Got Junk? Organizing Junk Drawers

Wiktionary defines the junk drawer as:

“junk drawer (plural junk drawers) (US) A drawer designated for the storage of various miscellaneous, small, occasionally useful items of little value.”

Everyone has a different take on the junk drawer.  Some like them.  Some don’t.  For our family, these “junk drawers” are a much-needed storage space for a lot of odds and ends. These drawers are a go-to place every time my husband needs a widget to fix something. Ours have a variety of items we use daily and weekly.  Everything from take-out menus to screwdrivers to light bulbs to batteries and other stashed stuff can be found in these small spaces.

Unfortunately, these drawers get super cluttered because they get a lot of use by multiple family members.  But if you’re like me and trying to conquer the clutter in your junk drawer, I have a few quick steps and a few organizational tips to get them organized.

Tame Your “Junk” in a Few Quick Steps

Step 1: SORT IT

Put like-items together in separate piles. Anything that is broken, half used or dried-up like glue or caulk throw it out.  Is this a place for the “Fix-It” stash? Chances are if you haven’t fixed it in 6 months you won’t.  Donate items that are no longer used or needed.

Tip: Keep the peace with family by checking with them before donating someone else’s stuff. 

Step 2:  BIN IT

Most often junk drawers contain small things, so finding organization bins that have divided sections is key.  When organizing the drawer, leave sections without bins for larger items. For example, take-out menus and owners’ manuals or guides won’t necessarily fit in a bin.  Think outside the box with your drawer layout. 

Tip:  Measure before buying divided bins to avoid the return line.  Check the narrow depth of your drawer.  Bins come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  You will be surprised how even a 1/4 of an inch matters.  

Step 3:  TIDY IT

To keep on top of an organized junk drawer, make it part of your cleaning routine.  Whether it’s part of a monthly, bi-annual or your Spring-Cleaning routine, if it becomes part of your permanent cleaning routine, the “junk” will stay in check!

Ann Faber