We all have them – those pesky, overstuffed drawers filled with random bits and bobs we don’t know what to do with. Even though they seem benign enough, I believe these drawers take up mental energy and make our days less efficient and productive. I decided to banish my “junk drawer” in favor of a new concept: Enter the “utility drawer.” A utility drawer makes your life easier and serves a purpose. It contains household items you actually need and use – utilitarian items such as batteries, pens, and post-it notes. Ready for your own junk-drawer makeover? Read ahead for the simple and efficient how-to:
Take Everything Out
Take a deep breath. We’re going in! The first thing you need to do is remove all of the contents from your junk drawer. Here’s what mine looked like before the magic happened:
Sort Into Categories
Once you’ve removed all of the contents, you just need to do a quick sort. Pens and Sharpies in one pile, tools in another, you get the picture. Just group similar items together so you can see what you’re working with.
Relocate & Recycle
Now you need to decide which items you want to keep in your utility drawer. Think about what you actually use and need frequent access to. My list included: batteries, pens, scissors, gum, post-its, a measuring tape, and a few basic tools. That’s it. Everything else should be relocated to other parts of your home (where they actually belong or make sense), donated or tossed in your trash or recycling bin.
Set Up + Style
My favorite part of any makeover project – the styling! It’s easy to keep your utility drawer organized when you employ the power of drawer dividers. Dividers create a clear “home” and boundary for each category. You can use jewelry boxes or shoe boxes or anything that fits your drawer. I bought a set of matching clear dividers from The Container Store because little things like this make me very happy. You can buy a variety of sizes and shapes and puzzle-piece them together. Here is my new and improved utility drawer. Ta-Da!
Not pictured – gum, notecards, tape, and label stickers I use for the girls’ clothing. When I tell you that this drawer makes me happy every day, I mean THIS DRAWER MAKES ME HAPPY EVERY DAY. People gasp when they see it. But the best part is that I can find what I need at a moment’s notice, and so can everyone else in my family.
Ready to try your own? All you need is about 15-minutes and some drawer organizers. Bonus: Try ditching all of the packaging and invest in a set of matching pens and nice scissors. Give it a go, and make sure to send me your before/afters. Happy Organizing!
Image Credit: Vivian Johnson Photography