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ZERNIKE's Photo ZERNIKE SparkPoints: (16,977)
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2/24/09 4:11 P

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Thanks, I think so too. I just reposted the PANTRY info on it's own thread and in the future I will make each specific topic on its own.

I'll get this all eventually...I need a thread on how to organize this team, ha-ha!!
emoticon emoticon

With love and joy,
Kelly



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MOM2BRITTANY's Photo MOM2BRITTANY Posts: 4,601
2/24/09 10:38 A

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Kelly, I think it's a good idea to put each topic on its own thread

'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'


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KOTOGOAL's Photo KOTOGOAL Posts: 223
2/23/09 4:26 P

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Pretty happy with my pantry... Although I do have a few tweaks that could make it really great. My pantry is a walk-in space off the corner of my kitchen. I have space for food, some small applicances, cleaning supplies and an ice maker.

List what you like about your pantry:
1. Good size without wasting space.
2. Convienently located.
3. On back of door is a plastic multi-pocket shoe organizer, I use this to store all of my cleaning supplies. Works great!
4. Door to room...:) Bought for $5 from antique store. Husband wasn't too happy with it, said it looked like a rat had been chewing on it... grumbled about it not being "square" and the work he was going to have to do to make it fit. But... I sanded, puttied, painted... blood, sweat and tears later, I have a gorgeous door with a chalk board insert that I keep track of nightly meals on. You can see it in my post picture... although the trim wasn't on yet when this picture was taken. Best part, my husband does a great job of giving me all of the credit when we get compliments on it. He rarely admits when he is wrong so this is like a birthday present each time! :)

List what you dislike:
1. I use the chrome shelving units with adjustable shelves in my pantry. Everything is well organized, but I am having a heck of a time finding a good, nice looking way to label the shelves.
2. The wire racks can make small things kind of unsteady. Need to place something over wires... needs to be neat looking.

~ Kim

"Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter find simplicity;
From discord find harmony;
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity"
- Albert Einstine


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2/23/09 2:09 P

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I don't know yet. I'm still trying to piece everything together, so it depends on what fits where. When I get something drawn up that DH & I agree on, I'll put pictures on my personal website.

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

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ZERNIKE's Photo ZERNIKE SparkPoints: (16,977)
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2/23/09 2:02 P

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Yes, MRSFIXIT --- that sounds like a dream for sure. I am soooooo envious!

How long do you think it will be?

With love and joy,
Kelly



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2/23/09 1:56 P

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My thought on designing my new pantry is to create a long walk-in-closet, then have the freezer on one side with shelves 2' deep to better match the depth of the freezer, then 1' deep on the opposite side. This way I'll have room for the larger items, like the dog & cat food bins full of dry food, toilet paper, paper towels, deep fryer (only used outside in the summer & even then rarely), & the opposite side will be good for canned goods & things I don't want to get "lost" on the shelf. I'm thinking a 4' walkway through the middle to have room to work should be good. Does this sound okay?

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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2/23/09 1:51 P

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I am new at this team leadership thing... am wondering if I should have put these topics into individual threads and labeled them "Junk Drawer" "Pantry" instead of this winter grouping, as they are not really about winter...

Maybe the next one I'll do that... what do you think?

With love and joy,
Kelly



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MOM2BRITTANY's Photo MOM2BRITTANY Posts: 4,601
2/23/09 1:29 P

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Perfect timing! I just told dh over the weekend I was going to clean our "pantry". I have a small closet style pantry and we have added an industrial style shelving unit behind our basement door to supplement.

List what you like about your pantry:
1. In a convenient spot.
2. I like storing food items in a pantry versus the cabinets
3. I like that there is space for my small appliances also because before we had to keep them in the basement and it was no fun going down there everytime I needed them.

List what you dislike:
1. It is a pain to open the basement door to get things because the baby is always under foot and tries to squeeze past me.
2. The closet is a little small and things tend to get hidden. I like the ideas about the clear bins -- not sure if my kids would put lids back on them or not though
3. The door falls off the track every time you open it (it's a bifold door) and dh is supposed to be fixing it

'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'


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HONEYDAY Posts: 98
2/22/09 9:08 P

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This pantry discussion makes me feel good about having organized our "pantry" (which consists of a large set of
industrial shelves) - even though I've made no progress on my back room, which was my February organization goal.
Hrrmph.

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2/22/09 7:06 P

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The fact that we've had an area that we've been using as a pantry should help us, but we're going with a closet-type, rather than a full room, so that will be different. We do put some rarely used appliances there, too.

