Cleaning the junk drawer

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Do you have a junk drawer? If you don’t, then you are either a two-year-old or you are blessed with all the no-pack-rat gene.

“Honey, where can I find a screw to match this mount?” Calls my husband out of the kitchen.

“From the junk drawer!” I shout from upstairs.

If you’re a pack rat, then it’s more likely you have a”junk closet” or even a”junk room” (known as a garage or pantry). Do you sometimes believe you’ve become cluttered or have difficulty finding things? If you are just starting out at a new place, then you don’t have to worry much about this issue, unless you’re moving from an old location. If you are moving from an old place, then you’re most likely to replicate the same junk problem in your new location. Whether you have junk or are about to start creating crap, here are a few tips to become more organized.

First, I have to inform you that I am a junk drawer urge. If you’re over 18, you will need junk drawers. If you are excessively organized and don’t have junk drawers, then you don’t need to read any farther.

Junk drawers happen. They’re a convenient area to conceal things before guests come over, for cleaning things off counters, and for putting miscellaneous things in that you don’t know what to do with. Finally… the drawer will not close.

So, secret number one is to have more than one junk drawer. This obeys the principle of”keep it where you use it.”

If you have another drawer with the same stuff, consider putting”like with like” unless you need the duplicate items in a different area.

Secret number two would be to place a few baggies and masking tape with a pencil in each drawer. When you find yourself throwing something to the drawer, like a charging cord, place it in the baggy and write down what it goes to. I wish I could time travel back to 1985 and do this for all of the chargers I have. This technique also works well for toy parts and miscellaneous hardware and electronics.

Secret number three would be to sort the drawers two times a year. With small boxes and baggies handy, eliminate the things you’re not using and put them together from all the drawers. If you are the pack rat (“Honey, I know I am going to want this broken blender foundation someday”), then each of these things will go to a marked box in the attic or garage. If you are not the pack rat, then see what can be recycled, thrown out, or donated to the thrift store.

Lastly, purchase a number of clear plastic drawer sets from the community household goods store and place these in strategic places for tools, screws, hardware and glues, and other categories such as batteries and electronics. The options are endless. If you’re fortunate enough to have a few closets, you can designate an entire shelf to those special organizers.

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