Saturday Project: Clean out your Junk Drawer

I am 100% convinced that everyone has a junk drawer which is a drawer for “everything else”.

Some have it more organized than most so you can’t tell, but it is still drawer for odds and ends.

Our Saturday Project is to clean out that dreaded, crammed, useless Junk Drawer, and to make it useful.

Junk Drawer Before

Junk Drawer Before

Why you should do it

Because you’ll be able to find things easier, and will want to keep it neater in the long run, if you take time to organize and care for your junk items.

Who knows? You may even find that one part you’ve been searching for, hidden in the back!

Useful items to have in a Junk Drawer

Here are some useful items to have in your Junk Drawer.

Use the 3 categories – Small Tools, Office Supplies and Personal Affects – as a helpful guide on how to group and sort through your junk drawer items.

Small Tools

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue stick
  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Flashlight
  • Lighter
  • Screwdriver

Office Supplies

  • Rubber bands
  • Paperclips
  • Stamps
  • Pens
  • Notepads
  • AAA and AA Batteries

Personal Affects

  • Personal Phone book
  • Take-out menus
  • Coupon Holder
  • Spare keys
  • Loose Change
  • Holder for random screws, small parts & “I don’t know what this is for yet”

Dump the Drawer onto a Clean Table

Dump, and sort it into general like categories.

If you have a lot of random batteries, put them all in one area together. If you have a lot of pens, group them in another area.

You get the picture.

Sort, Test, Move & Remove

Go through each group, and throw out what is really too small or unable to be useful for anything in the foreseeable future.

Test what you can to make sure they still work such as pens for ink. If that red pen is dried out & useless, now is the time to toss it!

Move all items you find in the Junk Drawer that actually have a home (like little Billy’s red miniature toy truck), back to where they belong.

Eyeball the Drawer

Take some time to look at what you have left to put back into the drawer.

Using the given 3 categories — Small Tools, Office Supplies & Personal Affects — arrange them in the same areas as the rest of their items.

Let’s take Personal Affects as an example. Let’s say you have these items:

  • Personal Phone book
  • Take-out menus
  • Coupon Holder
  • Spare keys
  • Loose Change
  • Holder for random screws, small parts & “I don’t know what this is for yet”

Longer items such as the phone book, take-out menus and coupon holders should go along the side of the drawer and leaning up against it.

Those papers will be held into place by the holders that will keep your spare keys, loose change and random “I don’t know what these small parts are for”.

Keeping items in their like groups, will help people find what they need easily, without having to mess up your neatly organized Junk Drawer in a frantic search for some batteries that were hidden at the back.

Consider the layout as well by keeping the most used items near the front, such as the pens and paper, and the lighter or screwdriver at the back.

Decorate & Re-purpose what you have

Now that you have an idea of the general layout of your Junk Drawer, you can even decide to decorate it with what you have in the home.

Organize your loose items

Take your loose items such as rubber bands or loose change and put them into old votive candle holders, or small spice jars you’ve kept lying around for goodness knows what.

And if you have extra cutlery organizers, they are really perfect for keeping pens or batteries in, as they keep them flat and organized for easy access.

Decorate & make the drawer functional

I suggest purchasing a non-slip rubber mat for the drawer, so that items such as the jars holding your loose change will not slip and slide every time you or someone less careful than you, opens the drawer.

You can also use that colourful scrap wallpaper you have kept all these years but haven’t figured out a use for yet: cut out the wallpaper and line the drawer with it, to give it a bright pop every time you open the drawer.

Put it all back

And now comes the fun and easy part. Put everything into the Junk Drawer, admire your handiwork and pop it back into place.

Don’t forget to threaten your family to keep it clean, or else.


You should now have an organized, beautiful Junk Drawer.

Junk Drawer Organized

Junk Drawer Organized

Other Inspirational Junk Drawers


Tara Frey's Junk Drawer

Bethtastic's Junk Drawer

Bethtastic's Junk Drawer

About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.