We’re all probably guilty of having at least one junk drawer in our homes. This is the drawer that started out as a helpful drawer that kept all the handy items like tape, tacks, buttons, safety pins, and so on in one central location, but turned into the drawer where other things manage to accumulate when people don’t know where they go or don’t feel like taking the time to properly put them away. Put this drawer (or drawers) back into service by following a few simple steps to regain control.
First and foremost, you must empty it in order to clean it.
Take everything out. Place a piece of paper or a tea towel on your countertop or table surface to protect it, and literally dump the drawer on top if possible. Otherwise, make sure that all items are placed on this safe surface.
It must be sorted once it has been removed from the drawer. Sort similar items together, and if you can’t figure out what something is or whether it’s needed after consulting with others in your family, get rid of it. If anything in this drawer belongs somewhere else, make sure it’s put away right away. Completely clean and dry the drawer. After that, insert a new drawer liner or contact paper.
The next step is to create a simple, functional organised system that everyone in the family can use. Small items can be stored in ice cube trays, egg cartons, small boxes, or even 35-mm film containers. If you can’t see into it to see what’s inside, make sure it’s clearly labelled. Rubber bands, thread, and string are ideal for organising and storing in small plastic sandwich bags. If you keep glues or other adhesives in this drawer, make sure the lids are securely fastened.
It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of storing them inside a plastic storage bag to avoid a mess later on if the lid becomes unsecured in the shuffle or is not properly tightened after use.
Above all, encourage your family to keep the drawer neat and organised. If it’s well-maintained, there should be no need to shuffle through the drawer looking for things, resulting in an even bigger mess to clean out in a few months.