When you think of the word “junk” you typically think of items that are of little or no value, but most people have a “junk drawer” in a convenient, easy to access location to capture all those things that, despite the name, are far from junk.
The contents of the typical junk drawer are some of the most useful and often used items we own: screw drivers, rubber bands, tape measures, box cutters, batteries, twist ties, small change, matches, extra sets of house keys, savings coupons, corkscrews, toothpicks, post-it notes, buttons, thumbtacks, markers, pencils, pens, screws, nails, string, timers, flashlights, scissors and all sorts of other things you want to have handy.
If your junk drawer is full of clutter or filled to a level where absolutely nothing can be found in it, it’s time to turn it into organized storage that earns its keep by making your life easier.
Here are a few simple steps to help you take your drawer from “junk” to “gem”…
Step 1. Gather unused or extra containers from around your house – ice cube trays, little cups and small boxes are all perfect for the job. It’s also a great way to use and enjoy any small souvenir bowls, baskets or other containers you’ve brought home from trips you’ve taken. Or, if you prefer, go shopping for containers that will fit the width, length and height of your drawer. Be sure to take a tape measure or small ruler with you to the store so you can check. Explore the bath, kitchen and other sections of the store for various containers. Get creative with containers by thinking out of the box (pun intended!) and you might surprise yourself by all the possibilities that are out there.
Step 2. If you don’t already have some, buy non-slip drawer liner – rolls or pads of thin textured rubber. Dust/wash out your junk drawer and line it before inserting your containers. This will keep them from sliding around when you open and close the drawer.
Step 3. Take everything out of the drawer and put it on top of your counter. You may want to lay some newspaper or other protection down first to help prevent damage to your countertop. Undoubtedly, you will discover items that got lost in the tumble, items you don’t even remember having, items that belong elsewhere and items that should be tossed. Returning items that belong elsewhere to their rightful homes will reduce the clutter and disorganization of the junk drawer. Once that’s done the items that truly belong in the drawer become clear and the organizing can begin.
Step. 4. Put like items together – thumbtacks in one pile, buttons in another, rubber bands in a third and so on until you’re done. Assign each category of item to an appropriately sized container and return it to your junk drawer. If you find an item that you can’t identify, put it to the side. Ask your family to help figure out what it is and then decide if you really need it or not. If you don’t need it, toss it.
Organizing your junk drawer is a great way to keep it from actually looking like its name and will make the items it contains easier to find when you need them. Much better to only dig through one container to find what you need instead of digging through the whole drawer!