The junk drawer. For many, a time capsule, artifacts from days gone by. Little tidbits of collections, pieces of memorabilia we’re loath to let go — a repository of meaningless items that may have no significance other than they may, someday, be useful.
That is the junk drawer. The drawer of detritus.
You can tell a lot about a person or a family from the household junk drawer. “I snoop through people’s drawers, pantries, closets and garages as part of my research,” says Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University, “and I can say without hesitation that the junk drawer is the most revealing place I can look,” she says.
And then, she says, “it gets interesting, because what people also store in junk drawers are things they can’t part with, but don’t use — like vacation mementos and love notes.” Puzzle pieces of the past.
Day 8 Objective: The Junk Drawer
We know what they are — the question remains, what to do with it? It’s not a lost cause. Be sure to view the inspirational ideas as the foot of this post.
6 Tips for Taming the Junk Drawer
1. Take an inventory
Empty the contents of the drawer. In fact, take the whole drawer out and have a trash bag accessible. This is the time to eliminate expired coupons, scraps of paper that have no meaning — phone numbers to unnamed people (that’s what I found!). Clear everything you can clear!
2. Sort into Piles
Sort things that don’t belong and set aside: screws that go in the toolbox, tweezers that belong in the medicine kit, etc. For everything that stays, group like items together. Eliminate broken and duplicates, as always. Create piles of paper clips, rubber bands, hair clips, thumb tacks and so on.
3. Tame Paper
“If you find that you still need some of the paper mess that has accumulated, consider adding plastic paper sleeves to the inside of one of your cabinet doors. It will take up relatively no space and still allow you to hold on to your favorite hand-written recipes and instruction booklets. Of course, keep in mind that most take-out menus and instruction booklets can be found online, which will save even more space,” advises HGTV.
4. Make it Pretty
It’s human nature to want to keep something beautiful. Consider lining your drawer with a pretty liner. It just might inspire you to keep it that way.
5. Divide it Up
Here’s where you can get really creative, save some money, and create usable dividers from common household items. Create dividers from business card holders, box tops, cereal boxes cut to size, cartons, old muffin tins or ice cube trays are innovative ways to divide and conquer the clutter. (See the bottom of the post for inspirational ideas).
6. Keep What Matters
While we’re on a quest to simplify. Keep what matters. That memorabilia you haven’t been able to part with. Those tidbits of the past. Create a memory box specifically for those items. And as the days grow cold and you’re feeling a bit nostalgic, retrieve the box and tell the stories of your past.
Useful Items for a Junk Drawer
2. Furniture Pencils, Minwax Blend-Fil (assorted colors)
Objective: To tame the junk drawer, making it a usable storage solution.
• Remove the drawer.
• From the contents, set aside all items that belong elsewhere: screws for the toolbox and so on.
• For that which stays, divide into piles of like items.
• Discard what can be eliminated (expired coupons, scraps of paper and so on).
• Wipe out the drawer and line it.
• Create usable dividers that fit the drawer and correspond to your “keep piles.”
• Return items to the newly organized drawer.
• Return items have that have another home.
• Create a memory box for memorabilia you want to keep.
GET THE BOOK:
Junk Drawer Inspirations
Divide and Conquer
Creating cubbies for your junk means everything will look tidy even when items wind up out of place. Choose matching bins from an office supply store, or puzzle together bottoms of cereal or pasta boxes to DIY a customized system.
Organized Junk Drawers
A home’s junk drawer doesn’t have to be a mess. Simple dividers section this drawer and keep everything organized. Use small dishes for loose items like change, keys, and paperclips.
Creative Uses of Space
Combining form and function to create perfect containers for the junk drawer.
DIYing Your Dividers
Covering plain bins with pretty craft paper or fabric ads charm and beauty to mundane containers.
Making it Pretty
Lining drawers with beauty just might inspire you to keep it that way.
Easy and instance organizational tip for needed papers, like takeout menus and so on. Clear plastic sleeves you can adhere to the back of a cabinet work great.
Vintage cookware make interesting dividers.
Stackable Bins Add Space
Give yourself some needed space by doubling up and stacking containers.
Wraping it Up
For bits and bobs that tend to be unruly, like charging cords, a strip of velcro can make a surprisingly nice organizational tool.
A Memory Box
Store meaningful items in a special place, retrieve often and tell their stories.