Ducks 'n a Row: Take Control--Clean a Drawer!

21 November 2015

Take Control--Clean a Drawer!

By Sinea Pies

Feeling overwhelmed? Regain control -- clean a drawer! My kitchen has several drawers. One for cooking utensils, one for silverware and then there’s "the other one." 
organize, simplify, minimalism, organizing tips

The “other one” has been unfortunately named “the junk drawer” and I think it believes it. It gets junkie really fast. What it should contain is pens, pencils, scotch tape, safety pins, new birthday candles, bottle opener, can opener and maybe a notepad.  What it often contains is beyond imagination. The junk drawer needs to be brought back under control!

Organizing a drawer shouldn’t be a big deal.  After all, it is just one drawer!  Then, why do we let them get this far?

First of all, it’s not all our fault. Kitchen drawers are handled many times a day by a number of users. Each person has a different interest in its contents and doesn’t care at all what condition it’s left in, just as long as they find what they need. With that many “helpers”, it doesn’t take long for a neat, organized drawer to become a tangled mess.

Second, clutter sneaks up on you. You don’t notice it right away, until it gets really bad.

Great Organizing Secret: when life is spinning out of control, clean a drawer. That’s right. Organizing even one drawer gives you a momentary success, sense of accomplishment and peace. See? There is at least one thing that you can control. Organizing a drawer can be downright therapeutic! 

How to do it:
Multi-task. Select a time that you will be waiting in the kitchen, anyway.  While you’re waiting for the coffee to perk may be a good time.  Or how about while you’re waiting for something in the oven to get done. Those are good times to tackle this little project.  It should take 10 minutes, or less. 

Yikes! How'd I let it get this bad?
Set Up Stations: Toss It, Back in Drawer, Put Away.
Tip the drawer onto the towel and start sorting.
Kitchen organizing #organizing Ducks 'n a Row
Final result: a totally organized drawer!

  1. Clear a space on the kitchen counter or table. 
  2. Lay a dishtowel out and tip the drawer over onto it.  (If you use kitchen drawer dividers, pull them out and tip their contents onto the towel, then scoop out the rest of the drawer’s contents to add to the pile.)
  3. Tilt the empty drawer over the sink or waste basket to get out the crumbs and residue.
  4. Take a damp sponge, soaked with Orange Cleaner and clean the drawer out. 
  5. Dry it.
  6. Do the same for your separators.  Soap them up, rinse them and dry them. (If they are made of wood, use Pledge or wood cleaner instead of soapy water.)
  7. Put the drawer back in place.
  8. Add the clean dividers.
Now, turn your attention to the stuff on the counter.
You will be sorting three groups: throw away, put away or back in drawer.

Throw away
Bring your waste basket right up next to you. Start picking out the scrap papers, old plastic bag ties, expired coupons and other trash. Quickly rifle through it, sorting out the trash and toss it in the garbage.

Put away
Some things undoubtedly have shown up in that drawer that don’t belong there. Use a bowl or small container for the “put away” group.  If they go in a different drawer in the kitchen, quickly lay them aside on the counter to take care of in a minute.  The items that don’t belong in the kitchen at all go in the bowl to be carted to where they do belong when this job is over.

Back in drawer
Finally, put the items back that do belong in the drawer.  Make it neat, stand back and look.  Ahhh.  Feels good. Ten minutes and the job is done! 

Got any little tricks to get an element of control back into your busy life? 

Photo credit: Teddy Bear by ningmilo
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