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Learn how to organize your junk drawer in 6 easy steps that help you break down the process so you can stop avoiding it and get your life in order!
Do you have a drawer in your kitchen, bathroom, or office that’s just a collect all? A drawer that started out with a purpose but over time became the home of all the things that didn’t have a home? That drawer you avoid organizing because it’s so bad you just don’t even know where to start?
You know what I’m talking about. It’s the dreaded junk drawer!
Well, dread the drawer no more! I am here today to teach how to organize your junk drawer in 6 easy steps! Whether that’s your desk drawer, a kitchen drawer, or a drawer in your bathroom it doesn’t matter. I will walk you through the steps you need to take to put that messy drawer in order.
When something starts to feel too overwhelming we tend to avoid it all together. However, coming from someone who is a master avoider, I can tell you from personal experience that it’s just not healthy. This “avoidance syndrome” as I like to call it has a way of bleeding into every aspect of your life.
You might not think that a messy drawer can make that big of an impact, I mean it’s just a drawer right? But it really does! Doesn’t it drive you crazy when you’re in a hurry and you can’t find something? Or you go to use something and you realize it’s broken and useless? Little moments like that can really put a bad spin on your day.
There are probably so many more complicated and messy things you are avoiding in your life than your measly junk drawer. No, just me? Well, why not start at the bottom and get your physical surroundings in order, so you can feel clear-headed enough to move on to bigger more important things.
Break it down
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s much easier to break things down into steps and go through them one by one. Take it one step at a time and don’t jump ahead or you’ll start feeling overwhelmed again.
That’s what I want you to do as you work through the 6 steps below. As your emptying your drawer out, don’t think about how you’ll put everything back. Just go step by step from beginning to end.
The junk drawer in my life is my desk drawer. Because it holds lots of office supplies and small items, it gets messy really fast. Not to mention my toddler loves reorganizing it for me. I don’t have the heart to tell her she’s not really helping…at all.
Now if you’re looking at my messy drawer and wondering why you should take my advice if my drawer looks like that, don’t worry. It wasn’t really that bad! I dumped everything out and made it really messy so I could test out my method and make sure it was going to work for you.
Good news..it worked!
Keep reading to learn how to organize your junk drawer in 6 easy steps!
1. Empty the drawer and group all like items
Obviously, the first thing you’ll want to do is empty out your junk drawer. I like to empty it out one item at a time and create groups of like items as I go. It might be tempting to dump out the whole drawer, but I promise it will be easier to organize everything straight from the drawer and not from a pile of crap on the floor.
Some items won’t be like anything else so those can become a group of their own. For example, put all the pens together, all the rubber bands together, etc, but if you have one of a kind items put those in a pile of their own. The groups of items you create will depend on what you have in your drawer, but one of those groups should be trash!
2. Throw away the trash and relocate items that don’t belong
Once you have emptied out your junk drawer, you’ll want to throw away the trash pile and relocate items you no longer want in your drawer. For example, for some reason I had a candle in my drawer which was taking up space and did not need to be in there.
If you find that there are items in your drawer which don’t make sense or are better suited for a different room relocate those items to a different spot in your home. Worst case scenario, if you don’t know where to relocate items that don’t belong right away, you can put them in a box to be reaccessed later in the day or week.
One thing I want to caution against is creating a box of items for relocation and leaving it untouched for days or weeks! The point of relocating items is not to create another junk drawer, if you think you’ll never get to unloading the box don’t create one and instead find new homes for the items right away.
3. Dust and wipe out drawer
While everything has been sorted and taken out of the drawer you have the perfect opportunity to clean out all that crap that falls to the bottom of the drawer. If it’s really bad you can vacuum it out; otherwise, a damp cloth should do the trick. This step is the easiest of them all so soak it up!
4. Test the function of everything going back into the drawer
The next step is very important, but shouldn’t take you too long to complete. Make sure that everything you plan to put back into the drawer is in working order. This will help you take inventory of things you might need to replace that are no longer functional like dead batteries.
Suggestions for things you might want to test are flashlights, pens, markers, etc. Throw away anything that’s not working and can’t be fixed. Make a list of things you need to fix or replace. That way you won’t throw away something important and forget to replace it.
5. Insert dividers or organizers into the drawer
Now you’re going to compartmentalize the drawer so everything has a home. This will help keep the drawer neat and tidy going forward. There is no right or wrong way to do this. You just have to figure out a configuration that works best for the size and contents of the drawer.
You have two options when it comes to adding compartments. One option is to use an organizer that you already have around the house or buy a new one. I got some really cheap drawer organizers on Amazon and they work great. The second option is to gather up some shoe boxes, jewelry boxes, small bowls, tupperwear or small storage containers and create a configuration yourself.
If you like things to be visually appealing like I do, then I recommend using an organizer. They are much more aesthetically pleasing in my opinion. However, if you really don’t want to spend money creating your own might not be as pretty but will be just as functional. The bottom line here is to create some functional organization of your drawer. Having it be visually appealing is just a bonus.
6. One by one find the perfect home for every group of items
The final step is to put everything back into the drawer group by group. Finding the perfect place for everything takes a little bit of time. You might have to change it up a few times before you find the perfect place for everything.
Some things to think about are how often you use an item and how easily accessible you want it to be for you or your family. Something you use all the time should be toward the front or top of the drawer.
You should also think about what items you don’t want accessible. For example, my 1 and a 1/2-year-old daughter has learned to open my desk drawer. I wanted to make sure the items I didn’t want her to access were out of reach. That meant putting my box-cuter and gum in the back!
Dread the Drawer no More!
Organizing your junk drawer doesn’t have to be this big scary project you dread and have to avoid. If you break the process down into small easy steps and go through them one by one, putting your drawer in order will be a piece of cake.
And once that drawer is in order, you can move on to the linen closet, then the garage and slowly as your surroundings start to make sense your thoughts will start to make sense, and maybe your life will make more sense and you won’t have to avoid anything! Am I being overoptimistic? Maybe. But it’s worth a try!
SHOP DRAWER ORGANIZERS