DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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16 October 2012

Junk drawer challenge

I think we all have drawers where we throw in junk that we don't want sitting on the counter top. My junk drawer is in the kitchen, just below the cutlery drawer. It holds kitchen utensils I use almost every day but also junk that should be recycled or thrown out. This drawer hasn't been cleaned out properly for, I'm ashamed to say, years. But now it's done. It's not at the stage I want it at yet, I asked Hanno to make some dividers for me when he's well enough to do it but he said we're better off buying the same metal baskets we have holding our knives and forks (see first photo below). Next time I'm in town I'll get some. We bought them at Howards Storage.


This is the drawer in its original state. It's been like that for years! LOL 

I removed everything from the drawer. Slipped the drawer out of the runner and cleaned it throughly over the sink., then dried it.
Same junk, different perspective.

The drawer as it is now. It doesn't look much better but it's not the final state. It will have to do until I buy some wire baskets to hold the different categories of items. I've got all my cookie cutters and things I don't use so much along the top and the frequently used things below.

So now I've done my drawer, I challenge you to do yours too. This took about 10 minutes. It was an easy and quick job and I wonder why it took me so long to get around to it. I'm going to start a thread over at the forum this morning to hold all our before and after photos. Come on now, don't be shy. Get that camera out and let's see how many of these drawers we can clean up today. BTW, it can be any kind of junk drawer - it doesn't have to be in the kitchen. We can have a bit of fun with these little jobs by doing them together. So, let's get a move on.

Here is the link to the forum post about the challenge and where you can show your own before and after photos. Please note, you have to be a member of the forum to view the link. If you're not a member, you can sign up by clicking the link at the top of the page. Membership is free.


40 comments:

  1. I'm afraid my entire basement is in the equivalent state of your junk drawer - and with five little ones, it will probably being staying that way for awhile. But organization projects are one of my favorite housework chores.

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  2. Oh yeah I have about 3 drawers like that! It will have to be my tomorrow, thanks for the challenge today!

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  3. Amazing to say but I don't have a junk drawer I was much effected by a post you once did which made me stop and think about how long those jobs I tended to put off would actually take me. I still have all manner of messes and shortfalls but I dont have a junk drawer. Progress!!

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  4. <<>>

    My utensil drawer looks EXACTLY like yours. Or rather how it used to look. Which explains why I'm always hollering to the Hubster asking where my turkey baster/garlic press/whatever is!

    Your drawer looks great now that it's been organised - even without the wire baskets. Did you manage to keep everything or did you have to let some stuff go?

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  5. Tanya, I took out a couple of big spoons that I'll use in the garden and I threw out some weird plastic screw on lids, everything else is still there. Good luck with your drawer.

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  6. Lol, I haven't got any kitchen draws...I think I must have the only kitchen without draws. What I do have is three pots that house my utensils so I will sort them instead.

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  7. Oh how that drawer has been calling out to me recently, too. What a timely challenge you've made! No more avoiding it. It will get shaped up this week! : ) Have a great day!

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  8. I actually had just cleaned out my top cutlery drawer

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  9. ... when I read your post. The utensil drawer is next! I laughed because mine looks exactly like yours did. We call it the junk drawer but really it holds all sorts of useful things.

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  10. Thanks Rhonda for the shove I needed to clean out my drawer it looks just like yours I ll let you know how I go have a great day

    Linda :-)

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  11. Every time i fix my "junk" drawer it gets messed up by others ratting around looking for something or things just get carelessly thrown in & then a search is on for where to find what you need. I like your idea for the baskets & will be searching for some myself.

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  12. The drawer pixies aren't just in my kitchen, then. That's such a relief to know

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  13. I purposely don't have a utensil drawer because I know it would just end up like your 'before' photo! I hang my utensils on rails above the bench. I'm the sort of person who needs to see where things are anyway. Having them all on display means I have to be ruthless and edit continuously. Now I just need to apply that logic to other areas of the house!

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  14. I'll take the challenge, I'll do it after work while dinner is cooking.

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  15. Wow Rhonda you make some pretty challenging challenges. I will try. B

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    Replies
    1. Come on Buttons, I know you can do this.

