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Unread 05-05-2017, 10:09 AM   #1
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Question The 'Black Hole' in Ikea Alex Drawers

The drawers pull out only so far, making it really hard to reach or even see anything in the rear few inches. Got any recommendations to help make what goes in the back of the drawer easier to access? (Hoping to avoid buying any pricey lucite drawer organizers)
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Unread 05-05-2017, 10:37 AM   #2
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I'm completely unfamiliar with these drawers, but that's one of my pet peeves on most drawers! I put things that are long enough to extend into the "visible" space at the back, and shorter things in the front. Things like border punches and rulers and paper crimpers and such. Still a nuisance, but better...

On my Sterilite/Iris/whatever desktop drawer units, I cut the stops off the drawers with some snips so I can pull the whole drawer out if I want to, for EXACTLY the reason we're discussing here!
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Unread 05-08-2017, 02:23 AM   #3
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Me Too! I hate the black hole. I keep drawer organizers in most drawers so I can pull them out to see what's in the back. Believe me my solution isn't that great either. I found clear trays at Ikea, but there are lots of trays out there so it's a personal choice. I was looking for the drawer organizers I use for you and these look interesting, cheap too!
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Unread 05-08-2017, 03:00 AM   #4
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I use drawer organizers and shallow organizer boxes, and the ones in the back are long enough to easily get to. One type stacks so you can double it on some of the Alex drawers. Those are nice for mini ink cubes. I'll post the name later (if I can find it).
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Unread 05-08-2017, 03:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzgurl View Post
I'm completely unfamiliar with these drawers, but that's one of my pet peeves on most drawers! I put things that are long enough to extend into the "visible" space at the back, and shorter things in the front. Things like border punches and rulers and paper crimpers and such. Still a nuisance, but better...

On my Sterilite/Iris/whatever desktop drawer units, I cut the stops off the drawers with some snips so I can pull the whole drawer out if I want to, for EXACTLY the reason we're discussing here!
Yes, exactly. The space in the far back of our shallow kitchen drawers isn't needed so small boxes were put there so everything doesn't slide back. The cabinet over the oven/microwave has built-in dividers for cookie trays, etc., and round pans would roll back and disappear. So I put IKEA cardboard magazine holders across the back. You can't see them but they stop the escapees.

And funny, I store rulers the other direction - front to back -in a long box, so they become the longer things. I guess drawer issues are common.
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Unread 05-08-2017, 04:37 AM   #6
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The organizers: The Container Store calls them "Clear Shallow Stackable Drawer Organizers." The manufacturer's label says livinbox.com (not a typo), Shuter Enterprise Co. LTD., and calls them, "Drawer Organizer Material: PP." Kind of rolls right off the tongue. ; )

https://www.containerstore.com/s/off...uctId=11003583


They cost $3.49 or $3.99, come in three sizes, and a bunch of mini cubes and other supplies fit nicely. I stack some and not others, and often pull out a stack or two of minis when using them, or I just reach for a couple with the drawer open.
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Unread 05-08-2017, 05:56 AM   #7
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I bought a rolling cart with drawers that didn't come out all the way, not from IKEA. And didn't use them much but then I put 8 by 11 and a half card stock in it and I can work with that.
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Unread 05-08-2017, 06:35 AM   #8
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Like gregzgurl said, I would try and store things that are long enough to extend into the visible space. Larger background stamps for example.
If you are willing and able to "give up" that space I would cut down cereal boxes to fill in the back of the drawers and keep stuff from sliding back there. No extra money spent, assuming you already buy cereal that is!
Besides my many craft supplies, I tend to have a pen/pencil/marker "fetish". A few years ago I cut the bottom 2 inches off a couple of Family size Cheerio boxes and use those in my bedside table drawer to keep all these pens etc. gathered together and not rolling everywhere.
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Unread 05-08-2017, 11:32 AM   #9
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Thanks, guys. I guess there is no magic solution.