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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2/22/09 4:14 P

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Oh, excellent! I hadn't thought about there being and "ideal space" for pantries, closets and such, but there must be and I'll bet someone has figured this out for us.

So far, this is what I've seen suggested for an ideal walk-in pantry:

Best walkway width: 40"

Best over shelf depth & height: 9" and 12"

The ideal pantry is a combination of drawers and pullout shelves — both to maximize the available space and ensure nothing will get “lost” in a dark corner.

Think flexibility
The more options you have for storage the better the space will work. You’ll want adjustable shelves for those extra big boxes of cereal that you got on sale. Remember: your family’s needs may change so you want a space that can accommodate that. Also look for accessories, such as wire racks that clip on a cabinet door, to have all the ingredients you need close at hand.

Design your pantry with your lifestyle in mind
A pantry needs to be planned for the way you shop, cook and live. You need to be able to reach in and find what you need with ease. That beautiful pantry from a magazine may be lovely, but all wrong for your home. Do lots of research and looking around, but make sure the end result will be functional.

Label everything
To make things easier for everyone in the household, label the shelves: baking supplies, canned goods, pasta, etc. It will make it easier to keep the space organized, and ensure everyone knows where to find what they’re looking for.

Pantries aren’t just for food
If you have enough room, consider putting those infrequently used appliances that take up valuable kitchen space in the pantry as well. Think of all your kitchen storage needs and start there when planning the space.

Edited by: ZERNIKE at: 2/22/2009 (16:22)
With love and joy,
Kelly



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2/22/09 3:14 P

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List what you like about your pantry:
1. Having a space to keep extra foods, paper products, & pet food.
2. Separating foods to more easily see what we have.
3. Having flour, sugar, cereals, etc in plastic bins, so mice can't get to them.

List what you dislike:
1. That the pantry is part of the front part of what used to be the attached garage -- not the entire space.
2. That there's no temperature controls, so foods are too hot in the summer & too cold in the winter.
3. That the space is too small, so I can't store all the food & paper products I'd like to store, not to mention having to put my stand-alone freezer in the cellar.

This is a timely conversation for me because I'm about to the point in my home design of adding my pantry. I want it to be big enough to hold everything we'd like to store (minus cleaning supplies, which will go in cabinets in the laundry room), plus my freezer. I'm just trying to figure out how much space I should have. If it's a walk-in-closet type of pantry & there are shelves on both sides, how much space should I have in the middle to walk around? (I'm also trying to figure this out for the bedroom closets & a media storage closet (for movies, music, books, games). Suggestions would be appreciated!

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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2/22/09 1:41 P

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It's time for THE PANTRY

“If it fits there, it goes there” results in pantry chaos. Staples like flour and sugar get buried behind a myriad of odds and ends. Ingredients seem to elude: I’d buy them for a recipe and never be able to find them when I got around to making it, or I forgot I even had them and buy them again.

The effort you put into organizing your pantry will reward you with saved time, money and frustration. It is so nice to be able to open the door, see everything organized and in its place. So, let's sort through your pantry, throwing away whatever has gone bad or won’t be used. This doesn’t have to be a big job. Just drag over a big trashcan and get started. Pay attention to “Use By” dates. If the date hasn’t passed but is coming up and you’re not going to use the item, toss it. You should throw away any cans that are dented or are missing labels. Do NOT donate expired or damaged food to charity: food banks don’t want it and it will end up costing them money to dispose of it.

Start designing your DREAM pantry. As you post your list, we as a group can offer solutions.

List what you like about your pantry:
1.
2.
3.

List what you dislike:
1.
2.
3.

Miscellaneous IDEAS I've gleaned off the Internet:

Improve access:
Given the pantry's deep shelves, sliding shelf organizers make life — and finding what you're looking for — much easier. Just pull the drawer out on its rails and whatever is in back is right up front in a second.

Expand the space:
Expanding wire racks double the shelf area: Some things go under them, others on top (much safer than stacking cans). A shoe organizer on the closet door provides storage for small packages easily lost on shelves and for things used on a daily basis.

Consolidate and clarify:
Everything that comes in awkward or space-hogging boxes or bags — pasta, cereal, chips — is poured into transparent bulk plastic containers that store foods compactly and let you see immediately what's inside.

An expanding shelf provides upper- and lower-deck storage for items like paper goods (stacked so they take up less space, and unwrapped so plates don't have to be wrestled out of a plastic sheath every time the family dines alfresco). Expanding closet shelf, $15,
www.stacksandstacks.com/ .

