Throughout the course of my life, I have been in many homes. From my humble homes filled with more love than belongings to strange college apartments to luxurious dwellings worthy of a magazine spread—all these homes, and everyone in between have one thing in common: a junk drawer.
In all honesty, I think a junk drawer is a good thing to have. It is a handy place for frequently used items like pens and note paper, as well as those odd little things that don’t fit anywhere else: safety pins, rubber bands, scissors, and extra phone chargers. As a storage option, it makes total sense. After all, those items need a home. It is in the execution that we struggle.The casual nature of a junk drawer is probably our biggest obstacle to overcome. It is very easy to drop stuff in there then. But before you know what happened, you have a mess on your hands. Once it becomes difficult to find what you want, it’s time to take action.
First, pull out the drawer (if that’s possible) and move it to a large work surface like a table or counter. Next, remove everything from the drawer and lay it flat on the work surface covered with a towel. Then, while the drawer is empty, give it a good cleaning. Use the hand attachment from your vacuum cleaner if you are unable to remove the drawer.
Next, turn your attention to de-cluttering your drawer’s contents and answer a few questions about the objects:
1. Is this where I would look for it?
2. Do I need this?
3. Does this still function?
4. Is this a duplicate?
Once all unnecessary items are removed, focus on organizing the drawer. Would an in-drawer organizer or small boxes (like those Apple boxes that are too nice to throw out) help you to keep objects in a specific place? If you recycle boxes, use double-sided tape on the bottom to keep them in place and paint them with spray paint or use washi tape to dress them up.
Why did you wait so long to organize this space? The junk drawer seems so low-priority that we tend to ignore it until it gets totally out of hand.
To combat that tendency, put a six-month reminder on your calendar to get in there and give it a reset. It only takes fifteen minutes, costs nothing, and results in a storage area that’s easier to use.