My hubby and I had to move 3 times in the last 5 years for his job, and after the first and second move I got pretty good at packing and organizing.  Not a pro by any means, but I decided when you are paying good money for moving trucks that charge by the hour or weight, it was time to re-think some of the boxes and their contents.

Why move things that are pretty much junk at a premium cost? If you are not moving, this is still a great time to get some things organized and under control.  It is a good feeling to not be drowning in junk and trinkets that get stuffed into that kitchen drawer, side table, or shelf.  

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It is Time to Get Organized!

Step One – Take the drawer right out.  If possible take the drawer out and lay out newspapers or an old sheet on the table and simply dump it.  It may seem overwhelming but it really is better just to get stuck in and get on with it. 

Make sure you have lots of space to spread the tangled pile out (mine was tangled with string that magically unraveled and tied everything in knots.

It still amazes me, how these little bits and pieces can get into such a tangled mess or disappear into the abyss never to be seen again.  Almost like losing socks in the washing machine!

Step Two – Get the piles started.  First Pile “GARBAGE” Second Pile “KEEPERS”

These were the two piles I started.  This is the first phase of the quick sorting out.  You are not getting in too deep just yet, you are simply separating things you know are garbage, such as broken items, pieces of plastic that you have no idea where they came from, bits of string, broken elastic bands, empty scotch tape containers, bent paperclips… well you get the idea!

Step Three – Mini Piles – Take the garbage pile and get rid of it now so you are not staring at it.  Now take a look at your keeper pile and you will now sort that into smaller piles.  Try to put all like things with like, such as loose change in one pile. (It always amazed me how much loose change ends up in the junk drawer, you might even be able to buy yourself a coffee for your efforts!) Elastic bands, balls of string, good paper clips, any clips, hair things… you get the idea.

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Step Four – Give the empty drawer a good clean, and a damp wipe.

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Step Five - Stop the Tangle Dance!  Place little containers or separators of some kind into this drawer so that the remaining items do not end up getting together again!  It doesn’t take long even if you only have a few items in there, they always seem to meet and do the “tangle dance”!

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You can invest in drawer separators or trays that will keep things apart online.  Many online stores will carry these supplies.  It all depends on the things you have left and their size.  If mostly small items but many different ones, you will want a tray with lots of compartments.  If just a few you can also head to the dollar store and get tiny plastic trays that are for organizing offices drawers that will work well.

If you are in a pinch, and simply don’t want to invest in compartments, then consider at least using baggies to keep things like elastics and small items apart. 

I also found this book for kids that basically uses the junk drawer for supplies which I thought was hilarious, until I emptied mine and realized it is true!

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My Junk Drawer – Looks Awesome!

I almost pulled the drawer right out of the cabinet because it was so much lighter than it was!  This will definitely make you feel good for the sake of an hour or so of organizing.  It is amazing how much better you will feel just getting rid of junk.  It always amazes me how broken things and unidentifiable things end up in this drawer in the first place.

Extra Drawer Space

You may find that once you have organized the kitchen junk drawer that the remaining junk could actually share space now with some cutlery or tea towels.

Are You Moving?

If you are moving in the next few months, start these projects now.  Once you tackle the kitchen junk drawer, move on to the bathroom vanity and bedrooms.  Many people just think of the larger items when it comes to packing, but this finicky little things are a pain to pack at the best of times, and usually just get dumped in a box then dumped in a drawer at the next place.  Deal with them now and things will go a lot smoother, than trying to sort them out under the pressure of moving day.

This makes packing so much easier when it is time, instead of dragging these things with you and paying to have them moved when pressed for time.

Digging for Hidden Treasures

Sometimes you find all kinds of neat things, such as perfectly good batteries, lots of loose change, and tons of paper clips.  You may have shoved things in this drawer when tidying up the surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom with the idea of dealing with them later, and that “later” never comes.  You may have purchased more of something that you already had in your junk drawer, so knowing what is in there can save you money in the end.