Junk drawers- we all have them. Many of us have one in the kitchen, but sometimes families have junk drawers in bathrooms, in home offices, and in basements or garages. They serve as a “catch-all” space of items we use often, and also items we don't seem to use at all (and just haven't figure out what to do with- yet!). So how can you organize a junk drawer to make it tidy and more useful if you'd like to get organized? I'll show you how!
The real question is… should you even have a junk drawer?
A “junk drawer” by its very name implies that you have designated a place to keep junk! And there really shouldn't be a drawer for that!
If there is anything that I've learned over the years of de-cluttering at my home- it is to stop KEEPING the CLUTTER! Find temporary homes for it if you need to, (just until you have time to deal with it), but do not plan to store clutter permanently!
Every drawer should have a purpose and every item a destination
So let's stop calling it a “junk drawer” right now, and let's start giving each drawer a true purpose. Maybe one holds tools and other small items used to fix things around the home quickly, and maybe another holds paper and pencils and things you need to take and write notes. Perhaps a third drawer holds flashlights and batteries, chargers, and small electronics.
You can organize your drawers according to your own needs, but the point is to give every drawer a definition and every item you intend to keep a final destination.
Nothing is just tossed into a drawer and left to accumulate for forever!
Step 1 to Organize a Junk Drawer: Empty and Clean the Drawer
The first place to begin is to take absolutely every single item out of the drawer. Place it on the countertop and then clean out the drawer itself.
Step 2: Decide what to keep and what to purge
Now start to go through every single item that you have removed- because you are going to find all kinds of crazy stuff in these drawers when you empty them out. Note the vacuum cleaner part, broken Wii remote, and dead carbon monoxide detector above. Not exactly sure why we are keeping these items, but clearly we need to make some decisions about what we should save.
I believe that we save far more things for “just in case” reasons than we ever really need to. My husband, however, would disagree. And since he is the Mr. Fixer around here- his opinion counts more! (And as you will see below, every one of the items I made fun of above, ended up being returned to our drawer).
Step 3: Sort by Category and Containerize
Once you have disposed of the “purge” items, it is time to organize the things you want to keep around.
So sort them by logical category- tools all in one container, nuts and screws in one place, matches in another, and so forth. Then find some properly-sized containers to hold each category.
Plastic bins are great for this- and you can check out my favorite storage bins This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. for organizing your drawers and your home!
But for a frugal container, just use an old shoebox or even the shoebox lid. Anything that will keep like items together and will prevent everything from sliding back and forth when you open and close the drawer!
Step 4 to Organize a Junk Drawer: Return “the keepers” to the drawer
Now that you are organized and containerized, neatly store it all back in the drawer. Doesn't that just look and feel SO much better?
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See Junk Drawer Organization in Action!
Here are some more great ideas on how to organize your home!
- 15 Fantastic Command Centers to Help Busy Moms Stay Organized
- 20 Organized Kids Bedroom Ideas
- 10 Organized Laundry Room Ideas
- 12 Organized Closet Ideas
- 12 Ideas for Entryway & Mudroom Organization
Ginny @ Organizing Homelife says
Hi there! Stopping by from Organize and Decorate Everything. I’m a mom of 4, so I know how fast that junk drawer can fill up with the most random things! 😀 Great job on the organization.
Thanks Ginny! It’s crazy how the junk drawers get loaded…. but also they kinds of things that I find stuffed into my kids desk drawers in their rooms! My kids love to keep everything- little scraps of paper, useless odds and ends that they find on the floor of the bus (yuck!)…. I mean everything! One of my projects this summer will be to spend some time with them in their rooms decluttering their desks!
I do this quarterly but a week later it looks junky again. Never ending in this house!
It’s never-ending in EVERY house!