The top rows of an over-the-door shoe organizer keep vitamins and medicines out of kids' reach but handy for Mom and Dad.

Clear bins make inventories for food shopping a snap. A frosted plastic bin holds several boxes of oatmeal packets; kids reach in for one, then snap the airtight lid shut. Transparent modular canisters, $4 to $13 each, www.containerstore.com/ . Large Access Mate, $25, www.tupperware.com/ .

Roll-out drawers mean no more rummaging blindly for what's been shoved to the back of the shelves. ClosetMaid 14-inch sliding one-tier organizer, $32, and 14-inch two-tier cabinet organizer, $45: www.closetmaid.com/ .

Assign shelves:
Assign a home for each different type of item. Have one shelf for cereals, one for canned foods, one for spices and another for prepared boxed meals such as macaroni and cheese. If you need to, you can split a shelf between for different foods. Be sure to keep the multiples of each food together so you can see at a glance how much of something you have. Store taller items on the back of the shelves. This makes them easier to see, thus easier to find.

Reduce dead space:
Be sure these shelves don't have too much "dead space". Dead space is unused space. This space can be found even above what you are storing. For example, while putting away canned food on its designated shelf I couldn't stack two regular sized cans one on top of the other, but, there was a lot of empty space above the cans. Dead space. I adjusted the shelf up a few inches and now I have the room to stack the cans. This made a tremendous difference - I could now get all canned foods on this one shelf rather than scattered throughout the pantry.

Alternative storage:
Find attractive canisters for noodles, flour, sugar, rice, popcorn, or other foods that come in flimsy plastic or paper bags. Avoid storing rice right in the open bag, which always leads to spills, not to mention the possibility of insect infestation! Use canisters, empty coffee cans, glass jars and other containers to hold these items. If you use pretty glass jars, which you can find at thrift stores, you use them to store noodles, rice, split peas and other attractive foods, then display them on your kitchen counters. This also saves pantry space.

Edited by: ZERNIKE at: 2/22/2009 (13:47)
With love and joy,
Kelly



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2/21/09 2:17 P

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Oh, well, if you're counting husbands...

DH's dresser is about 1/2 "junk drawer", his shop is a HUGE junk drawer (as far as I'm concerned), his end table is a junk drawer, the cellar is a junk drawer. Well, you get the point. It drives me crazy, & he knows it. I've told him that I want all of these problems solved with the next house! The goal is to locate a problem we currently have & figure out how we'll solve it in the next house!

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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SPUD3193's Photo SPUD3193 Posts: 5,704
2/21/09 7:47 A

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I don't have any junk drawers anymore,but my husband has has 3 in our bedroom. I have really had to work on myself to stay organized because he is unorganized enough for the both of us!

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2/20/09 12:39 P

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"If it has a "purpose", it's not a junk drawer, is it?"

... Good point, MrsFixIt.

I call mine the junk drawer because anyone else looking at it would not necessarily understand what all that stuff is for. Now, reading over the various responses, I see that the idea of having a central location for odds and ends makes more sense than I had originally supposed.

With love and joy,
Kelly



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MOM2BRITTANY's Photo MOM2BRITTANY Posts: 4,601
2/20/09 12:20 P

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My junk drawer is also in the kitchen (actually there are 2 right next 2 each other). In one is batteries, rubber bands and pot holders. The other has soup labels and box tops for school, various notepads that charity sends me, paper clips, our address book, a small calculator and a notebook-thing that has the entire families birthdates and anniversaries so we can get the cards sent out in time. I love my drawers because we all know where to find those things we are looking for and they are centrally located.

'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'


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KOTOGOAL's Photo KOTOGOAL Posts: 223
2/17/09 5:56 P

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I think a junk drawer can be effective just as long as it is in control. If you start to see too many "like items" in the drawer then I would try to give them a different home. Set some rules for yourself about what goes in and how often you purge. This thread is a good reminder that it you haven't purged in a while, winter is a good time to work on these "small" projects, before outside maintenance activities take over.

Edited by: KOTOGOAL at: 2/17/2009 (18:02)
~ Kim

"Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter find simplicity;
From discord find harmony;
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity"
- Albert Einstine


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2/17/09 12:20 P

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Maybe you don't actually have a junk drawer -- maybe it really is an emergency drawer! If it has a "purpose", it's not a junk drawer, is it?

