On a bit of a lighter note from last week (hope I didn't scare anyone off!), let's talk about junk drawers. We all have them - yes, even me! And surprising as it may sound, I advocate that every house should have one....with some boundaries, of course.
"Junk" drawers are better played out as the "lost and found" of the house vs. a catch-all for things tossed in "just for now" until the drawer becomes such a jumble the contents look like junk. Do you really want your valuable storage space being used for junk? I didn't think so. Read on for steps to an organized junk drawer.
1. Location. Shoot for a space that isn't right at your fingertips (that is reserved for things you access every day), and that is accessible to everyone in the house. A drawer, bin, or even a free standing box are good options.
2. Contents. This is the interesting part. Make a conscious decision about the items you are putting in the container. Is it truly "junk"? Then why save it? Is it something potentially important but you aren't sure who or what it belongs to? Sounds like a lost item; using this space as designated "Lost and Found" will help everyone in the family know where to go when they are missing pieces and parts! During organizing jobs when we are sorting items we also designate a Lost and Found box for items we are pretty sure have missing parts or we aren't quite ready to throw them away in case they are important.
3. Label and Containerize. Don't skip this step! Not only do we need to label the container as Lost and Found, or whatever term resonates with your family, but the contents need to be containerized and labeled as well. Repurposing plastic containers, small boxes, egg cartons (for tiny pieces) and using baggies inside the drawer keep the items from becoming a massive jumble of "junk" that overwhelm anyone who dares search for a missing part!
Already have a junk drawer? There are two options - determine the last time you went in there for something (and actually found it). If it's been a long time, consider dumping it all in the garbage, pulling out anything valuable, of course. Or, sort the items, returning them to where they belong and containerizing the rest.
Stuck? Post a comment below with your dilemma and we'll work together to solve it. "Junk" drawers are a great segue into a larger organizing project.
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who