Just about every one of professional organizer Michele Gross’s clients has a junk drawer, and she says that’s totally ok! But it’s important to prevent that space from becoming a catchall for clutter, and she’s happy to give some junk drawer organizing tips to help.
“Keeping it under control is the key,” said Gross of All Sorted Out. “No matter what organization system you use, you have to practice putting your stuff away.”
If your junk drawer has become dysfunctional because of clutter, keep reading for top-notch tips from a pair of professional organizers. Because while it may be referred to as a junk drawer, it should only house things you use and love!
Drawer Organization: Clear It Out
Remove everything from your junk drawer to assess what you have. Sort what you want to keep and what can go elsewhere in your home.
“Take everything out and put everything on the counter,” said Beth Levin of The Closet Queen. “Sort your stuff from the junk drawer into categories – like sticky notes, pens and pencils – and group them together.”
Clean out the drawer after you’ve sorted your stuff to give your space a fresh start.
“Make sure everything that’s going back in that drawer is something you want, need and will use. If it’s not, you have to move it somewhere else,” Levin added.
Buy a Junk Drawer Organizer That Fits
Once you know what you want to keep in your junk drawer, measure it and find an organizer that will work in that space.
“Measure the depth, width and height of the drawer before you go shopping, so you will buy something that will fit,” said Levin.
When choosing an organizer, keep in mind what you plan to store in your junk drawer. Pens and pencils will need a longer container, while matches and birthday candles may need something short and shallow, said Gross.
“You can buy bins in a variety of sizes and personalize it to make it work for you,” she said. “Even a silverware tray will help things from getting lost in the back and keep things from just getting shoved in there.”
Label Your Organizer to Prevent Junk Drawer Clutter
Keep future clutter out of the drawer by labeling the sections of your organizer. You’ll be able to easily see what’s intended for that slot, said Levin.
“Make sure that every time you go in that drawer everything that’s there needs to be there,” she said.
If you ultimately find unwanted things are piling up in your junk drawer, clear it out seasonally.
“It’s important to regularly revisit your space and to put your stuff where it belongs,” said Gross. “Honestly, it will take way less time than you think it will take. Probably 10 or 15 minutes – maybe 20.”
Photo courtesy of Beth Levin.