cluttered drawer

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That Kitchen Drawer

You know the one—the drawer that's stuffed with takeout menus, batteries, scissors, pens, paperclips, old receipts, and who knows what else. We all have one of these offenders and, actually, we all need one; where else would you stash all those random items that don't belong anywhere else? That said, the best way to keep on top of it all is to regularly dive in and sort through it.

Take stock
Clear everything out of the drawer and group like items with like items. Roll up lengths of string neatly, stack menus in a pile, and sort through all those single batteries to see which are charged and which need to be recycled. If there is a more logical place to store something, find it a new home. If there isn't anywhere else for it to live, it can go back in the drawer. But be scrupulous.

Buy a dividing tray
Find a tray or dividing system for the drawer (a flatware tray is good for this) and designate a space for each of the different groups of items. Now fill it up section by section. Place all of the items you need to access daily (pens, scissors, string) at the front, and move those that are used less often (batteries, menus, birthday candles) to the back.

Banish layers
The tipping point for a messy drawer is usually when several items get layered on top of each other, because as soon as you start having to sift around to find what you need, looking under papers and behind rolls of string, any system that you have in place quickly unravels. So be strict with yourself and don't put anything on top of your newly ordered storage system. If an item doesn't fit into a compartment, it doesn't go in the drawer.