Are you Tidying the Junk Drawer?
Google’s definition of a junk drawer: A drawer designated for the storage of various miscellaneous, small, occasionally useful items of little value. Google’s definition of junk: old or discarded articles that are considered useless or of little value.”the cellars are full of junk”
Can’t Use What You Cant Find
I think the operating words here are both “miscellaneous”. I think that the fact that you put it in a drawer and not the trash is because you found it useful but because it wasn’t named as part of a larger category it can’t be found without a verifiable excavation the value cannot be tapped. How can you value something you can’t find?
How Does the Junk Drawer Make You Feel?
One way to test things viability in the junk drawer is to dump your junk drawer onto a table. Continue going about your daily routines around it. If all that junk enhanced your day and made you feel good, load the junk back in the drawer and leave it there. If however the junk made you feel worse you have unearthed your true feelings about the junk drawer and that feeling cascades into interfering with the peacefulness of your home. Even though you can’t see the contents in your regular daily duties some part of you knows it’s there and it leads to an unsettled feeling about the whole house.
How to Start Dejunking the Junk Drawer
Schedule an hour, turn on some peaceful music and sort through the junk drawer. Categorize the things in the junk drawer. You may find that category exists somewhere else in the house and can be combined with that. If it is used frequently in the area fo the junk drawer and the other place for that category is far enough away so that it is not efficient to retrieve over and over then maybe it deserves a place in your “junk drawer” but at least make a mini category by reusing an old i-phone box or other small gift box to create separations for other upcoming categories you may make as you sort through your drawer.
If you think it could be worth something to someone add it to your donation bag. Being an occasional Goodwill shopper, I am well aware how many things others don’t want are great for those who do. If you think because you are artistic that you need a junk drawer, you don’t. Creativity is not exclusive to disorganization. If you go into the printmaking workshop at the University of Maine, Orono you’ll find cleared off shelves and art supplies stored very neatly so that people can find and use them.
Procrastination Adds Up
The junk drawer is procrastination at its finest. “Because I don’t want to take the time necessary to find a place for this, I’ll just throw it in the junkdrawer.” For this reason, the last place people want to declutter is the junk drawer. If you think you don’t have time to go through your junk drawer, think about how much time you’ll save if you just do it in the hour after reading this and you will never need to read about that to-do again.
In the above photo many business cards needed to be categorized firstly into the two places where the person had homes and then into subcategories of type of business or friends. There are many ways to house things so that they perform well. In this case the drawer lent itself well to a card filing system that was labeled with Post-it Notes rather than a business card book for example. All miscellaneous paperwork was categorized and then weeded before being put into a file system separate from these drawers. The drawers were shallow so we had to be ruthless when weeding so that there was a little as possible to store here.
Get a Body Double or Professional Organizer
Do you see yourself tidying the junk drawer? Sometimes it is all that is needed; is another’s presence. Sure I chimed in with various possible places odd items could be moved in the house and comforted her by noting I have seen far worse but in the end the only reason she got to it was because she carved out the time in her hectic schedule to connect with me via FB VideoChat. It took two hours to make the drawer contents accessible again.
Sometimes all you need is someone else there holding your hand. “The most recent virtual organizing client remarked, “I realized all I needed was to be committed to meeting someone in my calendar and then having them help me focus on a task I dreaded.”
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Interested to know more about hiring a professional organizer? Check out this New York Times article!