It's the season of organization and purging, and it's high time to get real with ourselves. Let's talk about the junk drawer. You know the one I'm talking about. The drawer that holds everything and anything: takeout menus, a few rubber bands, hardware from that IKEA chair you bought two years ago, and an orange-handled pair of scissors. Maybe you are one of the blessed few who has managed to avoid the never-ending pit that is the junk drawer. Good for you - gold medal in adulting. If you are an actual human being like the rest of us, or just need a place to put all your tools, why not roll'em?
We all have one spot in our house that is like a black hole. Things go in, but they don't come out. In most cases it's the dreaded junk drawer. Not sure where to put something (bills, nail files, extra rubber bands, headache medicine)? Stick it in the junk drawer. Right?
This makes things a nightmare to find when you really need them. So here are some helpful tips for cleaning (and organizing) your junk drawer in five minutes.
If you've never checked out our Ask a Question forum, now's the time to start. It's a perfect place to ask for help with home improvement and decor questions, and you can help others out by offering your own expert (or amateur) advice.
I thought I'd highlight some of the more interesting recent questions from the forum today (please add your answers or suggestions if you have any):xox_nicole: How can I make a clawfoot tub into a couch?
I have always wanted a clawfoot tub, a la Breakfast at Tiffany's, but I've never been able to find anyone who has actually turned their clawfoot tub into a couch. I've done a little research and found out that you're supposed to use a cut-off saw with a fiberous cutting blade, rather than a circular saw, to cut cast iron. Anyone done this before, or have any helpful tips about cutting cast iron tubs?
Traditional twist bits usually come in a set, with a perfectly organized case or box with the dimensions clearly marked, so that you can find what you need easily. Most even close and stay stowed.
Then, there's all those other bits you eventually amass: all sorts of driving bits, spade bits, countersink bits, combo bits, and bits, bits, bits, bits. Here's a few options to keep them off your bench and shelves and out of trays and drawers.
I love to walk through the reserve section of my local library...the books, records, and DVDs are lined up in the back corner, with these huge dividers, each with an oversized letter in Helvetica, organizing the reserves by the last name.
Matthew created this how-to on Flickr: unusable vinyl LPs augmented with stick-on letters slid in between physical media to keep 'em alphabetized and easy to find.
How do you organize you media and books...
You know all those little things that you see need done, but whiz by simply don't have the time to accomplish them?
Unfortunately, they actually make your life slower and less productive, which is something for which we definately don't have time. Dumb Little Man states, "If we don’t know what we’ve got, where it is, and how to find it, we run into serious problems, lowered productivity and raised stress levels." So, check out their eight tips to...
In order to rid yourself of junk, materials, and seemingly valuable items you might use someday, it takes a split second change in your mindset. I must have gotten this gear shifting ability from my dad. When we moved, the one and only time while I was growing up, we got rid of everything. He had no sentiment about things and stuff.
- Shoe Freshener
Washcloth for soap scraps
- Hot Pack
- Draft Dodger
- Drink Cozy
- Dolly Dresses
- Broom Buddy
Holiday excitement has been replaced with the urge to purge, cleaning out cabinets and closets that is...
Joy. Organise-y joy. The Container Store, fine purveyor of all the stuff that I imagine might finally be the solution to the aforementioned messy closets now delivers to Canada. And thusly directly to my heart. And there's a SALE. mmmmmm. Containers.
See this shoe box? He's now on sale.
I grew up in that house that never had the get-togethers or sleepovers, and I was never able to invite my backyard playmates inside. Why? Our home was enternally cluttered, and it was embarassing. Now that I get to make the rules, I keep a mostly spotless lifestyle, and these ten ideas from TipNut are useful, indeed.
1. Regularly Junk Hunt.
2. Create Necessary Storage Solutions.
3. Choose Effective Storage Solutions.
4. Running Out...
Sometimes, those piles of inspiring postcards, magazine ads, giftwrap, etc get completely out of control. Following iHanna's lead, grab a big frame from the thrift store, and staple on a few rows of kitchen twine, and hang it where you're most creative.
Keep your handtools, craft materials, or gardening supplies in perfect order with this simple, mobile, and
endlessly customizable organizer made of chicken-wire fencing material. Simply cut a plywood backing piece and create a same-sized 1x2 frame. Attach the fencing to the frame and then apply to the plywood. Clever.
For full instructions, visit Do Design DIY.
Erin Doland of Unclutterer has put together a invaluable tip list to help you organize your first kitchen. And although her advice is directed to college graduates moving into their first apartment, it can also be applied to those moving into their first home too! Her suggestions include:
- When putting your kitchen together, arrange items in cabinets based on where you use them.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for very specific, practical things for...
That stack of mini post-its, the key to your filing cabinet, that one paper clip.... Somehow you can't totally clear your deskspace. There's those certain things you just need handy.
Enter the Keyboard Organizer. It takes up no more space than a standard desktop keyboard, yet can fit compact disks, most of your office supplies, and your secret mid-morning snack.
Around $50. Via Gizmodo.
You have things that you haven't used in years. Stuff that doesn't fit. Stuff that's ugly. BeingParent offers 8 tips to help you Let Go of Clutter.
1. Throw it away.
2. Get storage containers.
3. Free Stuff is not always good.
4. Give it away.
5. Sell it.
6. Shred it.
7. Get professional help.
8. Create and Stick to a schedule.
Though stereotypes abound, I (a man) love to read the paperwork and manuals that come with a new purchase. I'll sit down and read the whole thing before I even mess with my new gear, somewhat for safety and know-how, but mostly to prolong the excitement.
And I keep all the manuals. There's boxes in my basement, and it takes way too long to sort through all the nonsense just to reference a quick setting. So, though they're not rocketscience...
Blogger Edith Yeung offers sound advice for cleaning not only your storage closet, but your mental/emotional 'closet' as well.
Throw it away when:
You don’t feel good about it.
You don’t like it.
You don’t feel comfortable wearing it.
You don’t remember you had it.
You have not worn it even once in the past 12 months.
It doesn’t fit you anymore.
The only reason you keep because it is expensive.
Change the "throw it away"...