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  16. I have a junk shed, it is full of stuff that has broken and the other half said that he will mend it but never gets around to it and the son uses it for storage of all the things his wife does want in their house but I could clean my kitchen drawers, they do get messy fast.
    Merle......

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  17. It's so fulfilling to clean out a drawer or cupboard. I have 4 that I should give a good go next weekend!

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  18. Haha, this made me laugh as DH kind of pointed out yesterday that mine was a little overcrowded :)
    Some baskets sound like a good idea...and a little 'flinging' - thanks Rhonda,you have inspired me as usual !!!
    Hugs
    Mabel

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    1. Haha too :-)
      I could have written this myself as my DH also made such a comment yesterday, and my drawer also looks a lot like Rhondas before pic! It will get messed up again if i tidy it (6 people in our household in and out of it), but i'll do it just the same.
      Charlotte

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  19. Great minds think alike, don't they Rhonda. I just posted on my blog today, that this is what I am doing, only its cabinets, and drawers, and then whole rooms. I have one drawer to tackle tomorrow. I have been heaving and throwing things in boxes to take to our thrift shop. I have one broken drawer, so I am down by one.
    I will have to look for metal baskets. Here where I live, its usually plastic. I like the look of the metal baskets, personally.
    Have a wonderful "clean drawer" week.
    Hold Fast

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  20. Yep got one of those....featured it on my blog once.....havnt tidied it since...it houses all those interesting things that you have with kids...bits and pieces from games, dice, figurines..blow up pool patches..coins..( plastic ones )rubber bands, hair ties, bouncy balls..lids from goodness knows what...just to name a few....
    I like the look of those baskets, we have a Howards storage near us, I will pop in one day and see what they have to offer....

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  21. I am 90% through de-cluttering the computer/linen/reading/sewing room. This time round I decided to really do something rather than just tidy it up and move a few things around. As I get older I just want to live simply and without clutter and "stuff". I've given stuff away on FreeCycle and other groups and I can say that I'm really pleased with how it's going. I intend to go through the whole house and just give away stuff that makes life more complicated. This post has reminded me why I'm doing it!!

    I did the exact same thing about 4 months ago with the drawer that has all the wooden spoons, serving spoons, egg flip, salad servers etc. It's been one of those things that turned out to be one of the best things I've done. I'm going to do the same with the medicine drawer.

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  22. This is where having sons working in the hospitality industry, comes in handy! My husband is a chef too, and a few years ago he brought home a large margarine container (this is several kilos worth of marg - empty of course) which now houses all my cookie cutters. I find it so much easier to keep this container (with lid) in my baking cupboard - where all my cutting boards, rolling pins, cooling racks baking pans, tins and trays live too.

    I also use one of those non-slip rubber mats inside one of my drawers, to house all our chef and cooking knives. Living with a chef we always have so many - and the non-slip mat avoids the knives sliding into the back of the drawer (dulling tips) every time you open or close the drawer.

    The best way I have found to organise my junk drawer, is to break them up amongst places in the kitchen I use them the most. My teaspoons don't even live in our cutlery drawer any more, they're kept in a glass jar right at the coffee/tea station. All our tongs, wooden spoons, spatula's and various other metal stirring implements are kept in a very large urn, next to the stove.

    I find it so much easier to organise gadgets by the area they're used, rather than placing them all in one drawer. These are just some helpful tips I've stumbled across, if the idea of a junk drawer doesn't always appeal. I know I grew tired of this one drawer in my kitchen that never seemed to never be organised, no matter how many times I rearranged it, lol.

    Of course I think you're doing a marvelous job organising your drawer. It looks heaps better already, and I'm sure the new metal baskets will help even more.

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    1. I keep my cookie cutters in an old Peter Rabbit cookie tin. The tin makes me smile every time I dig it out of the back of the cupboard for Christmas baking. I do keep my biscuit cutter in the drawer with all the baking utensils. I am like you and have things all around the kitchen near where I use them but I have been blessed to have 13 drawers in my kitchen.

