SIMPLIFY LIFE

Get Rid Of The Annoying Junk Drawer For Good

Every single item you own needs a home, a place to go to every time it needs to be found or put away. You can stop using a junk drawer and never own one again if you follow the basic rule of decluttering. 

ONLY KEEP WHAT YOU USE REGULARLY OR IS OF GREAT VALUE TO YOU. THAT’S IT! 

It’s not as easy as it sounds, and what happens when you are engulfed with clutter?  Where do you start? A junk drawer will have many random things in it like safety pins, tools, tape, half a book stamps, spare tea-light candles, USB stick, odd pens and pencils.

Storing related objects together in one place means everyone knows exactly where to find something and where it belongs when they are done. 

When a person doesn’t know what to do with something that is a little odd, they put it in the junk drawer.

Sometimes we have more than one place where we ‘store’ things, kitchen, study, in our bedroom, a cupboard, maybe even a WHOLE ROOM of stored items?

Heres how you can stop maintaining lots of cluttered spaces and sort your items for good so that you do not get things piling up. Create a home for similar items so that Everything Has A Place.  

PICK UP EACH ITEM AND ASK YOURSELF…

#1 Do you know that you will definitely need this item again?

#2 If the answer is no, get rid of it right away! Use a box for things to get rid of.

#3 If you decide you need it, then it needs action. 

  • Is it a receipt, a picture or a note? Can you take a photograph or record the information and then get rid of it?

  • Maybe its a letter or change of details, something you can deal with right away and then throw it out?

  • Put it in the place it belongs, there has to be a place, if it doesn’t, then you will create one.

Start putting ‘like’ items together so that you can keep sorting throw away junk and which items to keep.  

NOTE: If it belongs to someone specifically they will need to decide what to do with it.  Place it within their room or space until they are ready to tidy up.

Decide how you are going to store your items because they shouldn’t all be in one drawer. 

They need to be kept in such a way that even the kids can use things and put things back where they belong.  You get a pack of 4 batteries from the store, you use 2, the remaining batteries go with the spare batteries.

CATEGORIES FOR RELATED ITEMS

  • Bills, Invoices, current notices or letters of information
  • Electronic and accessories, batteries, chargers, cables, cases
  • Office supplies, stapler, scissors, paperclips, spare pens, pencils, and markers
  • Gift wrapping, wrapping paper, ribbon, cards, tape
  • Light bulbs
  • Torch, spare batteries, candles, matches
  • Household tools, small hammer, screwdriver, picture hooks, pliers, multi-tool
  • Sewing kit, shears, cotton, needle, elastic, buttons, thread
  • Medical kit, plasters, bandages, saline, tape, scissors, panadol
  • Art supplies, paint, brushes, crayons and felts, paper

WAYS TO STORE ITEMS

The way that I store the different types of items is determined by how we use those items.

For example, art supplies are in a cupboard.  There are different types of things to store, some of them bulky, a special cupboard is easiest. 

I have a larger drawer that could be considered a catch-all drawer but it isn’t, it has homemade separators that each hold a category.  Tools, batteries, torches, picture hooks, emergency candles etc. 

  • Medical stuff is stored up high for safety in a large container that can be moved to where we need it.

  • Gift wrapping items are in a large cane box in the bottom of the art cupboard

  • Office supplies is a drawer that everybody uses when they need a pen or rubber band

  • A drawer for all electronic gear is separate again, for everything to do with gadgets or cameras etc.

  • Spare light bulbs have a whole drawer to themselves, they are bulky and I don’t want them banging together

USE WHAT YOU HAVE

Remember that your spaces don’t need to be pretty, they need to be practical and functional.  We can spend a lot of time trying to make things look fancy, but it’s not the point.  We are looking for a place for our belongings to live so that we can easily store them and not have clutter!

Also,  please don’t go out and buy storage containers unless you really have to, try to use what you have already.  Here I use empty drawers in my kitchen because they are practical and tidy to store things. I use recycled jars or food containers that have lost lids.  Look around and see what you have before you buy more items. 

TOP TIP #IF YOU DON’T USE IT GET RID OF IT!

I’m careful about not keeping things ‘just-in-case’, this decision will give you drawers FULL of items NEVER used! 

Like the plastic packing tape dispenser, I‘m not keeping it till we move again, we will get another IF we move again. Or the heavy sellotape dispenser, it’s never used so it had to go. Markers and highlighters, wow did we have a lot of these.  I kept one highlighter of each colour, pink, blue, yellow and green and gave the rest away. There were multiple odd items, a scorpion in plastic on a broken key ring, a pair of cheap tweezers. 

Only keep items you are using all the time, regularly.  

There are things I keep that we need lots of.  My pre-teen/teen kids go through lots of pens and pencils for school so I store them here and when they need one, they grab one.  Also a pack of thumbtacks, more than we will ever use but we use a few pretty often on our notice board. 

FINALLY, EVERYTHING HAS A HOME

When we do a tidy up at the end of a day everyone knows where the odd items go back to.  All the art goes back to one place, tools, gift wrapping. I call it EHAH, a 10 minute tidy up so Everything Has A Home, even the small children can help. 

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