It seems as if everyone has at least one junk drawer in the kitchen or somewhere in the house, and it is just expected. The junk drawer always seems to multiply until it becomes a crazy cluster of stray paper clips, hair elastics, broken pieces, and puzzle pieces, and items that make their way there seldom leave. The problem with the junk drawer concept is that it becomes a bad habit. Instead of dealing with where to put things in the first place, it is a way to just get it out of sight and out of mind until there is time to put it where it rightfully belongs. But later never comes, and instead, a junk drawer is born. The good news is that it's possible to break bad habits. It is also possible to organize drawers to make it easy to find things when needed without sifting through endless doodads and doohickeys.
The first step in any organization process is to get rid of unwanted, broken, or duplicate things. This way, the remaining items are easier to organize simply because there are fewer things to deal with. Once the decluttering process is complete, it is important not to bring in any more clutter, or the whole process will likely have to be repeated. A good household rule of thumb to live by is that if a new item is brought home, an old item has to go. That way, the balance remains the same, and the clutter won't have a chance to accumulate again.
A great way to organize a drawer is to turn that one large space into many, smaller spaces. That way, it is possible to group similar items together. This prevents the junk drawer from happening. There are many ways to do this. Store-bought or DIY dividers or small containers are a great way to keep items separated and organized.
Labeling is a useful organizational tool because it clarifies what is contained in a container or compartment. This is especially necessary if the container isn't clear and eliminates the need to open it every time the contents have been forgotten. Labels are also great for "place holders." For example, if a compartment is empty because the item has run out, the label will indicate that it is designated for a specific item. It also makes it clear where items belong to other members of the household to keep things organized. The organization system only works if everyone is on board and returns things to their rightful places.
Things naturally belong in certain areas of the home. Kitchen items need to be in the kitchen and bathroom items should be located in the bathroom and so on. It doesn't make sense to go to the bedroom for a can opener, so it needs to be in the kitchen. Drawers are the same way, and their contents should make sense. The more frequently used items should always be located conveniently at the front of the drawer where it is easy to grab. Lesser used items should be located near the back of the drawer. Drawers with similar items should also be located where they make sense. For example, dish towels should probably be near the sink, where they are needed and used.
It's easy to get carried away, and also get overwhelmed when organizing. It is best to keep it simple. Therefore, there is no need to organize paper clips by color because paperclips can be grouped together even if they are different sizes or colors. If small items are over-organized, they can become overwhelming, take up more space, and will take longer to organize. The idea is to simplify while grouping similar items to make life easier and items in the home more accessible.
Just because an item has always been in a particular place does not mean that it has to be the final destination. It may be necessary to rearrange items in drawers until they are in the most effective and convenient location. There’s nothing wrong with altering your original plans to make things work better.
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