Do you have one of “those” drawers? You know the one I mean. It’s often found in a kitchen, sometimes in your office or your bedroom. Maybe you have one in all of those places (I shudder at the thought). What on earth am I talking about? A junk drawer.
Now, before you roll your eyes and head back to scrolling through Instagram because you think I’m craaaazy for suggesting this catch-all, miscellaneous drawer isn’t a necessity in every home hear me out.
Let’s start with the definition of junk:
I think we can all agree no one needs useless things taking up precious drawer space. So why have we allowed ourselves to create these drawers in our homes? For some it is a matter of needing a fast and easy way to clear the countertop to prepare dinner. Or maybe you have a “thing” you don’t really know what to do with and the path of least resistance is to toss it into this drawer. (Spoiler alert: If you don’t have a use for something, you don’t need to find a space for it in your home.)
But, what about the things in the junk drawer that aren’t useless? Common junk drawer occupants include: batteries, scissors, tape, and pens. Sure all of those items are useful, but if finding them means you have to dig through expired coupons, spare change, and phone chargers to phones you owned 3 upgrades ago, your oh-so-convenient junk drawer is wasting your time and sometimes costing you money.
How can a junk drawer cost you money you might ask? You know you bought new AAA batteries but can’t find them so you buy another pack. Remember that spa package you won at the silent auction? It expired 8 months ago, but since you tossed the gift certificate into the junk drawer it got buried under 6 copies of the same cheap Chinese food takeout menu and 12 packets of soy sauce. Sound familiar? I thought so.
So now what? Let’s turn those drawers of, “old or discarded articles that are considered useless or of little value” into super high functioning utility drawers and while we are at it, let’s make them beautiful (and the crowd goes wild!!).
- Dump out the contents of the drawer. (This is a good time to give the drawer a dust and proper wipe down.)
- Sort everything into categories. ie: office supplies, keys, tools, coupons, things that belong in other rooms, batteries, kid’s toys, to be recycled/trash, etc.
- Toss out or recycle the actual junk. Be ruthless; don’t keep “maybes” and “what-ifs.” This may feel wasteful, but if you aren’t using something it’s just wasting space. Always recycle or donate when possible. One person’s trash…..
- Set aside things that belong elsewhere in your home. Make yourself return these items to their proper home after you finish the drawer.
- Finally, choose what items you actually need and want in this handy go-to-spot. Remember, this drawer should contain active items only. These are essentials that you use frequently, i.e.: writing utensils, scissors, rubber bands and current coupons.
Now that you have chosen what you will keep in the drawer how do you make it look Pinterest worthy? Two words: Drawer Dividers.
Drawer dividers can be bought at any number of stores in a wide range of styles and price points (Dollar Tree, The Container Store, Bed, Bath & Beyond). But since I promised organizing your junk drawer would save you money I don’t want you to think the only way to achieve junk drawer organizational nirvana is by heading out to buy things. You can create drawer dividers with items you already have in your house. Use small gift boxes, an old silverware drawer divider, lidless Tupperware, or get crafty and cut off the bottoms of cereal or cracker boxes (wrap in pretty paper if you are feeling fancy). Basically, dig though your recycling and you probably have some worthy contenders for drawer dividers.
Once the drawer is outfitted with dividers put like things together into the dividers and stand back and admire your awesome clutter-free drawer. To keep the drawer looking great make sure you always put each item back into it’s designated spot and regularly reevaluate what you are keeping in the drawer. Take note if you haven’t used something in a while, it may be time to let it go or move it into another area of your home.
Though a junk drawer may only be a single drawer, the habit of stuffing things into spots willy-nilly as a means of tidying up has a way of bleeding over into other areas of our homes. (I’m looking at you crazy, overstuffed closet that is filled from top to bottom with who knows what.)
So stay tuned for an upcoming post on why out of sight is not, in fact, out of mind.