3 Simple Ways to Get Your Junk Drawer Under Control
Whole House Organization Challenge: Week 5
We've been hitting our storage spaces hard for this Whole House Organization Challenge! So far we've covered laundry rooms, garages, and linen closets. Today we're heading to the kitchen.
This is the part of the challenge that most people dread. I'll be honest with you, it's not my favorite part of the home to organize either. But it is the busiest, and therefore the most important.
To give ourselves a bit of a reprieve, we'll start slowly by tackling just the kitchen drawers - more specifically the infamous junk drawer. Welcome to week 5 of the WHO Challenge!
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My Small Kitchen Challenge
If there is one advantage I have in this portion of the challenge, it is this: I have only 2 - yes 2 drawers in my small kitchen. This has forced me to organize things a bit differently than most folks. Just in case you're wondering, YES it drives me crazy.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And thankfully I've found other places to put items that would normally end up in a junk drawer. We'll get to that in a sec. First, let me show you my drawers.
RELATED POST: WHO Challenge: Week1 (2017) Organizing the Kitchen Drawers
TIP 1: Use the Right Drawer Organizers
Here is what one of my kitchen drawers looked like before and after I organized it during last year's challenge. Notice how important it is to select drawer organizers that actually ...organize your things.
Boy what a difference right?! Looking back I still can't believe this is the same drawer. This updated "after" photo was taken just a few weeks ago. I'm happy to be able to say that we've maintained this system for well over a year now. Total investment: Less than $20
TIP 2: Discard the Real Junk, Separate Leftover Items into Compartments
In the past we stuffed our second, itty bitty drawer in the kitchen with take out menus we never referred back to, extra sauces from restaurants that we never used, and various nuts and bolts, pens and pencils. It was sometimes impossible to even get the drawer open!
Below is a photo of my second and final kitchen drawer. Notice how I compartmentalize even the tiniest areas of my kitchen.
Nope, not much to see there folks. Just a couple of re-purposed candle jars, a tape measure, and lighter. And that is it y'all! One visitor to this blog said to me last year "I can not believe your kitchen only has those 2 drawers. One of them barely even counts! LOL!" Yes, the struggle is real, but I'm workin' with it honey.
TIP 3: Think Outside the Box for Storage
So where the heck do I put the rest of my stuff? I had to come up with a few alternative solutions. One day it dawned on me that some of these alternatives actually eliminate the need for a junk drawer in the first place. Let me show you what I mean. Take a look at the jar below.
This is where I keep all of those annoying objects that junk up a drawer: spoon measures, cookie cutters, peelers, bottle openers, pizza cutters (sharp end goes in first), meat thermometers. If you can name it, it's probably in this jar, which I keep tucked away on an open shelf in my kitchen. Trust me, a junk jar is much easier to manage than a junk drawer.
And what about the large spoons, tongs and forks? I have no choice but to leave those items exposed. Serving utensils are not exactly the sexiest items. Still, I try to keep the look fresh by storing them in an attractive vase right next to my stove.
Truth be told, I could probably purge even this small area a bit. I mean, do I really need two potato mashers? The small flower vase (another re-purposed candle jar) holds a couple of pens, a spare key, and other whatnot's underneath. Indeed, the key to keeping spaces organized is to keep only what you need.
Now it's YOUR turn. Time to tackle your kitchen drawers. Here's a quick checklist to get you started:
- Take EVERYTHING out of the drawers
- Give the drawers a good scrub down
- Separate all the items that need to go back into the drawers by category
- Toss menus, extra sauces, faded receipts, paper clips, handwritten notes you no longer need
- Use the WHO Worksheet (available to subscribers) to record your measurements and layout your new drawer space
- Shop for the organization solutions, or re-purpose ones you already own
- Return items to the drawers, or designated jars
- Label it if it makes sense to do so
Next week we'll head to the pantry. I'll show you a bit about how I organize my tiny pantry. I'll also explain how I helped a homeowner make use of a second, unused pantry in her galley kitchen.
Until then, I'd love to get your thoughts on this post and challenge. Please tell me:
- What do you think about these tips? Are they realistic?
- Have you been able to keep up with the WHO Challenge?
- If you haven't joined the WHO Challenge yet, is there a specific room you're waiting for me to cover?
- What's the hardest space to organize in your home?
One more favor may I ask of you?
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