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It’s Time to Organize Your Junk Drawer

Jon Fesmire | February 21, 2017 @ 9:01 AM

The junk drawer. Everyone has one. You keep your house in order, but there are always little things that don’t quite go anywhere, so they end up in this space. What do you have in yours? I’m betting you’ll find rubber bands, tacks, batteries, and old keys. You may have some headphones, power cords, and other things too.

Eventually, the time comes to organize your junk drawer. Here’s how:

De-Junking the Junk Drawer

Keep in mind that since the junk drawer is a small space, organizing it needn’t be a huge chore, and it can even be an opportunity to exercise some creativity. Open the drawer and go through everything in it. Use your kitchen counter for extra space. Chances are there are things you just don’t need. Perhaps you’ll find expired coupons, bent paperclips, and a few broken cords that you randomly threw in there. Throw out the junk! In the case of cords, bring them to an electronics recycling center. Some electronics stores will recycle them for you.


Some items may contain important information that you can keep on your phone or computer. These include things like business cards and product manuals. Get all those business cards together and then input the information into your address book, be that on your computer or smartphone. Make sure the information is backed up to a cloud server so that if you get a new phone or your computer dies, you don’t lose your contacts. Product manuals for everything from a refrigerator to a webcam can come in very handy if the item runs into a problem. However, these days, you can usually find digital copies of the manuals on the manufacturer’s website. Download them into a folder on your favorite cloud server and you’ll be able to access them without having them cluttering up your junk drawer.

Consider These Organization Options

What’s the key to organizing a junk drawer? Compartmentalization. Put more simply, little boxes. For around $50, you can get a collection of small, wooden bamboo boxes of various sizes. Put them in the drawer, arrange them how you like, and then fill each with one type of item. You may have a long box for batteries, a square box for your bundled cords, and so on. The good thing about a solution like this is that the boxes are of high quality, are the same height, and all match visually. Of course, there are cheaper solutions. Other ideas people have used are check boxes, the bottoms of cereal boxes, candy boxes, and jewelry boxes. Your local dollar store or office supply store might also have a variety of boxes to choose from. You could also measure your drawer and look for individual drawer organizers, like this junk drawer organizer, until you find one that will fit. You might put an attractive lining in the drawer, then use clear plastic boxes. You’ll be able to see the lining through the boxes, which can provide a unified look.

Putting Away Your Items

Once you have the box or organizer structure in place, you can decide where to put the various items. You’ll want to put everything away neatly. That means winding up cords and binding each snuggly with a rubber band, and placing batteries together in rows rather than having them thrown haphazardly into one box.

Finally, we recommend having one box in the drawer reserved for new items, to be sorted later. When you’re busy, you will then have a place to drop that new business card or rubber band you just unrolled from your newspaper.

With the drawer properly arranged, you’ll be able to quickly grab those little things you need. Happy organizing!

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