Does my dream dresser exist?
May 27, 2022 8:17 AM   Subscribe

If I can't see my clothes, I forget they exist. Help me find the most minimal dresser possible.

COVID and a dresserful of unworn clothing has made me realize that if I can't see it, I won't wear it. This has led to a floordrobe problem that really, really needs to be managed. I can think of certain hacks that might help me (better hamper system, more hooks) but the furniture situation still has me stumped.

I'm moving into a place with a larger closet, so hanging up shirts and dresses shouldn't be a problem, but that leaves the question of underwear, socks, undergarments I wear every two years, etc. I want to put them away without investing in another large dresser (which I will inevitably fill up and never look at again).

My dream small dresser would be two or three small, shallow waist- or chest- level drawers, possibly with open shelf storage underneath for shoes and other goodies (I have to see them). Does such a thing exist? Or am I going to have to repurpose a side table or a hack a credenza? (I've tried hanging drawers--they take up closet space and yes, i forget what's in them too.)

Also, if anyone has any tips for ADHD clothes organization in general, they would be gratefully accepted!
posted by kingdead to Shopping (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I too keep clothes in open shelving. Are you near an IKEA? I put IKEA Kallax units in my clothes closet. They're customizable; I have one drawer insert (two drawers) installed in one of the chest-height holes, with open shelves both above and below.
posted by mersen at 8:38 AM on May 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

Pax wardrobe!! Space for hampers at the bottom (get several Skubb narrow hampers to pre-sort your laundry), then a couple of wide shallow drawers for undies, then a big open shelf at chin level for clutter, then either a hanging bar or more shelves above. Like this but imagine the bottom three drawers are a row of tall narrow hampers, and there can be 2 drawers above the hampers. Ikea drawers pull all the way out so stuff doesn’t get lost at the back. And the shelf for makeup stuff can be higher - use it to keep random clutter hidden behind the wardrobe door. It is life changing!
posted by nouvelle-personne at 8:44 AM on May 27, 2022

I use a tall wardrobe with shelves inside so I can see everything at a glance when opening the doors. I keep all socks/underwear in a big open tub on the bottom shelf. I try to buy all the same socks (or failing that at least all solid black) so mismatching isn't an issue.
posted by randomnity at 9:04 AM on May 27, 2022

Ikea discontinued them years ago but you can easily find them on craigslist or kijiji: Stolmen system of extendable poles, shelves, and drawers.
posted by dobbs at 9:12 AM on May 27, 2022

there's something like this; pretty minimal drawers tho. There are other iterations with drawers to the side like this.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:13 AM on May 27, 2022

Response by poster: Sadly I have no room for a wardrobe, and the larger closet makes one less necessary anyway--little dresser or bust for me!

The closest thing I can think of to what I'm envisioning is something like this, only ideally with more of a midcentury or modern look (or much cheaper, if it's going to be purely functional).
posted by kingdead at 9:21 AM on May 27, 2022

My nightstand has shallow drawers like that. I think it came from an Amish furniture store.
posted by Comet Bug at 9:28 AM on May 27, 2022

“Lingerie chest” brought up some results, so did “kids dresser with shelf” (maybe this one?).
posted by stellaluna at 9:29 AM on May 27, 2022

We ended up putting wardrobes in our closet because we use shelves more than hangers. We found wardrobes that fit under the top shelf once the hanger bar was removed. (not to beat the IKEA drum, but they were from IKEA.) The advantage of the set we got is that we could customize them to fit our needs, so I have both wire drawers and shelves. We debated the doors, but ended up buying doors in an attempt to keep cat fur off our unworn clothes. They're not necessary, though, as this particular system is all piecemeal.
posted by telophase at 9:44 AM on May 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: ADHD out of sight out of mind here! I only have a tip for socks. I have summer socks and winter socks, so when I store my winter sweaters and hats (in a clear underbed soft storage bag that has a piece of cardboard on which I write what's in it, either the general categories or specific pieces if I'm feeling up to it).... I also put a big gallon freezer baggie full of the winter socks in there. You can be super arbitrary about this if you live someplace without huge temperature shifts and don't have a stash of bulky knee highs or woolen socks, just divvy up your socks however you like. Swap when summer hits and you put away your summer only clothes.

