Updated: Nov 16
Junk drawers are notoriously difficult to organize. What starts out as a collection of potentially useful items can quickly become a black hole of miscellanea. So, what was once the place to go for rubber bands, keychain rings and bolts, turns into a mismatched jumble that makes the drawer difficult to close.
There are three main places where the junk drawer is likely to develop: the kitchen, the office, and the garage. Let’s look at them one at a time.
The kitchen is probably where the original junk drawer was born. It’s typically in a central location in the house, making it the ideal drop-off point for odds and ends. Anything could be in there. It often serves more as a doodad vacuum than a toolbox.
The office tends to function as a catch-all space. You may have a filing cabinet, drawers, letter trays, shelves, and even a random container to catch the odd this or that. Any one of those spots can easily get filled with things you just want out of the way. You’ll likely find utility bills, printer ink, paper clips, a spare screen protector for your phone, pens, pencils, business cards, charging cables, and “important” notes to yourself.
If there is a place where stored items notoriously grow out of their designated area, it’s the garage. It takes commitment to keep a garage orderly. To keep things neatly arranged and give vehicles a place to park, a junk drawer, bin or shelf often gets utilized. You might end up storing tools, rags, pieces of rope, a scrap of paper scribbled with measurements, or an odd item found in the yard.
Despite their differences, all junk containment areas require the same general steps to manage and maintain them.
1. Determine to make the space useful and keep it that way.
2. Have a trash bag or bin ready.
3. Take everything out of the drawer or junk receptacle.
4. Sort like items with like items.
5. Throw away trash as you find it.
6. If anything doesn't belong in the junk drawer permanently, move it to its proper home.
7. For everything that remains, contain it in categories in small boxes, bowls, or trays.
8. Reward yourself for ruling your junk drawer, now a proper utility receptacle!
9. Repeat as necessary.
Many of you will have extended time off over the holidays. If you find yourself looking for something to do, go ahead and tackle your junk drawer. You’ll be amazed at what you find, and equally astonished at how good it will make you feel to get it organized! You might even find that silicone cushion that goes on the bottom of the decorative bowl that broke last week. Only now, you get to toss it!
Need help with the process? Call in the Element of Fun Organizing Team and we’ll help turn your junk drawer into your utility drawer!