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  23. Hi Rhonda
    I've cleaned out one of my cupboards instead of a kitchen drawer. I remember reading previously that you like to read the British Country Living magazines. I have a total of approx 30 (including British Period Living) that I am wanting to get rid of. Would you be interested in having them (I can drop to you) otherwise I shall donate them to my local charity shop. If you would be interested you can contact me at randasaunders@internode.on.net
    Kind regards
    Andrea Saunders

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  24. Our kitchen is the last part of our dear old house that will be renovated. But when we knocked out a wall adjoining the kitchen the cutlery draws came with it. While I wait for a new kitchen our cutlery and 'junk' all live under the tupperware in a large deep drawer. Less than ideal I can tell you! One must scramble around beneath the plastic to uncover a spoon or garlic press. It is however a great way to stay inspired to keep saving for that new kitchen. :)

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  25. PS. If you are interested in participating, I am organising a Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap on my blog at the moment as a way to encourage a sense of sharing and community among bloggers.

    http://www.alittlebirdtoldme-craft.com/2012/10/handmade-ornament-swap-2012.html

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  26. Hi Rhonda
    Great job you did. It made me have a look down at those drawers in the kitchen, 20 in total :( that also need some ranging. Great blog!
    Regards from Belgium
    Christelle

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  27. Hello! Yesterday your post acted as a reminder. I started to skim through my blog reader, saw the title to your post and it reminded me that I've been frustrated with that drawer for a couple weeks and keep forgetting to do it. So I jumped up right that second after only reading the title and got it organized. Now I'm actually reading the post. :) Made me chuckle this morning realizing how helpful a reminder it was but funny that I didn't even read the post. :)
    Great job and I loved the wire basket idea, I may do the same with my silverware drawer and get rid of the thing that is in there now.
    Have a great day! :)

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  28. If you are thrifty, aka cheap, you can make compartments from leftover yarn and plastic needlepoint canvas. I also use the bottoms of decorative tins from the thrift store (thirty five cents). The tops can be used for other things. I have a large lid under the toaster as a crumb catcher. Anyone snooping in my kitchen would think that I eat a lot of Walker's shortbread........

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  29. My junk drawer disappeared when I moved to a new apartment that has a total of 2 drawers in the kitchen. One is about 1/2 the size of the one you show.

    Now I have a clearn plastic rubbermaid container that sits on the closet shelf with my 'junk' in it. You'd be surprised how often I go looking for, and find, something useful in that container.

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  30. Haha what a fun challenge. My junk drawer in the kitchen seems to be the hiding spot for odds and ends from around the house that I don't know what else to do with. Last time I cleaned it, I found catnip, shoelaces, and about five allen wrenches. :)

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  31. HI RHONDA, GREAT CHALLENGE, HOW DID YOU GUESS I HAD EXACTLY THE SAME MESS IN MY OWN JUNK DRAWER!! REGARDS

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  32. Rhonda why do you not write on some Wednesday

    Linda :-)

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  33. Oh dear I really need to do this too. My drawer looks almost exactly as yours did before your tidy up. It won't be today though as I have to go to work but maybe I'll get mine done on the weekend. Thanks for the challenge, sometimes it is just what we need to get us moving.

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  34. Hi all, I did a drawer clean out recently too and threw out so many things (did I really need four garlic presses??). My real hint is this: turn all the implements around so that the handle is at the back of the drawer and the working end is at the front. That way I always find what I am looking for without having to rummage around in the drawer - also don't need to open it all the way just to find what I am looking for.

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  35. Rhonda, I don't have a junk drawer - my kitchen is that tiny! I do, however, have a clutter cabinet in our laundry area / back porch and I will encourage Hubby to help me conquer it. Thanks for the inspiration - your posts are a lovely part of my day. :)

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  36. Such a timely message, yesterday I went over to Ikea to find something to sort my kitchen drawers, the cutlery, junk and knife drawers. Didn't find what I was after but it proves that I should have spent more time in Howard's Storage, only looked in for a moment because I was sure Ikea would have what I wanted.

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  37. Rhonda, I got around to it tonight. I've posted the results on my blog, I'll add to the forum post as soon as I get registration confirmation.

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