I hate junk drawers. They are probably my least favorite area in any home. Whenever I tell in-home clients that they should really get rid of the junk drawer, I get a look of horror from them. Like, where would I put all the junk that is in that drawer?
So I give them a few other alternatives for their junk drawers and they slowly come around. And after we actually get rid of the junk drawer, my in-home clients are so much happier. Because we are getting rid of the dumping ground that usually takes up space in our kitchens.
Junk drawers are just spaces for us to collect our indecisions. We end up pouring items we are unsure about into one (or more) collective spaces. Typically when you are being indecisive it is because you have reached a point of decision fatigue. Decision fatigue happens when you run out of brainpower to make any useful decisions. And that is what your junk drawer ends up becoming. Your decision power shutting down so you dump things in a drawer to “deal with later”. I have more tips on how to conquer decision fatigue here.
So what are some ways we can get rid of your junk drawer? I am sharing my tips below.
Stop Calling It A Junk Drawer
The very first thing you have to do when it comes to getting rid of a junk drawer, is stop calling it a junk drawer!! The drawer should not be considered a junk drawer any more. You need to give the drawer purpose. Instead of letting everything fall into that drawer, you need to be specific about what that drawers’ purpose is.
Now what could that possibly be? I mean what else could the drawer that holds your pens, pencils, stickie notes, batteries, etc?
Well, it could be a few things. It could be an office supply drawer or stationery drawer. Only keep items you use for writing like notepads, stickie notes, pens, pencils, markers, paper clips, etc. in the drawer. Or maybe it is a home maintenance drawer where you keep your batteries, hooks, screw drivers, etc.
Give the drawer a specific purpose and stick to it! That will stop you from throwing your indecisions in a drawer.
Take Guess Work Out Of Decluttering
Another thing to do to get rid of the junk drawer is to start by decluttering the entire thing! Take everything out of the drawer and only put back things that need to go in there. I mean, you did give the entire drawer a purpose, so let’s stick to it.
Take everything out of the junk drawer. Then only put the items back you want to keep there. Everything else is basically garbage. There may be some stragglers in the drawer, so deal with those items accordingly. But everything else is probably trash. So deal with it now!
A handy tool to help you declutter is creating a declutter caddy. The caddy is basically all your items you need to declutter in one little caddy. You can read more about how to make the caddy here.
Move Things Around
When I am working with in-home clients, I sometimes have to move around where their new stationery drawer is going to be located. This way they do not feel the impulse to make it a junk drawer again. If you change up where things go, you are more likely to keep up your new organizing habit. And by organizing habit, I mean your routine for putting things away. You are not able to dump things into the drawer because now it has a totally new purpose.
For one client, we moved her home improvement drawer closer to her garage door in her kitchen. We then took her junk drawer, which happened to be her largest drawer in her kitchen to store kitchen utensils. She said that whenever she opened it to throw something away and found only kitchen utensils, it make her stop and think if she really needed to save that item she was trying to keep in her drawer. And guess what? Most of the time she didn’t even need it. She just needed to stop that habit of throwing things in a drawer.
Set Up A Spot For Items
Another way to stop the junk drawer from even starting is to give every single item that goes in that drawer a designated spot. If you use drawer organizers, then give each organizer a specific purpose for things that it should hold. You can add a label to the bottom of the organizer, or the back of the organizer so that you know what is supposed to go where.
This will help you stay accountable for the items you have in each organizer. And nothing gets jammed with stuff.
More Decluttering Tips
Still want more decluttering tips? These posts are sure to help you!
Now it is your turn to tackle that junk drawer and transform it into something else! If you notice you have a lot of papers, then grab the paper clutter plan in the shop!