How to Get Rid of Your Junk Drawer Once and For All


Rather than tell you how to get your junk drawer organized, this post is about getting rid of your junk drawer completely in less than 10 minutes!

We all have that dreaded drawer in our house. You know which one we’re referring to; your junk drawer. Rather than tell you how to organize your junk drawer, today is all about completely getting rid of your junk drawer once and for all!

The junk drawer serves little to no purpose and becomes a dumping ground for our things. For this very reason, this is the last place people choose to organize. If you don’t have a drawer, your junk drawer might be a shelf or even a box where all your leftover stuff just piles up. In less than 10 minutes, we are going to be rid of the junk drawer concept once and for all, by replacing it with something more functional instead.

How to Get Rid of Your Junk Drawer Once and For All

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How To Eliminate Your Junk Drawer

Let’s go through, step-by-step, how to finally be free of your junk drawer. The goal of having an organized home is to be able to find everything you need, without having to sort through chaotic piles. 

Time needed: 1 hour

Follow these steps to organize your junk drawer. Never feel overwhelmed by this mess again!

  1. Pull everything out

    Dump the entire junk drawer on your floor or kitchen table. Start sorting through everything and put them into piles. Sort them based on keep or throw away. Then, sort those piles into items or groups that belong together.

  2. Throw away trash

    Throw away as much as you can. The more your throw away, the less you’ll have to store. Get rid of anything that is broken, outdated, or unusable.

  3. Give everything a container

    After everything is sorted, start storing the small items in tiny containers. Give everything a home, even small thumbtacks and paperclips.

  4. Use drawer dividers

    Finally, consider using drawer dividers to keep larger items where they belong in the drawer. You can also just use small baskets instead.

Fix your junk drawer mess in 4 simple steps

Why You Should Get Rid of Your junk drawer

Getting rid of it will keep everything you need easy to find. 

Remind yourself, not having a junk drawer is good for you and for your home. It will save you a ton of time. This process is worth it. Yes, it might be quicker in the moment to throw things in there, shut it, and forget about it. But when it comes time to find that paperclip or battery, you’ll wish you had invested more time into organizing them. 

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What is in your junk drawer?

First, let’s figure out what exactly you are keeping in your junk drawer.

While it may be tricky to do, it’s time to pull out all of the contents of it. The items within your junk drawer have probably gotten a little used to their home, and it will be hard to actually be rid of the junk drawer if you can’t see all of its contents.

Start by asking yourself what exactly is in there? The honest answer is probably bits and pieces of items that belong elsewhere.

Dump everything out on the floor or table, and then wipe out the drawer. You want to have a clean place to put everything back when you’re finished. 

How To Categorize Your Junk Drawer

Junk drawers usually hold items from a few basic categories:

  • office supplies that we want handy in the kitchen
  • small kitchen tools
  • papers and items you no longer need
  • things that stand alone
  • tools for fixing things
  • tiny things like push pins and paper clips
  • mementos/memories

You may have even more categories than this, but a typical junk drawer will at least have these things. Categorize the items in your junk drawer and separate them into piles based on related items.

This is the time where you throw away as much as you can. It will be so much easier to organize everything when you throw away things you don’t use, won’t use, or don’t know why you have it. 

Store Junk Drawer Items In other places

After you move all of the items within your junk drawer into piles of like items, you may be starting to notice that you have different piles of a bunch of little items.

Ask yourself where you use these items, and if you already have a place to keep these items. If you have all of your office supplies in your office space, keep the rest of the junk drawer office supplies there. Begin moving the items that already have a home to their new home.

Pick up every pile and put them away. Keep the rest of the stuff in piles for the next step. 

How to organize your messy office and kitchen drawers

Create New Storage places for random things

For the items that don’t currently have a place to be stored, it’s time to make them a home! First, think about how you use these remaining items. When it comes to first aid supplies, is there a better way to store them than cramming them into a drawer? Could birthday candles and supplies go with your party supplies?

Begin to work through the hurdles of the items you have left to find the best storage option for these items. This might mean getting creative and inventing a new storage place for these items.

In fact, the blog Two Twenty One has a fantastic before and after and the only thing she used was a bamboo flatware organizer. You really can repurpose and hack anything to store your small items.

Here are a few hacks for drawer organization: 

The secret to turning your junk drawer into a tidy space

Invest in a Junk Drawer Organizer

Finally, create a system for keeping this drawer organized in the future. Invest in a junk drawer organizer that will separate your drawer into compartments.

If you leave it as an open drawer (or basket), it will be an open invitation to mess up again in the future. So keep it organized by establishing areas for specific items. 

What does your junk drawer say about you?

As you go through and get rid of your junk drawer, you might find some forgotten mementos or even a few tools you didn’t know you have. NPR reported on the tie between junk drawers and personal stories.

The really fascinating thing about junk drawers is how revealing they are. In fact, just browsing the #JunkDrawer tag on Instagram shows just how much we all have in common. Lots of people keep pens and office supplies in their junk drawers.

Of course, after you eliminate your junk drawer and make it super functional, it will be ready for you to brag about on Instagram! Then, your junk drawer will say you are an organized person that rocks at adulting! 

It might seem like a strange concept, but the truth is that we don’t need a junk drawer in order to have an organized home. Feel free to repeat these steps for every single disorganized place in your home. 

If you follow these tips, you’ll get rid of your junk drawer for good!

Clean out your junk drawer in less than 10 minutes

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How do you keep batteries organized in a drawer?

Craft and tackle boxes are the perfect size to store batteries in your drawer. You can also create cardboard drawer dividers and store your batteries in plastic bags by type.

How do you organize pens and pencils?

The best way to organize loose pens and pencils is by getting them out of the drawer. Store them in containers on your desk. If you must keep them in your drawer, use a pencil bag.

How often should you clean out a junk drawer?

Try to clean out your junk drawer about once a month to keep it from accumulating too much stuff.

More Home Organization Tips

Now that you eliminated your junk drawer, conquer these other commonly disorganized spaces in your home. 


  1. Sorry my junk drawer isn’t a chaotic pile. It does have a variety of unrelated items that are used often and are easy to access in one place. Live your life with joy not rules.

  2. I recently renovated my kitchen. I had a microwave cart that had a pull out drawer, where I kept, pens markers, oven mits,
    I got rid of the microwave chart. I don’t have an extra drawer to put the stuff in the junk drawer.
    Any ideas where I can store those items

    1. Hi Erin,
      That’s a great question! I would recommend finding new locations in your home for most of the items. Oven mitts should go in a drawer by the stove or perhaps could be hung on the wall near your oven using decorative Command Hooks or a tool rail. Pens and markers can go in a desk top organizer on your kitchen counter or be moved to a desk in another room. You could also use a basket or bin with suction cups on the inside of one of your kitchen cabinet or pantry doors.

      Happy organizing!
      Best wishes,

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