I thought that I had my spring cleaning about all wrapped up around here… especially after finishing up the Great Garage Challenge last week… but then I remembered I still had one unanswered decluttering question that was posted on the Momof6 Facebook page, by my good friend Pat:
“I have one to many “junk drawers” but I never know what to throw out and what I might need some day. Teaching me how to get down to one junk drawer would be helpful with Spring cleaning.”
The real question is… should you even have a junk drawer?
A “junk drawer” by its very name implies that you have a place to keep all of the crap that you don't know what to do with….. there really should't be a drawer for that. Because If there is anything that all of this de-cluttering at my home in 2012 has taught me- it is to stop KEEPING the CLUTTER! Find temporary homes for it if you need to, (just until you have time to deal with it)…. but do not store it permanently!
Every drawer should have a purpose and every item a destination
So let's stop calling it a “junk drawer” right now, and let's start giving each drawer a true purpose. Maybe one holds tools and other small items used to fix things around the home quickly…. and maybe another holds paper and pencils and things you need to take and write notes. Perhaps a third holds flashlights and batteries, etc. You can organize them according to your own needs….. but the point is to give every drawer a definition and every item you intend to keep a final destination. Nothing is just tossed into a drawer… and left to accumulate for forever!
Step 1: Empty and Clean the Drawer
The first place to begin is to take absolutely every single item out of the drawer. Place it on the countertop and then clean out the drawer itself.
Step 2: Decide what to keep and what to purge
Now start to go through every single item that you have removed. Because you are going to find all kinds of crazy stuff in these drawers when you empty them out….. for example- note the vacuum cleaner part, broken Wii remote, and dead carbon monoxide detector above. Not exactly sure why we are keeping these items (if it is just for the part #s for future replacement, surely we can write that down somewhere instead!)…. but clearly we need to make some decisions about what we should save.
I believe that we save far more things for “just in case” reasons than we ever really need to. My husband, however, would disagree. And since he is the Mr Fixer around here…. his opinion counts more! (And as you will see below, every one of the items I made fun of above… ended up being returned to our drawer).
Step 3: Sort by Category and Containerize
Once you have disposed of the “purge” items, it is time to organize the things you want to keep around. So sort them by logical category- tools all together, nuts and screws in one place, matches in another, and so forth. Then find some properly-sized containers to hold each category. Plastic bins are great…. but for a frugal container, just use an old shoebox or even the shoebox lid. Anything that will keep like items together and will prevent everything from sliding back and forth when you open and close the drawer!
Step 4: Return “the keepers” to the drawer
Now that you are organized and containerized… neatly store it all back in the drawer. Doesn't that just look and feel SO much better?
So this is my last post on delcuttering your home until the kids are back in school in the fall! To tide you over until then, please check out these posts:
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This post is linked up at Organize and Decorate Everything!