Be afraid, be very afraid! The junk drawer is a common fixture for most families. It's the place to find a screwdriver, tape, the spare batteries and everything else that was left on the counter that didn't have a kitchen task to do.
Goal #13 Clean Out the Junk Drawer
Background: I have a confession. There is more than ONE junk drawer in this house. There is the standard kitchen one, one in the living room, one in the diningroom and even one in my office.
Challenge: One drawer at a time, clean out what shouldn't be there and re-assess what should.
Process: With each location, get some materials set out ahead of time. Prepare a large flat surface to sort on, 4 baskets (toss, keep, put away, donate) and cleaning supplies for wiping out the drawer once it's emptied. Next empty the drawer ALL THE WAY EMPTY onto the flat surface. Then take a moment to enjoy the cleared space.... ah, doesn't that feel good? Now you can look at what you were storing in there.... the garbage should be obvious the broken bits and dead batteries (I have them, you do too right?) The stuff that found it's way to the drawer instead of "home" should also be obvious. DON'T GET DISTRACTED HERE: put the items in the "put away" basket for now. Take the time to focus on what's in the "keep" basket. Is it a duplicate? Does it belong in the drawer? Any wires can now be labelled and tied up tidy, a small container might be handy for keeping the screwdriver bits together, etc etc. Now you get to put the "keep" stuff back. You can see if a divider, or small baskets would help out (not until after the purge though). Back to the "put away" basket.... Why was it in the drawer? Is it's home in the right place? Easy to find and there when you need it? Is it a duplicate?
Verdict: It's not called a junk drawer for nothing! I think gremlins are putting weird crap in there. Used napkin in the livingroom drawer anyone? Busted plastic battery cover for a lost toy in the kitchen? On the bright side I found a DVD series that I borrowed last summer that I can now return (how embarassing). The drawers are now easier to open, close and find stuff in -- I love my clean drawers! Of course I know that this challenge needs to be visited regularly and often.