5 Simple Steps to Eliminate Your Junk Drawer

Growing up my Mammy always referred me to her junk drawer when I needed scissors, plastic baggies, or, come to think of it, pretty much everything I needed for my arts and crafts projects at her house.  It was an average size drawer in her kitchen.  That drawer was always filled with treasures.  The memories of my Mammy and her junk drawer are beautiful.  However after completing my own person KonMari Tidying Event calling a drawer in our kitchen the junk drawer is like nails on a chalkboard for me. 

My husband periodically weaves into a conversation a reference to the junk drawer.  I have even gone so far as to putting a sticky note on that drawer labeled “Utility Drawer.”  Because if it’s all really junk it’s out of our home!  In an effort to rename the drawer I took these 5 simple steps to create the Beautiful Minimal Millennial (BMM) Utility Drawer. 

black and white metal mesh basket

Items to Have on Hand:

  1. Garbage can
  2. Wipes or towels
  3. Rubber bands, empty and clean jars, or small boxes


  1. Identify workspace:  You need a clear counter or kitchen table or island to work on.  I suggest cleaning the surface with a towel or wipe so that your junk drawer items do not get dirtier. 
  2. Empty junk drawer:  That’s right.  Dump it all out onto your workspace.  EVERYTHING!!!  Spread it all out so that you can see what you have.
  3. Wipe out utility drawer:  No matter how clean you keep your home drawers and shelves collect dirt and dust even if they get closed up. 
  4. Keep vs. Discard:  For small spaces I give myself two options.  The item is either kept or discarded.  Rarely do I find a valuable hidden item in a small space for me to consider a third option of donate/give away/sell.  Before you start putting your items back into your utility drawer you need to touch each item to decide if you are going to keep it or discard it.  Typically there are no sentimental items in a junk drawer so this step will generally take less than 10 minutes.
  5. Fill your utility drawer:  After you have discarded items, look at what remains.  Consider bundling like items via a rubber band, plastic baggie, or jar.  You do not need to purchase fancy storage solutions for this drawer.  After you have bundled what you wanted to bundle, start filling your utility drawer.  This step will be similar to the 1990’s game of tetras as you fill your utility drawer. 

How did it go?  Comment below and please post a picture of your before vs. after!

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5 thoughts on “5 Simple Steps to Eliminate Your Junk Drawer

  1. I’ve never really had a junk drawer although, as I recently learned, one of my desk drawers came pretty close to fitting that description. I’m not a fan of Marie Kondo but, one of the tips I found really useful in her book was using small boxes you already have – like the box from your phone – to keep drawers tidy and organized. It’s something I have done in a lot of drawers and it makes a big difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i on occasion will clean out the “junk drawer” as it seems to collect items that dry out (pens, rubber bands, glue, etc.). since it seems i never have enough pens, i will always take a couple if places have them for free, and they end up in this drawer. but i think the best thing is to call it my “utility drawer” lol

    Liked by 1 person

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