Small catch

I realize my title might raise eyebrows but … sorry, not sorry, it’s true. You need a junk drawer to be truly organized. When I say junk drawers, I mean all interim organizational homes such as junk drawers or catchalls. Everyone dismisses these interim solutions as lazy. They’re not. Ironically they’re linchpins to maintaining order. Every personality has these interim solutions to some degree. It’s a continuum. I’m a Classic. I adore traditional organizing methods. So do 40% of the population who are just like me. We believe in that old adage “A place for everything and everything in its place”. BUT here’s the thing, life happens. Sometimes you don’t have time to put something back in its home or want it there so far out of reach.

You Don’t Always Have Time

In our book, Organize Your Way, we highlight junk drawers as great for Organic Freedoms and Smart Freedoms. But they’re not just for them. (You can take our quiz here if you want to figure out your organizing personality) Almost all of us are busy people juggling a million balls. Things fall through the cracks when it comes to putting things away. Things also fall through the cracks when it comes to remembering you forgot to put something away. For example, I sometimes pop my hair in a rubber band to walk the dog before the school run and work. Right before a Zoom call, I glance at myself and realize I like a wet seal with my hair pulled back. I pull it off. I put it on my desk and then never put the rubber band back on as I run out the door to run an errand.

Now, I HAVE a permanent home for my hair rubber bands in my bedroom. But it’s a little bit of a distance from my office. I’m not going to drag it back there and make myself late. So I often find there are hair rubber bands hanging around my desk’s surface. It’s both annoying and helpful. When I need one it’s right there but I hate staring at random pieces of clutter on my desk whilst working as do many Classics. It’s a conundrum.

Clutter attracts clutter

The other reason I hate those random rubber bands is it attracts more clutter. Something magically bad happens when you leave random bits and bobs around. Other things start appearing haphazardly nearby without rhyme or reason. Clutter attracts clutter. It’s some weird universal law. I’m sure one day they’ll teach the why behind this phenomenon in physics class. But for now, it’s just what I’ve noticed as a human and an organizer. However, the moment I corral stuff into a nearby drawer, cupboard or dish — interim solutions — it stops happening.

My goddaughter, Maeve, bought me a beautiful ring tray (seen above) for my birthday. I opened it at my desk and realized that not only did it match my living room, it was just what I needed to corral the clutter starting to accumulate in my desk. Now, I could have put the rubber bands etc. in my desk drawer but there IS a rhyme and a reason to everything in there and I didn’t want to convert it into a full junk drawer. So, now I have my interim solution. Every once in awhile, I bring things back to their permanent home. It’s part of my organizational system at home. It helps keep clutter at bay and me less stressed. Interim solutions are an integral part to making organization easy.

Interim Solutions Are Simple

Junk drawers happen not because they’re a sign of failure but rather that we don’t always have a home set up for absolutely everything that comes into our worlds and areas. We also do not always have the time. But, by anticipating the unexpected with interim solutions like junk drawers or catchalls, you’ll be more organized. I often recommend having a catchall near game closets because you often find game pieces when you don’t have the time to take out the box, remove the lid, find the spot for the game piece and then put it all back. BUT, you do have the time for popping a missing die in a game catchall.

Some personality types need more than one junk drawer like Organic and Smart Freedoms, some Funs. Others like Classics, Organic Structures and Smart Structures don’t need them per se but do need discrete interim solutions like catchalls or a drawer organizer that collects random items. The best thing about interim solutions is that they’re a great simple solution. They’re easy to set-up. Decide something is now a junk drawer organizer and it becomes one that very moment. Grab a pretty bowl and put it near where you take off your jewelry at night in the bathroom. Voila, an interim jewelry box.

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