You need to replace 3 AAA batteries. You slowly open your “junk” drawer hoping everything does not fall out. Filled with pens, pencils, rubber bands, tape, batteries, birthday candles, business cards, buttons, take out menus, and extra keys to name a few, you rummage around pushing and pulling the items to hopefully find the batteries. You can’t find them and frustrated you shut the drawer. You are now on your way to the nearest convenience store to buy more AAA’s. You promise yourself that one day soon you will organize the drawer. Sound familiar?
All homes need a drawer to put odds, ends and tools that do not quite have a home anywhere else based on how often we use them. Usually this type of drawer in found in the kitchen or office. But is this really junk? These items are useful and necessary. At House to Home Organizing we prefer calling it a utility drawer where you can easily find your daily necessities.
Here are some tips to organize and de-clutter these drawers:
Take everything out. Wipe drawer clean. Let go of things which have been never used and are easy to get again. For example, the soy packets from the Chinese restaurant that have been sitting there for 6 months. Recycle old and unused business cards and take out menus. (Most take out menus are online these days) Go through spare keys and make sure you label what door or lock they go to. Recycle the questionable keys. Do all the pens work? Do the pencils have erasers.
Sort and group like items. All rubber bands together, paper clips together, pens, pencils, tape, batteries, keys, birthday candles, etc. Make piles so you can see quantity. Keep a reasonable amount of each item. For example, if you have 10 rolls of tape maybe 8 can live in a backup area in your home. Quantity will determine the size of the containers you purchase.
Measure the width and height of the drawer. Decide what type of systems you will use to divide the drawer. Need ideas? Look online. You can buy small plastic baskets, mesh trays, wood organizers, clear Lucite trays, the options are endless.
Here are a few examples:
Once you have purchased the storage systems the fun begins! Arrange the items in their new containers. Now, when you open the drawer you can easily find what you are looking for. No more rummaging around and being frustrated!
Maintain your organization. Go through the drawer weekly. Up keep is crucial to prevent clutter from returning. Also, if there are any items in the utility drawer that you don’t use frequently it may be time to move them to a remote location.