A Little to the Left has convinced me to finally sort out my junk-filled drawers

A little to the left
(Image credit: Secret Mode)

If I hold one staunch belief in life it’s that everyone has a drawer, shelf, or cupboard in their home that is full of random items that don’t belong anywhere else. Fortunately, the relaxing puzzle game A Little to the Left takes these common areas of chaos and offers you the opportunity to virtually organize everything until your heart is content. While this sounds productive, I’ve noticed that I have been using it as a way to put off doing it in real life. 

I am by no means a messy person. Generally, I keep all my spaces neat and tidy, but that doesn’t mean I am free from the shackles of the random object drawer. Whenever I tidy, if I look at something and think, ‘I don’t know where to put this right now,’ it’s immediately shoved into the junk drawer, and frankly - once it’s in, there’s no coming back unless I need cable tie which was useless some months ago but still too valuable to throw away. 

A Little to the Left, especially the newest drawers and cupboards DLC, uses this idea to offer a series of puzzles that beg you to sort your life out. Each level is filled with various items, depending on which room of the house you’re in - including my arch nemesis, the kitchen utensil drawer - which makes it a great source of inspiration to finally face whatever chaos has been brewing behind your own cupboard doors.  

Lightbulbs and spoons and clocks, oh my 

Cluttered kitchen drawers that need tidying

(Image credit: Future)

When you live on your own, there’s a certain freedom to how you can arrange your drawers. Sure, it’s convenient to have all your kitchen utensils next to your hob, but that doesn’t mean that these drawers are exclusively filled with convenient tools. As you can see, I take full advantage of the freedom of getting to put nicknacks and tools wherever I think is best. My kitchen drawers aren’t limited to my cooking utensils, there are lightbulbs, teatowels, and various other items I’ve collected which inhabit space that could easily be better organized. 

Luckily, A Little to the Left also echoes this idea. The items you encounter during your organizational journey follow a general theme, but sometimes you’ll be offered a real curveball to work around, such as an oddly shaped jar or container, or a handful of safety pins that you have to individually find a spot for. These are the times when you have to stop and think about what you’re doing, and it was these moments that helped me realize I really needed to do something about my own living space. 

These instances within A Little to the Left also help you operate efficiently in whatever space you have available since you don’t have the option to take these items elsewhere as you do in real life. I soon found myself thinking about how I could work with these limitations in my own home to create the most efficient way to store my trinkets and knick-knacks which also helped encourage me to start facing my own chaos.  

Look for a new angle 

A Little to the Left drawer to sort out filled with sewing tools

(Image credit: Secret Mode)

One thing that I learned to really appreciate during my time with A Little to the Left is that each puzzle always has several ways to solve it, and regardless of which option you choose, it always ends up looking deliberately put together. Everything clicks satisfyingly into place when you find its location - though that doesn’t always mean that's the only way it can be stored. 

For example, you can organize colored pencils by height, but you could also sort them into rainbow order or by whether or not there’s an eraser attached. It’s a gentle challenge to push you to think outside of the box and find a way to sort that suits you, which I appreciate. As much as I love thinking that everything has a place, it’s satisfying to discover new ways to sort things out that I wouldn’t have considered straight off the bat. This is now something I’ve been trying to implement each time I feel brave enough to face my junk drawers. 

Sometimes, you just don’t like the way things look when they’re organized one way, which is why this encouragement to try new things is so important in your tidying journey. As satisfying as it is to have things organized in size order, especially when it comes to rooms like the kitchen, it’s sometimes just not practical. When you’re cooking, you’ll probably be frantically reaching for something in particular rather than taking your time to find its correct location and pluck it from a drawer. 

But, now I’ve sunk a few hours into A Little to the Left and the puzzles it has to offer, I feel like I may finally have a knack for neatening up my day-to-day life. While I’m not super satisfied with the current state of my ‘now-organized’ drawers (which I say very lightly), I feel less intimidated by them when I inevitably have to sort them out again. Maybe next time, I’ll find a new way to keep things exciting, or perhaps I won’t have to rely on a video game to encourage myself to sort my life out.  

We’ve got all the best cozy Switch games if you’re looking for another relaxing experience on your hybrid handheld console. The best indie games may also be worth checking out for a comforting, more condensed adventure.  

Kara Phillips
Evergreen Writer

Kara is an Evergreen writer at TechRadar Gaming. With a degree in Journalism and a passion for the weird and wonderful, she's spent the last few years as a freelance video game journalist, with bylines at NintendoLife, Attack of the Fanboy, Prima Games, and sister publication, GamesRadar+. Outside of gaming, you'll find her re-watching Gilmore Girls or trying to cram yet another collectible onto a shelf that desperately needs some organizing.