5 Simple Steps to Declutter Your Drawers

There are tons of things we can declutter at home and drawers are one of them.

Because it is human nature to be complacent, most drawers are left full of clutter. In some, one can find all sorts of papers, old receipts, ancient utility bills, and the book grandma gave for Christmas. 

Others are full of plastic bottles or newspapers from last week and all sorts of new trash that are there "just in case". Worse, there are drawers with a combination of both.

Decluttering a closet full of stuff can be a fearful thing. It seems overwhelming to organize. It might take the whole day, or a week, or a decade – so tolerating the mess and leaving it in peace is practical. Right?

Well, it depends. Our minds are quick to exaggerate that decluttering a drawer is an arduous process. I’ll tell you here how to do it, simply.

If you want serenity, at least with your drawers, here are 5 simple steps:

1. Make time to declutter. Of course, it’s the first thing to do if you want to have a tidy drawer. An hour will do. Or a few more, if you’re not mentally prepared. I’ll talk more on that in a while. Also, prepare three containers (boxes or plastic bags), and label them with Keep, Toss, and Maybe.

2. Empty the whole drawer out. Leave nothing inside, even dust. Clean it thoroughly and quickly. Put the drawer’s contents in a pile.

3. Quickly sort into 3 piles. Here’s when mental preparation comes to play. Do not dilly-dally and sort everything into 3 piles, into the ones labeled on your containers: Keep, Toss, and Maybe. Be merciless and unsentimental when doing this, or it will take you longer to finish. The maybe is only for the ones you really really have a hard time deciding. The trick is to decide quickly. If you haven’t used the item in at least the last 6 months, then it should be “Tossed.” Keep only the stuff that you really love and that you actually do use regularly.

4. Put the “Keep” pile back in the drawer, organized. This is assuming you have cleaned the drawer first, huh? Don’t put stuff back inside if you haven’t cleaned it – thoroughly. Put it back neatly, organized, leaving spaces in between items. This should take only a few minutes. 

5. Deal immediately with the other piles. Take the “Maybe” pile and store it somewhere out of sight. Label the container with today’s date. Don’t open it for 6 months, unless you have a legitimate occasion that you are going to use an item in it. After 6 months, you will realize that you don’t need these items at all, and you’ll have an easier time in disposing them. 

Bonus Step 6. Celebrate (This one is optional). Bask in the glory of your beautiful newly simplified drawer. Have a cup of coffee or tea and admire the work you’ve done. Realize that you’ve welcomed peace in your life in a practical way!

Other important tips: Don’t attempt to declutter all drawers in your home at once. Do them one at a time and let a few days pass before decluttering another again. It will keep you from burning out.

Also, once a drawer is decluttered, keep it that way. It will take discipline and self-control to not fill it up with nonsense stuff again.

Congratulations and enjoy!