Decluttering | Organizing

How to Organize a Junk Drawer

In this post: We’ve all got junk drawers. Some of us even have them in multiple rooms! Here’s how to organize a junk drawer.


We all have them, right? Junk drawers, I mean. Mine even stayed ‘junky’ through a kitchen remodel. Frankly it’s still a mess almost six months later. So today’s post about how to organize a junk drawer is just as much for me as it is for you!

How to Organize a Junk Drawer

how to organize a junk drawer

1. Empty and sort the drawer

Remove everything from the junk drawer. Dump it all out. Create a huge pile if necessary. Then start sorting. Place like with like. Don’t try to be tidy with this. The mess actually has to get worse before it can get better. Really. Just create piles of similar things.

2. Purge, Edit and Eliminate

After your things are sorted, decide what you want to keep and what you don’t.

Get rid of anything that’s broken and unworthy of fixing. Go ahead, toss it. You don’t need it. Next, donate to local and national non-profits any items that are in good shape but that you haven’t used in a while. Then sort by season, color, name or any other way you need to organize what’s left.

3. Assign everything a home

All the items you decided you will be keeping need to have a specific place. Once you have sorted and eliminated, you should have a pretty good idea of how much space you need for each grouping inside your drawer. Assign the things you use often places within easy reach at the front of the drawer. Things that are used infrequently can go towards the back of the drawer.

4. Shop for containers/organizers

This step is my personal favorite. After your ‘keep items’ have a place, you can shop for pretty containers and labels. But be sure to do it after the first three steps have been completed. You don’t truly know what you need until you have sorted, eliminated and assigned homes for your things. It’s also a bit of a puzzle to figure out what fits where. Make sure you measure height, width and depth of  your junk drawer before buying containers though – it’s no fun to choose them all only to realize they don’t fit the way you thought they would. Don’t forget to shop your own house too for containers to corral all the mess and then check places like the dollar store and craft store for some great storage solutions.

5. Label it and put it all away

Use a Cricut to make pretty labels, or use a label maker for simple labels. Heck you can even us a piece of masking tape and a marker if money is tight (try cutting the tape straight to at least make it look tidy). Just be sure to label everything so that you (and everyone else in your house) knows where to put things away. In a junk drawer, this is best done on the bottom of empty containers before you add the ‘stuff’.

6. Maintain, maintain, maintain

You now need to put things in their place when you are finished with them. If you can’t put things back right away, make sure you do it at the end of every day. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes in each room to get everything back in its place everyday. You just have to do it. Junk drawers don’t have to be a disaster!

7. Change systems if needed

If something in your new organized drawer isn’t working, change it. There’s no need to force yourself to work with a system that doesn’t work. Just tweak the basics that you’ve started with as you find you need to. If you find the containers don’t work for you or the labels aren’t sticking, try something else!

There ya have it! The easy 7 steps to organizing a junk drawer!

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One Comment

  1. Amazing, I love these ideas, especially to measure the height of the space so not to buy a storage jar that’s to large or to small for the space. Thanks for sharing