Every home has one, and when you need a spare screw or shoelace, they can be invaluable. But let’s face it – our junk drawers usually overflow with less-than-useful (and less-than-organized) items. Here are some pro tips for tackling it, and the top things that can be recycled from that pile!
Step One – Empty It All Out! Make some space, and lay out some paper. Then dump the drawer! Spread everything out so you can see it all. Take a deep breath. You’re doing great.
Step Two – Sort Your Junk Into Piles. Keep it general, to start with. Some people suggest using paper plates to make pile sorting easier. Whatever your method, here are some categories you may discover:
- Tools – Things like hammer, screwdriver, flashlight and pliers are the most useful things in the drawer.
- Old Batteries (Recyclable!) – Tape the ends, store in a bag and bring them to London Drugs.
- Old Light Bulbs (Recyclable!) – Incandescent, CFL or LED, big or small. They can be put in a plastic bag and brought to your local London Drugs, too.
- Old Medications (Returnable!) – From expired sunscreen to prescription pills, medications should never be thrown in the trash or toilet. Bring them to your local London Drugs pharmacy.
- Cables, Cords and Chargers (Recyclable!) – Your local London Drugs or recycling depot will take these as part of electronics recycling.
- Old Cell Phones (Recyclable!) – Don’t throw away those precious metals. Bring old cell phones, PDAs or pagers (!) to your London Drugs Tech Department for data-safe recycling.
- Recyclable Paper & Cardboard – Will you really use that take-out menu from 2010?
- Fasteners – Nails, screws, bolts and other attachment oddities. Keep them if you are a fixit type, or recycle them with other metals at your local recycling facility.
- Pens, Pencils and Markers – Test them as you go. Grab a pencil sharpener and renew those HB’s. Any writing instrument that does not work should go.
- Office Supply Bits – Paper clips, rubber bands, paper clamps and scissors.
- Tubes of Glue and Goo – Test and toss the dried-out dead ones.
- Miscellaneous Useful – Shoelaces, bike lights, hair bands, the list goes on (and it’s different for everyone!)
- Landfill – When you’ve done your best, say goodbye to the rest.
Step Three – Organize. Now the trick is to keep that junk drawer sorted into those handy piles. Pick up a drawer organizer, some baskets (see below) or even just some clear zip-top bags. Make sure to label one for recyclable batteries, cords and bulbs as well.
Congratulations! You have just gone from Junk Drawer to Drawer of Utility!