actually play (if they don’t get played, they don’t maintain their spot in the dresser!)  The 3rd drawer up (2nd drawer down) is chock full of art supplies.  This drawer is an easy one to wheedle down after the holidays.  Simply pile a bunch of the supplies on the art table and let the kids go at it for a few hours!

Finally, the top drawer is perhaps the most opened drawer in the house.  It is a tool drawer, but not a junk drawer, full of batteries, hammers, nails, screwdrivers, hot glue gun and more!  Everything we use on a weekly basis goes in this drawer.  Anything superflous is given a new home quickly!





Example #3  The Sidebar Entertainment Center

This dresser is an actual sidebar, but we use it for storing vases and plastic bags (left) a cd player and cds (right), along with art supplies (more of them!) and tools (more of them too!).  The dresser was painted with a strie technique and when worked into a gallery wall, it completes a pretty pictures, don’t you think?


Example #4  The Shoe Dresser

Our house has too many shoes.  Period.  We can’t help it though.  We need three little pairs of school shoes, three little pairs of rain boots and three little muddy junk shoes, not to mention a variety of work and home shoes for Dad and a larger variety of muddy garden boots, cute equestrian wannabe boots and workable flats for Mama.  We just have a lot of shoes.  The solution?  A shoe dresser.  Another freebie from the side of the road, this dresser holds a plethora of shoes and even devotes one drawer to winter hats and gloves.  It makes getting out the door slightly easier!

A dresser for this and a dresser for that makes our life function a bit better, not to mention being a free organizational tool!  Next time you see a dresser in the trash, at an auction for 10 bucks or at half price night at the thrift store, consider how YOU might turn it into a tool to help Organize Your Life!

Amy Renea is a freelance design writer, blogger and commercial photographer based out of Hershey PA. When she isn’t chasing three little boys around the house, she is chasing three chickens around the yard. You can find her award winning blog at A Nest for All Seasons and her photography portfolio at ALLENAIM.com.

Filed under: Containerizing, Guest Bloggers


16 Responses to Dressers Make Excellent Storage Containers

  1. 1
    amber says

    I LOVE these ideas… I was wondering what you used in the picture with the calendar, dresser, and organizing pockets… what are the pockets hanging on??

  2. 3
    Chrissie says

    I’ve actually been working on decluttering and updating my clothes so that I can fit them all into my (admittedly small) wardrobe, purely because I want my drawers for shoes!

    I love having my shoes put away, but at the bottom of said small wardrobe just isn’t working – I can’t see them, they get in the way of my longer garments and the shelf I put in to keep them from just piling on top of each other limits my space.

    Now I can’t wait to do some more hacking and slashing (read: donating) in my wardrobe to try out my new shoe solution!

  3. 4
    Sarah at SmallWorld says

    I am so glad to see this! I have a few dressers that I use as storage for various things, from scrapbooks to textbooks to home decor items, and I often think it’s “cheating” to use them like this! I thought I was weird!

  4. 5
    Jonie says

    I will be interested to see how Amy organized the inside of the dresser. I always have problem keeping things neat in these kind of deep drawers.

    I am more visual kind of person….some pictures would be nice.



  5. 6
    Melissa says

    Where do you live that you find these gorgeous dressers for free on the side of the road!? I love this idea and I’m going to try to use it in my master bedroom. I’ve been using a super cheap homemade nightstand for myself for the last 15 years and it’s time to update/upgrade. I would love some recommendations on chests/dressers that would work well as nightstands. I have about 3-4 feet of space next to my bed and I’ve found a few cute things on pinterest.

  6. 7
    Amy Renea says

    Hi Melissa – Hershey, PA and the stuff people throw away here is crazy, I NEVER found so much when we lived in Nebraska…so it is definitely a regional thing! I also find them cheap at auctions and thrift stores and if all else fails, IKEA has wonderful (if cheaply made) dressers.

    Jonie – That post is to come SOON!! I promise!

