How To Organize The Junk Drawer In 25 Minutes or Less

No matter how clean a home appears on the surface, there is most likely a junk drawer somewhere that is never organized. Every home has one, but that does not mean you have to keep a junk drawer if it is causing you stress.

Learning how to organize a junk drawer is part life skill and part art, but this does not mean it has to take a long time to do.

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In this guide, we are sharing five easy steps that can help you clean out the junk drawer in 25-minutes or less. So if you have some spare time during the day or after work, take notes and get started.

What You Need

  • Washcloth
  • Wood cleaner
  • Drawer liner
  • Scissors
  • White paper
  • Tape
  • Containers, baskets, or premade junk drawer organizers

How To Organize A Junk Drawer: Minute By Minute

It is possible to organize the junk drawer in 25 minutes or less, and we are going to show you how:

  • Dump Out The Junk

Time: One minute

This is a quick and easy task to get you started, as you simply have to take out the drawer and dump all of the contents elsewhere. Make sure you have enough surface area to hold everything and space to assess what has been hiding in the drawer, so use the kitchen table or counter for this task.

  • Wipe Out The Drawer

Time: One minute

Before you can organize the items in the junk drawer, you need to give yourself a clean, blank slate. Take your washcloth and some cleaner to wipe the bottom of the drawer and remove all dust, dirt, and debris.

  • Sort Through The Junk

Time: Around 8 minutes

This is one of the biggest tasks you will have to do, which is why it takes longer. It is time to tackle the junk you have removed from the drawer and decide what you want to keep.

All junk drawers contain three categories of stuff: things that belong, things that do not, and trash. Gather your items into these three categories and make sure to work as quick as you can; otherwise, you could spend all day deciding whether an old wire charger ‘sparks joy’ instead of getting on with the task at hand.

These three categories will come into play once the junk drawer has been organized as well, as they determine what needs to go in this spot and what goes elsewhere, so it will be easy to keep on top of things.

  • Give The Drawer Structure

Time: Around 12 minutes

Now that you have organized what needs to be kept in the junk drawer, it is time to structure the drawer, so everything has a place.

Here are some ways that you can structure your junk drawer to keep it clean and organized:

  • Line The Drawer

Lining the junk drawer will protect the wood from any damage and make it easy to keep clean. 

You can find stylish patterned drawer liners, which can be quite cheap, but you can also make something yourself. A custom-cut sheet of metal can look sleek and is a great drawer liner,  but there are many other materials that you can use. 

As long as the lining can withstand the wear and tear of the junk drawer, it is suitable.

  • Choose Your Containers

When structuring the junk drawer, it is important to consider containers that will hold all of the items of a specific category and also fit into the drawer.

It is a good idea to keep like items with like items, such as all phone cables in one container and batteries in another. This will keep you organized and make it easy to keep the junk drawer clean over time.

You can also buy containers, like drawer liners, from any store or DIY them using old food containers or Tupperware you have at home. 

  • Put Items Away 

Time: Three minutes

Now that the junk drawer is organized, it is time to put all of the essential items away in their designated spots and admire your hard work.

Keeping the junk drawer organized is a family effort, so make sure to inform everyone in the house of the new rules you have set. Ensure everyone knows where items are being kept and what belongs in the junk drawer so you can all work to keep it organized. 

What Belongs In A Junk Drawer

The key to keeping a junk drawer organized is to only use it for the odds and ends that you need around the home but that have no other place. You need to carefully consider the items that you will keep in this drawer, and they should all have a purpose; otherwise, you are simply collecting trash.

Items that are useful to keep in the junk drawer include:

  • Stationary (pens, pencils, erasers, and paper clips are good to have on hand)
  • Notepads
  • Keys
  • Flashlight and the necessary batteries
  • Other batteries for appliances and remotes
  • Spare change
  • Screwdriver and a set of screws
  • Matchbooks and small lighters
  • Sewing kit
  • Rubber bands
  • Breath mints, lip balm, and salves
  • Phone chargers and earbuds

All of these can be kept organized using small, separate containers or junk drawer organizers. 

Anything that is not on this list should be kept elsewhere in the home and systematized in its own way. 

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