6 Sure Ways to Get Rid of the Junk Drawer
Welcome to launch week of the Whole House Organization Challenge. This is a self paced, non-competitive quest to organize your home in 14 weeks or less.
Organizational training and strategies have always intrigued me. I remember as far back as 11 or 12 years old organizing my parents closet as a “gift“ to surprise them with when they would return home from work. Within the confines of my teenage bedroom I was constantly arranging things in an effort to make them look better. With all of this perpetual organizing I was doing on one would think that I would be the tidiest person on earth! The truth is, that simply was not the case.
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Why is My Home a Mess When I’m Constantly Organizing?
The real reason why I was constantly reorganizing was that my “systems” were failing me. They were too weak to withstand either my laziness, my exhaustion at the end of the day, or other emergencies that were competing for my attention.
Lining up items in a row might look neat. But it is NOT a strong organizational system if you’re unable to maintain it.
As we head to the kitchen this week I want to encourage you think about the systems you will be putting into place. Resist the urge to organize pretty but dysfunctional spaces. Here are a few things you can do to finally get rid of those junk in your kitchen drawers.
1. Determine your organizational style.
Do you prefer to file or to pile items? “Filers” like to arrange items in clearly marked rows or compartments. “Pilers”, on the other hand simply toss like items in a common bowl, jar or other vessel. Which method makes more sense in the space that you’re organizing?
I generally recommend using the filing method when placing things inside of drawers, and using the piling method for items that can’t be stored in a drawer. But ultimately, you must determine what works for you and your family.
RELATED ARTICLE: How to Find Your Organizational Style
2. Follow this suggested process for organizing your drawer(s):
Empty your space/drawer
Scrub it clean
Measure the space for outfitting your new organizational system.
Toss anything that is broken, damaged or unusable. Unless an item is of a sentimental nature consider donating any duplicates.
3. Insert/install your new organizational system
For kitchen drawers I recommend an adjustable bamboo flatware tray. These can be purchased at the local Marshalls, Burlington, and Bed Bath and Beyond stores. Unless your kitchen cabinets have been purchased from IKEA, I do not recommend looking for drawer organization is there, as most of these items are made to fit only IKEA cabinets.
HELPFUL TIP: If your kitchen drawers are oddly sized, try using bamboo boxes (see image below). This way you can configure the drawer in a way that makes it look customized.
4. Return items to the space
Store like items together and don’t be afraid to move them around until you are satisfied with the placement. Never think that the beautifully organized spaces in glossy magazines happened on the first try.
5. Label everything
Only once you are satisfied with your newly organized space should you start labeling things. Some decide to do this right away. Others wait a few days to see if the new system will work.
6. Think outside the box for storage
If you have a small kitchen like I do, there may not be enough drawers to place everything. My work-around is to use a cookie jar for those small annoying kitchen gadgets that take up precious space inside the drawer. Potato peelers, measuring spoons, tongs, cookie cutters, etc all go inside the jar.
These are the tips I use and always recommend. And you know what? They really do work. Check out the proof. Below are photos from a real client who these same suggestions.
And that folks is how I was able to get rid of my junk drawer(s). It’s been a few years since I started this system and I’ve never reverted back to my old ways. Do you think this is something you can do? Why not give it a try!