Here’s a test for you: Open your kitchen junk drawer. Now, does it make you feel all happy and on top of things? Or is it just another reminder of the myriad of things that need your attention? My theory is that something as simple as organizing your junk drawer can have a halo effect on your general well being that will last you until spring.

So, how does one even begin this horrendous task? And even if you do, how will it STAY organized? We all know, the more people in your family, the quicker the organized junk drawer turns into chaos.

I’m at the time in my life that I need glasses, “readers” at every turn throughout the day. I tried to house a pair in the kitchen junk drawer for those moments when I needed to read a recipe, or the microscopic print on the back of a package. And inevitably they would end up on top of my head where they would travel to various parts of the house so that next time I opened the drawer they would not be there. So one day I bought a pair of red glasses. This is a color that looks fab in my kitchen, but not very good on my face. Amazingly, whenever I would begin to take the red glasses to another part of the house I would either stop and deposit them in the drawer, or, if I happened to see them, say, sitting on my desk, I’d bring them back to their place. And thus was born an inspiration. Like most junk drawers, ours was full of the miscellaneous bits and pieces people find and stash but never have a use for. What it did NOT EVER have was a working writing utensil, paper, tape, scissors, you get the idea. The junk drawer was a place you went to look for something, and never found it.

Try this and see if it makes life just a little better: First of all, empty the junk drawer and wipe it clean. If it doesn’t have dividers you may want to purchase an insert at one of those “get organized” stores. Now, (this is the fun part), whenever you are out at the grocery, drugstore, office supply or big box store, start collecting red stuff. Yes, you can choose a different color if you like. The point is that everyone in the family knows that that particular color stuff goes in the drawer. If you use the scissors, they go back. If you find them around the house, bring them back. You would be amazed at how this simple rule helps keep the drawer full of its useful stuff.


So, what did I find in red? Pens and pencils, scissors, tape dispenser, stapler and staple remover, paperclips, rubber bands, those gripper clips (great for closing chip bags) a ruler, flashlight, address book, key ring (and red plastic marker for spare house key), post-its, folder to hold rosters and school directories,  lined paper notebook, and last but not least…my glasses!

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