The Weekly Organizational Challenge 14: The Junk or Catch-All Drawer

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How are those counters looking after last week? Do they need a quick re-visit? It’s absolutely okay if they do. Getting your home organized is a process, and it takes time.

This week we’re organizing the junk or catch-all drawer.

I like to browse Reddit TikTok (the world has changed a bit since I first wrote this) when I’ve got a little buffer time**. A while ago, I saw a great thread, I can’t remember what started it, but people from all over the world submitted pictures of their junk drawers. Yes, the names were a little different, but everyone knew what was meant. That drawer, usually in the kitchen, catches the odds and ends, the odd-sized battery, the rubber bands,┬áreceipts, etc. It’s not just us. Nearly everyone has this somewhere in their home.

Your mission today is to dive into your drawer(s). I don’t expect perfection. If you want to be super organized (and think others in the house will cooperate), you can use a divider to wrangle the odds and ends into a sort of order. If you know someone with a 3-D printer, you can make all kinds of custom dividers or trim and fold cereal boxes into shapes that work. The world is your oyster. Whatever you do, don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.

To get started, there are at least two tactics you can take, but whatever you do, please check your pens to see if they actually work before putting them back:

  1. Remove the drawer from its rails and take it to your work area, preferably one that can be vacuumed, trust me. Dump the contents. Return the drawer to its rightful place and sort through the contents without easy access to the drawer.
  2. Drag the trash can near your drawer and go through the contents. Try to be ruthless in your decision to toss things.

Have fun, and don’t be scared to toss the bent paper clips.

Receipts can be put into a dated envelope and added to your filing system for tax season.

Almost all appliance manuals are online. You don’t have to hang onto the paper clutter unless your appliance is vintage. If you’ve been keeping a binder of family recipes, add a sheet of paper with all of your kitchen appliances and their model numbers. It’ll make searching for repair information easier the next time you need a part or to find a repair tech.

See you next week!

**Buffer time is the extra fifteen minutes I try to give myself to cover traffic, lost keys (which I’ve gotten much better about), and acts of God. I used to keep a paperback or three in the car to entertain myself. Now I’ve got the entire world in my hands via a smartphone. I’m not sure this is necessarily an improvement.

Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

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3 thoughts on “The Weekly Organizational Challenge 14: The Junk or Catch-All Drawer”

  1. Another good thing to keep in that binder is a list of details on cookware and bakeware. I was forever looking up the highest oven temp I can use for certain items, so I finally just wrote them down!

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