3 simple steps to organize the junk drawer

3 simple steps to organize the junk drawer
26 Jan 2017

3 Simple Steps to Organize the Junk Drawer

I recently wrote a guest blog post for our friends at Maid Brigade. So, I wanted to share it with you. Here are 3 simple steps to organize the junk drawer.

Most homes have a drawer (or many!) where random little things get tossed when they have nowhere else to go. We call it the junk drawer because that’s how they usually end up, full of junk! But, your “junk” drawer doesn’t have to be junky. It can be a handy, organized storage space for small, useful items.

Although the term “organized junk drawer” may seem like an oxymoron, this drawer is actually a fairly easy space to get and keep organized. Junk drawers can be valid storage spaces for small household supplies if they are properly sorted, weeded out and organized.  While junk drawers are typically found in the kitchen, an organized junk drawer can be a good place for storing necessary items anywhere in your home.

Organizing the junk drawer can also make a great starter project if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the thought of organizing a larger space. Start here and you’ll find the motivation to tackle those bigger projects.

So, how do you organize the junk drawer? First, start by emptying all contents from the drawer onto a clear surface. This way you will be able see everything that’s hiding in there. Next, follow these three simple steps and you’ll have your junk drawer organized in no time!

Step 1: Declutter.
Go through all of the contents item by item and decide what to keep and what to toss. There will most likely be some actual junk in there – toss it out. You may also find some things that would be better stored somewhere else in your home. Remember to be realistic about what you really need. Decide if that drawer is the right home for the item – it may not be. If it’s not, set those items aside or put them in a box to distribute later.

Step 2: Determine what to keep.
Think about a junk drawer as a go-to place for frequently used items. Here are some suggestions of items that you could store in there: batteries, flashlight, scissors, tape, pens, notepad, sticky notes, rubber bands, stamps, paperclips, eyeglasses, a lighter, measuring tape, spare keys, etc. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what you want to keep in there. You can certainly have more than one junk drawer, but only if you have the space and each drawer is organized and contains somewhat related items. If it’s filled with random stuff, you’ll never know where to find anything.

Step 3: Organize.
Once you’ve determined what items are going to stay, it’s time to organize the  junk drawer. Now that you know what’s going to live in there, it will be easier to find the right container(s) to organize everything. It could be anything from a simple drawer divider, to a multi-compartment organizer. Be sure to measure the drawer carefully, including the height, so you don’t end up with something that doesn’t fit.

You have many options when it comes to drawer organizers. Some of my favorites are:

2-level Organizers: There are many compartments to help items stay together and easily visible, plus the sets come with decals that identify what belongs in each space. Putting things away is a snap!


Source: Everything Organizer.

Shallow Drawer Organizers: These modular organizers can be used together, in a combination of sizes to fit both your drawer and the stuff in it.

Linus -hallow-junk-drawer-organizers

Source: Linus.

Eco-friendly Drawer Organizers: These offer the same versatility as the Linus organizer, but in bamboo for a natural look that’s environmentally friendly.


Source: OrganizingU.com.

Adjustable Drawer Organizers: You can re-position the partitions in this style drawer organizer to suit your exact needs, and it expands to fit the width of any drawer.


Source: OXO.

There are dozens of other solutions available, if one of these does not fit your needs, check out all of the drawer organizers available at the Container Store.

Once you’ve got your junk drawer organized, you’ll want to keep it that way. There are two simple steps to avoid letting it turn back into dumping ground for items that have nowhere to go:

  1. When you use an item from the drawer, put it back.
  2. Don’t put anything into that drawer that doesn’t fit into the categories you’ve decided on.

Follow this advice and you’ll keep the junk out of your junk drawer!

Sarah Buckwalter