Hey, we got a mention by the website Guide To Art Schools for the action figure reviews I do (#7 of “Best of the Rest”). Cool, even if they forgot to pluralize “Reports”. (Although in their defense I only added the “s” a few weeks after I started, which is why it isn’t plural in the URL.) By the way, I’ll be doing more of those next week but this week it’s another organizing article.

You may be asking yourself what this box has to do with drawer dividers. You can find actual dividers in stores, online, or in TV ads, and one of the articles Zemanta has recommended in previous Reports suggested using cafeteria-style TV dinner trays. (Yes, you can buy trays and make your own frozen TV dinner set or relive the days of things that were supposed to be nutritious but were only called “food” on a technicality.) However, if you’re the hands-on/artistic kind, there’s an even cheaper solution.

If you go to “warehouse” type stores like BJ’s, Costco, or Sam’s Club you don’t get your groceries bagged unless you bring your own. It saves them money, I guess, and with the Connecticut government looking into taxing companies out of business paper and plastic bags to blackmail encourage reusable bags (I apologize for the localized political commentary) this may be the way stores end up going. What they have instead is a big bin of the cardboard boxes used to ship items to the store. Other stores simply toss it in a compactor for recycling, and recycling is what I’m encouraging here, but of a different sort. So what do YOU do when you get your groceries home?

No, "The Clutter Reports" is not sponsored by Tide.

This drawer for now (you remember last week’s article, right?) doesn’t have a lot in it, but soon I’ll have all sorts of pens and pencils, and they’re all going to be rolling around in there, making it difficult to find anything. Luckily this box will help. All we need is a pair of scissors.

I may need more dividers.

After deciding how I big the compartments need to be, and how many I need, we start with our first divider to create the first line. I tried taking pictures of the next step but cardboard is more reflective of flash bulbs that you’d think. Measuring between the divider and the side of the drawer (in this case the front) and figuring out how high you want the compartment to be (you have to be able to get the things out of there without having them roll over the barrier into the other space), you cut a slot in both pieces–not completely through, just enough to allow the pieces to interlock. Do this for all the compartments…

I plan to get more pens and pencils in the future. I tried to plan for that.

And there you go. If you want to be fancy you can spray paint the cardboard or add some other decoration; let your inner artist go wild. Just remember to use boxes thick enough to be stable. I wouldn’t recommend using a cereal box or something. Shipping boxes would be good, so after you order something from Amazon, don’t throw the box out just yet. See if you have a messy drawer that needs organizing.

This is temporary just to get it done. Eventually I'll separate by color as well so I know when I need new browns or something.

For my art corner I only need to create dividers for two drawers, the drawing tools and the coloring tools. This is a rather big box, and there’s more than enough left over for me to work on some of the other drawers, which you may see in future articles. I wouldn’t use this for everything (some items may need a tighter fit or stronger dividers, and anything flammable shouldn’t be used to house your cigarette lighter collection) but there you go. It didn’t cost me anything, I did my part for recycling, and now it’s easier for me to find stuff. Plus I had the advantage of creating the exact size compartments I needed (something you don’t get with store-bought dividers) and if I want to change it I’m out nothing if I have to replace a piece. I’m sure I’ll have access to more cardboard boxes if I need them. It may not be fancy but in this economy (insert another political rant here) practical and cheap are the way to go.

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