Do you have a drawer full of ‘Just In Case’ bits and pieces. It’s usually in the office or the kitchen and contains small items such as paperclips, elastic bands, the lid of a pen, a pen that doesn’t work, Lego bits and possibly matches.


Some of the things are useful, but there’s always the temptation to forget about them because it’s difficult to find things in the drawer. It takes too long to rummage through the drawer so you revert to keep adding things to the drawer rather than organise it so that it’s useful.


I had one client who was a Just In Case junkie – she kept plastic containers to store the bits and bobs in, and when one container was filled she would start another. She had a collection of recycled margarine containers filled with random things which made it difficult for her to find what she needed.


The disorganised things were making her feel anxious. They were also taking over her kitchen and she was running out of space to store them. She wanted a routine and storage solution to help her feel in control of her need for things that would cover every eventuality.


The solution to help her overcome the just in case obsession was more suitable containers, but not the ice cream tub or the  margarine container. She needed clear plastic containers to help her order the things and visually see what she had. If you can see that you have enough of something then it helps you feel comfortable that you have enough and can lessen the obsession to keep adding more stuff into your life that you don’t really need and most likely won’t use.


These are the stationery drawers in my office, similar to those I recommended for her. They make it quick and easy for me to find everything I need. They also enable me to see what I have so that I can stock up when I’m running out. I don’t have to worry about just in case because I know what I have and where it is so it’s always there when I need it.

It’s ordered and organised with a drawer for the small random stuff, one for staples (I need loads and different strengths of staples for paper stapling or headboard material stapling), two drawers for my specialist design pens and highlighters, one for scissors and somewhere to hide cellotape from the kids, and a drawer for a calculator and stapler. I also have a smaller drawer unit for paperclips, bulldog clips and elastic bands. If you haven’t got space for a drawer unit like this then you could organise a drawer with plastic containers or drawer dividers.


The drawers are one of the best things I’ve bought because they make me feel organised and stop my desk from being cluttered.


I recommend that you spend 5 minutes reviewing your Just In Case bits and bobs, then order some clear plastic boxes to suit your things and the space you have available then, once the storage containers arrive, put an hour or an afternoon in your diary to get yourself organised.


Being organised will help you feel less stressed and less anxious. It will give you the confidence that you have everything to hand in case of an emergency and also relieve that Just In Case feeling of burden. 


Good look with your organising and if you need help then I’m always here for advice and inspiration.

Happy #springcleaningweek,

Gwendoline Alderton

BIID Interior Designer

House Doctor Consultant

Radio, Conference & Event Speaker