Organizing the Junk Drawer

by Debra Wyatt
(last updated August 14, 2014)

The one problem with junk drawers is that I tend to just throw stuff into them as a temporary holding space when I am not sure what to do with it or I want to hurry and clean off the counter. Then I keep thinking to myself that I will get back to it when I have more time. Eventually I find that the junk drawer is just a cluttered mess and I try to cram one more item into the drawer and it just won't shut without having to force it. I know that the time has come for me to organize the junk drawer.

Sometimes cleaning out the junk drawer (if it is really bad) seems like a daunting task. Where do I begin? Taking a step back, and taking a deep breath, I begin. It is now time to approach this task of cleaning out the dreaded junk drawer.

I place a large bath towel or newspapers on the counter to avoid scratching it. Then I empty out the junk drawer onto the towel or newspapers. (If it is a drawer that can pull out, I pull it out and just dump it onto the counter. While the drawer is empty I take advantage and clean the drawer itself with soapy water. I then dry the drawer and line it with new shelf paper. The shelf paper helps to protect the drawer as well as helps in keeping the drawer clean.

As I look at the drawer I am surprised to see how much of the clutter really is trash. It only takes me a couple of minutes to pick out and throw away all the garbage. I am totally surprised that the pile seems to have decreased by half.

I then sort through the pile of stuff and placing everything into groups. For example, I put all the pens together, all of the rubber bands together, all of the paper clips go into their own little group, and all sewing items together. While I am going through the pile I also throw away anything that is broken or just won't work. During this time I also take all the pens and scribble with them, throwing away the ones that don't work or are dried out. If I didn't miss the item or can't figure out what it goes to, it gets thrown away as well.

It isn't unusual that some of the things in the junk drawer actually belong elsewhere in the house or garage. Instead of going to put those items away right now, I make a pile so that I can return all these items at one time instead of running the risk of putting it away now and losing focus.

Before starting to clean out the junk drawer it is a good idea to collect some small containers that will fit in the empty drawer. I then place the groups of small items into their own individual containers. This can help to keep the drawer tidy longer and make it easier to later find those categorized items.

Now I take the time to put away the pile of stuff that didn't belong in the drawer and had a place of their own. My junk drawer is typically finished and organized in a little less than an hour.

Author Bio

Debra Wyatt

Deb has a communications degree and applies her talents to her position as Marketing Specialist at Sharon Parq Associates. In her spare time she spends time with her children and grandchildren and devotes time to her church. ...

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