Organize That Messy Junk Drawer

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When Marie Kondo was all the rage last year, did you spend some time organizing your home? Did you clean and organize your closets? Did you spend some time purging things you no longer needed? Marie Kondo definitely helped spur the idea of keeping your home free from clutter.

But was there one little area that you seemed to skip right over? You know the area – the notorious junk drawer! Almost everyone has one – that drawer where you throw things when you’re not sure what to do with them. Unfortunately, they soon become so cluttered that you can barely open the drawer.

You can have a junk drawer, but work to keep it organized. Not sure how to go about that? Here are a few tips to help you undertake the task of taming the junk drawer.

  • Empty the Drawer: The first thing you want to do is empty the drawer – entirely – so that there is nothing in it. Also, be sure to take the drawer completely out (off the drawer slides), so you can also check for things that may have fallen out.
  • Take Inventory of What You Have: Now take a look at everything that you have. Inevitably, you have pens and pencils, paperwork, thumbtacks, and who knows what else. Throw away any trash or things you no longer want. Set aside the things you want to keep.
  • Sort: Now it’s time to sort through everything you’ve collected. Try to group like things together. If you find things that already have a place in your home – return them to their proper place. Do you have duplicates of things? Maybe you can donate the duplicates. 
  • Take Care of the Paper: Does your junk drawer tend to become a place where you throw the bills, kids’ art projects,  takeout menus, and other pieces of paper? Then it’s time to do something about all the paper. Once you’ve paid bills, you can shred them, or if you want to keep a record of them, consider scanning them and saving them in electronic form. Your child’s art projects can also be scanned and saved. There are scanner apps available for your phone that will allow you to do this quickly and easily. And, your favorite takeout restaurants probably have their menus online – so there is no need to hang onto the paper versions.
  • Line Your Drawer: You may think that it’s silly to line your junk drawer, but making it look pretty may help you stay motivated to keep it organized. You can buy shelf lining paper to do this or use a placemat that can be wiped down if something spills.
  • Use Some Organization Tools: Now that the paper is gone and you’ve put things with homes back where they belong, it’s time to do something with everything else you want to keep. You might use a silverware holder to designate areas in your drawer for certain things or pick up some small baskets at your local dollar store. Anything that will help keep things from sliding around will help keep the drawer neat.
  • Maintain the Junk Drawer: Once it’s organized, work to keep your junk drawer clean. It only takes a few minutes for you to quickly keep it in tip-top shape if you do it regularly.

Don’t let your junk drawer get out of control. Spend some time getting it clean and organized – so that it’s a useful space – not a catch-all for clutter.

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