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Organizing the Junk Drawer

We all have a junk drawer. Don’t say you don’t. And admit it: it’s full junk, of course. Otherwise, it would be just another drawer.

So, organizing the junk drawer is a bit of a paradox to me being that ‘junk’ is something that shouldn’t be organized but thrown away. But, what are you going to do? It will always hold some kind of junk, no matter how many times you try to organize it.

All in all, the junk drawer is -and will always be- that drawer where all random things and loose ends converge. I have no problem sharing the contents of our kitchen’s junk drawer with you…

junk drawer organization

As long as I have an ‘after’ picture that makes up for it!

organized junk drawer

Nice change, uh? Now, onto what I found in the junk drawer and how I minimized the junk and maximized the space.

What I Found in The Junk Drawer

  • A stash of old business cards.
  • Two pennies. Two. pennies.
  • Countless markers, pens, and pencils. Don’t ask how many were actually in fine working order.
  • An eraser
  • 4 sets of keys.
  • 3 flashlights. Again, don’t ask.
  • 10 take out menus. Please ask: how many of these restaurants do we take out from? Just 2.
  • 6 notepads, a coupon book, an old checkbook
  • Phone and tablets chargers, birthday candles and
  • More junk. plain. junk.
junk drawer organization

This is a funny one. You can only turn 4 once in a lifetime… Or 40… (but I don’t need that candle yet!). Apparently, I misplaced the #4 candle I had bought for my son’s birthday last year, and it turned out in the junk drawer, of course. I gave it to my neighbor whose daughter was turning 4 the very next day I cleaned out the drawer. Talk about good timing.

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The Junk Drawer Organizer

You know when you go ‘shopping’ but you are not really sure what you are shopping for? Yep. I do that all the time. I walk around Marshalls, Ross, Target, Home Goods, you name it… and I just browse and look around, and pick up things and look for a way to somehow incorporate those things in my home. That’s me.

My mom and I have this joke when we go on these said ‘shopping’ trips. I pick things up from shelves, look at her and ask: ‘What do you think I can do with this? Like… for what?’ In other words: How can I convince myself that I need this?. We think it’s really funny.

Anyway, In one of those trips, I found this bamboo drawer organizer. And look how nice it blends in my junk drawer.

Bamboo drawer organizer

Look at it in the picture above. Now, look at it in the picture below.

bamboo drawer organizer

It’s an expandable bamboo drawer organizer! So, it measures 12″ in the first picture but it expands up to 19″ wide. The exact width of my junk drawer. Sweet!

bamboo drawer organizer

And some of the compartments ‘walls’ are removable!

What to Keep in the Junk Drawer?

I came to a resolution: no paper is allowed in the junk drawer. Ever. Except for the sticky notes.

Paper should be recycled, filed or shredded. Period. You put it in the junk drawer and it will be forgotten for years. So, when we receive coupons, take out menus, unwanted mail, etc., we immediately sort them and, either save them in a separate place or bring them to the home office if it is a receipt, bill or important correspondence. The rest is either shredded or recycled.

organized junk drawer

Each household is different of course, but these are the things that I keep in our junk drawer. I keep just a few of each. If you need more than that at the time, you must go to the home office, garage, bathroom, etc. and look for it.

  • Car and house keys
  • Car spare keys
  • Phone and gadgets chargers
  • Tweezers, antibiotic cream and band-aids
  • Pencils, pens, markers, ruler
  • Crayons
  • Birthday candles, lighter.
  • Erasers, rubber bands, pencil sharpener
  • Sticky notes
  • Pushpins, paper clips, and a mini-stapler
  • Double sided tape, safety scissors, glasses repair kit, hairband
  • Flashlights, wire ties, stamps, glue, tape

Some things like batteries, screwdrivers, letter openers, sharp scissors, we still keep out of reach of our son.

Organize your junk drawer in minutes.

So far, this junk drawer organization and system has worked for us. It’s been a week and still in order! Woohoo!

What are the must have items in your junk drawer?

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