Cleaning Home Organization

Why You Don’t Need A Junk Drawer

Okay, let’s be real for a minute. If you’ve got a junk drawer anywhere in your house, listen up. Really closely. Close your other browser tabs, turn the TV off, go hide in the bathroom, and read this very carefully… Get Rid Of Your Junk Drawer. Today. And never, ever, ever let one sneak its way into your house again.

What Is A Junk Drawer?

So let’s be crystal clear on what a junk drawer actually is. It’s a drawer that’s got junk in it. Well duh, Lela. But I promise, there’s more to it than that.

A junk drawer isn’t always in the form of a drawer. It can be a cabinet, or nook in your closet, or shelf in your bathroom, or any other little hideaway that isn’t seen by people on a day to day basis.

And it doesn’t always have to have “junk” in it to qualify. The stuff inside could actually be good stuff. But when a bunch of good stuff ends up one random place without any rhyme or reason, guess what? It becomes junk.

What’s The Big Deal?

Ever heard of the snowball effect? Where you start with something small and it gradually builds into something bigger and bigger, and before you know it, you’ve got an avalanche? That’s kind of how a junk drawer works.

You start with that one drawer in your kitchen where you have the best of intentions to just keep “homeless little items” inside. But the items end up pitching tent in that cozy little drawer. Then they invite their best buds over to join the party, who are also homeless little items. And those guys invite their homeless BFFs. And before you know it, this little picnic at the [drawer] park has become a full blown Royal Wedding of stuff you didn’t even know you had. And they’ve moved from that one drawer to the surrounding cabinets, nearby closets, and even the countertops.

Yeah, yeah, that was dramatic, I know. But if you think about it, it’s totally true. What started as a drawer with plastic straws, a candle lighter, and butcher’s string now holds trash, your missing driver’s license, and your favorite bra. How the hell did that happen??

Real Life Truths

I recently asked on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter what were some of the craziest things you’ve ever found in your junk drawer. Oh. My. Gosh. I was blown away by some of the answers! There were used jello shot cups, a baby diaper, a lost broadway ticket from two years prior, a child’s tooth, and TWO separate people found rotten bananas! No judgement to any of these peeps, and I’m beyond grateful they shared their “unique finds.”

I can tell you all day long why you don’t need a junk drawer, but the things these ladies found speak for themselves. Just think, all theirs started as just a simple drawer of straws and lighters, too.

PS: To play along with my weekly #lbblank, follow along with me on Instagram @lelaburris and on Twitter and Facebook @lelaburrisinc. I post a new one every Sunday and the comments are SO fun to read!

How To Ditch The Junk Drawer

Ok, ready for this super complicated series of tasks? Here goes… take the drawer out of the cabinet, dump everything in the floor, pick up the things you absolutely need to keep (spoiler alert, there won’t be many) and throw the rest into the trash. Don’t second guess yourself, don’t make a “maybe pile”, and don’t hang onto stuff “just in case.”

You are going to be amazed at how freeing this feels. You’ll instantly feel less stressed, more organized, and more in control of your life. Sounds crazy, but just try it.

What To Do With The Keepers?

Here’s the kicker. The keepers need a home now. They can for sure live in that drawer you just emptied out, but instead of roaming around in there like a stray cat, they need to be contained and placed with purpose. You can grab drawer organizers for a dollar each at your local dollar store and they come in so many shapes and sizes.

As you put things in this drawer, you have to be so careful that you aren’t creating a new junk drawer. Just because it’s neat and tidy doesn’t mean it isn’t a junk drawer. By thinking of it as a home for like items, it becomes just another drawer in your kitchen. (Or bathroom or office, wherever.)

Even if this means moving items to a different room or a different storage space, by being very intentional with the placement of all your things you’ll avoid ever having a junk drawer again.

Organized-ish Printable Binder Kits

Related Post: Regain Control Of Your Cluttered Kitchen

Get The Ball Rolling

It may seem like such a simple little act. Cleaning out that drawer takes ten minutes tops. But more than likely, it won’t end there. I wrote a post a couple of years ago called It All Started With The Junk Drawer. To sum it up, I took five minutes to clean out my junk drawer in my kitchen. But having that drawer clean made me want to organize the other drawers in my kitchen. Which made me want to organize all the cabinets in the kitchen, too. Which then took me to the pantry, and the laundry room, and by then I was three days into a massive undertaking.

Whether you just do that one drawer or get into flow and just keep going, finally ditching that junk drawer once and for all gets you into a positive mindset that clutter is bad and random stuff shouldn’t be kept. You’ll throw things away when they need to be thrown away, you’ll put things back where they belong, and you’ll start looking at your belongings in a whole new light.

And it all started with the junk drawer.

Need To Declutter Your Whole Kitchen?

I’ve got a free downloadable list of 25 Things You Can Remove From Your Kitchen Right Now and instantly reduce the clutter in this room you use on the daily. You can grab the list by popping your email address below and I’ll send it right over to you.

And please be sure to leave a comment below sharing the craziest thing you’ve found in your junk drawer. Let’s keep this going! I bet you’ve got some hilarious stories!

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