Tackle the Junk Drawer

Many homes have one drawer that serves as a catch-all for things that otherwise don't have a home. Pens, scissors, coupons, hairbrushes, paper clips—you name it, you might be able to find it in there if you look enough!

Spring cleaning is quickly approaching, and it's a great time to take on those housekeeping jobs you otherwise neglect, including organizing the junk drawer. Once you take care of it, you'll be relieved that you can find things a lot easier and not be put off by the mess in the drawer!

Step #1: Clear it Out. The quickest way to get to the bottom of the junk drawer is to do exactly that: take or dump everything out of the junk drawer onto a table or counter with plenty of room to work. Don't leave anything in the drawer, it's too tempting to leave something in there without dealing with the organization, and this way you can be sure nothing escapes!

Step #2: Trash It. If there is a cardinal rule of decluttering, it is this: if you aren't going to use it or don't love it, throw it out! Be merciless on your junk drawer and throw away anything you haven't used in months and don't truly foresee using in the future. The more you can trash, the better, so be strong!

Step #3: Categorize. Sort what's left into categories that make sense to you. Examples might include “Tools” or “Notes,” for instance; but the important thing is that the system is yours. Organizing so you can find things more easily only works if everything you're doing makes sense to you.

Step #4: Organize! If you can find a couple of small baskets and containers to hold your little items, that's great! If not, you can make your own using baby food jars or the cut-off bottoms of things like cereal boxes. Either way, use these containers to separate your categories as much as possible.

When you're done, take a look at your junk drawer—how much more likely are you to find something now if you need it? More importantly, how much better do you feel about it?