Ah, the Junk Drawer. The most innocent of the clutter-collectors. It almost feels like you’re putting stuff away when it goes in there, but if it looks like this…
…well, you’re not.
Currently, this “Junk Drawer” is housing a bunch of pens and pencils, TV remotes, a pack of checkbooks, an auxiliary cable, the dog brush, a bunch of spare change, random screws, guitar picks, a capo, a spare battery, two fingernail clippers, and a pair of tweezers.
What’s the big deal?
I hereby offer a sample conversation from your very own household (I’m 97% sure):
Person 1: “Hey, where’s the thing?”
Person 2: ” Did you check the place where the thing belongs?”
Person 1: “I don’t know where the thing belongs.”
Person 2: “Oh, it’s probably on the middle shelf in the hall closet”
“…Or maybe in that brown basket on top of the bookshelf in the living room”
“…Actually I think Person 3 had it yesterday. Check in the kitchen?”
Person 1: “Oh, I found it. It was in the junk drawer.”
The only way this situation is made worse is if you never find the thing… so, I guess, three cheers for junk drawers?
But no! Junk drawers just collect stuff that needs (or already has!) a better home. So take these three steps right now to clear your junk drawer.
Your Junk Drawer Purge Guide
- It’s easy to skip this step, but don’t! Decide what you want your drawer’s actual purpose to be (hint: it’s not a junk drawer). This is the stuff that’s going BACK IN when you’re done.
- Sort your stuff into four piles (or boxes/bags if there’s a lot of stuff):
A = this item belongs in the drawer (according to its new purpose)
B = I need this item, it already has a good home, and I need to put it away.
C = I need this item, but I don’t have a good place for it.
D = I don’t need this. Trash/recycle/donate
- Put A and B items back in their respective homes.
- C items need a new accessible and convenient home.
- Congrats! You no longer have a junk drawer.
If you chose to keep remotes, pencils, car keys, and spare change in the drawer – so be it. You now have a Remote/Pencil/Car Key/Spare Change Drawer. A safety pin shall never enter this sacred space again. Forever and evermore. Amen.
Keeping it Tidy
The key factors in making your Junk Drawer Purge stick are:
- Defining an actual purpose for the drawer. If you keep calling it a junk drawer, it will keep collecting junk.
- Making sure the things that you find get good, accessible, convenient homes. Stuff goes into junk drawers when (a) it doesn’t have a home, or (b) its home is so inconvenient that it would be troublesome to put it away. If you fix THOSE problems, you won’t be tempted to shove stuff away again.
Give it a try.
Want more? Join the Pre-Christmas Purge. We’re taking 6 weeks to ditch the clutter in 6 areas of your home. The free challenge starts October 30, 2016.
Happy purging, friends!