How to declutter your junk drawer

Every household across the country will … probably… more than likely… have one of these.

Even the very super-organised will have at least one drawer of random items that annoyingly belong nowhere.  It’s that drawer bursting with clutter/random leftover bits and pieces that you: a) are definitely getting rid of soon but have procrastinated in doing so, or b) that’ll be useful one day…honest.

Well now is the time to reclaim your drawer!  Here are 10 typical things that usually end up in the junk drawer.  The great news is everything listed below can be recycled, or even better, donated to charity!

1. Light bulbs

Every home needs light bulbs but thanks to the invention of energy-saving light bulbs we need them less often than we used to.  Now when a light bulb does need replacing it ends up being quite a mission with finding the right light bulb with the right fitting first time round.  To avoid light bulb mishaps, take the dead light bulb with you to the shops.

Dead energy-saving light bulbs can be recycled at your local Recycling Centre. Put them in the fluorescent tube container.

2. Batteries

The drawer is a graveyard of dead batteries. It is so easy to recycle these.  Just take them to your local supermarket and pop them in the battery container (you can usually find these near the exit).  The challenge though is remembering to take them in the first place!

3. Instructions for appliances

Electrical appliances or flat-pack furniture instructions is something we (well I) have a habit in holding onto (You know, just in case we feel the need to dismantle and rebuild that wardrobe that cost you six hours, four blisters and two arguments to build in the first place).  Most of these instructions are available to download from manufacturers’ websites. If you no longer need the instructions, recycle them in your paper and card bin.

4. Random nuts and bolts and Allen keys (from said flat pack furniture)

We all convince ourselves the nuts and bolts are ‘spares’ when in actual fact you didn’t follow the instructions and there’s now a screw missing…somewhere.

Nuts, bolts and Allen keys can all be recycled in the scrap metal container at your local Recycling Centre.

5. Foreign currency

Every time you’ve been abroad you come back with that last bit of change you tried your hardest to spend at the airport.

Most airlines on your flight back will provide an envelope where you can donate leftover currency to their partner charity.  Alternatively, you can donate your leftover currency to most charity shops.

6. Keys

Mysterious keys of unknown origin always end up in the junk drawer.  Keys for backdoors, padlocks, lockers, suitcases, windows from a previous house, three moves ago.

These keys, along with your random nuts and bolts, can be recycled in the scrap metal container at the Recycling Centre.

7. Leads

How many spare leads do you really need? Are you really going to use those 3 SCART leads again (seriously who uses a SCART lead anymore)?

Take these to the Recycling Centre and put these in the small electrical container

8. Mobile phones

Everyone remembers the first phone they had (Mine was a 5110). These day our old phones usually retire to the drawer as our ‘backup’ that never sees the light of day again.

If you have any old mobile phones you are holding on to, you can donate them at most charity shops.

9. Menus

Every week, amongst the barrage of other junk mail, we all get the same menus for the same takeaways. I, like most people, am a creature of habit and will pretty much order the same thing from the same takeaway every time. So …they all end up chucked in the drawer …just in case! If these menus are clogging up your drawer, recycle them in your paper and card recycling bin.

10. Travel plugs

Every time you go away, you need one. Every time you go away, you forget one because you can’t find the old one so you have to buy a new one. Then when you come home, you miraculously find five of them in the drawer and then stick the new one in there too because you will totally remember next time…  The good news is these can be recycled at your local Recycling Centre in the small electrical container or pass them on to a friend who is off on their jollies soon.

Is there everything missing off our list?  Let us know by commenting below, send us a post on Facebook, tag us on Instagram or tweet us.

Recycle for Greater Manchester