Declutter Deck - organize junk drawer

Pick a Declutter Deck™ Card - Junk Drawer

Prompt Card Example from Declutter Deck™: Junk Drawer

Set your timer for 60 minutes and take a before photo.

Step 1 Instructions: Take Everything Out and Make the Pile

Junk drawers are like the holy grail of the decluttering and organizing business. They are either proudly organized in our homes or the bane of our existence.

I, for one, love a good junk drawer. But it must be neat and orderly, and I need to know what’s in there. My junk drawer does not contain random things. It contains only things that I will need in a pinch: a sewing needle with black and white thread; small screwdriver to avoid getting out my big tool kit; measuring tape in both metal and fabric; several flashlights with extra batteries. These are things I want close at hand. These items are not stored like-with-like as the KonMari Method® suggests, since they are single, different items. This is the definition of a junk drawer.

At my previous house, I had one junk drawer. In my new house, I have two. I have many more drawers in my new kitchen, and it affords me the luxury of having extra places to put things. One of my junk drawers holds the remote controls for my electric blinds, patio screen, fireplace starters and an extra set of keys to both cars. The second holds more random things that I know I’ll occasionally need, a true junk drawer with the items listed above. This drawer adds a convenience factor to my kitchen and is the perfect place to store my odds and ends.

The first step to getting this drawer in order is to take everything out. I put a towel down on my kitchen counter so that whatever comes out of this drawer doesn’t scratch its surface; I start by pulling everything. After I remove the contents, I take out the drawer’s bamboo organizer, wipe down the drawer, and return the organizer to the drawer. Now it’s ready to be filled.

Step 2: Group – This Step May be Quick Because Items are Varied

It may be difficult to group things in your junk drawer, as many of the items are dissimilar. For example, how do you group together a flashlight and a needle and thread? They are not the same. What I do, instead, is look for similar categories, things that tend to go together, like a measuring tape, flashlight, and screwdriver. I also organize so that like items fit in one drawer, so I can find what I need the minute I open it. If something doesn’t fit, I place it to the side inside the other junk drawer.

In the drawer that holds all my remote controls and items for the house, I label them so there is no confusion about their purpose and which control goes to which item. For example, the remote to my patio screen looks like the remote to my outdoor television. I label each. The same is true of the remotes to my blinds. One controls the blinds in the kitchen, the other sets the blind scenes for the house. So as not to confuse and frustrate my husband, each one is labeled. Labeling makes a huge difference, especially when I’m out of town.

Step 3: Edit

There are a lot of things you can throw away when you’re editing this drawer because a junk drawer is not a dumping ground. Things in this drawer should have some purpose and organization. If not, out they go to be stored with like items throughout the house, or they can be discarded or donated.

Sometimes this drawer acts like a holding place for things that we may need for just a little while. For example, menus. Some people put menus and coupons in their junk drawer. The menus can be tucked underneath the drawer organizer. As for coupons, keep one if you find it necessary, and discard the rest. The same coupon for pizza comes every week.

Step 4: Return Everything to its Place

If you find a good drawer organizer, either in bamboo or clear plastic, it makes containing everything much easier. Group as best you can, remembering that this drawer either saves you time and aggravation when you need something right away or is overloaded and acts as a dumping ground. Allow yourself to really utilize this drawer and have it serve the purpose of holding just the little things you need in a pinch. Examples include an extra set of keys if you can’t find yours (remember to return them), a little screwdriver, black thread to stitch up a tiny hole, a place to find your extra tape measures when you just need a quick measurement. Everything else needs a home.

When selecting a junk drawer organizer, don’t forget to measure the internal space, not the size of the drawer itself which almost always has a drawer lip or insert. Suggestions for junk drawers include a bamboo organizer, a plastic organizer that comes in multiple sizes, and inexpensive organizers from Brightroom at Target.

Once you have put everything back, you’re finished. Adjust as necessary.

Take an after photo. Then, you’re finished for the day.

About Life Hack Decks™ and Declutter Decks™

Life Hack Decks™ are powerful micro-prompt motivational cards to make your life easier while reducing stress in your day. These instructional decks simplify ineffective routines and help you go from stuck and overwhelmed to inspired and empowered. Life Hack Decks™ take the stress out of decision-making and motivate you to tackle things you’ve been putting off for years. Our Life Hack Decks™ of 52 cards allow you to focus on the things that bring you joy, happiness, and connection with others rather than lingering in the mundane, anxiety-producing ruts in which we often find ourselves.

Look for Our Entire Collection of Life Hack Decks™

Designed to improve your life through little “life hacks,” the collection of Hack Decks™ includes:

Date Deck® to help you and a partner stop doing the “same old thing” and go exploring, learn more about each other, and have fun together.

Declutter Deck® organizing prompts to help you get and stay organized at home. By breaking down decluttering into bite-sized pieces, you will eventually declutter and organize your entire home.

Dorm Deck to send along to school with your college student. This deck provides subtle reminders of things that will make their lives that much easier when it’s their first time away from home. Includes reminders to call and text often.

New Mama Deck helps new mothers ease into the transition of parenthood, reduce isolation and manage the stress that comes along with having a newborn.

Random Acts of Kindness Deck to help you discover kind things to do for others who either play a significant part in your life, or with whom you’d love a deeper connection.

How Do Life Hack Decks™ Work?

Pull a card daily or in moments when you need some motivation, inspiration or guidance. Pick a card. It’s that simple! As we say, Delegate to the Deck® and find more time to yourself to enjoy the things you love.

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