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Whether you have a junk drawer, table, spot in the closet, or anything else that becomes your go to spot for mess, here’s how to break the habit and get organized.


We’ve all got one. That one drawer that houses all the items you couldn’t find a home for. “Expired restaurant menu… you never know. Put it in the drawer.”

The idea of the “junk drawer” comes in many forms.  Personally, I have a desk in my room that is a magnet for clothes, gum wrappers, cords, and whatever else.  It’s almost instinctive to put stuff on top.  Once you  see the pile of clothes that’s gathered on it, all you can do is hang your head, Charlie Brown style.

So whether you have a junk drawer, table, spot in the closet, or anything else that becomes your go to spot for mess, here’s how to break the habit and get organized.

Face Your Fears:  Dump the junk drawer out. Take all the stuff off the junk table and put it on your bed or kitchen table. Stare at it.  Hang out around it.  It will start to annoy you.  One reason the junk drawer becomes that way is that it’s not in your face all the time. It’s closed off.  Now that it’s out there you’ll understand how much of it is unnecessary.

No Paper Trail: Stacks of mail, magazines and newspapers are major sources of tabletop clutter in many homes. Organizing experts recommend that magazines and newspapers be recycled as soon as you are finished reading them. If you prefer to keep these reading materials a little longer, use a magazine rack or a small decorative basket as a short-term spot for these items.

Sweat the Small Stuff: The little things like pens, paper clips and rubber bands can start to add up. Choose tables with drawers to keep your small items, but don’t let these drawers become junk drawers.  Use drawer inserts or containers with labels to keep items separated.  Here’s one creative solution in that vain:


Change Your Habits:Sometimes good organization is just a matter of self discipline and routine.  In your room, get into the habit of hanging up your clothes or putting them in the laundry basket immediately.  Don’t even let one piece of clothing on the junk table, or it could spiral.

The “broken windows theory” on crime says that broken windows in a neighborhood encourages crime as it gives off the impression that disobeying the law is tolerated.  So, if you crack down on the broken windows, crime will go down.  The same applies to mess and clutter.  If you start taking care of the smaller items, it’s less likely a larger clutter mess will occur.

So that’s just a start, but if you have more tips on how to avoid the junk drawer, let us know.  Also check out our clutter heat map tool to determine where the hotspots for mess are in your home.

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  • Chris

    We have been old and sick and would need a professional organizer to come in and tackle this mess…LOL

  • Mirna L atorre

    Thank you so much !

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