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How to Organize Your Junk Drawer (and Keep It Organized)

You may call it your “catch-all” or “multi-purpose” drawer, but let’s be honest—it’s a junk drawer. This drawer (probably located in the kitchen) is a designated place to store odds and ends, but that doesn’t mean it has to be chaos in there. Follow these steps to clean out your junk drawer and keep it organized from now on.

Purge

The first junk drawer organizing tip is to remove everything from the drawer and spread it out on the table or counter. Then, get rid of everything you don’t need. Be relentless in this process! No, you don’t need a stockpile of plastic sporks and soy sauce packets. Dried out markers, old business cards, and empty prescription bottles also belong in the trash.

During a junk drawer purge, you might run across items you thought were lost, such as your old crochet hook, extra house key, or child’s favorite Hot Wheels car. You also don’t need 100 rubber bands, 10 sharpies, and three pairs of scissors in your junk drawer. Put newly found items back where they belong and find new homes for duplicates.

TIP: While the drawer is empty, take the time to clean it. If lots of crumbs and loose debris have collected, shake out the drawer over a trashcan. Then, wipe it down with a damp paper towel.

Sort

Organize the remaining contents of your junk drawer into logical piles, creating as many as you need. You might have a pile for pens and pencils, another for different kinds of tape, and yet another for paperclips and twist ties. You can organize items by size or function—just get everything sorted in a way that makes sense for you.

Arrange

If you set everything in loose little piles around the drawer, they will soon combine and make a chaotic mess again. To prevent this, use containers and boxes from around the house or buy an organizer to contain each pile. Popular storage solutions include:

  • Multi-section or expand-a-drawer organizers
  • Interlocking rectangular drawer organizers of different sizes
  • Shallow or deep drawer organizers
  • Makeup or jewelry trays
  • Plastic or cardboard food packaging cut to size

With the appropriate storage solutions at your disposal, you can get to work dividing the drawer. Place like-items together in a suitably sized tray. Even if the contents are still a mishmash, the dividers make it easy to see what’s in the drawer rather than having to sift through a mess.

Maintain

Upkeep is crucial if you want your junk drawer to stay organized. Tidy it up about once a month. This involves removing trash and other things that belong elsewhere, putting stray clutter back in its spot, and assessing whether you need to make any organizational changes. Remember, if you’re holding onto something you haven’t used in a few months, it’s just taking up space. Repeat the purging process when necessary so you never run the risk of the drawer overflowing or becoming impossible to open.

Learning how to organize a junk drawer is satisfying, but this is only one tiny part of your home organization needs. Luckily, Mr. Handyman, a fellow Neighborly company, has more tips to help you out, and the cleaning professionals at Molly Maid can assist with implementing them. Feel free to tailor our services to meet your needs! Whether you require a single deep-cleaning, occasional help with chores, or routine assistance around the house, we’re here for you.

To request a free in-home estimate for professional house cleaning services near you, please contact your local Molly Maid or call us at (888) 583-6490.