Sunday, August 14, 2011

Where's the tape?

The smallest storage area in the house but often the most used, most stressful and most OFFENSIVE!
I call BULL---- if you claim to not have one!  I have never met a house that didn't!  Don't be ashamed, embarrassed or defensive about your junk drawer.  The amazing part of it is that this drawer of so called Junk is usually summoned upon in a moment of pure desperation and at that moment the world feels as though it could explode if you don't find what you are looking for.....Scissors, pen, tape, eraser, cake candles, flashlight, safety pin, pad of paper, that little thingie you need to hold the shelf up that you put in there so you wouldn't lose it.... these things are needed quickly and at a moments notice so why do we degrade them by calling them junk.  They are nothing shy of NECESSITIES and we treat them horribly.  That is all going to change right now!!!

It isn't the items that are supposed to be or that we intend to keep in that space that are the problem it is the rest of the crap we throw in there.....pile of papers when somebody is stopping by, change from the counter, random screws and tools, pieces of toys we find, well you know what you throw in there that causes issues!!!  So what SHOULD be in there, well I have the necessities listed below and you may need to add or subtract but what ever you end up with NEEDING in there we can make it work:
1. Tape
2. Stapler
3. pens and pencils
4. pad of paper
5. gum (best place to hide it for me)
6. scissors
7. measuring tape
8. lighter or matches
9. Extra keys
10. cake candles
11. marking pens (Sharpie)
12.letter opener
13. stamps?
14. Flash light

Ok so we have some basics and if you go and buy a "junk" drawer organizer like I did ($7) it comes with little stickers that you place in the respective spots.  This will not only remind you and anyone else in the house where to put something back but it might give you and idea or other items that might be good to keep in that drawer.  The drawer organizer I purchased was a two tier slider for a small drawer.  I used the top tier for office type supplies and the bottom for the bulkier and less used items!

SO the sort process is a lot of work for this little drawer and a bit messy too!  Start by removing the drawer and pouring it out either on the counter or the kitchen table.  Wipe out the drawer so it can dry while we are sorting....
NOW this is like a mini episode of Hoarders, there is true garbage in every one of these drawers I have found but don't worry about picking that out instead start pulling together piles of like items.  The garbage will be left, crumbs and all, when you are done and you can sweep it all right into the garbage! Pens are the worst, you know there are 50 or so in there, how many hands do you have to write with anyway?  Make sure to keep a few in there, but test all pens and throw away those that do not work!!!!  The others that do can be sorted to eliminate some, like pens that belong to your kids and can be kept in their desks.  Then the ones you hate, you know the ones, they write sporadically, or are bumpy when they write, or maybe even a terrible color that you will never use but was free at the last convention or meeting you went to, PITCH them or donate to your kids school!  Next worst is the random screws and Allen wrenches that come with those put them together items, grab a baggie and place all of these together in know if you throw those out you will immediately find the one thing that needs a screw that was thrown in that drawer.  This baggie is kept in my "junk" drawer for easy retrieval, but you can also keep it in your tool box so you know where to go when you need one!  Loose change is the third worst culprit of clutter, gather it and put it into a child's piggy bank or if you have a family piggy bank put it there....neither of these, put it in you wallet, after all do you buy a lot of stuff with change standing in your kitchen?????  I thought not!
As for the rest of the items it is almost always a matter of paring down, how many scissors do you really need in there, pads of paper for phone messages, one is good, I mean are you running an office or something.... rolls of tape....I think one of each type used often is good enough!
OK the drawer is dry, you have your piles of keep, trash has been thrown out and the random has been put where it belongs.  Lets start building, place items of most use on the top or in the front for easy access and easy replacement.  Then fill in the rest and beam with pride as the drawer slides shut with no resistance and nothing hanging out!!!!  You did it, and trust me you will have to do it again, keep on top of this little black hole and you will have less stress in your time of need!

UP Next.....the bathroom Vanity Nightmare!!!!

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