Don’t deny it. Every household seems to create one. That one drawer that is avoided at all costs; the last place you look when you need to find something. But it is also the first place you go to put some oddball object you find around the house. A “junk drawer” can hold such precious things as keys to locks, an eyeglass repair kit, or even a few odd screws or hooks. It’s great to have a place to toss these things BUT finding them again when you need them in the deep, dark, depths of the “Junk Drawer World” is another story! Organizing a junk drawer almost sounds like some sort of oxymoron, but once you do it, you’ll never go back to the digging through the mess of stuff trying to find something.
Everyone knows their alphabet – it’s used to organize almost everything in today’s world. Well, a junk drawer can be organized simply by using the alphabet. The remaining materials you will need to organize your junk drawer are simply a dozen or so small storage containers and a permanent marker.
1. Gather together tins or containers that are small enough in size to fit in your junk drawer and still allow you to close it. They also need to be small enough to allow a number of them to be placed in the drawer at once. These can be small plastic containers or I personally have found that used International Coffee tins work really well. Clean the containers out and set aside to dry.
2. Completely empty your junk drawer onto a large table, counter, or even the kitchen floor.
3. Sort out any trash that may have accumulated in your junk drawer, as well as, filter out any items that are no longer of any use. For instance, I would go ahead and toss any mystery keys, practically empty glue bottles, pens, etc. For any batteries that you find, test them in a remote control or appliance to see if they have any life left.
4. Sort out and set aside the items that are too big to fit in containers. These items include things like scissors, rulers, glue guns, etc.
5. After sorting out the unusable items, group the remaining items by the letter they begin with. All the glue (Elmer’s, instant, glue sticks, etc) would be grouped under “G”, and all the hooks (self adhesive, screw, suction) would be grouped under “H”, etc. If you find you have a large amount of a certain item, place it in its own group – this is recommended for batteries. While they are still under the “B” group, they will have their own container.
6. For any items that must have their own container (example: batteries), place them in their own container and label the top using the permanent marker with what items it contains.
7. Evaluate your remaining items. Check to see what letters can be placed in the same container. For example: QRS – if you have a limited number of items starting with these letters, they can be put in the same container and labeled “QRS”. Also, look to see what letters seem to have a large amount of items and will need a container for only that letter.
8. Place items in containers that will only hold one ‘letter’ and label them.
9. On a piece of paper, write down the alphabet. For the letters that have already been given a container, mark them off. (Do not mark off the letter if the only container you have for it is one labeled for a particular item, like “batteries”)
10. Using three letters at a time (more or less if you desire), mark you remaining storage containers to cover the rest of the alphabet. Then place the remaining contents of your junk drawer in their corresponding containers. If you are limited on drawer space, you can skip using some letters if you have absolutely nothing to put in that particular container. Then if you end up coming up with something falling under the missing letter later, you can simply create a container for it or add the letter to an adjacent container.
11. Place all of the containers in your drawer alphabetically. You can start at the top and just work left to right until you have all of your ‘junk’ back in your junk drawer! For containers containing a certain item (ex.: batteries), place these containers after the container with that letter. The container labeled “Batteries” would be placed after the container labeled “B”.
12. Put the remaining objects that were too big for containers along the side or bottom of the drawer for quick locating.
Congratulations! Your junk drawer is now organized!