I looked at various stamper images of the wide Alex drawers and notice now how the drawer always seems to be displayed only halfway open - sneaky cover-up! Also, I looked at Jennifer McGuire and Kristina Werner's storage videos again and notice now that things like stamp pads, embossing powder, and glitter are shown stored from left to right in front of the drawer, rather than the front to back I am accustomed to with the Iris storage cart drawers. The space behind holds rectangular organizers that can be be pulled out from the Black Hole.


Getting a largely Ikea stamping room is pretty, definitely, but it definitely is not a foolproof way to solve storage needs (as I am finding).
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Unread 05-08-2017, 12:07 PM   #10
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I've had Alexes for ages and am 98.6% happy - maybe because so many drawers are similar, like Sue pointed out. Like some in our kitchen, and they were custom. I just checked my Crate and Barrel desk drawers - there are two shallow drawers, and I never noticed but they're the same. One has a lucite organizer that expands to the entire length, and the other came with built-in dividers plus I put a long, narrow kitchen utensil plastic box in it.

I have pen refills in the back section of that drawer, and because they're in packaging almost 8" long, they're visible and grabbable.


So I think it's a matter of planning what fits where, and the best containers that fit the way we work plus the furniture. It isn't instant mashed potatoes; it takes (took me!) a while. Plus one size does not fit all; just because 800 thousand people swear by Raskog or Alex doesn't mean they're for everyone.



Just my take; YMMV.

Last edited by bjeans; 05-08-2017 at 01:17 PM..
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Unread 05-08-2017, 01:35 PM   #11
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Out of curiosity, I measured the inside of the Alex drawers. They are roughly 20.5" deep. About 14" pulls out all the way - so a little more than 2/3rds of the drawer. (Excuse my messy math.)

In an Alex with three drawers and hanging file drawer, about 15.5" pulls out.


(My Crate and Barrel desk drawers are only 15.5" deep, and 11" show." Interesting they're only 15.5", since the desk is far deeper than the Alexes.)
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Unread 05-08-2017, 01:52 PM   #12
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Oh, I still love the Ikea stuff, and the Black Hole is only a nuisance with the shallow drawers of the wide Alex chests. Deeper drawers give you easier access to the back. One of my favorites is the large Malm chest of drawers, which is great for filing all my dies and is able to hold color spray bottles upright. The punch drawer is a jumble, I confess, but at least the chest handles the weight of all those punches.
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Unread 05-08-2017, 02:05 PM   #13
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Oh, do you have the tall Malm chest? I had tried to figure out a way to fit one in but no go.

Please don't take my measuring as any particular message. I'm an information junky and had never thought about the drawers much (other than how to set them up), especially the measly Crate & Barrel ones. (That's what you get when you choose form over function; I just thought the C&B desk with the X legs was so pretty way back when. I still do, but could have made a more functional choice. Plus the chemical odor when the drawers were opened was so overwhelming that I could taste it. It sat in the garage for weeks airing out.)
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Unread 05-08-2017, 05:32 PM   #14
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What a PITA! I am glad I found this out and learned a life lesson about checking how far out drawers go! For whatever reason, all drawers of any kind in my house come all the way out-which isnt good if they fall out on your foot. Trust me.
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Unread 05-08-2017, 05:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
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What a PITA! I am glad I found this out and learned a life lesson about checking how far out drawers go! For whatever reason, all drawers of any kind in my house come all the way out-which isnt good if they fall out on your foot. Trust me.
Not at all. LOL I love mine (have four, may get one more). I think if it was a real PITA for many, they wouldn't be so popular. Just no tiny objects in the back, NBD.
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Unread 05-10-2017, 07:10 AM   #16
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One solution to this is the plastic cutlery holders you put into kitchen drawers. Oe the IKEA fabric drawer dividers, the ones with the zip across the bottom?
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Unread 05-16-2017, 06:20 AM   #17
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I would get someone who is handy to look at the inside of the cabinet and see if the drawer stops can be altered to allow the drawers to move further forward.
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Unread 05-16-2017, 02:02 PM   #18
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With regards to the 'black hole' of Ikea Alex drawers--it's most likely the rails that fit on either side of each drawer. There are rails (I dunno what brand, or even if Ikea sells them) that let you pull out a drawer all the way. It's very handy and the rails have a stop to them so the drawer doesn't fall out all the way.
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