On Organizing the Infamous Junk Drawer

When we moved into this house, I was thrilled with the amount of drawer space in the kitchen. Mind you, our apartment only had three tiny drawers in the kitchen, so there was no room for extra stuff. (There was no room for anything, really!) In my current kitchen, I have two large drawers, a medium drawer and a small drawer. That’s heaven for me!

Anyways, I swore up and down that we would NEVER have a “junk” drawer. You know the one I mean. The one that somehow everything from paper clips to flashlights and everything in between gets thrown into. And you can literally hurt yourself trying to find a singular item inside those drawers. I HATE those drawers.

But guess what. I ended up with one anyways. And really, there’s no one to blame. Well. There IS someone to blame. And that person is ME.

Because I like clean counters. I really do. I don’t like lots of stuff sitting out around the counters. It really bothers me, and it’s hard for me to cook in the kitchen when there is too much clutter everywhere. So, like happens around my house when I don’t have an organizing system in place, things get out of hand. And I had taken to shoving whatever was cluttering my counter into this one drawer that had a little extra room in it. HAD. HAD a little extra room in it.

But the other day, when I found that somehow one of our bills had made it into that drawer, and I had almost missed paying said bill, that was enough. I knew I had to organize it.

Here’s the drawer before:



Here’s all the stuff when I pulled it out of the drawer. I don’t even know…


I don’t even have an explanation. Except the afore-mentioned shoving.


And here is the drawer after:



So much better!

1. I wanted the drawer to be functional.

We come and go a LOT from the door that connects the kitchen and the garage, so I wanted to make sure there were things like flashlights and spare keys in there. We also walk in that door with the mail, so I wanted to make sure the mail could be opened quickly and easily, right from that spot.


2. I wanted to make sure I was prepared.

We’re always looking for writing utensils, and, even though it may seem silly, if I need to write something down and I’m on the kitchen side of the house, I will “try to remember it myself without writing it down”, just because I don’t want to take the time to go to the office (which is on the other side of the house) to get a pen and paper. Then I forget whatever it was I was trying to remember myself…it’s just no good, I tell you.


3. I wanted to have a little extra space left.

I’m in the kitchen a LOT, and when we have guests over, it’s nice to be able to slide whatever recipes/hand towels/timer etc. I was using in the drawer so the kitchen looks open and clean. Plus, if I don’t always want everyone to see a recipe and start asking me tons of questions about it, ha!


4. I wanted it to match the other drawers.

Since the rest of the drawers hold these same silver mesh organizers, I picked up a few more at Bed, Bath & Beyond so everything would be the same across the board. Also, this would help with the organizational system of the drawer, so I wouldn’t let it get back to it’s original messy self.


The process took under an hour!


Do YOU have a junk drawer that drives you crazy? I wanna see it! (It’ll make me feel better, ha!) If you don’t, how do you keep from getting one?


For more great ideas, check out the Family Friday Link-Up Party HERE! Thanks to Carli over at Livin’ the Mom Life for hosting such a great event!

53 thoughts on “On Organizing the Infamous Junk Drawer

  1. Ah, the infamous junk drawer… I love your before and after photos, and it seems like you thought through the best use of that drawer and its contents so hopefully it won’t be too hard to maintain.

    I had one too, but not anymore! How did I do it? Easy: left my home base to travel the world, and cleaned up the apartment to be rented out. No one’s going to rent an apartment with a junk drawer! So everything that wasn’t needed or didn’t have a home went straight to the trash. Ah… sweet relief. 🙂

  2. I have three drawers in my kitchen. One is just wide enough for a can opener, so no room for junk. The bigger one is where the silverware organizer goes. I wasn’t using the last drawer, so my dad laid out my spices in there. I actually really like it, I can see what I have all at once. So no junk drawer for me. That’s what the kitchen table is for 😉

    • I find it takes a lot of time if you have nowhere to put the stuff that doesn’t need to be in the drawer in the first place. This time, everything that needed to come out had another place to go, so it was easier.

  3. Wow, that is one beautifully organized junk drawer. Can’t call it that now. Maybe an office supply drawer or useful things drawer. We have 8 drawers in the kitchen which is wonderful but hubby is very particular about what’s half of them. He’d been a bachelor here for 5 years before we married so he knows where every little thing is in those drawers. Sigh. So I just commandeered the other half and organized them myself. I leave his drawers alone, ha!

  4. Those little metal baskets in the junk drawer are a great idea. I have never thought of using anything like that. I guess I have just accepted the fact a junk drawer had to be messy. Who knew?!

    • I’m so glad I did this one. The past few days when I’ve come how and opened it to grab the letter opener so I could open the mail…it’s been lovely LOL I’ll bet you can do the same with your kitchen drawers!

  5. This is GREAT!!!! I have 2 junk drawers in my house. One has a nifty organizer which is now a mess and the other is a true junk drawer. I want to organize it but I don’t. You know what I mean. Maybe someday when I have time again (AH-hahahahahahahaha!) Ill get to it!

  6. Organization is the key to peace and focus! It also saves money so the need to buy duplicates is gone as whatever can be located. I keep telling my husband this so we can organize his workshop. And, it is not just one “junk drawer”!

  7. Yeah, my junk drawer is full of about 1 million coozies from the weddings we went to over the last two years. I’m not sure when we’ll ever use a million coozies, but we’re prepared. Thank you for posting this to the Family Friday Link-Up.

  8. We have a drawer like that in our kitchen. This inspires me to work on it soon. Your after looks fabulous!
    I’m enjoying co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty with you 🙂

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