Published on March 1st, 2013 | by Jules Yap


T-Shirt Filing Hemnes Drawer

Materials: Hemnes Dresser (or any dresser with deep drawers), metal rods

Description: I’€™ve always thought that storing t-shirts and tank tops in drawers was inefficient and messy “if you stack them on top of each other, you’ll end up with a huge, disorganized pile. Plus you can’™t see them all at the same time and you always end up looking for the one at the bottom. So I thought about storing them vertically. I tried that, but unfortunately, the mess was still there. I liked it better than the stack though, because I could see all my clothes.

That’s when it hit me: we could design some sort of filing system. It would basically be two long rods (acting as rails) and then shorter rods perpendicular to the longer ones, where the t-shirts would be folded over. I thought the drawers from the Hemnes dresser were especially suited for this because they’re quite deep.

You can see that the system consists of two towel rods screwed to the drawer sides and more metal rods perpendicular to the long ones. Like in a filing cabinet, you can shift the short rods along the long ones so you’€™re able to shift through your t-shirts.

Here’s the how-to:

1. Measure the inside of your drawer face (for the long towel rods)
2. Decide the measurement of your short rods (the distance between the long towel rods); I decided I wanted to fit two tank tops on top of each rod, so I based my measurement on that)
3. Buy towel rods of your desired measurement (if they don’t sell your exact measurements, you can cut them down to size with a hand saw) and install them inside the drawer using screws (I recommend you save one of the screws until after you insert the short rods – so screw three of them and leave one for later)
4. Buy thinner metal rods (I think they sell them in rolls). You’ll need to add about an inch and a half or two on each side (so three-four inches) to the measure you obtained in 1. to obtain your total measure. Cut them to size. (So, to be clear: the distance between the two long rods + aprox. 3.5 inches = measurement at which to cut the short rods)
Using heavy duty pliers, twist the edges of the short rods to give each edge sort of a ⊂ shape, so each rod will look something like this: ⊂--⊃ (all joined together, obviously)
5. Insert the short rods into place (you’€™ll need to maneuver them slightly!) and you’re ready to use your brand new t-shirt filing system.

We installed this more than a year ago, and I’m happy to report my drawer is still as tidy and organized as the initial pic I posted.

See more of the t-shirt filing system.

~ Ainhoa

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

21 Responses to T-Shirt Filing Hemnes Drawer

  1. It’s amazing what you can do to constructively put away your clothing. Very innovative indeed!

  2. lauren says:

    Aaaahh this is brilliant! Just found it at the end of a long spiral down the Lifehacker rabbit hole, and it’s perfect! I usually put most of my clothes in drawers vertically and/or rolled instead of folded, but once you pull a few out, they flop over and chaos reclaims you drawer… I was thinking about trying to rig some sort of divider, but this is definitely better, especially since I have a Hemnes dresser! I’m going to go grab some of those cheap skinny tension rods for the long bars, and may just end up harvesting the bottom of a bunch of wire clothes hangers if I can’t find rods like you show (snip just above the corner on either side, and they’re pre-bent!)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Love love love it! Redoing my closet right now and this is perfect as I have a ton of t-shirts and always ruin my piles on the current shelves when I need to grab one (or look for the right one – I have a trillion black ones for example). Wrinkles aren’t an issue as I’m a girl and most are form fitting or have some lycra so this is just brilliant! Now I just need to hunt around to find the right sizes to fit the cheap Kullen chest I’m putting in the bottom. Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. This totally changes the game. Kinda blew my mind. How come nobody thought about this trick before. I’m sure some one might have but no one really publicized it.

  5. Inga says:

    I am a strong believer in vertical tee-shirt storage! I just reconfigured my closet (we have the elfa system) to eliminate the deep drawers and replace them with units that are about 7″ deep – I use a FlipFold (Google it: I’m a little compulsive about folding) and fold the shirts in half again, and essentially store them on end like index cards. I love that I can see everything all at once, everything is wrinkle-free (just the creases from folding), and it looks tidy in our see-through elfa basket-style drawers. Oh, and nice hack, Ainhoa!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow, didn’t your mother teach if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all? People are way too negative, judgemental and worrywarts on this site. Just because something isn’t your cup of tea, doesn’t mean you should be rude.

  7. Johnson says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    • Ainhoa says:

      Well, no offense, but I don’t see the need to call it ‘retarded’.
      I feel like I explained my thought process behind the project already (in the first paragraph) and I’m very happy with the system, it definitely works *for me*.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, it’s just…a mess. I have deep, long, massive drawers, too, and I can fit so many shirts in it that most people envy it. These rods just leave you less room, and apparently have to bunch up your shirts and wrinkle them. I know you say its hard to find a certain shirt, but is it really? I have at least 30 in mine, and theyre sorted by color, and even if I cant see a specific shirt, I can dedicate 5 seconds of my time to looking for it, and keeping the shirts folded and wrinkle free in the process.

      While I think the general idea here (having rods), is cool, I dont feel like it works well for t shirts. Hopefully people will use your hack and find a use that works for them, though, so I appreciate it!

      • KermitTheFrog4President says:

        The hack is a tool, not a vaccine for cancer, its efficacy is in how implement it. Instead of asking patronizing questions to people trying to be creatively helpful to others, why don’t you just have a converstion with your cat while your putting away your clothes and ethusiastically explain your unique M.O.. You obviously are quite content with your process and the interaction is surprisingly enriching for both you and your feline. If you don’t in fact have a cat I would suggest a fish, but Ivd have to think about what kind would be a good fit. V/R & excuse typographic errors.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey Johnson-
      If you don’t like it-and I don’t either- you don’t need to be a jerk and call the hack retarded.

      I’m one of the camp who prefers unwrinkled T-shirts. I fold them right out of the dryer, no ironing required. I think this hack might work better if the shirts were folded more neatly and then placed over the rods. But Ainhoa doesn’t seem to mind them wrinkled.

      About a year ago this sight changed. Used to be when there was a hack that was ‘different’, people just ignored it and waited for the next one. Now it’s open season, just like on You Tube.

    • Pipas says:

      Hey Johnson, if you like standard things, and you disrespect all those who are creative and are kind enough to share their ideas (some better than others) why do you bother to come to this webpage? People like you are worthless. It’s good to be creative, that’s what this blog is all about.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I love it !!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I really like this hack!

    Where did you get the metal rods?

    • Ainhoa says:

      My husband used to work at a family business – a company that manufactured bath accessories – so he got them at work. I’m pretty sure any home improvement store will have something similar though, even tension rods will probably work for the transversal (long) rods.

  10. Anonymous says:

    ironing? I guess your t’s are more delicate and all that and I am a bloke.

    I know each of my zillions of tshirts intimately and even in a folded pile in a draw can find the one I want almost immediately. Never put away inside out, fold somewhere that you can see the feature of the tshirt, job done!

    Having said that I like your hack.

  11. RoseAG says:

    re wrinkles: Once the item has been ironed this would be a great way to keep them un-wrinkled. You just have to leave more space inbetween the items. I’d try it with scarves too.

  12. Ainhoa says:

    Thanks for the comments! Re: the wrinkles, I guess they don’t bother me, I keep most of my t-shirts folded anyway (no space to hang them all) so I don’t see how this method would result in more wrinkles than merely folding them.

  13. Anonymous says:

    yep, not so convinced and agree with the remark above (wrinkles)
    9jerry9, BE

  14. Anonymous says:

    like the idea just to many wrinkles unless you do not mind ironing

  15. Carla says:

    Clever! :D

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