It’s been two years. Two years since I opened that drawer – The Junk Drawer – and saw him staring back at me. That Clutter Monster. I saw him full on, face to face and I said “No More!” I vowed to tame him. This is how I went about Taming the Clutter Monster who resided in our kitchen junk drawer.
1. Choose Your Battle
First thing I did was to make a plan. I mentally walked through Laura’s PROCESS for organizing. I did not want to just straighten it up only to have it to become a bottomless pit of junk once again.
2. Empty. Sort. Purge.
I pulled out the entire drawer and dumped the contents onto a vinyl table cloth I had spread on the living room floor. While the kids sorted and purged, I made decisions on what would remain in the drawer.
3. Identify Purpose of the Space
I needed a spot for batteries, flashlights, a few tools , tape measure, some nails and screws and hooks, extra chore cards for our chore boards. That was pretty much it. Anything that didn’t fit in that category was immediately taken to a place with other like things or thrown out.
4. Set Boundaries
In order to keep control over what went into the drawer and so that every item would have a place, I set boundaries within the drawer. I found a container of some kind for each category. Nothing fancy, just plastic baskets from the $ store, old film canisters, baby food jars, and a battery station I spent no money on this project. Hubby had received for Christmas, all the others I had on hand. Everything fit beautifully. No crowding, no squishing, no shoving.
5. Enjoy and Follow Through
Step back. Admire. Smile. Enjoy. And ask yourself – how can I make it last? I wish I could wave my magic wand and have it all stay just so, but the reality of it is — make good and conscious choices. Choose to put things away when you finish with them. It was easier now that the drawer had a specific purpose and everything in that drawer had a home. It takes practice and repetition. After some time, I realized that it was becoming a habit to put my little hammer in the hammer slot and to dispose of the used battery rather than shoving it in with all the new batteries.
And now, after almost 2 years, how does my Junk Drawer look? Did I really tame that Clutter Monster that lived within? Is the drawer still straight? Is it being used in the way I intended? Are we able to quickly find what is needed and put items away quickly and neatly?
I think we had success with this project because rather than attacking a whole room or revamping our entire household, I focused on one small job and set clearly defined boundaries along with practicing new habits to keep the clutter from building in the spot again.