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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KNUCKLES145's Photo KNUCKLES145 Posts: 13,254
2/17/09 12:16 P

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actually I like it just the way it is. maybe I should think of it more as an "emergency" drawer. but everything is very handy for when we need it. and yes all the first aide supplies are in there, not just the bandaids The main bathroom has very little storage space because we made it wheelchair accessible. and having stuff in the kitchen is much faster to grab stuff. we also have a "junk cabinet" right above the junk drawer, where I keep all our meds, vitamins etc.

And its really nice if I need a screwdriver or hammer real fast for a quick project (like hanging a picture) I don't have to go digging into the big tool box in the garage.



All the so called "secrets of success"will not work ... unless you do.




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2/17/09 12:03 P

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I'd put the bandaids in the bathroom with the rest of the 1st aid stuff you probably have on hand. If you don't have anything else on hand, get a 1st aid kit!

The rest of that stuff I'd put in a tool box, except the batteries. The "junk drawer" could then become the "emergency drawer", & you could add a flashlight, some candles & matches, etc to it in case you lose power.

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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2/17/09 10:32 A

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I would be lost without my junk drawers. but yes, I do actually use them and try to keep them pretty well organized. Lets see if I can remember what all I have in them right now. (I have two of them side by side in the kitchen)

Bandaides
small hammer and picture hanging stuff
the little key thing to open locked bathroom doors
other small tools
batteries (silverware trays make great battery organizers)
extra keys (need to go through them)
and all the "catch all" type stuff





All the so called "secrets of success"will not work ... unless you do.




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2/16/09 10:13 P

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I would love to read about what we each like to have in that drawer, assuming it is one you actually use, rather than the 'last outpost'. It says something about your everyday life activities.

Like your brother's house with all that stuff in one drawer. I feel like I know more what goes on there. For example, they have at least one kid and they like to make lists. They are probably an active family, fairly involved in each others lives, maybe into doing crafts together... Or those toys could belong to a dog, as they would at my house.

With love and joy,
Kelly



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2/16/09 9:52 P

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Maybe what we should do is to try to figure out where each of the contents of a person's junk drawer could go. What do you think? Want to give it a try?

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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2/16/09 9:40 P

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Okay, here is MY junk drawer... it's in the kitchen and I am in it nearly every day, and though it is fairly well organized (with small plastic tray-type baskets), the items it contains are all mostly UNrelated.

Right now it holds twisty things and clips for sealing bags of food. It has my dogs' comb, brush, nail trimmers, and rubber bands (for topknots). It has packets of flower food that come with store bought bouquets and some small snips for trimming those same flowers. A couple of pens and a pencil for making lists, a pad of paper. Recipes and coupons that come off of food packages (stored flat under the trays). A couple of refrigerator magnets because sometimes I like those and at other times they look like clutter. There are various odd looking rubber things that I am sure belong to appliances (like feet or ?), but have no idea which ones. I know the minute I toss them, I will figure it out. There are matches, popsicle sticks, clothespins, toothpicks... Where else would I put all that?

Personally, I LOVE my junk drawer.

Edited by: ZERNIKE at: 2/16/2009 (21:40)
With love and joy,
Kelly



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2/16/09 8:22 P

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What I remember of my Mom & Dad's junk drawer contents: a couple of dog collars (one was a broken calf collar, so Dad could brag about how the dog could "snap" the collar & the other was custom made at a hardware store!), 2 Fizz Niks (these were plastic ice cream holders you put in the top of a soda bottle to make an automatic ice cream float), hats, gloves, & that's really about all I remember. I guess you can get from that what I "thought" was important!

My brother & SIL have a HUGE junk drawer in their brand new 3,700 square foot house! It has all sorts of notes, writing pads & utensils, scissors, pictures, crayons, toys parts, & many more things, all of which either has a better place or should be tossed. Don't you agree?

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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KOTOGOAL's Photo KOTOGOAL Posts: 223
2/16/09 8:03 P

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I don't have a junk drawer anymore, but I did when we lived at our first home. What was in my junk drawer?... a couple of pencils, asparagus rubber bands, matches, various nuts and bolts that my husband would leave around and I didn't know what they went to, a couple of rubber lid removers, a few magnets, chip clips, birthday candles... junk... but I have to say all junk that I used in the kitchen periodically. The key to a "good junk drawer" is to keep it confined to one small drawer and as Zernike mentioned periodic purging and organizing.

Are the items that I mentioned normal Junk drawer items? Just curious, Whats in your junk drawer?

