Junk drawers are like the dirty, little secret that all Stepford Wife homeowners keep. It’s that one place where you are able to dump all the knickknacks, receipts, pens, loose change and whatever else you may find floating around the house.
But, these cubbies are essential to keeping a clean home office, kitchen or bedroom. They serve as the catchall for anything that goes in and out of your purses, wallets, school bags and pockets.
While junk drawers hide small everyday messes, keeping them spic and span is also key in making them work.
Can’t pull out your junk drawer? Chances are, you’ve stuffed too much stuff in it!
When your drawer begins to overflow with the mess it contains, it’s time to devote 30 minutes to an hour to sorting everything out.
Relax—going through your junk drawer is not as daunting as clearing out your closet.
Before you begin, keep the following items at hand to make sorting easier: manila envelopes, cash envelopes, file trays, mini storage boxes and, last but not least, a trash can!
Throw and file.
First, get rid of things that have outlived their usefulness—old pocket calendars, dead batteries, papers.
Sort through what is left and start segregating and categorizing everything. File receipts in an expandable envelope for tax purposes; drop any loose post-its in a box dedicated to notepads or scratch papers; have a tray with many divisions to divide push pins, rubber bands, staples, paper clips and other supplies; and return keys to their proper place.
Everything else that doesn’t “belong” to a category you designated but you may need in the future can be left in the junk drawer, or put in a small box that you can label as “miscellaneous.”
Taking that extra step to label your containers will help you keep a clean junk drawer, or will enable you to maintain more order in all the other nooks you transfer your “junk” to.
Organization junkies can work with a label maker and go as far as color coding labels to separate school supplies from electronics, or receipts from bills.
Those in a rush can just use simple masking tape or colorful stickers and a Sharpie for easy-to-make (but still as effective!) labels.
Wash and dry.
Chances are, your long-untouched junk drawer is full of dust and grime.
Once your drawer is emptied, make sure to give it a good cleaning by running a damp cloth through it or spritzing it with a mild cleaner.
If pencil shavings and other fine dust particles are all over your cubby, give it a good and thorough cleaning with a vacuum.
Then, return your edited, filed, sorted and labeled items back to your now spanking clean and not-so-junky junk drawer.
Have more home and organizing questions for the author? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chinggay Labrador is a freelance writer and stylist, contributing articles on beauty, lifestyle and design to local magazines. Her background in architecture has her profiling trends and homes throughout the region. A travel junkie who likes to frequent Japan and Korea, Chinggay is the former editor-in-chief of Sparkling, a quarterly K-Pop publication and is also the author of “Popped and Popped, Too,” books based on the fun, frivolity and friendship centered on Korean Pop music.
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