Organizing Your Junk Drawer

Although junk drawers can certainly be frustrating, they’re also quite practical for those of us with busy, fast-paced lives. In many ways, our junk drawers can actually prevent clutter by providing a storage solution for miscellaneous paraphernalia.

How to Organize a Junk Drawer
1.) Start from Scratch
First things first: take everything out of the drawer and spread it all out on an open workspace, such as your kitchen table or living room floor. This may seem excessive, to empty your drawer completely, but doing so will allow you to see all of the drawer’s contents clearly, so you can sort them correctly. Plus, after you’ve cleared out the drawer, you can wipe down the inside and get rid of any debris or sticky residue.

2.) Pitch the Trash
Every neglected junk drawer has its fair share of items ready to be tossed. Scan your drawer for dried out pens and expired coupons. Maybe you have a takeout menu or two from a restaurant that’s no longer in business. Check to see if any of your batteries are dead, scissors are dull, or notepads are full. This is your chance to address the mess.

3.) Remove What Doesn’t Belong
Junk drawers can quickly become catch-alls for everything from post-it notes to flash drives and even golf balls. Nevertheless, your junk drawer isn’t the ideal home for every knickknack around. As you sift through keys and sharpies, keep your eyes peeled for anything that doesn’t belong. If you have an office, consider moving your stapler and scissors elsewhere. Perhaps your screwdriver and tape measure should relocate to the garage. Be intentional about what you decide to keep in your drawer.

4.) Arrange Items Into Categories
Now that you’ve done the hard work of tossing or relocating items in your junk drawer, it’s time to begin sorting. Divide up your drawer’s contents into piles of like items.

5.) Assign Storage Solutions
Once you’ve arranged your belongings into like groups, spend some time selecting the storage solution that best fits each category. You could easily toss a couple of secondhand drawer organizers in your junk drawer, but if you’re not thoughtful about the placement of your items, you may quickly run out of room or find that some sections of your organizer are full while others are nearly empty.

6.) Give Your Drawer a Deep Clean
Suck out any dust or dirt with a vacuum hose or take your drawer out completely and shake it out. We recommend wiping out the inside with a damp cloth and an all-purpose cleaner, especially if your drawer held expired hard candies or busted pens. As a final step, consider a drawer liner for extra protection.

7.) Refill Your Drawer
When placing your drawer dividers and other storage solutions, be sure to arrange them (and their contents) thoughtfully and leave some wiggle room. One of the reasons junk drawers become so quickly crowded is because we fill them with more than they can handle. If you finish this project and leave a drawer divider empty, resist the urge to fill it. The extra space will make your drawer a little less overwhelming and will leave room for future belongings.

Pro Tip: Keep your lesser used items in the back of the drawer and reserve the front for things you access more frequently, such as stamps and scissors.

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