6 Steps to an Organized Junk Drawer

Your junk drawer doesn’t have to look, well, junky. Pro organizer Beth Penn shares the keys to a smarter setup.

junk-drawer-sections
Photo by Alpha Smoot

1. Modular Mix

Acrylic bins let you Tetris a drawer to max out the space. Add some fun with a few creative “containers,” like a doughnut eraser to hold pushpins.

To buy: Linus organizers, from $3 each; containerstore.com. Desk doughnut eraser, $10; papersource.com.

2. Receipt Wrangler

Use a small pouch to keep all those little papers (plus coupons) from taking over. It holds about a week’s worth; when it’s full, it’s time to toss the ones you no longer need.

To buy: Snap pouch, $1; containerstore.com.

3. Birthday Kit

Corral candles, matches, and spare balloons in one spot and—voilà—you’re that pulled-together person who’s always party-ready.

4. Pop of Pattern

A decorative background (like adhesive wallpaper) makes this spot instantly look better. The pretty print is your keep-it-neat prompt every time you open the drawer.

To buy: Misty Marble removable wallpaper, $40 per panel; chasingpaper.com.

5. Grab-and-Go Row

The front section is prime real estate, so save it for the items you reach for most often: hand lotion, bandages, paper clips, lip balm. If you designate that part of the drawer as your essentials area, you’ll be less likely to jam it up with random stuff.

6. Drop Zone

Leave a little open space for storing odd-shaped items (scissors, rubber-band ball) and miscellaneous ones (twine for newspaper bundling, ribbon for rushed wrapping jobs).