Many clients don’t know where to begin when decluttering their home. I always advise to start small, in an area with little emotional attachment and where you can see results quickly. For those three reasons, I recommend they clean a Junk Drawer first.
Before we begin, cover your kitchen table with an old cloth or sheet. Place a trash can next to the table and a box at the back of the table marked, “relocate”
Remove the Junk Drawer and the Items
- Remove the Drawer from the cupboard and dump every item onto the table
- Clean the inside of the drawer and set it aside
Sort Like-Items Together
- Group your items into categories: pens, markers, coins, paper clips, band-aids, business cards, etc. Basically, any group of items you find in the drawer
- If you find items that don’t belong in the junk drawer (i.e. old wedding announcements), place it in the “relocate” box
Inventory Each Category
- Evaluate what and how many of each item should remain in the drawer. Do you need $1.00 in pennies? How about pencils that are 3” long? Are 200 paperclips too many?
- Look for duplication: Do you need more than one letter opener, staple remover, scissors, or rulers in the junk drawer?
- Toss out: anything broken, expired, dry pens/markers, restaurant menus available online, to-go condiments, salt and pepper packets, plastic cutlery, or old business cards
- Items you never use: when was the last time you used a paper phone book?
- Measure the junk drawer: not just width and length but also the height. Some organizers are too tall for small drawers
- Measure the length of the longest items that will be contained in the drawer
- Make an organization plan that not only fits your drawer dimensions but also makes the most sense for your needs
- Purchase either a drawer organizer or multiple containers that separate your items
- If it is in your budget, companies can fabricate custom dividers for your junk drawer
- For smaller items, consider using small boxes or plastic containers you might have around the house. I like Ziploc 4-ounce Extra Small Squares to hold small items
Return items to the Junk Drawer
- Retrieve your clean drawer and if you wish, add new, colorful shelf liner
- Add your organizers and fill with the items you still need and use
- Find new homes for the items in the Relocate box without returning them to yourdrawer
- Maintain the organization by revisiting this process every 3 or 4 months