How to Organize the Junk Drawer

June 08, 2016

I'm so thankful I am done with the massive purge of our house I told you about a couple weeks ago. I still have a lot to share about the process, especially the ways I've organized what's left. 

Our junk drawer in the kitchen has always always been a thorn in my side. Every single time we pulled it out stuff would get stuck and then I'd find random junk laying around on the pots and pans in the cabinet below. You've been there I hope? :) 

I cleaned this drawer out months ago and I'm pleased to tell you it's stayed organized since. That's the first time that's ever happened for this long. Part of it is that I've gotten rid of so many items we didn't need, I've stored items in other places where they make more sense, and also that it's organized well and easier to keep it looking good. 

I have three items that helped me tremendously and they aren't expensive or hard to find. First up are some simple drawer bins -- I found mine at the dollar store:
Small bins for organizing the junk drawer

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I got mine in the kitchen area and love them. If you can't find the bins there I like these from Amazon and have use them all over the house as well. In the past I've tried many little bins and they haven't worked for us -- we end up just throwing things in randomly and the little containers become a drawer full of random stuff…right where I started. 

Just using a couple of these makes me feel like it's organized but not overly so. I really think there's such a thing as too much organization. Sometimes I like a bunch of little containers but most of the time I prefer something simpler. I don't need every little bitty thing separated -- I think that makes it harder than it needs to be, for us anyway. 

My next items are the simplest but have made things so much easier in ALL of our drawers. I grabbed a bunch of trash ties and some of Velcro strips (supposed to be used for hanging items):
Tips for an organized junk drawer

I'm not kidding when I say I have searched forever for a solution to organizing all the earphones and phone cords in this house. We have a lot because we use them constantly and they break so often. 

I was thisclose to ordering a set of little cord organizers when I came up with the idea of just using the twist ties. It's changed my life! Ha! Such a simple thing but it makes me so happy: 
Storing phone cords

We only keep one cord in this drawer but in others where we used to have a massive mess of cords it has made a HUGE difference. We use this one every other day or so I don't tie it up every day, but it only takes a few seconds to do so. 

The other little trick that has made my life complete (it doesn't take much obviously) is this one to keep the bins from sliding around. It drives me nutty and I've tried the little "feet" and rubber mats and nothing keeps them from moving around every time the drawer opens. 

THIS works: 
Velcro to stop bins from sliding

I put the two Velcro pieces together and attach it to the bottom of the tray. Peel the paper off the other side and place it exactly where you want it in the drawer. Push down and there you go -- they will. not. move. 

Seriously though, it's the little things right? I've learned overdoing it never works for me. 

Now we have a tray for the glue, pens, pencils, markers and chalk markers and then one for other little items like tape, sticky notes, charging cord, etc.: 
how to organize the junk drawer
I left the scissors up front for easy access because we seem to use those the most. The green Zibra open-it scissors are my favorite pair EVER -- they cut plastic with ease and I've used them for years. 

The drawer has stayed like this for months and hasn't gotten cluttered up -- which is pretty amazing. A big reason for this is I've eliminated some of the items that used to make a mess. We don't keep paper in here at all anymore -- I have a separate spot for that. We don't throw change in here because I put it away in my purse. All of the other charging cords and plugs are in a central location so they're not floating all over in different drawers. 

You know how a clean and organized space just makes you feel better? Well opening up this drawer every day and finding what I need within seconds does the same. You don't realize how much the little messes stress you out until you live without them for awhile. ;) 

Do you have any tips or tricks that work for your junk drawer? I think I've finally figured out how to make this one work for us. (This one is just for office supply type items -- I have another drawer for random kitchen items as well.) 

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  1. For all the cables and cords I use these
    Monoprice® 6" Hook & Loop Fastening Cable Tie, Black, 10/Pack
    from Staples (Office Depot has similar) The tie loops through the hole and stays on the cord. It's always right there to rewrap when you are finished using the cord. Thanks for all your great tips, I love reading your blog.

  2. Ah! Genius!! I am going to get the Velcro strips out now! My silverware drawer does this all.the.time. And of course my junk drawer....

  3. I just cleaned my junk drawer last night and used the little trays to organize everything I didn't throw away.

    Love the Velcro strips - I'll use mine to secure the silverware drawer as well!

  4. Ive been avoiding my kitchen junk drawer for about a year ... not sure what I'll find in there now. I did organize the 3 drawers below it!

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  6. For our coins, we have a large plastic mug that we keep in the cabinet above our junk drawer. Everyone drops their change in there... Before we go on vacation we cash it in at the bank and have extra spending money. :)

  7. Wow your junk draw looks nothing like mine..we have everything in that draw, pencils, pens, lighters, screw drivers, tape measures, string, eye glasses (we need a 100 pairs of these around the house so we can find more eye glasses) dog leads spare ones in case the pup chews another one, cellotape, batteries, dog collars, chargers for phones and batteries, lighter fuel, thread, needles for sewing,fuses, you name its in there...if only they made drawers bigger deeper wider, then my family could throw more crap in the drawer!

    1. I have several junk drawers that sound just like yours!

  8. what a crap speller I am...I mean drawer that you open rather than draw with a pencil!

  9. A trash compactor, sigh, I had one growing up and I so miss it!!! No one could ever figure out ours either. We have a trash can that is motion sensitive and no one gets it and kids play with it! But hands free is nice.

  10. Great work! The only thing that would've made it better are before and after photos. :D


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