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Tackling The Dreaded Junk Drawer

We’re all guilty of having one: the junk drawer. It’s a constant reminder of our storage and organization systems not working. Sometimes we have multiple, and sometimes our junk drawers even extend to our vehicles, where things we didn’t want to deal with at the time gathered in a pile. While the junk drawer is necessary and will likely happen regardless of our organization efforts, it can be incredibly frustrating. Good news, though; there are ways we can utilize the junk drawer and make order out of the clutter.


…Literally. With a trash can nearby, take everything out of the drawer(s) so you can sort it all into Keep and Trash piles. Once you’ve decided what stays and what goes, you can get organized even faster. You’ll often find that you’d rather not keep those old takeout menus, but you would like to hold onto that specialist’s business card, with whom you’d like to schedule an appointment. For the Random Things pile, feel free to try some unique ways of gathering and storing until you can go through it all later.


It’s time to categorize your items into themes. Not only will this help you divide your small, day-to-day things in a more convenient and useable way, but you’ll see if you need to create a whole new drawer for what you have.

Your current junk drawer may be heavy on the crafts or office supplies, both of which deserve their own drawers or cubbies. It all depends on the majority of the pieces. Do you have a lot of batteries? Electronics? Cords? Make a place just for those tangled cords in cups or cylindrical dividers. Within that drawer or cubby, organize your other categorically-related items using tools like expandable cabinet drawer dividers and inserts.

On the other hand, you might realize that you already have a place for some of the items elsewhere in the house. In that case, problem solved!


It’s much more likely that your drawer will not become a “junk” drawer if you keep your items in the same area in which you use them. Meaning, if you have a lot of “out-the-door” items, like keys, a brush or a mirror, you’ll want those in a spot closest to the door. For general house office supplies, you’ll want those organized in a place where school projects get done and grocery lists are made, etc.


For a small spring cleaning project to ease you into the season, go through the house, find your worst junk drawers and de-junk them. Make it to where these items you use daily (or weekly) are where you can most easily get to them. It’ll make you feel more organized in your everyday life, which is a great way to de-stress and be productive!

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