Jump Start Jan: Declutter Week: Day 3

declutter and organise week sort out one drawerWe’ve had an e-declutter and a streamlining activity so far this week, and now it’s time to get stuck into a traditional mini home declutter. The trick with this sort of thing is to keep it small and localised, so that you don’t end up feeling swamped or overwhelmed by the big picture – you need to feel that there’s a ‘win’ at the end.

Today’s activity shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, and it might even be done in three minutes: all we’re going to do today is declutter one single drawer in your home. Functionality is key. Before you set off on this activity, it’s important to have a really good think about what you want this drawer to contain, and how sorting it out is going to make your life easier and save you time.

You could pick any one of these:

  • Cutlery drawer
  • Kitchen junk drawer
  • Salad box/drawer in fridge
  • Office stationery drawer
  • That weird drawer full of cables, batteries and USB sticks
  • Workbench drawer
  • Bedside drawer
  • Underwear drawer
  • Dressing table drawer
  • Jumper drawer

The declutter goes like this:

  • Decide what should go in this drawer to make everyday life easier
  • Get everything out of the drawer, wipe out the drawer and allow to dry
  • Working quickly, go through the drawer contents and sort into piles for ‘throw away’, ‘recycle’, ‘sell’, ‘charity shop or Freecycle’, ‘unsure’, ‘keep – for this drawer’ and ‘keep – but should live elsewhere’
  • Add dividers, small boxes or other organisation to help keep the drawer tidy
  • Put the ‘keep here’ items back in the drawer
  • Right after this, bag up the ‘throw away’ stuff and put it straight outside in the bin and get the ‘recycle’ pile straight into the recycling, then put the ‘should live elsewhere’ things away in their new home
  • Now go back to the ‘unsure’ pile, setting a timer if necessary, and have another go at sorting it into ‘keep’ or ‘get rid’ categories*
  • Commit to selling, Freecycling or donating the rest of your stuff before the week is out (or else the clutter will start building up again)

*If you still have any ‘unsure’ items try boxing them up, writing the date and the contents on the outside of the box, and putting them on a high shelf out of the way for eight months. If you don’t need to get anything out of the box in that time then you’ll probably never use it again, so you can donate or sell the contents.

Which drawer in your home really, really needs sorting out today?

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  1. Hi Sophie – know the feeling! Just stick to doing one small declutter at a time, so you know you have completely finished it before you more on to the next one, otherwise it can get overwhelming.

  2. One drawer is not enough – if you could see my bedroom you would cry. I have at least 3 wardrobes full of clothes in binbags and crates at the bottom of my bed destined to be hung up, or washed, or thrown away. ITS LIKE A LANDFILL. its really depressing to look at and almost impossible to tackle-HELP

  3. Hi Etta, you could try doing a drawer or a bag a day, every day for 10 days. When clutter gets overwhelming, it helps to concentrate on one small section of it that you know you can completely sort out all in one go. Good luck!

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