junk-drawersJunk drawers are equivalent to a box marked ‘miscellaneous’.  Organizers tend to shy away from those labels.  Why you ask?  Because it’s a catchall phrase that means that the items in the junk drawer or misc box have no assigned homes.  And we don’t actually know what is inside this junk drawer or misc box. We have to dig through said drawers or boxes to find what we are looking for.

Another reason could be that these items have assigned homes, but because we are busy, it’s just quicker to stash it away in a nearby drawer than to put it away where it belongs.

We all have junk drawers, typically in our kitchens, but they could be anywhere.  Possibly a desk or dresser drawer ends up becoming a junk drawer.  These drawers become dumping grounds to hide things.  Unfortunately hiding things doesn’t help us to find things when we actually need to use them.

The challenge with these labels, or non-labels creates disorganization.  And disorganization creates stress.  You could end up late for an important appointment because you can’t find that thing you need to get there, like your car keys. Or maybe you’re wrapping a gift for a surprise party and can’t find the tape, because it’s buried in your junk drawer.

By implementing the tips below, you will be able to eliminate the need for junk drawers, or misc boxes.  You will create organized spaces and eliminate the stress of not being able to find things when you need them.

  • Assign homes – All of your things need to have a home. Homes should be typically where you will use each item.  Grouping like items together in a home that makes sense to you, will help you remember where you put them.
  • Containerize – Using clear containers for like items helps you see your things at a glance. Alternatively, drawer dividers help keep things separated inside drawers.
  • Labels – Labeling all your containers, drawers & shelves will help you remember where your items belong. Labels on everything may not be visually pleasing to everyone.  The alternative is to use sticky notes as temporary labels until you get used to where everything belongs.
  • Put it back – After you assign homes, containerize and label your containers, you need to get used to putting your things back where they belong after you use them.

So what’s in your junk drawer?