What’s in your kitchen drawers? Do you even know? If you answered “everything” and “not really” you are not alone. In the homes of most busy families the proverbial “junk drawer” tends to get out of control as things find their way into the kitchen and take up permanent residence. Before long, we have more junk in our drawers than we do dishware, which can be a problem – especially when you’re trying to find something you need in a hurry. It’s time to stop this madness and organize…but how?
Begin with the vision of standing in your kitchen and knowing that it’s not only clean, but organized. Scissors, tape, glue sticks, pencils, chargers, note paper…check and check. Everything is where it’s supposed to be and all is right with the world. Well, it will be when we’re done.
- Step One: Open the junk drawer (or drawers) and take everything out. Sort into like-minded piles. For example, pens, pencils, crayons, and markers go in one pile while tape, glue and glue sticks go in another. You get the idea. The best part of this step is finding things you thought you lost. Happens all the time.
- Step Two: Get rid of anything you don’t need. Some of the biggest culprits include pencils without points or erasers, old medicine bottles, and pens that are out of ink. Expired coupons can also go. We know you had good intentions, but if they’re no longer valid there’s no sense in keeping them. Coins are another biggie. Gather them up and start a coin jar. It’s a great way to save for a rainy day without even realizing it. Last but not least…old keys. If you haven’t used them in years and don’t know what they open, it’s time to toss them. It will be okay, we promise.
- Step Three: Find new ways of storing things. There are many options. Flatware trays are great for storing everything we use for writing and drawing. You can also go to the dollar store and find all sorts of plastic and wire drawer organizers. They come in every color under the sun, so have fun. If you’re determined not to incur extra costs to get organized, take a look around your house. Dig out those empty jewelry boxes (and lids) you are saving for…well, something. Depending on their size, they can be great for storing paper clips, push pins and rubber bands. Your plastic storage container cabinet is another place to look. There are bound to be some that you never use that would fit perfectly in your drawer. Finally, where would we be without re-sealable bags? These come in many sizes and are great for collections of chargers, ear buds, and other random cords.
- Step Four: Put what’s left back in. Hopefully, you’re down to needing just one drawer. If not, try repeating step two. When you’re ready, insert your organizers and neatly put things in their predetermined places. Make sure everything is arranged so that you can see it all. While one drawer is the ultimate goal, it’s better to add another (well-organized) one than to start stacking. The last thing you want is to have to rummage through your newly organized masterpiece to find something that’s hidden way in the back.
- Step Five: Stay organized. This is the hardest part, as it’s all too easy to quickly grab the random items that are left on your counter tops and stash in them the drawer. Instead, try putting a basket or small bin on the end of the counter to collect things left behind by the kids. Put a time limit on how long they can stay in the basket. They will either put it away, or realize they don’t need it – giving you the right of way to introduce it to the trash. It’s also a good idea to check the drawer weekly to be sure things are still in their places. Some of the drawer’s treasures will surely be strewn around, but that’s to be expected in a busy household. If you keep up with it, though, you should never have to start back at step one.
Staying organized is critically important should you decide to sell or rent your home. You need to be “show ready” all the time, so keeping things in order will help – especially for those last-minute calls from your realtor who wants to bring over a prospective buyer right away. While we often assume that buyers won’t be looking inside cabinets and drawers as they tour your home, they do just that. Seeing that things are organized may make a buyer feel more confident about the condition of the entire home.
For additional tips on staying organized, or for information on real estate in the Ocean City, NJ, area, contact Monihan Realty at one of its two locations: 3201 Central Avenue, Ocean City (800-255-0998) and 777 Battersea Road, Ocean City at (800-255-1311). You may also email our agents directly.