How to De-Clutter, Clean, and Organise Drawers
De-cluttering and cleaning the inside of drawers keeps them organised and free of dust and odour. While they are kept closed most of the time, lint and dust eventually pile up on clothes and other items that are kept inside. Here are some tips to keep your drawers clean and organised. Of course, if you find it too time-consuming or physically demanding or you simply don’t know where to start, you can contact professional cleaners to help you out. But try these first.
De-Clutter and Discard
The first step is to take all items out and test your organizational skills. With items spread out all over, you can divide them into three categories – items that you use often, occasionally, and never. There are certain items that you can throw out now, for example, broken colored pencils and crayons and storage containers that have no lids. Other items to discard include old batteries, broken Christmas decoration, furniture manuals, empty pens, and games with missing pieces. The list of items that you probably don’t need also includes takeout menus, dried flowers, broken and old hangers, socks with holes, and broken hair elastics. Kitchen drawers are also often packed with items that you can readily discard. Such items are, for instance, old shopping bags, empty bottles, and old catalogues and calendars. Go through your personal items as well. You will find plenty of stuff that you rarely or never use. Things to discard include old wallets, broken jewelry and hair accessories, and old phone cases. Now it is time to sort out items kept in your desk drawer. You will be surprised how many items you can easily discard. These include old planners, travel brochures, and invitations, expired coupons, scraps of wrapping paper, and ripped and used envelopes. Once you have sorted items stacked in your drawers, it is time to give them a good clean.
Use your vacuum cleaner to vacuum drawers. It is best to use the most narrow attachment so that you can clean the corners. This is where a lot of dirt collects. Then spray cleaning spray on a clean cloth and wipe down the inside of drawers. Instead of cleaning spray, you can use an all-purpose disinfectant. Spray on a cloth or paper towel and wipe down the bottom, edges, and sides. Check the instructions to find out how long it takes to air dry.
For unfinished wooden drawers, it is better to use water and liquid dish soap. Such drawers are often found in bathrooms, kitchens, lingerie chests, and dressers, and they have not been sealed or coated. To clean unfinished wooden drawers, mix 1 cup of warm water with ½ tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Dip a sponge or cloth in the solution and squeeze. Wipe down the inside of the drawer and then use a clean, damp cloth or sponge to clean any soap residue. Then wipe with a clean dry towel and let it air dry.
If you don’t have spray or disinfectant or you prefer to use homemade cleaners, you can easily make one by yourself. To clean wooden drawers, for example, you can mix 1 teaspoon of olive oil and ½ cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake it well and then spray on a clean cloth to wipe clean drawers.
If you notice musty smell in drawers, it is best to leave them open overnight. Use baking soda to absorb odour. Just fill a cup or bowl with 2 – 3 tablespoons of baking soda, close drawers, and remove soda in 10 – 12 hours. Alternatively, you can sprinkle baking soda to absorb odour. Just sprinkle along the bottom and let it sit overnight. Then remove soda with the vacuum cleaner.
Fill a spray bottle with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar and spray the inside of drawers. Do not close them as you want them to air out. The vinegar and water solution will help you deal with misty odour. If odour persists, however, you probably need professional help. Contact local cleaners in your area to help you clean your drawers and eliminate odour as it can become a nuisance.
As drawers stay closed most of the time, they can become hotspots for mildew. Mildew requires oxygen, dirt, and moisture to grow, making drawers a good environment for growth. So you want to keep your drawers clean and dry to protect your family from breathing in spores. What you can do is place liners at the bottom of your drawers to keep moisture from soaking into wood. Spray the inside of drawers with a bleach-based cleaner, wipe down with a damp cloth, then use a paper towel to dry, and let them air dry.
If you notice mildew inside drawers, the first thing to do is take them outside for several hours. Sunlight effectively destroys mildew. If there is plenty of it, leave drawers outside for longer. Then you can use a bleach-based cleaner or anti-fungal disinfectant to remove mildew and clean drawers. Let them air dry completely before closing.
To organise your desk drawer, for example, you can use a muffin pan for small items and office supplies. You can keep all kinds of items such as erasers, paperclips, and drawing pins. For larger items, you can also use drawer dividers, and you can even make your own dividers. Multi-section inserts can also be used to keep your drawers organised. For example, you can use a multi-section insert to keep makeup items such as brushes, lip products, eye shadow palettes, and foundations. The same goes for home office supplies such as pencil sharpeners, binder and paper clips, file labels, and so on.
And if you have hard time organising and cleaning, you may ask a professional cleaning service for help. They will give you useful advice to help you sort and organise stuff to keep your home clutter-free.