Junk Drawer Organization Ideas

how to organize a junk drawer

I finally lost my patience with my junk drawer the other day. It is our catch-all for every little item that doesn’t have a proper home. I dump things in it when I want them off the kitchen counter. Clearly this system is not working.

Isn’t this embarrassing (and stressful!!)?

A few months back, Alan actually cut his finger on a loose razor blade that lived in there at the time! (Needless to say – it wasn’t there this time, it already found a new home in the garage.)

Wouldn’t my life feel simpler if I could actually find something in this mess?

With a new baby in the house, my free time is very limited. I needed a quick strategy to get this drawer in functional shape.

How to Organize a Junk Drawer

How hard could it be? This little 15 minute project will make me feel LOADS better.

Step 1 – Dump It All Out

I’ve tackled far bigger projects than this and I always find the best first step is to start with an empty space. This enables you to go through the mess and only put back what needs to go back. For such a little drawer, I was surprised at what I found.

Some of the more surprising items:

  • 35 pens/pencils
  • 7 (!) pairs of scissors – (I didn’t realize I even owned this many)
  • 3 rolls of invisible tape – (we couldn’t even find invisible tape the other day)
  • 100+ toothpicks – (apparently there was a box that disintegrated in there at some point)
  • GOBS of other unnecessary stuff!

Step 2 – Weed Through the Mess

What do I need in this drawer? It’s pretty obvious I didn’t need 7 pairs of scissors or 35 random assorted pens/pencils. I opted to keep a few of most of the items in the drawer and toss or store the extras.

Here’s some of the items I kept:

  • 3 pairs of scissors (two grown-up, one kid-friendly)
  • 1 roll of invisible tape
  • 1 box of kitchen matches
  • 1 jumbo glue stick
  • 1 flashlight
  • 1 roll of packing tape
  • a handful of rubber bands
  • 1 box of toothpicks (in the box!)
  • 1 hole punch
  • 1 measuring tape
  • 1 ruler

Step 3 – Keep it Organized

The next step is to figure out a way to keep everything organized. I was intrigued by the idea of reusing old plastic food containers, but before I could implement that solution I stumbled on some great long thin boxes for 50 cents each! They were just too good to pass up and serve their purpose beautifully.

You can see from the picture that I did still manage to use some old food storage containers that were headed for the recycle bin anyway. They work great for storing some of the odds and ends that weren’t long and skinny.

Now everything has a spot to go when I throw it back in the drawer. MUCH better!

Junk drawer organization in 3 steps and just 15 minutes…can’t get more simple than that.