Tag Archives: kitchen clutter

The Junk Drawer: A Kitchen Mini-Attic

Don’t know what to do with the curtains you removed from a child’s bedroom? Stick them in the attic! Don’t know what to do with miscellaneous pieces of plastic that might be important for

Adding dividers or small containers to “junk” drawers to separate items into categories can transform your “junk” drawer into a highly functional drawer.

some reason? Stick them in the junk drawer! Is it any wonder that most people cringe, not only when attics are mentioned, but also when junk drawers become the subject of conversation? Junk drawers are the “I don’t know what to do with it” places for small items, often located in the kitchen.

What I don’t understand is how that drawer of miscellaneous items got its name. Often most of the things in a junk drawer are not junk. They are useful items: screw drivers and other small tools, pencils, pens, batteries, nail files, sewing kits, screws and nails, gum, rubber bands . . . I’ll bet junk drawers were so named because their contents were jumbled and looked junky!

I object to using the adjective “junk” to describe any storage area in a house, because using “junk” to describe a space gives it permission to be junky. I once had a client who had a junk room! Can you imagine giving over one whole room in a house to junk?! Needless to say, that room is now a small study, not a junk room!

Believe it or not, junk drawers can be transformed from junky spaces to organized places with organizer inserts or small containers to hold the different categories of things you choose to keep in that drawer. You can even find those containers around the house, if you have some small boxes set aside for gift giving. Both lids and boxes can be used.

Be sure to limit the contents of each container to one category. For example, one container might hold batteries, another would hold pens and pencils, and a third would hold miscellaneous tools. Don’t mix items within a container or you’ll transform your neatly organized drawer of miscellaneous small items back into a junk drawer.

And, why not call your newly organized drawer of miscellaneous small items something fun like the Picasso drawer or the Discovery drawer? You decide! If you want to be successful in maintaining a really useful storage space for miscellaneous small things in your kitchen, let go of the “junk drawer” label. You’ll be glad you did the next time you are able to quickly find that miscellaneous piece of plastic that turns out to be the battery cover for the back of your TV remote!

Kitchen Clutter: Whose Kitchen Are You Working In?

Environment displays consciousness. Whose kitchen are you working in? Does your kitchen DSCN0057
reflect the kind of cook you are, the kind of cook you once were, or the kind of cook you hope to be? Ideally you want your kitchen to reflect who you are today. In other words, it should contain only those items that you use with some regularity, not those you once used or those you might use someday when the stars are aligned properly and you suddenly have oodles of time to do gourmet cooking.

Keeping kitchen tools and equipment that you no longer use and are unlikely to use in the future, holds the energy of the past in place. They also often anchor nostalgic feelings and sadness that things have changed. Stocking up on items that you might use, but never do, keeps you yearning for more time and perhaps even resenting your current reality that doesn’t allow for the pleasure of spending more time in the kitchen.

Why not release items you no longer use? Trust that if you have a change of heart or a change of schedule, you will be able to purchase replacements. I let go of round cake pans because no matter how hard I tried, I could never make a round cake that wasn’t lopsided. I have never regretted that decision. Sheet cakes taste just as good as round cakes! I also got rid of my bundt pan because I never made that type of cake. Recently when I found a recipe that I really wanted to try, one that called for a bundt pan, I was able to pick one up at low cost at the grocery store.

Make your kitchen be an accurate reflection of your current eating habits and abilities. When you get real about your commitment to cooking or lack thereof, I predict you’ll feel more comfortable in your kitchen. It’s cabinets and drawers will be telling the truth about how the space is actually used.