July 11, 2022

Can You Have A Junk Drawer, yes or no?

Is it ok to have a Junk Drawer and are you still living clutter-free and organized when you have a junk drawer in your home and office?

I came across an article recently titled "5 steps to organize your junk drawer" and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with the article and the tips shared on how to clean out and organize a junk drawer....

It might still not be helpful 

For me it kind of goes along with all the organizing tips on Instagram or in magazines where they go way beyond clearing clutter and organizing things and for example line up things like soldiers. Or they take noodles and other dry food out of the packaging and put them into a different container, and then possibly label the container with fancy labels and again line up everything perfectly in the cupboard or pantry.

This has nothing to do with clearing clutter and in my eyes it also has nothing to do with organizing. It's focusing on looks and on the outside rather than practicality and your insides.

It's not about perfectionism or style

Clearing clutter is NOT about trying to be obsessively perfect, that is in my eyes the other extreme of having the house full of clutter and not helpful if you need to declutter and get organized.

For some people it could maybe be and inspiration and motivating, but from my experience for most it leads to even more procrastination.

Hear me when I say:  

You don't have to create an Insta-worthy home or office to live clutter-free and organized. 

If you enjoy looking at noodles and dry food in special containers lined up in your pantry then by all means take the time, energy and effort to do that.

But for the rest of us, let's give ourselves permission to not do that.


What does living clutter free look like?

As I say in episode 7: What does it mean to live clutter free: My idea of a clutter-free home is that we find the right balance for our life. Not so many things that you feel overwhelmed, weighed down and stuck, and also not so few things that you can't do what you want and need to do in your life.

Living a clutter-free life is getting really clear on what you love in your life and home and why, and then prioritizing them, keeping them clean and fixed, and creating the space for them so those treasured items can shine and are ready to be used and appreciated.

And because of that my noodles and my dry food is very happy in the original packaging in my pantry, without fancy labels and all is still clutter-free and organized, and yours can be too.

A relief in our busy life

Ok so back to the junk drawer, I also give you permission - not that you need my permission - to have a junk drawer without organizers in it. Many of us might need the magic a junk drawer can offer in our busy lives. 

We can just open it, throw in all the little odds and ends that are cluttering up our surroundings, close the drawer and breathe a sigh of relief. 


But wait, what I don't agree with is a junk room, a room in your home (or the garage or basement) that you just put all the stuff you don't know what to do with, all the stuff you don't want to make a decision about - remember clutter is unmade decisions.

If you just put everything you don't use anymore into a junk room or your basement or garage is chuck full with such stuff, that is creating, having, keeping, clutter. That's not what I am talking about here,

I am talking about a designated drawer- where little bits and pieces can go, or - where things can live that we only need for a limited time and then we can let them go or - where small things can go so our surfaces look clean and uncluttered. 

Here is what I recommend if you have a junk drawer

  • The drawer is better not a huge big deep one that you can just fill up with a lot of stuff. You want to pick a smaller or medium size drawer so there is limited space.
  • Make sure it's a drawer and not an open bowl or basket. You see this in movies sometimes and I see it at clients homes, in the entrace a big bowl where they throw in the keys, wallets, and all kinds of bits and pieces they have in their pockets and purses. The problem is, it's visual clutter and being in the entry way it's the first thing you see coming home, not ideal. Also open as a bowl is it will get dusty and dirty and that is one of the health risks of clutter, the dust. So if you have a bowl for keys, only put keys in there and clean it on a regular basis. If you want to have your junk drawer, make sure it's really a drawer that you can close, so no dust gets into it and no visual clutter is created.
  • allow yourself only one junk drawer and ideally be intentional where you have it. This depends on you and how you function in your home and how you tick. For a lot of people the entrance is really a good spot, but for others a junk drawer iin the kitchen is better.
  • there might be an exception to only having one junk drawer if you live in a really big house over several floors, then maybe it turns out that you need a second junk drawer upstairs.
  • Also, since a lot of us now work from home, it might make sense to have a junk drawer in your office,
  • lastly, make sure you're not just throwing things into this drawer that would have a home. One of the concepts of living a clutter free life is that everything has a place and everything in it's place. So if the item has a home, put it back where it belongs and not into the junk drawer.

Decluttering your Junk Drawer

Yes even a junk drawer needs decluttering, you actually want to clear it out on a regular basis, either when it's overflowing, but more ideally once a week or once a month. 

Don't wait too long, as many times when I help my clients clear clutter we find long lost treasures in the junk drawer that they would have loved to have and would have needed but forgot that it was in the junk drawer. 

Ok this is my permission slip for you to have a junk drawer and as always, 

I will never tell you to get rid of anything, what I do help you see is the effect all this clutter has on you and your life. So have a junk drawer and don't feel bad about it.

If you struggle with clutter in your home, office, and finances, opportunities to work with me 1-1 are available. Send me an email at conny 'at' connygraf dot com or schedule a  

Clutter to Clarity Chat and we'll see if working together is a great fit. 


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