What To Do With Old Keys

Today is the day to clean out the junk drawer, locate all those unknown keys, and learn what to do with old keys. These are the 5 steps to organizing your junk drawer AND keeping it tidy. Ready? Let’s go for a quick win!

What To Do With Old Keys
Step 1 Dump

The first step to cleaning the junk drawer is dumping the contents onto the counter. You might want to put down a towel first to collect crumbs and prevent scratches. Dump the drawer and let’s see what you find.

Step 2 Sort

Now that you can see everything, start sorting the stuff into piles. Put all the pens together, all the rubber bands together, all the spare keys together and so on. At this point you may find some instant tosses, like pens without ink or gum wrappers. And make sure things work, like a flashlight, try it and take the time to replace the batteries, if needed.

And did you know it is not recommended to store batteries loose in a drawer? Touching another battery can drain the power. Move your batteries into a storage case like this one. The batteries will be safe, at a glance you know what you have in stock, and you’ll gain valuable space in your drawer.

Step 3 Toss

Toss the junk, donate what you now longer need, like spare keys to old locks. If you are wondering what to do with old keys, consider donating them to Recyclingkeysforkids.org. Some towns offer metal recycling as well. Or you could see if an artist/crafter on Etsy might be interested in turning your keys into art.

What To Do With Old Keys Jamie Novak
Step 4 Store

Wipe out the drawer, get into the corners and make sure it is crumb and dust free before returning the items to the drawer. Add drawer organizers. Then return the items you are keeping to the drawer. Group like items together. Consider using snack size zip top bags to hold things. Use plastic tabs from bags to label the keys you are keeping.

Add an In Drawer Organizer

Ice cube trays, box lids, food storage containers, and egg cartons can work well as in drawer organizers. If you are looking for something with a lot of adjustability check out this bamboo option. Or this divider set which takes up less space than a full drawer insert and offers tons of flexible storage.

Step 5 Maintain

Now that you know what to do with old keys and your drawer is all sorted out, it is time to keep it tidy! You did the hard work, now maintain a clutter-free space. Instead of tossing things into the drawer, take an extra moment to return things where they belong.

Great job on a quick win.

Now you know how what to do with old keys.


BEFORE THEY ARE GONE, be sure to grab your virtual seat for the 31 Day Declutter Challenge beginning at 7pm ET TOMORROW Thursday, July 1st. And, if you don’t already have a copy of my book, Keep This Toss That, I highly suggest picking one up today. You’ll find yourself highlighting pages and using it as an ongoing reference. Plus, it makes a great paperweight for the pile of papers you keep saying you’ll go through one day.

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