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How to Organize the Junk Drawer

By Edited Nov 15, 2016 0 0

Maybe this was the year you were finally going to get your space organized.  You were going to strip that closet or redo the kitchen cabinets or clean out the basement, but life gets busy and it just has not happened yet.  But why wait for the big spaces to clean?

You can still get your house in order, by simply starting with small annoying jobs.  Some of the smaller jobs will actually bring you some of the best results as they will not only clean a space that has bothered you every time you looked at it, but will also make you feel so good that it will spur you on to the next job.

Get the Snowball Rolling

The snowball effect for organizing your space is very efficient.  It may take a bit longer, but you must admit it has taken you years to accumulate the junk you are looking to tidy so allowing yourself some time to deal with it should be acceptable even if it is just one little space at a time.

Rather than taking on something too big that it never gets done, start with the smallest ones, such as the junk drawer.

We all have one, many are in the kitchen but yours might be in the hallway, bedroom or even the bathroom.  You know which drawer I mean, the one that houses all the spilled thumb tacks, elastic bands, pens, pencils, broken candles, flashlights and dead batteries!

Well, if you just haven’t been able to get at some of the bigger tasks yet, why not start with this junk space and get it organized?

What is Your Junk Drawer Personality?

Once you have all the storage pieces you need then you can set aside an hour and be done.  It is just a matter of figuring out your “junk drawer personality”.

Why is the largest item in the drawer or the largest quantity?  Is it tacks, and pins, or is it pencils and scotch tape or elastics?  Maybe it is flashlights and emergency matches and candles.  (That is what mine started out as, but many items were added later!)  You need to decide the types of things you need to keep in there and this will determine the type of storage you invest in.

junk drawer organizers

Drawer Containers

You can get many types of drawer storage online that will suit the types of things you want to keep track of.  Start by taking a good look at what is in this space and really examine it.  Decide if the items you want to store are bulky or tiny such as thumb tacks, maybe a bit of both?

Go shopping for some containers (first so you are ready), that are deep enough to house your items and yet will fit the drawer you want to use.  Get enough of them to fit against each other so that they do not slide around or tip over when you open and close the drawer quickly.

Step 1 – Take the drawer right out and get comfortable at the table or on the bed, wherever is easiest for you.

Have a garbage bag handy and a space to keep the good stuff.  Now either take items out one at a time or simply dump it right out onto a piece of newspaper (yes there will be crumbs and dust so protect the surface with newspaper).

Take a quick look at the item and get ruthless.  I always follow the 5 second rule.  Look at it for 5 seconds then quickly decide keep or throw out.  Have a box or space for the keepers temporarily.

junk drawer organizers
South Shore Drawer Organizer
Amazon Price: $39.99 $11.98 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 15, 2016)

Take Dead Batteries to be Recycled (most electronic stores)

Now that was not so hard right?  You have been meaning to do this for a very long time, and there should be a lot you can throw out.  If you have a lot of dead batteries, you can bag them up in a zip lock bag and take them to your local electronics store for recycling.  Try to avoid throwing them in the garbage.

If the batteries are floating around loose in your drawer for as long as you can remember, then chances are they are dead and get rid of them.

Step 2 – Clean and Line the Drawer

Dump it upside down onto some newspaper, or take the vacuum to it and really clean it out.  It is amazing the amount of dust, dirt and debris that can build up in this space over time. 

Now if the inside of the drawer is painted, you may want to take a good all-purpose spray cleaner to it and get rid of any grease or grime.  You can then decide whether or not to line the bottom with “liner paper” to keep it neat and tidy.

junk drawer dividers
Officemate OIC Achieva Deep Drawer Tray, Recycled, Black (26241)
Amazon Price: $10.94 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 15, 2016)

Step 3 – Take your containers and organize them into the drawer so that they all fit nicely.  Then the fun part begins.  Putting everything back, by putting “like with like” This way you know where everything is.  Keep candles and matches together for example so that you are not fumbling in the dark in that next power outage.

Keep good batteries together, and then the smaller items such as thumb tacks, loose change or whatever else you want to keep.

Mix and Match Containers

You can get these at the dollar store or you can go shopping online to find all kinds of affordable separators or containers to keep in this space.  Once everything has a home it is much easier to keep it tidy.  You simply open it up and drop the item in the right container or section.

You will be amazed at the things you will find in this space.  Things you are always rummaging for.  I know in my house it is elastic bands.  Our newspaper comes wrapped with one, and they are handy to have, but after rummaging in the drawer the elastics would become entangled in everything else and just turn into a giant mess.

It actually feels nice to open this organized drawer now!

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