The dreaded junk drawer.
It’s where we put all the crap we can’t find a place for otherwise. It is the collector of stuff, stuff we hope to hide away and maybe use again one day.
Admit it. You have a junk drawer, or maybe a junk closet, or a junk counter, or maybe even a junk room! (We had a junk room once. It wasn’t pretty.)
Heck, you may even have multiple junk drawers!
Let’s make a promise today. Today, we will tackle your junk drawer(s).
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How to organize and declutter your junk drawer:
First off, do you even need a junk drawer? Or do you need a drawer that stores pens, paper, tape, scissors, or other handy office type supplies that make your life easier?
Maybe you need a drawer that stores your food saving bags, aluminum foil and other handy kitchen items. Did this drawer turn into a catch-all for all random kitchen crap? Been there! 🙋♀️
Determine the purpose your drawer
Determine the purpose of your drawer. How do you want to use it? Do you want to keep office type supplies in it? Do you need a place to store small kitchen items that are useful and handy?
If you don’t know the purpose of your drawer, it will always haunt you with its overflowing madness!
Take it all out!
OK, so you can go about this in two methods.
1 – Take everything out of your junk drawer and immediately toss it. It’s been so long since you were able to safely assess this drawer you don’t even know what’s in it anymore.
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2 – Sort through it all and find a designated place for everything.
Go through your drawer and only put back what fits as part of the purpose you designated earlier.
For everything else, find it a new home or get rid of it.
For example, if you are storing kitchen stuff in the drawer and found a tape measure, go put the tape measure with the tools. Simple enough.
Create an organizational system
OK, so you are only keeping things that serve the purpose of your new drawer. It is no longer a “junk drawer”.
It is a “office supplies drawer” or a “kitchen drawer” or a “coupon and receipts drawer”. You get the picture.
I love easy and cheap drawer organizers. Old plastic silverware dividers also work well here. Get creative. You don’t have to spend a ton of money.
My favorite organizing trick for tiny things that need to be grouped are plastic food storage bags. I use these for all sorts of things.
For example, in our kitchen drawer, I store bag clips in a gallon-sized bag and twistie-ties in a snack-sized bag. Nothing fancy in this house!
Things to consider tossing from your junk drawers:
- Old condiment packets
- 1,005 twisty-ties that you couldn’t possibly use in a lifetime
- Receipts – Find a permanent and organized storage solution. Better yet, make them digital.
- Paper – File any papers you actually need to keep in a filing folder or filing cabinet.
- Tools – Time to invest in an inexpensive toolbox. You can also use small snack-sized bags to sort and store different screw sizes.
- Takeout menus. Yelp is a great place to find menus online. Seriously, if you want to keep take-out menus or restaurant coupons, get a cheap, two-pocket paper folder and store them all together neatly in one place. Recycle the ones you will never use again.
- Office supplies. Unless the new “useful drawer” has been designated a place for specific office supplies, store them where office supplies go.
Enjoy your new “useful drawer”
Once the clutter is gone and the drawer is cleaned out, you should be left with a drawer of useful stuff.
I recommend re-evaluating your drawer every couple of months. It is hard to break old habits, and before you know it, you or a family member may throw random stuff back into your drawer and turn it back into a “junk drawer”.
If you find yourself in a room with a “junk drawer” and an extra few minutes to spare, go ahead and sift through it.
Even if you can’t dump the entire drawer, you can remove an item or two that doesn’t belong. Before you know it, you will have your “useful drawer” back and not another junk drawer that needs cleaning.
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