UHeart Organizing: Taking the Junk out of Junk Drawer

I have always loved a big room overhaul, but let's be honest.  Sometimes it is the single drawers that make us the happiest.  Clutter free counters are great visually, clutter free drawers are great for sanity.

Ashley from the blog 7th House on the Left, is here today to share how she organized a drawer in her oh-so-beautiful kitchen.  I don't know about you, but seeing organized drawers always kicks me in the booty to go dump one of my own out instantly.  And I really love the reasoning behind the items in her specific drawer, it has really made me rethink the items we throw in ours.  Here she is now!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been gearing up for Spring cleaning and organizing every single nook and cranny of our kitchen. It wasn’t extremely messy to begin with, but it needed some fine-tuning and reworking to make the space more functional and pleasant for my organization-loving self to work in. Okay, well, maybe that wasn’t the case for the notorious “junk drawer” to the left of the stove. It was an absolute mess:

As you can see, this drawer was in dire need of organization. It’s basically where everything ended up, slid around and just… remained generally unorganized. Pretty sad (and embarrassing) for a self-professed organization freak, right?

After cleaning everything out and figuring out what needed to stay in the drawer and what needed a new home, I started out with what every drawer needs: dividers! Luckily, I already had these on hand and wasn’t using them for anything else. On the bottom of each tray, I attached a Command Picture Hanging Strip to keep them in place when the drawer opens and closes. I like using the Command Strips because they don’t damage the wood finish on the inside of the drawer. Specifically, the Picture Hanging Strips are great for this because they have a velcro-like “bonding mechanism” so you can easily detach it, take it out whenever you need to and snap it back in.

I filled the first tray with the primary essentials like pens and Sharpies, Post-Its, a small measuring tape (for quick project measurements), push pins (for the cork board inside the cabinet right above the drawer - more on that here), scotch tape, a small pair of scissors, assorted washi tapes and a deck of cards (we’re just weird like that).

I filled the tray near the back of the drawer with the less-essential items: gum, mints, hand lotion and lip balm. Side note: I like keeping this particular lip balm around in the kitchen because it doubles as a salve for minor burns - and I tend to be a bit accident prone from time to time, haha. I left one compartment open for my rings/jewelry when I’m cooking or working on a project.

Nestled between the dividers is a stack of small notepads. Now, I know these are extremely common (you can get a pack of 5 for $5 at Staples or pretty much any office supply store), but I love these things. It seems like every time I’m in an office supply store, I’m picking up a set (or two). They’re the perfect size to jot out lists, projects and ideas. I always spruce up the binding on the top with a piece of washi tape.

Oh, and in the very back of the drawer, we keep a box cutter for hard-to-open packages. It’s particularly handy here in the kitchen, since the peninsula is the place where we sort through the mail, open packages, and unpack anything we bring home from shopping trips.

So, there you have it, the transformation of our embarrassing “junk drawer”. Now that it’s neatly organized and functional, it doesn’t make me cringe every time I open the drawer to get a pen. Now, since it’s not junky anymore, we just have to come up with another name for it! Happy organizing, everyone!

"I'm Ashley from 7th House on the Left - a blog where my husband, Greg, and I talk about renovating, decorating and living in our first house here in Hanover, Virginia. I’ve been an interior design enthusiast and a long-time fan of all things organizing. Yep, I was the kid with the perfectly arranged Disney stuffed animals, alphabetized coloring books and the categorized and color-coded sticker book. When I'm not busy writing or doing projects around the house, I love classic TV shows (particularly I Love Lucy) and curling up with Greg, Bentley (our 9-pound Pomeranian), a blanket and a good black and white classic movie – I’m a complete sucker for Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant films. I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of the IHeart Organizing team and excited to get to work!"

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