Tiny spring cleaning: How to de-junk your junk drawer

Some people call them catchall drawers, but in my opinion, there's a big difference between the junk drawer and the catchall drawer. The catchall drawer contains the items that you need and regularly use but that don't really require their own designated spot. The junk drawer, on the other hand, contains all those little things you said you'd eventually deal with and just never did. We're talking takeout menus, old ketchup packets, used batteries and the like. So in the name of spring cleaning, let's turn that junk drawer into a clean, organized and highly efficient catchall drawer.

Tips for organizing a junk drawer
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Tiny spring cleaning: How to de-junk your junk drawer

Remove the Drawer

First thing’s first -- take out the whole drawer and take inventory. Be sure to have a trash can handy, because chances are you’re going to find a lot of expired coupons, worn-out recipes and to-go cutlery…or maybe that’s just me.

Sort Into Piles

For anything you deem worthy of sticking around, create piles with like items. Do you have duplicates? Get rid of one. Are your safety pins and paper clips taking over the entire drawer? Collect them all, so you can see what you’re working with.

Tame the Paper Clutter

If you find that you still need some of the paper mess that has accumulated, consider adding plastic paper sleeves to the inside of one of your cabinet doors. It will take up relatively no space and still allow you to hold on to your favorite hand-written recipes and instruction booklets. Of course, keep in mind that most take-out menus and instruction booklets can be found online, which will save even more space!

Make It Pretty

To make sure your junk drawer is a space you actually want to keep clean, add a pretty liner that will encourage you not to let excessive clutter cover it up. You can buy drawer liners with grip or even use leftover wrapping paper for an instantly bright effect.

Keep It Separate

Now that you’ve narrowed everything down to what you actually need, find containers around the house that can keep everything divided and easy to find once you put it back in the drawer. If you don’t already have boxes or drawer dividers, you can use ice cube trays or old muffin pans. Or cut out the bottom of old cereal boxes for a cheap solution that can be dressed up with washi tape or wrapping paper.

Keep Up the Good Work

Now, all that’s left to do is stay organized. Remember the state your junk drawer was once in and vow to never let it go back. When you make it a habit to keep actual junk out and toss the stuff you don’t really need, you’ll find it’s so much easier to stay organized.


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