How to Marie Kondo Your Top Drawer
The top drawer of a woman’s dresser is notoriously dedicated to the intimates: bras and underwear. It would make sense to organize and fold such delicate pieces of clothing — but that’s easier said than done when you’re rushing to put on clothes in the morning or just finished a load of laundry. The top drawer can easily become a vortex of color, fabric and straps.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though! The KonMari method is the process of evaluating objects to see if they spark joy for you — and this process can and should be used for your bras and underwear. And the good news is that unlike other parts of your house, you really only need to KonMari your intimates collection once (find out why below). We spoke with Certified Marie Kondo Consultant Anastasia Bezrukova, founder of Minori and a soon-to-launch minimalist makeup brand, on how to KonMari your top drawer.
1. When you declutter your wardrobe, don’t forget your bras and underwear
It seems obvious, but many women often forget bras and underwear when they declutter their wardrobes. Intimates take up less space than other items, and are often deemed essentials — making it harder to determine if they spark joy.
Her number one tip is to only keep bras and underwear that bring you real joy to wear. While it’s rational to think you need to keep a few ugly underwear for the time of the month, for example, you’ll be happier if you truly like wearing every single piece you own. “If a beat up pair of underwear doesn’t bring you joy, why should you keep it for your period?” she says.
2. Don’t hoard your underwear
Many people tend to accumulate lots of underwear over the years, and trust us — you really don’t need as many as you think. If you do laundry once a week, and work out once a day, you only need 14 pairs of underwear total. Bezrukova recommends a goal of 20 pairs that you invest in and cherish, and generally sticking to two colors: skin-matching nudes and black (although that can be a personal preference). “Having too many pairs makes it really, really hard to organize them in a beautiful way, so it doesn’t look like complete chaos,” she says.
3. Organize your bras and underwear so it’s a treat to open your drawer
While you can keep your bras and underwear in the same drawer, Bezrukova recommends keeping them separate and in their own boxes. Fold your underwear with the KonMari method, and arrange each pair standing up so you can see them all at once (lights in front, darks in the back). Keep them in a beautiful box, like an old tea or chocolate box with a lid. “It makes it more special to open if it has a lid, like a treasure chest,” Bezrukova says.
Keep your bras in a separate box, with the straps folded behind the cups and the bras standing up (don’t fold your bras in half!). Then store both these boxes in your drawer. “Your entire drawer is going to look so pretty,” Bezrukova says. “It’s not hard to maintain, it’s easier to find a specific pair, and everything is very visible.”
4. Maintain your collection
If you do the KonMari process once for your intimates collection, it should really only be a one-time thing, Bezrukova says. Technically, the only reason to redo the process is when your bras and underwear start to look used or damaged — but if you invest in your intimates, you won’t have to be purchasing new ones every six months.
Completing the KonMari process often motivates a lot of people to start consciously purchasing their intimates, having previously not been connected to them before. “If you invest in a nice pair, you know what that feels like,” she says. “It doesn’t look like they have been worn for ten years, and you’re then going to want everything else in that drawer to feel as nice.”
5. Bonus organization: Workout gear and lingerie
Even for people who keep minimal wardrobes, workout clothes often take up a large percentage of wardrobe real estate, Bezrukova says. She recommends keeping workout bras separate from your top drawer to avoid confusion and having too many in one drawer.
And be reasonable with yourself about intimates you no longer wear — many women tend to keep lingerie for sentimental reasons, even if they no longer wear it as frequently. While it can be difficult to part with, constantly seeing unworn lingerie in your drawer will just be a negative reminder, she says.
“The undergarments are the pieces closest to us, and have the closest contact to our bodies,” Bezrukova says. “But they are the closest pieces to spark joy, even if they are hidden away from the eyes of others.”
Have you KonMari’ed your top drawer? Do you have other tips for maintaining organization of your intimates? Let us know on Instagram @okko.co!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Haley Kim is a journalist and content creator based in California. Her day job is in the tech industry, but when she's not working you might find her reading a fiction novel, making collages and jewelry, or drinking boba.