DON'T be ashamed of the junk drawer in your kitchen that won't close correctly – everybody's got one.
According to pro organizers, you can turn that drawer from a pile of junk into a usable storage space in five simple steps.
Home experts at The Manual shared their expert tips for whipping your junk drawer into shape and excising unwanted clutter.
EMPTY IT OUT
The first step to organizing your messiest drawer is removing everything inside it.
You can't organize the drawer if you're constantly uncovering new forms of clutter, so dump the drawer on the kitchen table or another flat surface where you can survey its contents.
"Don’t try and organize the items just yet," the experts at The Manual warn.
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Instead, dump any crumbs in the trash can, and wipe down the interior of the drawer with a disinfecting spray.
"You’re going to want to work with a clean slate, and the sudden barrenness of the drawer will cause you to really rethink what goes back inside," the pros explain.
Once you've emptied your junk drawer, perform an inventory of what was inside, and take note of any duplicate items.
"One or two of each item is more than enough," the experts write.
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"A few Post-it note pads are acceptable," they continued. "Keeping around enough Post-its to write a note a day for a decade is excessive."
Toss out any extraneous items: free pens from the bank (you can always get more), random calculators (the one on your phone works fine), and loose rubber bands (you have a whole ball of them at your desk).
If there are any items you use enough to truly need a super-size stash, find a different place to keep the bulk of the supplies, and replenish your drawer as necessary.
ELIMINATE MYSTERY ITEMS
Now is the time to get rid of any bread ties, battery compartment covers, or other "useful" items you've been holding on to.
Go ahead and throw out "all those random cords, specific tools that come with furniture, keys, buttons, and other items you’ve been hoarding for the day you might need them."
The same applies to objects you simply don't recognize, or odds and ends with no immediately discernible significance.
Throw out the commemorative playing cards from your friend's bachelorette party and the souvenir keychain from a town you've never cisited.
As you go through your junk drawer, some things will have immediately obvious homes – in other parts of the house.
Return those items to where they belong.
"There’s a strong chance that most of the items in your junk drawer are just stray items that belong somewhere else," the experts explained.
"You were too lazy to put those items in the correct spot, so you shoved them in the drawer."
Once you've rehomed any stray items and thrown out all the useless things, you're ready to organize the remaining odds and ends in your junk drawer.
This is the point where you add organizational tools.
You can use boxes, trays, or even sandwich baggies to group like items together and make your "families" of items easy to see.
"Don’t spend a ton of money to keep random junk organized in a drawer people rarely go into," the experts warned.
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"Take a mental snapshot of how good the drawer looks – everything in its proper place and all of the items at the ready to solve specific problems," they continued.
Keep the drawer minimalist and systemized, because that will make maintaining its organization even easier.
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