Mini Makeover: The Junk Drawer

Everyone's got one - a junk drawer. Where all manner of random bits end up. The drawer everyone loves to hate. Its contents always justified by a thought such as, "I just need a place to put this for now. I'll be sure to put it in its proper place later." Am I right? Those extra triple-A batteries that are left over after replacing the dead ones in a calculator... A receipt that might be important to hold onto... The manual for replacing the Brita filter you keep forgetting to replace.

I know I'm not the only one with this issue.

My junk drawer lives in our front hall and hasn't been cleaned out, fully, in probably two years. I admit it, and I am ashamed of that. That means it didn't even get cleaned out when we moved to DC. I literally moved a junk drawer from one city to another. Terrible! I somehow just kept stuffing things in there and I finally, finally, hit a breaking point a couple of weeks ago. And you know what? It only took me about 15 minutes to clean it out and reorganize it. Ta da! No more shame over our junk drawer.

When I finally decided it was time to address this junk problem, my first step was to take the drawer out and assess its contents.

Let's play "I Spy" for a moment, shall we? I spy, with my little eye...
  • 3 cookie cutters
  • A lamp harp
  • A tiny "Rock City" teacup that from my grandparents' house
  • A random assortment of zip-ties
  • At least 4 packs of gum
  • A voice recorder 
  • A stapler
  • 2 lighters and a set of matches
  • A city bus map
  • A paper kite (yep, a kite)
  • An anti-blister stick (the deodorant-looking thing)
  • The Brita manual
  • A checkbook
  • A bag of tiny screws
  • Pool passes
  • Two sets of (uncomfortable) headphones
There are probably more things hiding in there, but I think you get my point. There's an unbelievable amount of junk that doesn't belong. I'm going to estimate that 10% of that stuff actually belongs in a front hall drawer. 

Even Jackson took one sniff and was offended at the situation. (Ok, I think he was looking for treats, but I like the idea that he was offended by the disorganization.)

So I took control of the situation and brought some order to it.

{forgive the blue tint - forgot to white balance}

Ahh, much better. Even Jackson approves. (Oh wait, now he really did find his treats. Shoot. I guess he doesn't care about organizing.) 

I had that drawer organizer on hand already, but if you're looking for a similar one, I'm almost positive I got it from Bed, Bath and Beyond a couple of years ago. It's really handy for establishing some order to the random things you want/need to keep in a front hall drawer. I also used a small tin to corral the rolls of Jackson's bags (those green and black thingys). I decided to only keep things here that we either need easy access to on 1) an every day/weekly basis or 2) an emergency basis.

The every day/weekly things include: checkbook, gum, Jackson's treats and bags, measuring tape, anti-blister stick, pool passes (for summer), and a pen.

The emergency things include: flashlight, lighters, and batteries. 

I love that I can see everything at a glance. No more digging through random stuff. The items that didn't make the cut (from my extensive list above) either were thrown away or put in their proper place (i.e. cookie cutters went to my baking box).

If you decide to take on your junk drawer, you'll need to decide what to keep in there. Make it fit your/your family's needs. You may not need a measuring tape on an every day basis, but I use mine all the time, so I like to have it handy. What do you actually need in the drawer? What items can you find a new or better home for? Be ruthless in cleaning it out (and trying to keep it that way!).

Hooray for a mini-makeover! Have a great weekend!


This post is a part of the series "Operation {Re}Organization." To see other posts in the series, click the tab at the top of the page.

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