Be it at your desk at work, your bedside table or hiding in a corner in your kitchen, it’s the drawer in which unopened bills accumulate along with the odd rubber band, paper clip and the occasional broken phone charger.
A clean and tidy tabletop means nothing if the drawers beneath are filled to the brim with wanted and useful items that have become tangled amid a mess of junk – rendering them inaccessible.
Decluttering fads have been making their rounds on the internet for quite some time, picking up their next victims along the way. People are willing to try everything from minimalism, the desire to live with less, to Swedish death cleaning, the conscious act of evaluating your possessions and pondering what will happen to them in the event of your death.
But, before you commit to an entire lifestyle conversion, start your journey off by dipping one toe in the water before taking a dive. These five easy tips on how to organise your junk drawer will get you going:
Start off by emptying the drawer onto a table and sorting its contents into piles – (a pile for stationery, a pile for bills and receipts, a pile for rubbish, e.t.c.).
Although the piles you’ve made may seem a little random (ranging from buttons to dead batteries), the key to an organised drawer is to be able to see what’s in there at a glance rather than rifling through everything. Use an ice cube tray to organise smaller items like push pins, paper clips and staples. For items like pens, pencils, scissors and highlighters, fill an empty shoebox with toilet roll inners to use as a divider. Place your stationery inside the cylinders and voila, you have yourself a portable stationery box that can be taken out all in one when needed and easily placed back in one go.
Although not entirely necessary, by labelling where each item should go, you are assisting the process of committing to organisation. That way, if someone else uses something from the draw, they will know where to return it. It will also prevent you from jumbling items together and heading towards creating another junk drawer.
There are better places to keep important items, such as invoices. If you don’t have a workable system in place for keeping your bills organised and paying them on time, it could cost you a lot of money in late fees. Keep a tray or a box on your kitchen counter (or anywhere that’s in plain sight) to keep your mail in. Sort through mail regularly so that it doesn’t pile up. Throw junk mail out. Other important documents can be filed for safekeeping.
Lastly, throw away all the unnecessary items you quickly stashed when you had unexpected visitors – takeout menus included. As a rule, any item that you have not made use of in the past year can be thrown out or donated.
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AUTHOR: Sacha Van Niekerk/IOL