Most homes have a junk drawer. And from my unscientific study,  I can confirm that these drawers contain everything from spare keys to rubber bands, batteries, postage stamps, pen caps, buttons, a wrapped stick of gum, the dishwasher owner’s manual, post-its, movie ticket stubs, party invitations, stray business cards, dull pencils, a small screw driver, and a variety of sneaky little objects like thumb tacks, miniature toy cars, bent paper clips, and yes, a rubber ducky.

Have you tried to find something in your junk drawer lately? Perhaps this is the drawer in your kitchen that’s a catch-all for the family, or it’s the intimidating desk drawer that’s stuffed with paperwork galore, miscellaneous buttons, and nearly empty lip gloss tubes.

So how to de-junk your junk drawer? Hopefully one, some, or all of the following ideas will work wonders in your neck of the woods.

1. Open the drawer and remove anything that should be recycled or thrown away. Then act accordingly.

2. Next, empty the remaining contents of your junk drawer onto a table or other flat work surface where you will organize like items together. Throughout this process, give yourself bonus points if you find additional items to throw away or recycle. Become one with that wonderful phrase, “When in doubt, throw it out [or recycle it]!”

3. Then identify the items whose counterparts are already stored elsewhere in your humble abode. Distribute them accordingly. For example:

  • The screw driver belongs with your tools.
  • Information from the stray business cards should be entered into your electronic or hard copy address books and the cards should then be shredded.
  • Writing utensils belong in your office desk drawer. Same goes for post-its, paper clips, and thumb tacks.
  • Owners manuals should be placed in a large hanging file along with manuals for all of your other home appliances.
  • Etcetera!

4. Now take stock of the few remaining items. This could include miniature toy cars and a rubber ducky and perhaps some spare keys. With these objects in mind, purchase some drawer organizers that will hold these odds and ends and help keep this drawer under control. When you’re finished, your former junk drawer will radiate all that is organizationally wonderful and right with the world.

5. How to keep your former junk drawer from getting “junky” again?

  • Put things back where they belong. Always.
  • Before introducing something new to the drawer, ask yourself if its counterparts already have a storage area elsewhere in your humble abode. If so, the new item does not belong in this drawer.
  • Every so often, look through this drawer and remove any recyclables or trashables. While you’re at it, make sure nothing has found itself in this drawer that belongs in your pantry or office or elsewhere.

If you’d like to share ideas about how you’ve de-junked your junk drawer, send them to us and they could be featured in a future blog post. Let the decluttering continue!

* Photo by Jonathan Eggers

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