Start small; Declutter a drawer

Decluttering your home can be overwhelming if you look at the BIG picture. So don’t look at the big picture. Instead, start small. Focus your effort on a single drawer.

1.  Target a drawer

Pick a drawer any drawer. This drawer looks like a good candidate.

Bathroom drawer (the before picture)

I call this drawer my cosmetic junk yard (yes, I’m sheepishly taking ownership of this mess).

2.  Take everything out

This step is critical. Everything must go.

Keep removing stuff

Don’t be tempted to stop short. Remove everything from the drawer.

3.  Clean the drawer

<imagine my empty drawer – I forgot to take a picture>

Now that everything is out, clean the drawer. You’re starting over. Imagine that you’ve just moved into your home. 

4.  Purge

  • Remove things that should be somewhere else 
  • Throw away expired items and junk
  • Make a pile of useful things you don’t use: the give-away pile

5.  Group alike items

Next organize things into groups, rather like organizing Halloween candy after trick or treating. For example, I made a pile of my teeth products, my lotion products, my deodorants, and my travel sized stuff.

Misc freebies from my dentist

6.   Put things in the drawer

But first, shut your eyes and imagine your drawer. How do you want your drawer to look? What do you need in your drawer? Once you know what you need and how you want it to look, open your eyes and make it happen.

When I shut my eyes, I imagined my bathroom drawer with the things I use daily. No duplicates or backup products.

Decluttered and simplified drawer
My new drawer

Ah, much better. Everything I need is readily available. 

Peace and order now reign where there was previously chaos. I open my bathroom drawer and smile.

“Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris


  1. I like the “start small” philosophy. I have just spent the last week getting settled in to my new place. I have been organizing like a mad woman! lol It feels so freeing. I love everything having a place. It makes life simpler & more enjoyable.
    Thanks for your supportive comments on my blog. We’ll have to talk. I can use all the encouraging words I can get.

  2. I just did this with my cosmetics drawer a couple of weeks ago. I even had a kitchen drawer organizer I’d save and it worked perfectly. I got rid of a lot of stuff I don’t use anymore, and I can easily find the stuff I do want to use.

  3. Me, I just cleaned out the pantry. It was a pretty big job, as the pantry contains not only food but also most of the kids’ art supplies. But oh my, I can now find *everything* and I even know what I have. Feels great. Now, on to the front hall closet — a very big project.

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