Tip of the Month: Are Junk Drawers a Bad Thing?

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Do you have a junk drawer?  More than one?  You are not alone; most people have at least one.  Junk drawers tend to have a bad reputation, and I, as an organizer, often get asked by my clients if they should get rid of them.  In fact, my clients are often embarrassed to admit that they have one at all.  The idea of a junk drawer is not a bad thing…as long as you keep it organized.  If your junk drawer is overflowing, and you have no idea what is in there, then it is time to give it a make-over.  Follow these 5 steps to a useful junk drawer:

1. Empty – Find an open space where you have plenty of room to spread out.  Remove everything from the drawer and lay it out so you can see what you have.  You are sure to be surprised!  Junk drawers are an easy place to “stash” things right before company arrives.

2. Sort – Look at each item one at a time and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”  If so, ask yourself, “Does it belong in this location?”  There is no right answer to what belongs in a junk drawer.  The important thing is that you can find the items when you need them.  The most common items found in junk drawers include: pens, pencils, rulers, staplers, scrap paper, sticky notes, matches, batteries, tools, etc.  You decide what is right for you and your family.

3. Clean – Vacuum out and wipe down your drawer before re-assembling.

4. Group – Group your remaining items together.  For example, put all of the pens and pencils together, group the batteries, etc.  This will help you to better understand how much space each type of item requires.

5. Divide and Conquer – Next, consider products that can help you keep the items organized in an orderly fashion for everyday use.  There are so many drawer organizers out there to help you with this.  Decide how many “cubbies” you need and what sizes would be the most helpful.  Check out the new ‘Squish Drawer Storage Organizers’.  They come in fun colors and provide a lot of flexibility.  You can purchase them individually and they “squish” to fit in those tough to fit places.  Don’t forget to measure your drawer to ensure that it will fit.

Now, put your “junk” back and feel good that you know where everything is. Be proud of your organized junk drawer!

Donna Lindley, Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Rochester Hills, MI-based Organize Your World, Inc.

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