Edited by: KOTOGOAL at: 2/16/2009 (20:06)
~ Kim

"Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter find simplicity;
From discord find harmony;
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity"
- Albert Einstine


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2/16/09 7:48 P

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Maybe you could just make a front for it, rather than the whole drawer.

I did that with my car's glove compartment. It kept breaking, so I got a replacement and locked it shut. This also removed any clutter the box would otherwise collect.

With love and joy,
Kelly



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2/16/09 7:43 P

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DH & I have talked about making a new drawer for the cabinet, but I'm afraid it would be filled with junk again. It's that mindset that the drawer is SUPPOSED to be a junk drawer!

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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2/16/09 6:31 P

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"She now owns a cabinet with no drawer"

That's a perfect ending to a great story about junk drawers!!

Edited by: ZERNIKE at: 2/16/2009 (18:32)
With love and joy,
Kelly



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MRSFIXIT's Photo MRSFIXIT SparkPoints: (0)
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2/16/09 5:58 P

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Don't hate me, but I don't have a junk drawer! If something has "no place", then I must not need it, I guess. DH has a lot of little "junk piles". I'm always after him about this. I've been trying to get through to him that when we're designing our new house, the new layout should resolve any & all problem areas we now have, including how to cope with things like junk drawers/piles.

If you follow your suggestions to move everything out of your junk drawer (great ideas, BTW), then the drawer becomes empty. Once empty, give it a real purpose. It could become the bill paying drawer, the things to give to someone (I have a 3-tier magazine rack used for this purpose, 1 shelf for my Mom, 1 for the in-laws, & 1 for others), the "things for DH to sort" drawer, or so on. Once it has it's purpose, you're then forced to put items in their proper place rather than in a "junk drawer".

What would you put in the junk drawer, anyway, that you wouldn't have another place it belongs? My parents always had a junk drawer, & in retrospect, everything I can remember being there, I could place somewhere else. I would think everyone in my family would have learned a lesson about this, too, because when my Mom moved after my Dad passed, the cabinet that housed her junk drawer was heavy, & nobody wanted to sort the drawer, so the drawer was removed, & lo & behold, never made it to her new house! She now owns a cabinet with no drawer & the entire contents is gone forever!

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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GARFIELD127's Photo GARFIELD127 Posts: 92
2/16/09 4:45 P

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Thanks for the ideas!! Every little bit helps...keep 'em coming!!

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ELDORADO2's Photo ELDORADO2 Posts: 9,953
2/16/09 1:30 P

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Zernike, I loves those ideas, they are very good ideas. I shall use them.
Eldora

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ZERNIKE's Photo ZERNIKE SparkPoints: (16,977)
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2/16/09 11:08 A

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I am placing this in the "Discussion" area so it will be on top and easy to find. I'll post various ideas here according to the season. You are warmly invited to contribute your own organizing practices!

Let's start with something simple... the Junk Drawer

You’re certainly allowed to have a junk drawer as one is nearly essential for storing items when you don't have the time nor inclination to establish an official "place". But, along with having a junk drawer, comes a bit of responsibility! The rule is that you have to clean it periodically (so you’re able to shut it, ha-ha). Sorting through your junk drawer is a fun thing to do while you are talking on the phone... as it really takes no brain power. In fact, the less you think about it, the easier it is.

It may be useful to rename your junk drawer as a "Halfway House" for small miscellaneous items. Your job is to periodically assign permanent homes for each. To do this, you’ll need a trash can and a basket of some sort. If you want to sit, pull up a chair.

The trash can is to throw away odd things like decks of cards with 23 cards in them, keys that you’ve had for 20 years and have no idea what they open, lint, and unidentifiable things.

The basket is for “I’ve been looking for that!” things that you want to put in their rightful homes elsewhere in the house. Once they are in the basket, you can carry them around the house in search of a proper placement. Ideally, when you are done, there is nothing left in the drawer, so you have room to toss in new items in need of future placement.

If items in your junk drawer cannot be assigned a permanent place in your home, then you seriously need to consider why you hang onto them. If you end up with a lot of such items, try storing them away in your garage for six months to a year. If you haven't missed them, toss or donate.

I've found that the best way to know where something belongs is to put it in the first place you'd look for it. Whenever I lose something and then finally find it, I then put it away (after I am done with it) in the first place I looked. If the first place you look is in the junk drawer, then perhaps that is not really a "junk" drawer after all, but simply a place in need of organization. In which case, you could just clean it and add some separators.

How do you manage your junk drawer? Or do you even have one?

Edited by: ZERNIKE at: 2/16/2009 (11:16)
With love and joy,
Kelly



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