The 5th Minimize Minute

The Junk Drawer

Here’s a challenge for you in 2018! Join me as we take on a new tasks to help simplify our lives and minimizing our households. Tell me what you did and how it went!

Challenge # 5: The Junk Drawer

Marie Kondo, organizing consultant and best-selling author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, teaches to organize by category, not by location. Before I remembered her advice, I had grand ambitions of tackling the junk drawer this week, but her method makes a lot more sense for long-lasting results. Instead of a junk drawer, maybe you have a counter or table top that has become a collect-all. I have all-three. Within those areas are tools, office supplies, first aid items, art and craft supplies, mail, To Do tasks, and so on and so forth. Pick one category and bring it all out from all corners of the house. Sort, throw, organize and then repeat with another category.

How’d it go: This task obviously goes well beyond the junk drawer; I simply used it to help narrow my categories and determine where to start. What struck me as the most useful first and foremost was to organize our writing utensils since even though they’re everywhere, I’m constantly searching for one. I have an unfettered love for office supplies and marker sets, and with a five-year-old in the house, we constantly have crayons, colored pencils and glitter glue pens underfoot. We keep them everywhere and yet they’re nowhere in particular, so that was what I set out to change. I gathered them from beside every lounge chair, from every drawer, from all the surfaces, nightstands, countertops, work areas and more. And then I rounded up heavy-bottomed jars, old squatty vases, even a cast iron bean pan that might serve as a pencil jar. My daughter and I tested each pen and marker, threw away the broken crayons, sharpened pencils and then organized them by what would be useful and where. We put a jar by my writing chair, on my desk, her desk and in two places in the kitchen where we seem to need them most. The crayon bin went by the coloring books. The markers, separated by mine and hers, all found appropriate homes. I’m sure I missed some around the house, but now when I come across them, I know where they will live. And I always know where to find something to write with. It was relatively simple and though it might not be life-changing, one category will lead to more. It was a good start.

Previous challenge: The 4th Minimize Minute

 (Published in the February 20th, 2018 issue of the Warroad Pioneer)


Author: Angle Full of Grace

A writer, woods-wanderer, and internal peace seeker who raises two free-range children in the wilderness, I escaped the wasteland of corporate America a few years back never to return. I write about love, family, mental health, addiction, parenthood and personal growth all through lens of place and connection to the land. Most entries are my weekly column for our local small-town newspaper, and there's an occasional feature story thrown in the mix as well.

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