Organizing Triple Play: Organizing Your Junk Drawer

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What happens when you take three different organizers and ask them the same organizing question? We’re not sure, but we’re about to find out. Join Laura from I’m an Organizing Junkie, Tanna from Complete Organizing Solutions and me as we take your organizing questions and provide you with three possibly different answers on each of our own blogs.

We aren’t going to discuss our answers ahead of time, so it will be interesting to see if they differ. What we can agree on for sure, though, is that there is no right or wrong way to organize and that there are many different ways of doing so. Through this little experiment of ours, we hope to showcase what works best for each of us in various organizing scenarios. The question is, will we be the same or different? Let’s find out together. It’s time for Organizing Triple Play!

source: Point-Shoot-Edit
source: Point-Shoot-Edit

This week’s question is: How do you organize your junk drawer?

The short answer is I don’t have a junk drawer. I’ve had one in the past, and what I realized was – despite my best intentions – it really did become a catch-all drawer for anything I couldn’t find a place for.

When we moved to this house, I didn’t want to sacrifice one of our four small drawers as a junk keeper, so I instead made a plan for the things most commonly found in the junk drawer.

Bills, Mailing Supplies, etc.

I bought one of these adorable mail organizers (except mine has a lime green interior to match my dishes!) that sits in one of my garage cabinets and has slots for mail that needs to be dealt with, envelopes, stamps, pens and pencils, etc. I open my mail as soon as it comes in the house and immediately sort junk mail, bills and things I need to handle so that they’re not cluttering up my counter.

Electronics Cords, Batteries, etc.

One of the biggest residents of my junk drawer were the cords for my camera and other electronics as well as all kinds of spare batteries. Obviously I needed a better place for these, and I now have a dedicated drawer in my file cabinet (which happens to be in my laundry room, right off my kitchen) that holds batteries, chargers, extra cords and so on.

Miscellaneous Office Supplies

I also found that I’d been tossing random paperclips, note pads and other office supplies in there because I wanted them to be handy but I wasn’t sure where else to keep them. Now, these items take up the other drawer of my file cabinet, so they’re easy to get to but in a designated spot.

But What About The Rest?

It’s all well and good to have a plan for these basic categories, but what about the stuff that you inevitably come across but aren’t sure where to put it? I have two methods for dealing with this stuff. The first rule I try to follow is to find a home for it right away that makes sense. The thing with a junk drawer is eventually you have to clean it out and find places for everything in it anyway, so I force myself to take that step right away. There is a small sandwich bag of miscellaneous screws, parts, etc. in my office supplies drawer, and I try to clean that out every 6 to 12 months and get rid of anything we haven’t needed in that time frame.

However, there are a few things that just need to be kept somewhere convenient temporarily. For example, the little information cards that came stuck in the soil of my tomato plants. I wanted to be able to refer back to these because it was my first time gardening, and so filing them didn’t really make sense. Bottle tops and stickers that need to be entered on the computer for product rewards clubs are another example of a temporary item.

Fortunately, my mail organizer has a small 3″ x 3″ compartment, and I put miscellaneous – but temporary – items in there. When I open the garage cabinet, they’re right there where I’m reminded that I need to take care of them, and because the space is small, I can only put so much in there, which helps me stick to the first rule.

To find out what Laura and Tanna have to say about organizing your junk drawer, be sure to visit them at I’m an Organizing Junkie and Complete Organizing Solutions. If you have a question you’d like us to tackle next time, leave a comment with your suggestion!

What about you? Do you have a junk drawer? Could you create other areas for some of the stuff in it to help keep the clutter to a minimum?

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