Will the concept of Spring cleaning Put you in a state of overwhelmed? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. To make it easier we decided to address the rooms one by one. In our new series, Clean Sweep, we ask Rachel Rosenthal, organizational expert and founder of Rachel and The CompanyLet’s break it down into three easy sections that we’ll reveal over the next three weeks. Last week we shared tips for how to organize your kitchen cabinets. Next: how to organize your trash drawers!
This may be a controversial statement across America, but listen to me: I don’t believe in trash drawers. Now, I know what you’re thinking, I mistakenly clicked the post? Aren’t we learning how to organize the trash drawers and not embarrass them? Well, no, you didn’t press the wrong button and yes, we’ll get into the details of how to sort the trash drawer in a moment. But before we do that, it’s important to dive in why I don’t believe in trash drawers.
My biggest problem with a garbage drawer is from junk – old or discarded articles are deemed useless or of little value. Why do you take up valuable space in your kitchen, bathroom or office with small valuables? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everything in your trash drawer needs to be of high quality or of value but it should serve a purpose.
When arranging any space from the refrigerator to your closet, everything needs to make money – if you don’t wear those black pumps, donate them; If you’ve passed the quarantine baking stage, toss out the sourdough starter – and the items in your trash drawer are no different. Each “trash” part needs to serve a purpose.
The second problem with a garbage drawer is the mentality of liking it all. We have the condition of simply throwing items we don’t know what to do into a trash can and thinking about them another day. Here’s how you end up with a broken drawer at the seams and never be able to find the battery you know you have or that match book when the power goes out. Just like other indoor spaces, your trash drawer should contain categories, and you should think about each section before adding something new to the drawer.
Changing your garbage drawer mindset from an overall trash space to one that serves a purpose is the first step in organizing your garbage drawer.
Once you get past thinking that drawer items are scraps, you’ll be more likely to maintain the organizational system we’ve put in place.
My step-by-step guide to organizing your trash drawer, once and for all:
1. Get everything out.
There is everything! I know thinking about that can make most of us grimace, but the first step in getting your trash drawer organized is to empty it.
The next step is to declare the items you currently have in your trash drawer. At first, this will be easy with things like littering, but make sure you don’t stop there. Test each pen to make sure it works, check the battery, test the flashlight, etc. Think about which items you don’t need in the house and what can be ready to donate.
After you have sorted and shrunk the items in your trash drawer, next you have to determine if anything can be moved to another area of your home. Need to keep your screwdriver in the kitchen drawer or maybe in the garage? Need a ruler in your trash drawer or, better yet, in the kids’ homework area?
4. Create categories.
Well, isn’t that better? Now that you have sorted and moved the items, you will have the remaining items back in your trash drawer. Take these and catalog the drawers – the scissor, the tape and I know we all have batteries.
5. Measure (and Add) Products.
Once you have your categories in place, you’ll want to measure your drawer to organize your products. Some type of bin or drawer organization is required for a garbage drawer. Because this drawer usually contains multiple categories, it’s important to create sections so that everything has a home and you don’t have to end up with a big mess again. Measure your drawer side to side and back to front (don’t forget about depth) and then play a little Tetris with the right compartments in your drawer and work with the catalogs of friend.
6. Put Everything Back But Don’t Forget The Last Touches.
This is the step you will thank yourself for in the future. You’ll put everything in the drawer / category you added but after that, you’ll go one step further. This step will be unique to your garbage drawer but think about cutting each pencil in the trash drawer, finding the end of the tape and folding it or filling the lighter. It’s these little things that make the biggest difference because now everything in your junk drawer is ready to go.
Top 3 Rachel products to organize your trash drawers:
Information about the authors
Rachel Rosenthal is an organizer and founder Rachel and The Company, a professional holding company headquartered in Washington, DC. Since 2007, Rachel’s company has worked with more than 3,000 clients and partnered with prominent brands, including West Elm, Pottery Barn, The Container Store and Four Seasons. Rachel is the Parenting Partner TODAY and her placement tips and expertise have been covered by millions and in more than 100 publications. Really simple, Martha Stewart, Beautiful house, Rachael Ray Show, and NBC, ABC and Fox morning shows. Derived from the belief that everyone can achieve the organization, Rachel emphasizes solutions that are easy to use and enhance the existing aesthetics of the home. Check out her website and follow @rachelorganizes on Instagram.