We all have one; some of us have two, or three, plus a counter. That’s right; I’m talking about the mess that is, the “Junk Drawer.” And let’s face it, it’s ugly and disorganized. It is the catch all, the place for things that have no place, the island of misfit stuff. But don’t be discouraged or embarrassed, everyone has one. It’s a necessity of life, and there are a few simple tricks that might make your home a little tidier and your junk drawer a little more organized.
After I move into a new home and all of the boxes are strewn across the house, there are two things I always do first. I unpack the kitchen (for obvious reasons), and I locate the junk drawer. One reason I do this first is so I know where to put all of the things I can’t put anywhere else. I organize my kitchen and place miscellaneous things in the junk drawer and once my kitchen is finished, I focus my attention on those knick-knacks.
The drawer you choose should be a little out of the way. It shouldn’t be mixed in with all the ones containing your kitchen items. It needs to be a drawer on a loan wall next to the kitchen entrance or just at the edge of the counter. That way you are less likely to leave junk drawer items on the counter space required for everyday kitchen use.
The location of the drawer also needs to feel natural. What I mean is that when you need to find a junk drawer item, the drawer you pick should be the obvious place you go. It should be automatic. You don’t want to open the cutlery drawer every time you are looking for scotch tape, it will drive you crazy. The drawer should be a reasonable size as well. If it’s too small most of the items will end up somewhere that they don’t belong.
Now that you have the perfect drawer for your junk, you need to organize. The goal here is to create function, style, and cleanliness. So it’s time to empty it out. That’s right, take everything out of the drawer and go around the house to locate everything that belongs in the junk drawer and place it all together. Since the drawer is empty, clean it. Alright, so the garbage, the things that belong somewhere else and the papers need to be weeded out. Papers should either be filed or recycled; you don’t need them crowding up your junk space.
For everything left, you will need some dividers. Most home-ware stores have drawer dividers you can purchase but these can get pricey. However, there are pieces that make ideal barriers and are more budget friendly. Old baking wear is perfect to separate small items. Old muffin tins work for objects such as paper clips, tacks, or any other small items. If you don’t have an old muffin tin, disposable ones are cheap and work just as well. Loaf pans are a nice size for holding all your pens, pencils, permanent markers, highlighters and sticky notes. For separating batteries, plastic sandwich bags can be used, it helps to label them.
If you use all of these suggestions, you should have space left over in the drawer for the larger items like scissors and the stapler. These simple ideas will help you master your junk drawer and keep it esthetically pleasing, functional, and organized.