Taming the Clutter Monster - Apron Strings & other things


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.

Taming the Clutter Monster - Apron Strings & other things

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.

Taming the Clutter Monster - Apron Strings & other things

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.

Taming the Clutter Monster After - Apron Strings & other things

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 —ย  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.

6. Re-Evaluate

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?

Taming the Clutter Monster After - Apron Strings & other things


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.

Note: Check out my drawer FIVE years later!

For more encouragement, tips and tools to help you Tame the Clutter Monster I have collected a few links for you – affiliate links are marked with an {A}:

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White {A}

She writes all about her deslobification process over at A Slob Comes Clean shares on these videos (Yours Truly was a guest on the second video!)

I’m an Organizing Junkie 31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House in the Mary Way.ย  {A}

Your One Month Guide to Beating Clutter

Zone Defense at Life As Mom




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  1. The picture of all the items lying out on the blanket made me smile. My husband always gets excited when I make a mess, to clean up a mess. LOL! I need to work on the purge part. I tend to keep too much thinking I will need it some day. And for the record, I have THREE junk drawers! ๐Ÿ˜‰ That’s bad, right?

    • The kids thought is was a game! They did a great job, and I love love love the results. I tend to think like you do – I see value in everything and can think of a reason to keep anything! Finally I’m learning to let go of stuff. 3 junk drawers? you’ll have to decide whether that’s good or bad ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I am impressed with your long term results! It is (relatively) easy to get things reorganized, but the true challenge is keeping them that way!
    I, too, am a fan of containers within a drawer or cabinet to corral similar items. It is so much easier to keep order if you don’t have the wide open spaces of an entire drawer!

    • Thank you for the encouragement Cheryl. I was blown away when I realized how long it had been since we did this organizing project. Containerizing is a major key I think. I’m so glad you stopped by for a peek at our success!

  3. Oh boy, I have a few places around the house that could use a good clutter make over! I loved the pic of the kids sorting- at our house I would have called that a classifying activity and checked it off as part of school ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks, Angela! It was a win-win-win situation — a big job was tackled, the kids had fun, AND we got some schooling in all at the same time ๐Ÿ˜‰ You can be sure I included this ‘learning’ activity in our school day

  4. Nice job! I have to do this to the whole house as we’re planning a slow move. So not looking forward to it because my husband AND my daughter are the king and queen of “Save that napkin! I wrote important life saving stuff on it!”.

    • thank you, Kemi. Cleaning out a finite space, having plan for the space, and containerizing are what made this work. I can relate to your husband and daughter – I’m the Queen of Seeing Potential in Everything! It hurts a little, but it is so worth it to have control over our spaces rather than our spaces having control over us. I pray your move and transition go smoothly!

  5. The drawr looks amazing! I should probably do that with a couple choice drawrs in our home. *smile* I have collections spots, they are flat, easily accessed, and are inteneded for “for just a moment”. Some things stay that long and others stay longer. *smile* Purging is easier when we move or something like that. We have been in our current place the longest, five years. It’s time to move so we do the ultimate purge. *big smile* No, really, I can pin point about two or three drwars that are in need of some organization boxes/bins to help things stay visible. *smile* Have a great day and congratulations on the drwar. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

    • Thank you! I have a few – ok, many – more dreawers that need attention. We’re working through one at a time. Like you I have found that flat spaces tend to be collecting places. Giving attention to these hotspots regularly helps keep it from piling too high. I know what you mean about moving making it easier to purge. I have found the same thing to be true. I hope you soon find time to tackle a few of those spaces that need attention – it is rewarding!

  6. This is something I really need to work on! I think we have two drawers like that in our kitchen…at least. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you for joining us at the Share the Love Blog Hop!!!

    Cindy from Superheroes and Teacups

  7. Way to go!! This is motivational for me. I neeeeeeeeeed to do this with my junk drawer!

    • I hope you get a chance to tackle that junk drawer, Jessica, it is so rewarding! And motivates a body to get more done.thanks for stopping by and getting excited about my decluttering project.

  8. Thanks for linking up last week at Homemaker’s Challenge’s DIY Accomplished!

    Yours was the most popular link!

    • Thank you Laurie! I hope my post was encouraging to everyone. I know I am always encouraged by others posting at Homemaker’s Challenge DIY Accomplished!

  9. yay for sorted drawers!

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