Organizing the Things that Pile Up

Everyone has at least one area of their home that seems to pile up with junk. Finding room for the things that you use often can be a challenge. The infamous “junk drawer” seems to be the nemesis area for most people. The junk drawer holds everything from your check book refills to marbles. This is where we tend to stash everything that either should be put away somewhere across the house or things that never really had a place to go in the first place. If you’ve organized your junk drawer plenty of times before only to see it quickly destroyed, then you could probably use some tips for getting it organized and keeping it that way.

1. Find a big, clear area, like the kitchen table, and take everything out of the drawer. Clean it out while you have it empty.

2. Start dividing everything into categories and piles. As you go, decide which items you want to keep in the junk drawer. Other things can be thrown out, given away, or put away.

3. When you see what categories you have left, go ahead and pick through them. A lot of times, we keep too many things on hand and they take up too much space. Do you really need 20 ink pens in the junk drawer? Check to see which ones no longer work and get rid of them. Keep three or four in the drawer for when you need a pen. Put the rest in storage in your office area or donate them to your school or doctor’s office.

4. Measure each category of items to see what type of space they’ll take up. Sometimes you can use a drawer organizer meant for silverware. Small baskets are great for fitting odd spaces and keeping everything open and easy to access.

5. Now here’s the problem. Once the drawer is organized, it often becomes junky again in no time. This is because people leave things lying around that they don’t feel like putting away. If you’re guilty of this too, then you’ll love this idea. Instead of constantly cleaning and making sure everything is put where it goes, create a miscellaneous bin for things that you need to put away later. I have a basket hanging on the wall in the kitchen. I toss everything in it as I clean and then take the basket with me around the house to put everything up. If I don’t have time to put everything away, I just toss it in for later.

About the Author: Jo Granville is on the staff of Only Hangers, a leading online retailer of luxury garment hangers.

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