Admit it. You have at least one junk drawer in your home. My family has one in our kitchen. It holds batteries, scissors, a flashlight, glue, and quite a bit of miscellany.
For some people, the junk drawer grows and grows until it eventually becomes a catch-all for everything in its vicinity. Before too long, one junk drawer overflows into another, and then you find yourself going from drawer to drawer looking for a postage stamp.
Apartment Therapy had a helpful post that motivated me to organize our junk drawer. The post suggests easy steps for getting this drawer into tip-top condition. I particularly liked the first three suggestions:
Sort: First, you have to know what’s in it. Find a space to dump it out and sort it. There’s stuff that should go in there (in ours: extra batteries, spare keys, friend’s keys, parking permits, a small accordion file for museum membership cards and takeout menus) and stuff that shouldn’t (screws, tools).
Return: stuff that should go elsewhere should go elsewhere. Put the screws and tools back in the toolbox, the working pens in their place, the broken pencils in the garbage, donate the old eyeglasses.
Rethink: for items that should go elsewhere, make sure there’s a place for them so similar items don’t end up here a few months hence. For example, have a place to put items you need to keep for your taxes so old movie ticket stubs don’t end up here again.
This post has been updated since its original publication in 2008.