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Checklist for organizing your junk drawer

We all have a single dreaded drawer in our kitchens; the junk drawer. While this drawer is all to common in our American society, few mustard up the courage to tackle organizing and making the drawer useful once again – and with good reason.
Every time we open up this drawer, it is bound to be a surprise. Reach for something within it and you might get poked by a tack, cut by a paper coupon, or come upon a curious looking item in which you have no clue what it is.
Needless to say, junk drawers have become an issue. The “catch-all” approach to the drawer has brought an epidemic of overwhelm and clutter. It’s time to take back the junk drawer, and make it useful within your household. Here’s how you can do it.
 
  1. Declutter: Organizing a junk drawer with items you’ll never use is completely pointless. For this reason, take out every item, sort through it, and throw away or donate anything that you haven’t used in 2 months and never plan to use. Think you might use it in the future? If it’s less than $5, ask yourself if it’s worth keeping or if you could just buy it if the scenario ever came where you needed to use it.
  2. Sort: Once you have the drawer decluttered, it’s time to really start organizing. Great organization begins with sorting your items into categories. For example, you may find that you end up with the following piles:
    • Writing Utensils
    • Coupons
    • Mail
    • Loose Change
    • Medicine
    • etc….
  3. Stow: Now that you have your categories, you understand what should be grouped together within the drawer. Next up is finding an intuitive way to keep your categorical items separate so that your junk drawer doesn’t look like the aftermath of a hurricane after a few days. I highly recommend using some type of organizer to do this. Examples of great solutions include:
    • Store-Bought Drawer Organizers
    • Muffin Tins
    • Makeup Trays
    • Ice Cub Trays
    • etc….
  4. Repeat: Make it a monthly task for you to go through the three steps above. Trust me, it’s much more enjoyable to “tidy up” the junk drawer every month than to do a “re-haul” of a drawer that hasn’t seen the light of day in 6 months.
The four steps above are some great ideas I’ve learned from pure trial and error. Some may work for you, others may not. The important thing is to commit to keeping an organized junk drawer.
I’m curious, do you have any other ideas, tactics, or tricks you would recommend to others?

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