Say goodbye to your kitchen junk drawer. “But wait a minute,” you say. “I need that stuff.” I’m not telling you to ditch the drawer.
I just want you to change how you think about it. You will still have your drawer and you will still have all of those great things that you use all the time.
Does utility drawer sound more respectful than junk drawer? Of course it does. After you clean out and organize your household utility drawer you will forget that you ever called it a junk drawer.
Junk has a bad reputation
I have another reason for renaming this drawer. It changes the drawer’s status in your home. After all, junk has a bad reputation.
“Something of little meaning, worth, or significance.” – Merriam Webster
“Things that are considered to be of no use or value, or of low quality.” – Cambridge Dictionary
Your organized utility drawer should not contain junk. Giving it a respectable name may prevent junk from ever landing there.
Now that we are straight about the name let’s clean out that drawer.
Step one: Planning
Before beginning the project, measure the length, width and depth of the drawer. Take a quick look at the contents. You will be choosing some drawer organizers to help separate the items that you will keep there.
It is important that the organizers be almost as tall as the drawer. If they are too shallow there will be a pocket of space along the top of the contents. That pocket of empty space will be a magnet for clutter.
Step two: Buy or make some organizers for your drawers.
I rarely suggest starting with buying containers when organizing a large space. Drawers are different. You can organize a drawer in less than an hour. Because of that you will want to have everything that you need on hand to finish the project.
You can also make drawer organizers out of cereal boxes or other food packages. Here is a tutorial on how to do it.
Step three: Empty the drawer
Scoop the contents of the drawer onto a towel that you have placed on a table or counter top near by. Clean the inside of your drawer and leave it open so it will dry.
Step four: Sort the contents of the drawer.
Group like items together. Move a trash can to your work area so that you can toss the obvious trash that has accumulated in your drawer.
Are you storing items in this prime space that are not used in or near the kitchen? If you are, find a box or basket, label it “relocate” and place those items in that container as you are sorting.
For example, coupons should be stored in your purse or your vehicle instead of your utility drawer.
Ask yourself these questions when deciding what stays.
- Do I use this item in this space or in a nearby space?
- How often do I use this item?
- Do I have too much of an item? Do I need fifty pens?
Here is a list of common items found in a utility drawer.
You may notice that some of these items are true utility items and some of them are office supplies. If you are fortunate to have two drawers in or near your kitchen filled with these items, consider creating a separate office supply drawer. Otherwise, create one drawer with a mix of both household utility items and office supplies.
Step six: Layout the drawer
Based on the items that you will keep in your drawer, configure a layout with your drawer dividers. It is a little like working a puzzle.
Step seven: Fill your containers
Fill the containers with the items that you have sorted into categories. Let the volume and the shape of your items be your guide.
Your project is complete. Step back and admire your work. From now on when you open your organized utility drawer you will smile with satisfaction.
This good feeling should inspire you to put your items away after you have used them. An occasional straightening will keep your drawer in order for years.
Are you considering organizing a larger space? Does the project seem a little overwhelming?
I work with clients just like you. We go through the sorting process together. I ask lots of questions that help you decide what to keep and where.
If you are in the Knoxville, TN area and want to work with me on your space, give me a call at (865) 938-3882. I’d love to talk with you about your organizing projects.