The Drawer-by-Drawer Organizing Method

In my continuing efforts to have Enough, I have adopted what I call the Drawer-by-Drawer Organizing Method. It is making a big difference in helping me organize my kitchen. The best part about it is that you don’t have to torture yourself about what to keep and what to get rid of because the method does it for you. At the end of a couple of weeks, you will have a clear idea of what you really use and what is just taking up space.
Here’s how it works.
1. Empty out one drawer (or cupboard). I started with the utensils drawer. Put everything in a neat pile and leave it out. I only do a drawer at a time because if I emptied out everything in the kitchen, it would be too messy to function.

2. Clean the drawer.

3. For a week, whenever you use a utensil, put it back in the drawer.

4. At the end of the week, look at what is in the drawer and what is still in the pile. The things in the drawer are your essential tools, the ones that you use the most. The pile are the things that you don’t use as frequently.
5. Go through the pile. Remove the things that you don’t ever use or that you know you want to get rid of. As for the things that you still aren’t sure about, set them aside in a new pile that you will call the “maybes.”
6. Repeat steps 1-5 until you have gone through your entire kitchen. If during that time, you use something from the pile of maybes, you know it is a tool that you use enough to keep. Put it back in the drawer.
At the end of that time, you will have your essential tools organized in clean drawers and cupboards, you will have gotten rid of all the things you obviously don’t need, and you will have a big pile of maybes. One by one, go through the maybes and ask yourself if you want to keep it. Because so much time has passed, you may find that things you were hesitant about keeping three weeks ago have crystallized in your mind one way or the other. If you still aren’t sure, keep it. What the heck?
This method works for closets, bathrooms, garages, or anything where tools are stored away from the eye. I find that it works great. Of course, the downside is that it takes a long time and you have to look at little piles of things while you are doing it. But in the end, I think a cleaner, more organized place is worth it.

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2 thoughts on “The Drawer-by-Drawer Organizing Method”

  1. I did this with my bathroom cabinets a few weeks ago. I took everything out and reorganized everything. I didn’t realize how much toiletries and stuff I accumulated from stockpiling and great deals until I organized it. Needless to say, I won’t be buying anymore stuff for the next few years, and I’ll probably be giving some away.

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