• JP Taxman

Drawer organization, where should I start?

It’s hiding

You can feel your heart almost rip itself out of your chest as your fingers wrap around the sleek metal handle of your drawer. You wince as you pull it towards you, listening to each rotation of the bearings as they roll along the track. As you look down out of the corner of your eye you scream as the clutter monster emerges from its den. It has made its home in your once-lovely drawer. It’s happy here, it knows it’s safe and feeds off your fear, frustration, and the triple-A batteries you can never find. 


Luckily, however, you’ve found this blog, and now you have heeded the call to adventure! Your hero’s journey awaits, it’s time to save the day and take on the monster so you can have an organized and joyful drawer. 


Cue Prepping Montage 

Before we go balls deep and attack the clutter monster, to prevent it from eating us alive, we must prepare. It’s time to open the secret door behind the bookcase, lace up your boots, strap on the body armour, holster your guns, and put on some super sweet aviator sunglasses because we mean business. 


How and why should we prepare though? The importance of preparation comes down to the fact that the monster is going to trick you into wanting to keep everything, and keeping those 10 pens that don’t work most definitely won’t help you destroy it. The monster gets in your head and tries to trick you into thinking you need that bookmark you got in 3rd grade at the bookfair, the one that you’ve never used and has absolutely no sentimental meaning to you. 


Thus, we must make a commitment to ourselves to be willing to discard non-essential items before we embark on our journey. One way we can do this is by first assigning a theme to the drawer, something like office supplies or hot wheels. Doing this helps us focus so that we only keep items that are in line with the theme and anything that isn’t, either gets tossed or moved to a different storage area. 


It’s also important to tell yourself it’s okay to cry and get distracted. One of those will more than likely happen and there’s no need to beat yourself up about it. Just set a reminder to keep coming back to the battle. Setting a finish by date and time can also force you to follow through. This way you’ll stick to it, especially if you give yourself a treat once you’ve completed organizing the drawer. The treat gives your mind something positive to strive for so you can trudge through the difficult endeavour.


Time For Battle

Just stick to the plan and you’ll be fine, but I will warn you, the monster is going to come out fast and hard once you open the drawer, so be ready. After you open the drawer the first thing I want you to do is to empty it out completely. You can do this however you want, although I think the best way is to take everything out one by one so you get an idea of what is in there. It’s best to be sneaky, this is more a war of the minds than a battle of brawn.


You’re now squared up with the burly eyed monster, make your move.


Taking your first shot

Once you have everything removed lay it out in front of you so that you can see clearly what there is. The fight is going to be intense right out of the gate, this is where you win because if you get in a good first shot and severely wound the clutter monster, the rest of the fight is smooth sailing. Start identifying what is essential, remember to only keep items that fit within the theme. Take note and really think about the 3 items that you most regularly access from the drawer, those are it’s weakest points. 


Critical Hits

By this point, you’ve got it badly hurt. Don’t let up now! To deliver some more powerful blows take all the essential items and map them out in the drawer. It’s kind of like a reverse puzzle, except instead of having all the pieces fit together, you want them to be separated. 


Right around this step is where those 3 primary items come back into play. It’s critical that you ensure they are in the spots that are easiest to access. You’ll mostly be opening the drawer to get these items regularly so you don’t want to have to reach for them in awkward ways or get frustrated when accessing them. We have enough frustrations in our lives and we don’t want this small inefficiency to be the twig that makes you snap into a violent rage. That’s what the monster wants, don’t give it the satisfaction.





Once you’ve mapped everything out you can either buy some plastic containers to hold the essentials, which may or may not work, depending on the size of your items. You could also call us to come and install our custom inserts to perfectly fit everything you have. We’ll do the organizing for you too if you need a sidekick or, if you’ve already done that part, we would be happy to discount the price. Although, if you only have one drawer, the first one is always free anyway! 


Finishing Blows

By this point, you’ve got it begging for mercy, it’s on its last breath, but because it has only ever caused us pain and frustration, we don’t give clutter monsters mercy. Finish it. You’re going to be your own hero and take it out for good. So after you have purchased all the containers, start putting each item into its new home. 


Now that everything has a place to live, the clutter should be eliminated and it should stay that way as long as you set some rules.


Digging The Grave - Prevention

To finally lay the monster to rest it’s important to live with the drawer for 1-2 weeks. We do this to make sure everything is where you feel it needs to be and that you selected the right 3 primary items. Since you’re paying extra attention you may find that that you actually access items such as rubber bands more often that you access paperclips. If that happens to be the case, just swap them out. Adjustments after the fact are always okay and part of the process, optimization and reorganization is essential to creating a perfect system. 


It’s important to set some rules for the drawer so the clutter monster doesn’t resurrect and dig its way back out of the grave. Some examples may be, “I can only add to this drawer if something gets removed and something else takes its place,” or, “If the drawer starts to get cluttered again, I have to take the very next Saturday to start the process over.”


It might take a few tries before the monster is put down for good, but you’re a warrior now and have the training and advantage. 


Freedom And Relief

Once the clutter monster is resting for eternity and getting eaten by worms, you’ll be free and will constantly feel relief and satisfaction every time you open up the drawer. Just imagine being able to find anything you need in under 3 seconds as well as all the time and frustration you’ll save by being able to access items in your drawer without searching for 3-20 minutes. 


Every time you open the drawer you’ll now see a hero looking back at you in the reflection of easy to access items and an organized drawer. You’ll smile thinking about how you didn’t even realize that you had that strength and tenacity locked inside you this whole time. You heeded the call to adventure and slaughtered the clutter monster!



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