How to organize your kitchen junk drawer

Dear Crystal,

Even if I dump out my kitchen junk drawer, the stuff has no home and eventually I put it all back. It looks neater, but only for about a week. This is my dread in life.

What can I do?

Cindy in South Carolina

Cindy, the secret to kitchen junk drawers is containers! Here’s what to do:

  1. Completely empty out the drawer. Throw away everything that is trash, broken and/or not reusable. If it is an item that someone else could use, donate it! For each item, ask yourself whether you really need it, and give yourself an honest answer.
  2. Group similar items together: For example, put batteries, rubber bands, spare keys, etc., together – each into their own separate pile on the counter! This part is extremely important. After completing this step, if you can think of a better “home” for one of these piles, now is the time to move it there! For example, a pile of paperclips and pens may be better suited for your desk than for a kitchen junk drawer. Likewise, a pile of screws belongs in a toolbox!
  3. Container-ize it! Keeping items in separate containers will make it easier to locate your items and put them back where they belong.
  • Purchase drawer storage containers OR MAKE YOUR OWN from boxes and plastic containers. I like to use zip lock bags and small plastic and wooden boxes (garage sales and thrift stores are great places to find these) to organize my junk drawer items.
  • Consider storage with lids: The benefit to storing items in containers with lids is that you can label the top of the lid. Labeling eliminates the need to dig around desperately to find what you’re looking for!

Get into the habit. The reason our junk drawers are always disorganized is that we are used to it. Your assignment is to become un-used to it! Practice, practice, practice putting things back in their designated places, and eventually it will become automatic! Some new Kitchen sinks now come with clever storage spaces, take a look at the new kitchen sink reviews online and be amazed.

Have more ideas? Post a comment, or write to Crystal and let her know!