It happens. It piles up. It was a drawer in my kitchen growing up. Junk just gets places. And sadly, most people think that their home is more effective because it’s in one, easy-to-reach spot. The problem is that the junk isn’t going to it’s place and it’s all up in your business. Plus, remember what I said in The Easy Explanation on Why Keeping Clutter Will Make You More Dumb? There’s a place for the stuff in your junk drawer and I can tell where to put it to give that drawer a bit of a makeover and make it more efficient.
Junk of all types accumulates at least weekly. You may not necessarily define money as junk, for example, but when miscellaneous coins collect in jars, bowls, drawers, and pockets, it’s junk…because deep down you wish you would just put it away. I, personally, don’t maintain a designated junk drawer like the one I had growing up, but I made a challenge for myself to find what little collector spots accidentally formed in my home. Here’s what I came up with and, if you have similar spots, I’ve provided some tips to organize it better before getting to my ultimate list of Junk Homes.
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Here are my gracious ideas in organizing some of these must-have clutter zones…not to be confused with junk drawer maintenance!
Not in reference to filing drawers or drawers that may hold actual supplies, like ink, staplers, and paper, but office drawers can get gnarly. This is a top drawer, so it’s easily accessible from my spot at my desk and, thus, susceptible to junk.
We all have visions for how effectively organized our office parts will be, and mine existed too! It was to hold my few pens, laptop and charger, tablet and charger, and repurposed glasses cases that hold chapsticks out of reach from Tidy Toddler. That was it! But I also budget with receipts, so those started piling up when I fell behind. I still haven’t quite figured out how to store my essential oils. And my pen holder started to accumulate knick knacks. This is just an example of me being lazy while revamping this site for relaunch.
So, I did something about my office drawer and you can too!
- Designate one day a week to do your budget
- Most of my receipts were too old to bother with, but I’m recommitting to future receipts!
- Offload thumb drive files or find safe storage for them
- I only had one so I gave it to my Orderly Other for work but…
- I found these Cocoon GRID-IT Organizers at The Container Store a couple years ago and I love how versatile they are for little electronics. TONS of sizes though and even adaptable ones that attach to tablets and stuff if you snoop around!
- Another version is a closed-option Storage Wallet that can even fit external hard drives, if yours doesn’t have a case anymore
- Miscellaneous stuff can be offloaded into, what I like to call, To-Do Baskets
- Anything that doesn’t belong can get piled into one basket for a day of running around and putting it all away
- Great for the junk I mention in my graphic below
- Use dividers, like empty chocolate boxes even, to keep things nicely packed and from sliding around when opening/closing the drawer
Purses, Wallets, & Diaper Bags
This is a hard area to really nail down because, like my own, purses sometimes are diaper bags, because who the heck wants to carry around an extra bag?! So, I have a designated area in the diaper bag for my purse contents. This leaves my child-free purse to be filled with junk and things too unimportant to bring in the diaper bag. Shouldn’t it all just go then? Not exactly. I have planner accessories, pens, gum, and extra chapstick in there. But again…receipts. Well…you saw. So…
- Please do yourself and your stuff a favor and invest in a purse organizer! There are TONS! I, personally, like the expandable purse insert you see here, because it gets thinner/wider with the snaps and longer/shorter with the zipper to fit your needs and your purse.
- Transfer the insert instead of every single item and save time
- Make sure you know the dimensions of your bag before buying these, but they really do make everything so easy to find
There really isn’t much more to say if you get one of those because everything will have and maintain it’s place in your purse or diaper bag. But, if that’s not your thing…
- Go through your purse or wallet once a month for things to toss, like receipts, out of area punch cards, or unwanted business cards
- Get a card holder! Wallets do not have to be some huge, fat thing! Keep it in your car and take out what you need when you need it
- I’ve been using one for years for license & certification cards, rewards cards, and gift cards. Mine is the small, teal book in my after photo below. I found mine at Target but haven’t seen one that holds 40 (!) there since
This is a little different, in my opinion, than a junk bowl, because it’s a designated useful space, unlike junk bowls and drawers. Drop bowls are usually near your entryway or by your bedroom door, depending on, well, you. Ours is in the kitchen because we come in through our garage usually, our front door is around the corner, and it’s the place we put our keys. Supposed to be.
Here’s how you combat items immigrating into your drop bowl, and it’s insanely simple:
- Tell the household what’s it’s for!
- This is important when decluttering any area, because if people don’t know what goes where, then they probably won’t know what doesn’t go there either
Most other items that get placed in there are supposed to be somewhere else! That’s coming up, I promise!
This is the result of having anything related to a junk drawer: A Junk Area. It’s supposed to be a drop area, with only designated items being left there. But when junk overflows one area, it gets left in the closest location and it can grow like mold.
Our drop area is the area around our drop bowl because it came with the house, all these mail slots, and it really does work! But it can get overrun with junk. Plus…um…those are Thanksgiving decorations and it’s already over. So, really this boiled down, again, to laziness. Decluttering takes commitment, even from pros. Here’s what you can utilize in your drop area or as a drop area, if one’s needed:
- Mounted Mail Organizers are a good place to start if you want to maintain your existing surface area
- If there are no counters nearby, even a small entry table can have a bowl for keys, a drawer for outgoing mail or something, and a coat rack nearby…just an idea 🙂
- Don’t worry, the decor articles are coming this month!
- I use a manilla file for dropping shred-worthy papers into, to keep them organized but, up until seeing this picture, I hadn’t put in enough effort to find it and use it
It really does boil down to having designated places for everything, which is the entire purpose of this article. The bear in my drop area, for example, was confiscated from my future-softball champ, Tidy Toddler. Since throwing toys is new, however, I don’t have a spot for contraband in the house yet, so it quickly got tossed up high. When I come up with a creative solution for that, I’ll let you guys know!
But I didn’t do too bad getting caught up on my own junk areas! It was really a matter of putting things where they belong, like everything back into my purse! And just for added reassurance, because I frequently wondered this about before and after photos, I don’t set up an area to look bad (it is exactly how I show you) and I also don’t just remove things from the area to snap an after photo. Honestly, that is an even bigger waste of time!
But the reason you are reading this is for the thing you want to actually get rid of: the junk drawer, the junk bowl, the junk jar…whatever you have!
Just think about how much more useful these areas will be with everything out of it and in it’s rightful place! Kitchen drawers can hold, oh my gosh, placemats, table clothes, or recipe magazines! Bowls can hold potpourri, DIY decorations, or…wait for it…food. Jars can be made into all sorts of crafts. Think about how accomplished you’ll feel once it’s all put away.
But this is simple guys. Just commit 🙂
This is just the junk I’ve seen in my own and in my friends’ drawers, jars, and bowls. But I’m sure you’ll understand the trend. You can print a PDF checklist or an A4 sized sheet too if you wanna be real nerdy about it 🙂 Happy organizing!
When you’re done, come back and tell me how great you feel in the comments below!