Weekend Projects: Clean Out Your Junk Drawer

Weekend Projects is a new series focused on manageable tasks you can accomplish on the weekends; helping you to declutter your stuff and simplify your life gradually and without overwhelm. The aim is to provide simple projects that can be achieved in a few hours over the weekend (nothing too tricky or taxing!) and easy to adopt habits for simplified living.

When rolling up our sleeves to tackle clutter the first port of call (and often last) is everything that’s out in the open. We recycle old magazines, shred receipts, donate books, pick clothes up of the floors and clear away window ledges of novelty trinkets. That’s the relatively easy part because it deals with everything that’s right in front of you. It’s easy to overlook (ignore) what lies under the bed and in the drawers.

The junk drawer is something I’m sure we’re all familiar with. I’m certain every house has had one, at some point. It might not be a drawer, it might be a cupboard or storage box, the bottom step on your staircase or a tote bag hanging on the back of the kitchen door. It’s a dumping ground for all those bits and piece you don’t know what to do with (and don’t want to deal with) but you’re convinced, in the near future, might come in handy.

I’m going to tell you something you probably knew already: get rid of your junk drawer.

What do you keep in your junk drawer that doesn't belong elsewhere? If it’s stationery or craft supplies, small tools, receipts or loose change; all of those things can find a home elsewhere. You don’t really need a junk drawer if everything has a place to belong.

Take everything out.
Put it where it belongs.
Get rid of what’s left.

Find somewhere logical to put them; give them a home with other like-items. So that means keeping stationery in the office (or otherwise close to where you use them), tools should be kept together in a box, leads with the electronics they belong to, and any spare bits and bobs that can’t be found a home? Get rid of them (or at least put them in a small pot or box so it’s impossible to collect too many.)

It’s tricky to say exactly what storage (if at all) you may need to accomplish the task of getting rid of your junk drawer for good. You might find a handy spot to keep like-items in once they’ve been returned to the rooms they truly belong in. If you do decide you need extra storage, consider the right solution for each spot. Don’t be tempted to lump two or more vastly different categories together to “save on space.” You’ll only end up with an inviting spot to dump miscellaneous items into; your junk drawer becoming a junk box or junk cupboard. Scale down the storage until it fits the items it needs to hold.

If you have a lot of things that could be grouped together like tools and parts, art and craft supplies, stationery and paperwork. A small filing cabinet works really well for neatly storing otherwise miscellaneous items when you dedicate specific drawers to each category. Likewise, a trolley creates a useful spot for kitchen miscellanea. Find the perfect storage for the right spot and give everything you own a home.

For everything else, give them away, recycle, or throw them in the bin. Trust me, you don’t need them.

Weekend Project: Clean Out Your Junk Drawer For Good