The Junk Drawer

Hello all! How’s it going out there?

Last week I shared some of the tips (HERE) that have helped me in my quest to tackle clutter. One of the tips was to clear off flat surfaces, with a quick-fix option being to just put everything that didn’t belong on the counter/table/floor into a box and to shove the box into a closet. We are probably all more familiar with this concept as it exists in the form of a junk drawer, or sometimes… a junk room. Today I wanted to explore this idea and take a look at the pros and cons of the junk drawer.

I think most people probably have at least one junk drawer in their homes (unless they’re hardcore minimalists through and through), right? A junk drawer is a catchall for the stuff we don’t know what to do with, or don’t want to deal with. The truth is, most of the stuff probably does, or should, have a real home. Or it should be thrown out/recycled/donated/sold. But it’s usually easier to just stuff it in the drawer where there are no rules. Until that drawer is bursting at the seams…

Maybe your junk drawer is actually a junk closet, or even a junk room. All it takes is several Amazon binges and you have a mountain of cardboard boxes that you haven’t had a chance to break down yet. Or maybe you haven’t ventured into the attic/basement to put away X, Y or Z. That pile of items you’ve been meaning to donate is sitting in the corner. Next thing you know, you can’t use the room for what you originally intended. Unless you intended for it to be a catchall… which is totally fine. But if not, please don’t beat yourself up. We all have moments when things get overwhelming and out of control. I’m not judging you. As I type this I have a junk drawer, a junk closet, and a junk room in varying states of organization and/or chaos.

So, what’s wrong with a junk drawer?

If I took a psychology class during my many years of schooling, I’d be able to tell you that a junk drawer probably means you have issues dealing with things that are hard (I do). Scoop it up, put it in a box, close the door and don’t deal with it until it falls on top of you in an avalanche of junk. But I didn’t take psychology, so I’m not going to say that.

Practically speaking, junk drawers/closets/rooms will eventually reach their limits. You can only stuff so much into a finite space.

Also, it makes finding things when you do need/want them that much more difficult.

And they can be stressful if they’re not done right…

How to do it right: keep it organized!

I’m a big proponent for keeping like items together, usually stored in the place that makes the most sense for their use. That being said, sometimes you need easy access to certain items elsewhere in your home. Need tape and scissors in the kitchen instead of in your home office? Or a stash of bandaids and lip balms on hand away from your medicine cabinet? A junk drawer can make sense to corral items that you want to keep in a more central location.

So how can you have said junk drawer and not have it become overwhelming? Organize it! You can buy all kinds of fancy dividers or boxes or bins to fit your needs. But you don’t need to. I bet you can make use of things you already have, like food storage containers or bowls, shoebox lids, small packaging from jewelry, makeup, food, etc. It’s a fun game of Tetris to make it all fit.

If you don’t have a custom fit system, I do recommend velcro dots/strips. They’re a game changer! Nothing is more annoying in a junk drawer than all your bins shifting around every time you open and close it.

Of course, even if your bins stay put, it might get messy again anyway, and that’s okay. When you can’t open the drawer any more, you’ll fight it open and then sort through it to make it more manageable. Or when your pack of gum, pens/pencils and command strips are all hanging out together in a single basket, you’ll reorganize it in a way that makes better sense.

And if you are dealing with a junk closet or room, just scale these ideas up. Bigger boxes or bins stacked neatly and labeled can take it from junk to an organized storage solution. But more on that at a later date!

Do you have a junk drawer?

Many thanks and much love,

Featured Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

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