    Sarah – Happy to meet a weirdo like myself ;)

    Chrissie – I’d love to see what you end up with!! Sounds like you’ve got a serious organizing task ahead of ya…have fun!! Always worth it in the end, right”?

    • 7.1
      Melissa says

      Thanks – definitely not as many treasures on the side of the road here in Iowa. But i’ll keep my eyes open :) I tried to suggest a dresser as my nightstand to the husband last night and he seems all anti-non matching nightstands. But…I think he’ll just have to get over it :)

      We’re headed to MN/MoA/IKEA in March..perhaps a dresser will find its way home with me :)

  7. 8
    Tara from AboutOne says

    What wonderful ideas! I love that you got them on the side of the road. We get a lot of dressers and book shelves the same way.

    Also, just waving hello! I’m the same Tara from the Harrisburg Bloggers group. :)

  8. 9
    Jen says

    You know that saying “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”? This post illustrates it perfectly! I wish I had the ability to see stuff on the side of the road as a treasure, but I usually just see it as junk. These dressers are all beautiful (after some work, I’m sure).

  9. 10
    Amy Renea says

    Hey Tara!!

    Are you going to the meetup on the 25th??

    Thank you Jen!! (Yes – lots o work ;)

  10. 11
    Sinea says

    Dressers really are great storage containers. I’ve used one in my familyroom area to contain wrapping paper items, paper goods for parties, etc. Then, up in the bedrooms we’re gaining some space as our adult kids move out…I’ll use those dressers for off-season clothes and things for our grandkids.

  11. 12
    Laura says

    I found a great dresser that had been intended for storing maps flat at one point. I painted it in a base shade of taupe and then a great pumpkin color for the drawer fronts. I use it in my dining room to store placemats, tablecloths, napkins, candle rings etc. Its height is perfect for a buffet!

  12. 13
    Cassie Howard says

    I LOVE using dressers for organizing! We have one right inside our front door where we keep hats, gloves, scarves, keys, reusable bags, dog leash, etc. I love it!

  13. 14
    Thrifty Military Mommy says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! You can hide all of your stuff in the dressers and make the dressers match! Win win! Thank you so much for sharing! I can’t wait to try it myslef!

  14. 15
    Tiffany says

    My husband used to make fun of me for this! I hadn’t thought to use one for shoes (too much hassle keeping the drawers clean), but I do have another idea to add.. extra pantry space! I’m sure most people have seen the bookshelf-turned-pantry’. Take a bookshelf, add wheels and a handle- voila, roll out pantry. Well, our dressers have fairly deep drawers, just deep enough that boxed foods (such as hamburger helper) fit PERFECTLY. Hamburger helper has the flavor printed on one end (the bottom if I remember right) so whenever we wanted one, we’d pull out the drawer and pick one out. Easy as pulling a movie off a shelf. And speaking of.. for dressers with shallower drawers, we use those to store movies, video/computer games, CD’s, etc.. label side up. It takes up so much less space and still makes it easy to find what we’re looking for. ^_^ I got the idea from my mom who had two drawers for our VHS tapes, a couple for puzzles and games, and the last two were for extra blankets. Family pictures were displayed on top. <3

    Another item he taunts me for having are the big, tall entertainment centers (the ones typically used to house those older big, boxy tvs). I have 4 different ones right now. Two in the garage whose shelves were just large enough to hold copy-paper boxes of rarely used and seasonal items which not only makes it easier to get to what you need without moving an entire stack of boxes, but stacks of boxes have a tendency to collapse and topple over due to weight (or in our case moisture due to humid mid-Missouri summers). I used to work at a storage facility and would recommend those when people needed shelving but couldn't afford the $60+ units from the stores. The most expensive one we have was $15 from Goodwill (the others were curb pickups after college students left for the summer). The other two I use as book shelves/display cabinets. Books up top (where the VCR and stuff would go), a plant where the TV would be, various displays are cycled in and out on the shelves to the right of where the TV would be (behind a glass door), and spare blankets/pillows/magazines/games/etc.. go in the closed doors underneath. :)


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