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“The Dreaded Drawer” – how to conquer it

Most people I know have one of those drawers, let’s call it “The Dreaded Drawer.” It’s the drawer in the kitchen or the dining room sideboard that is full to the brim of goodness knows what! Knickknacks, batteries, stickers, pens, torches, tea lights, old champagne corks…….. you name it I’ve seen it all. Whilst “The Dreaded Drawer” might not seem to be a huge issue, it does have wider impact than just a lot of ‘stuff’ we don’t know what to do with.

Think about the last time you were looking for let’s say an elastic band; could you find one? If you couldn’t, did you add elastic bands to your shopping list, buy a brand-new pack and then find a load more a week later? How did that make you feel? Can you imagine the irritation cause by knowing it’s there somewhere!

Buying more of something every time we can’t find it, because of our disorganisation, isn’t particularly environmentally conscious and whilst a few pounds here and there might not seem much….. it all adds up.

For many of my clients “The Dreaded Drawer” is one of those niggles at the back of the mind that keeps popping up and adds to the other stresses of day-to-day life.

Getting a chore like this done is is a really big tick off the list and the feeling of satisfaction the next time you need a paper clip and know exactly where to go to find it is a great one. Here are my tips of how to get started….and finished!


Take the entire drawer out of its cupboard and tip the contents out entirely. Don’t try to tidy a drawer from within as you’ll simply get confused; it’s important to spread the contents out so you can see it all. At this point also give the drawer a really good clean, not only is it then much nicer when you're putting everything back, but it will put you in the right mindset to want to keep it clean and tidy and to feel pride in what you are achieving.


Once you’ve got the drawer emptied, make piles of categories – for example stationery, keyrings, candles…. you get the idea!


Next; go through each of your piles and be ruthless! Throw away the rubbish, recycle what you can and donate anything useful. You can be ruthless at the same time as being conscious of not being wasteful. Try not to think “I’ll keep this just in case” or “oh but you never know” – if you haven’t used an item in months or you’ve got 6 of the same thing, be ruthless! Remember that sorting out the drawer and simply putting everything back in isn’t going to help at all!


You can repurpose Tupperware or other small containers to organise what you want to go back into the drawer. Creating sections with adjustable drawer dividers (available to buy online) and grouping items together will make it much easier to see everything you’ve saved. If you’ve got a label machine – even better. It’s all about making it easy for you to find items in future.

A study has shown that we each spend an estimated 3,680 hours in our lifetime searching for misplaced items so really make sure that everything in the drawer earns its place! Don’t just throw it all back in!

By being organised not only will you save yourself time you will save money because there will be no more panicked trips to the shops to buy something you can’t find. On a deeper level, organising a drawer that you see the inside of regularly can go a long way towards helping you feel more organised and on top of other things happening in your life.

I do hope that tidying “The Dreaded Drawer” is going to feature on your to do list soon – I’d love to know the strangest thing you find! Why not share on my Facebook page.


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