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What You Can Work On Wednesday

Small organizing projects you can tackle in just 30 minutes to 2 hours.

This week's project is the Junk Drawer!

Aaaah the ever famous junk drawer... If it wasn't for the junk drawer, where would we put all that stuff, right? Uuuhhh, NO! The junk drawer says three things: 1) the item doesn't have a designated home 2) You're too lazy, or it's too much work, to place it in its home or 3) It's junk!

So as you do the steps below, decide which of the three the item falls under. BTW, if it falls under junk that means it gets tossed.

Before tackling your junk drawer, evaluate what is already in there: mail, coins, pens, batteries, hair accessories, jewelry, utensils and items you don't use (or barely). Now, why are they there? Organization is about functionality not about being aesthetically pleasing, but we do want it to look nice, right?!

So think about how you function. Maybe you take off your jewelry and put your hair in a ponytail before doing dishes; and your spouse comes in and empties their pockets in the drawer; and the kids grab the mail and throw it in the drawer. However that looks in your home, let's get it organized to HOW you function and also make it look nice since you will look at it everyday.

Okay now let's get started!

Step 1: Make space available to empty the drawer on - a counter or table - and have the garbage can next to you. As you remove items from the junk drawer, categorize and decide which of the three (from above) it falls under. If it is junk, pitch it immediately. Have an area on the table or counter for items that fall under #2 - to place in its home when you're all done.

Categories: money, electronics, cooking utensils, mail, kids' stuff, office supplies... you get the gist. Categorize items to your "junk" and needs.

Step 2: Place items in their home if they don't belong in your "junk" drawer.

Step 3: Drawer organizers are needed to best organize the drawer. Make a list of measurements: size of drawer (width, length, depth/height), and size of the largest items in each category, then add an 1/4" to 1/2 for the correct size of drawer organizers just to have some wiggle room.

Step 4: Place items in the drawer as they will look once you purchase the organizers. This will allow you to get an idea of how your items will fit and which drawer organizers and you need, if any. Take a photo so you can reference back to it, and to have handy while shopping.

Step 5: Purchase your drawer organizers and place them as planned when you get home. I always say get a few extras just in case; you can always return or exchange whatever doesn't work. TIP: If your drawer doesn't fully open, place the larger items from the back, that way you will be able to see it.

CONGRATULATIONS you're all done!!

Here are a few drawer organizers I prefer:

  1. iDesign Linus Shallow Drawer Organizers $3.99-$7.99/each

  2. iDesign Linus Deep Drawer Organizers $4.49-$7.49/each

  3. Slotted Interlocking Drawer Organizers $5.99-7.99/pkg

I really do prefer these drawer organizers because they are available in multiple sizes, in shallow or deep, and will allow you to customize it to YOUR needs and drawers. You can do your homework and figure out what you need and how it will fit in the drawer since you can see dimensions on the website. At The Container Store, they have a sliding shelf with a measurement grid so you can play with drawer organizers, how they will fit, and see which combination will work according to your dimensions (reference your photo from Step 4). When you're done "playing" and ready to purchase, take a photo to remind yourself how you placed it in the store for quick placement at home.

Suggestions & Alternatives:

  • Communicate to the rest of your household how the newly organized drawer will function. Good luck with that...

  • Make it a routine to go through it on a regular basis: weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

  • If you lined your drawers (read my last post about liners here) with a grip liner, and depending what will be in the drawer going forward, you may not need many drawer organizers, if any.

  • Be realistic. If you do need a spot to dump miscellaneous items in, that's fine. Just make room for it in the drawer and clean it out regularly... that means weekly!!

  • Although I am showing items from The Container Store, you can purchase drawer organizers anywhere. My only caveat is to make sure they come in a variety of sizes so they can fit a variety of items properly.

Contact me here to help you with your next project, and don't forget to follow me on Instagram @OrgByCatO

Organized by Catherine O organizes all areas of your home, maximizes your space, and problem-solves time management and productivity challenges. We are based in New York City and serve the NYC-Metro area.

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