And even in my in-use sock drawer, I have smaller baggies for subcategories (anklets, gym socks, etc). Lastly I am shifting toward buying the same sock in bulk so matching pairs is way easier. This is tricky for me to do because I have a fun collection of socks from when I lived in Seoul but I am learning to give up idiosyncratic socks for convenience.

I have just unearthed several unopened wireless bras in my clothing bins (they were buried at the bottom) so I might try out your shallow drawer idea too!
posted by spamandkimchi at 10:17 AM on May 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: General tip: I have a towel/blanket ladder in my bedroom, which helps a LOT with the floordrobe, especially clothes that aren't dirty enough for the hamper yet. It looks nicer than hooks everywhere (which I've also considered) and the clothes don't get as wrinkly. I've been thinking of getting more and lining an entire wall with them...
posted by yeahlikethat at 10:57 AM on May 27, 2022

Best answer: For actual see through drawers, Jonaxel from Ikea or stackable drawers from Muji.

I personally just have a dresser wide enough that entire categories of clothing fit in one drawer, roll-folded in the KonMari method. So if I want a t-shirt, I open that drawer and see all of my t-shirts at a glance, folded to show identifying features at a glance (say, t shirt graphics). For some reason it works better for me than everything out in the open all the time, less desensitisation.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 11:00 AM on May 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

I have this problem and use a cube organizer as my dresser. It's not beautiful but I can see everything and reach right in to get things.
posted by space snail at 11:15 AM on May 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have ADHD "out of sight, out of mind" trouble too. One that has helped me with my clothes is learning to fold them differently and put them away differently. So, instead of laying my t-shirts flat in a drawer, I've learned (from Marie Kondo) to folk them into tight packages, then to stand them on their ends in the dresser. Thus, when I look in, I don't just see the shirts on top, I see ALL of the shirts at once. Does that make sense?

I've been doing this for almost a decade now and it has made a HUGE difference to my ADHD brain. I do this with my underwear and socks too. Basically, anything that I put in my dresser gets set on its end so that I can see ALL of my clothes in a drawer at once. (I also use a first in, first out sort. When I do laundry, the clean shirts go to the back of the dresser, which pushes forward the shirts (or underwear or whatever) that I haven't worn in a while.)

Ah, ADHD life...
posted by jdroth at 11:55 AM on May 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

You can get those cube organizers and get the compatible storage cube with clear windows so you can see inside.

You can even get an clear tray/bins that fit those cubes for smaller stuff. Add labels as needed.
posted by kschang at 1:02 PM on May 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Have you tried hanging sweater organizers? They're open in the front.
posted by A Blue Moon at 1:30 PM on May 27, 2022

This isn’t a dresser solution, but a general ADHD wardrobe hack that hasn’t completely solved the piles of clothes on the floor thing but has greatly improved how long it takes those piles to accumulate.

I bought this little rolling wardrobe thing from IKEA and some nice wooden hangers (also cheap at IKEA) and use it for the 15-or so clothing items I’m wearing at any given time/season, reserving my closet for out-of-season items, party dresses, and things I rarely wear but haven’t been able to bring myself to get rid of. I still keep my tshirts, underwear, PJs and stuff in a dresser but this has helped a lot with the mental load of re-hanging stuff that I’ve worn but doesn’t yet need to be washed, and easily being able to see/find the things I wear most often. You can put shoes on the bottom shelf, and a cursory search shows there are nicer versions with more shelves and stuff too.

I know you said you don’t have room for a wardrobe but the IKEA one is really small; I think the footprint is smaller than my dresser even though it’s a little taller (you can adjust the height).
posted by a.steele at 1:48 PM on May 27, 2022

Storage bins with windows exist! You could get a few of these and stack them on top of a shoe storage bench, or maybe a small cube storage unit and leave the lower ones open.
posted by Mizu at 2:17 PM on May 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

My dresser is so minimal it doesn't exist: I store everything in open plastic bins, in the closet. A bin for t-shirts, a bin for pants and shorts, etc. Three bins, with the lids on, on the floor for storing seldom worn our out-of-season clothes; the bins on top of those don't have lids on them, so I can toss clothes in straight from the clean laundry hamper. I hang up some things, but mostly it's just bins bins bins. It's not pretty but I don't care.

My cat, who an often be found in my pajama bin, approves of this setup.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:46 PM on May 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

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