Junk Drawer Management

Like so many of you, I have a junk drawer in the kitchen. And, while this next admission may be damaging to my burgeoning career as a self-proclaimed home organizer, my junk drawer gets completely out of control at times. I like to consider myself an organized person in general, but I’m also human. I hold onto little things that I think I’ll need someday and they all seem to get stuffed in the junk drawer.

All organizing systems require regular maintenance. That is the one step that lots of articles with home organizing tips seem to leave out. You’ve got to frequently purge so as to not overwhelm your organizers with the stuff of everyday life. Chargers, receipts, match books, coupons, pens, tape, Chapstick, keys. Tiny items come home with us every single day.

So here is what I did with my junk drawer problem.

Shameful BEFORE photo of my junk drawer.
Shameful BEFORE photo of my junk drawer.

Take it all out. Sort it into piles of like items. Some of mine were as follows, tools, writing instruments, adhesives, keys, batteries, personal care, curtain hardware and chargers.

Holy moly! How did all that stuff fit into one drawer? Short answer: it didn't.
Holy moly! How did all that stuff fit into one drawer? Short answer: it didn’t.

Consider the items. What items did I actually go to the drawer to use?  (Pens, scissors, nail file, tape measure.) What things were just in the way? (Curtain hardware, knobs, carpet tape.) Are there things that really just need a new home? (Receipts and coupons.) Is some of this trash? (Yes, lots of it!)

Assess your drawer organizing unit. Is it the right kind for all of the things that will be returning to the drawer? Maybe its time for a different one.

I've had these drawer organizers for years, and surely could make them work better for me.
I’ve had these drawer organizers for years, and surely could make them work better.

Now purge. Only return items to the drawer that you actually need access to. In my kitchen, storage space is precious, so I really tried to hone in on what I actually used on a daily basis. Find other homes for the stuff that was just getting in the way.

How long will this drawer look like this? I'll give you an honest update in two months!
How long will this drawer look like this? I’ll give you an honest update in two months!

Okay, now don’t forget: you’re going to need to go through this drawer every couple of months to keep it from getting clogged up again! I just set a reminder on my phone for the first week of January, to check in and assess how my good old junk drawer is holding up. Maybe you should too!

 

3 thoughts on “Junk Drawer Management

  1. If you are ever interested in recording the ins & outs of organization and want a real challenge…My whole house is a giant junk drawer, perfect for showcasing your talents! I used to be a neat freak until it finally crippled me. Now I am a pack rat slowly turning into a hoarder. In the olden days I could clean this whole place in 1 or 2 days…now all I can do is dream of the home I used to have.

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