Double your drawer storage with this DIY two-tiered drawer organizer.
Order is to calm as clutter is to chaos. I mean, that’s how I see it anyways.
I’m pretty sure that the only thing more refreshing than opening up a well-organized kitchen utensil drawer is to have a second layer of the same sweet bliss hidden underneath.
This DIY two-tiered drawer organizer will double your storage space and can be done for a third of the cost of store-bought systems.
This DIY tutorial will show you how to maximize your kitchen drawer storage space by installing a DIY two-tiered drawer organizer. This space-saving DIY can be done for a fraction of the cost compared to pre-made organizers.
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- Full Extension Drawer Slides (I used these 20″ slides)
- 1/2″ Poplar Wood
- 1/4″ Plywood
- Miter Saw / Circular Saw / Table Saw
- Wood Glue
- Nail Gun
- Small Clamps
- Tape Measure
I do keep a select group of kitchen utensils out on my counter within reach, but most of my kitchen utensils were buried in this abyss of a drawer. It was a wreck!
I had my eye on one of these pre-made options, but let’s be honest, I’m way too cheap. I used a combination of plans from Ana White and Family Handyman. I was able to complete this project for about a quarter of the cost.
For reference, my drawer depth was 4″ so be sure to be thorough with your measurements before making cuts, and adjust to your space.
Edit, Eliminate & Organize
Completely empty out your drawer, edit and eliminate anything broken, duplicate, or unused. Now you can start to place your items back in the drawer to get a rough idea of how you’d like to cut your dividers.
Cut Lower Dividers
My drawer depth was 4″ total, so I used this 1/2″ x 3-in (actual width 2.5″) poplar. I ended up running my pieces through my table saw to cut them down to a height of 2.25″ to accommodate the depth of the upper tray.
Once a had all of my spacing laid out I cut this into my smaller divider pieces.
Cut out Backing
Because your upper drawer will need to extend back, the back portion of the drawer needs to be removed. I simply traced a line at the same height of my lower dividers and cut off the back using a jigsaw. Sand any rough edges smooth if needed.
Insert Lower Dividers
There are multiple ways you can insert the lower dividers. I simply super glued them in, but if you’re looking for a less permanent option, you can use wood glue and nails to create the frame and simply place it in the bottom of the drawer.
Build Upper Tray
Using 1/4″ Plywood, I measured and cut out my upper drawer base using my circular saw. Your upper drawer should be the same length as your overall drawer opening but the width should be approximately 1″ less than the overall drawer opening size to accommodate the drawer slides.
Once your base is cut, frame it out with the ½” x 2″ poplar wood (actual height is 1.5″) I glued and clamped mine together first, and then used my nail gun to attach it firmly with 5/8″ brad nails.
Ensure that your upper drawer is as square as possible so that it will line up with the drawer slides well and slide smoothly. Attach any spacers/dividers to your liking as well.
Attach Drawer Slides
Your drawer slides will separate into two pieces. Attach the extending portion of the slide to the inside of both sides of the drawer. I lined mine up with the top line of the drawer and used a small clamp to keep it in place while I drilled in the screws.
It’s okay if the extend slightly past your drawer. Most cabinets have a little extra space to accommodate this.
Next you’ll need to attach the other portion of the drawer slide to the outside of the upper drawer you built. I placed mine about 1/4″ from the top.
I actually used that piece of 1/4″ poplar that I cut down earlier as a spacer. Using a clamp to hold things in place helps here too.
Once your rails are in place just slide the upper drawer back onto the tracks and you’re done.
I am seriously so thrilled with how well this turned out! This tiny little space just makes me smile when I open up this drawer and look at all of that extra storage.
Now please excuse me while I go put one of these amazing hidden storage systems in every drawer I own!