Dusty rubber bands; twisted paper clips; takeout chopsticks. Have we named anything in your junk drawer yet?
It’s time to Hold Everything, and rebrand that drawer, as organizing expert Shira Gill says, “as a utility drawer.” (Doesn’t it instantly feel more useful?!) We love Shira’s tips and our new Hold Everything line for getting our abodes shipshape for 2022. Shira’s attack plan for her home includes what she calls “15-minute wins.” (Those are just doable, mini organizational sessions to execute during those odd in-between moments one might otherwise spend scrolling social media!)
We also love Shira’s five-step process, which she outlines beautifully in her new book, Minimalista. Here’s how it applies to her junk drawer makeover.
OK, what do you need from your utility drawer? Clarify its use. “Think about what you actually use and need frequent access to,” says Shira. In her house, that’s “batteries, pens, scissors, gum, Post-its, a measuring tape, and a few basic tools.” In yours it might be the wine opener, chip clips, and a Sharpie for labeling things in the fridge. You do you! But clarify before moving to step #2.
Crucial. “We all have them—those overstuffed drawers filled with random household items that we just don’t know what to do with,” Shira writes in Minimalista, “Even though they seem benign enough, I believe these drawers take up mental energy and make our days less efficient and productive.” So true. So empty the whole darn drawer, and edit. Here it is, reborn, the “utility drawer!” What do you need? What will you use? Just keep that, and “recycle or relocate the rest,” as she says in this handy video:
Tempting to dump everything back in? Don’t. “It’s easy to keep your utility drawer organized when you employ the magic of drawer dividers,” writes Shira, “which create a clear ‘home’ and boundary for each category.” Hang on to empty spice jars and the like, too: “Small lidded jars short enough to fit in the drawer are the perfect receptacle for items like paper clips or rubber bands that might otherwise scatter.” You can even add labels so your whole family can eyeball the drawer and find what they need quickly. Be sure to clip together coupons, gift cards, or even loose cash or credit cards.
“My utility drawer makes me smile every time I open it,” says Shira. (Imagine that!) That’s because she’s smitten with her expandable Hold Everything drawer divider, and she’s done the work to organize it. The lidded jars often used for spices hold rubber bands, paper clips, and keys—all the tiny objects that might otherwise be scattered and difficult to find. “It’s the little things, my friends,” she writes.
“Maintenance is crucial,” writes Shira, “so consider a 15-minute decluttering session every few months so you can let go of those random receipts or pesky gum wrappers that tend to clutter up the works.” So true. Tag us on social with your successful makeovers: @shiragill, @williamssonoma, and #15minwin!
And before you trash the stuff that came out of the space-formerly-known-as-junk-drawer, consider going green: Can you recycle, reuse or relocate that? Do that instead. Shira’s a huge sustainability proponent, and it just makes sense for the planet.