The Organized Junk Drawer

by Chris on October 1, 2012

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The classic oxymoron. “But Just a Girl, how can you have both?” you ask. I’ll tell you how. You buy a super sweet organizer, and you call your kids in for a family meeting. You tell them that anyone who messes it up will be grounded (a month or a year works best). Then–and here’s the important part–you actually follow through on that threat.

But let’s start from the beginning, shall we? It all started like this. By all means, take a minute. Soak up the junk. Let’s pretend this is a game of ISpy. Find the following items:

  1. Ice cream eraser
  2. Vampire teeth
  3. Sidewalk chalk
  4. Spool of thread


I always say (‘cause I’m such an expert and all) that the key to organizing is purging. In other words—gut it! I took everything out and got rid of or re-housed most of the items in the drawer.

clean drawer

And this is where you go from amateur to professional. I’ve tried to organize this thing before, but it just never stuck. I purchased these two trays from Marshalls for $7.99 a piece.

drawer organizers

And because I knew one little crooked tray or slip of the organizer could be our downfall, I used these little velcro fasteners in each corner of the trays. They don’t go anywhere, but I can remove them if needed.

velcro fasteners

And then the fun part. I went through alllll those random items and chose the things I know we use on a daily basis. Because I did this before school started, I was able to find a couple of matchy matchy items just for the fun of it.

organizing tray

Cute green and blue paper clips, say hi to your cousins adorable matching Post-its. And then wave to your charming neighbors, the highlighters.

drawer organizer

I held off on writing this post so I could report about its success. I am happy to inform that everything is still in place and no children have been harmed in the process. Shocked? Yeah, me too.

organized drawer

Obviously, your daily necessities might look a little different from ours (Chapstick obsession, anyone?), but I can’t recommend this process enough. It has definitely helped with homework, bill-paying, last minute hair fixes, removal of tags… Well, you get it.



Leo at Cottage at the Crossroads October 1, 2012 at 7:40 am

The old Junk drawer. I think we have three or four now. We’ve organized many times but they seem to reappear in just a few months. New junk stacked on top of the old organized junk. I can’t bring myself to purge the old junk. You never know when you might need that key chain with a small light attached. Oh well, if the junk drawer is our only problem, we’ve got it made. We enjoy your blog.

Karen October 1, 2012 at 8:56 am

I have a junk drawer that looks exactly like your “before” photo. (vampire teeth and all).
Your organized draw looks amazing. My problem, my drawer is not as big as yours. Wonder if they sell those same organizers in a small size. PS: It’s so organized I probably wouldn’t find anything. LOL.

Karen October 1, 2012 at 8:57 am

“drawer” not draw….oops.

Kim @ Plumberry Pie October 1, 2012 at 9:37 am

That there is one beautiful junk drawer!! :)

Jocelyn Pascall October 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I love seeing people’s junk drawers because it makes me feel so much better about myself. Our junk drawer is currently out of control. I desperately need to do this and your post might have been my inspiration.

Monika October 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I have bought the exact same organizing tray almost a year ago and I haven’t had to clean the junk drawer since! I am amazed that things stay in their spots and we can find things quickly. I have tried little baskets and boxes in the past, but things always ended up in a mess. For some reason this tray works really well.

Jill Flory October 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm

That looks great! Now if I just a a drawer to put the organizers in…!

cassie {hi sugarplum} October 1, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Oh man — this just makes me think about how bad my junk drawer(s) look at home. And you know what’s worse? You’ve inspired me to do something about it…but my camera’s in the shop, and heaven forbid do something that doesn’t get documented for the blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And ours has the same random assortment and obsessions…expect I have about 17 packs of gum. Yet, I buy more every week??

Courtney {a thoughtful place} October 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I just closed my eyes and wished for a bigger junk drawer but alas it is still tiny. You have inspired me, though, to get the junk out and the pretty in. Great idea with the combs. . . we have so many “out the door” hair fixes with my daughter.

Sharon aka OKIStampQueen October 2, 2012 at 7:46 am

Looks great! Just be sure you’ve had your coffee and don’t mistake the glue sticks for the chapstick…! loL! Psyched to work on my junk drawer! Blessings, Sharon

Monica October 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I cannot believe it never occurred to me to use fasteners!!! my pain of opening the drawers ..the trays moving towards the back. I am buying them today.

Chris October 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm

My life’s mission is complete, Monica. :) So glad I could help!! It’s the little things for us, isn’t it? :)

Barbara Grooms October 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I love looking at other peoples junk! Makes me feel so normal. But I LOVE! to organize stuff. My problems are the tiny things. Like extra Christmas lites, how about a very dumb gift from a good friend that you have no idea what to do with? I never have two of anything, I have like 40+. Garbage ties, rubberbands, thumb tacks. Why does such small stuff have to be so difficult to find a house for? Great post Honey, love the velcro tip. Going to get that tomorrowl! Mom

Jess @ Three Men and a Mommy October 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm

I was JUST looking at my junk drawer while waiting for your blog to load! Eeek! Thanks for the inspiration and the remarkable timing! :)

Marianne October 3, 2012 at 11:51 pm

I just wanted to let you know that I pinned and used your Covered Composition Book tutorial to teach myself something. I made one and then I taught it to some girls that I teach and they made them. Everyone loved it. Then when I came to your blog to thank you, there is a fabulous post about organizing a junk drawer. I’ve got several that I am going to implement that on. I pinned it to remind myself!

Chris October 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm

That’s awesome, Marianne!! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m running a little Appleseeds group for my daughter’s class after school, and we’ll be doing them also! Thanks again!

Susan October 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Our kitchen cabs need to be gutted and new ones built, with nice wide drawers like yours. BUT – (saying this is my best Scarlet O’Hara imitation) ….”As god as my witness, one day I WILL have a junk drawer like yours!”

Sarah October 9, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I have done and redone our junk drawer a thousand times! I MUST find a tray like yours, then I too can live life in organized bliss….that’s the dream.

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