How to Organize Your Junk Drawer For Good - Step By Step!

how to organize your kitchen drawers

The Dreaded Junk Drawer

Disclaimer: Those with weak stomachs may want to advert their eyes and page down for this part.

how to organize your kitchen drawers

Don't judge.  You know you have one, too.

Good news is, you don't have to have one!  I'm here to tell you that it can be done.  You can get rid of this wretched black hole and keep it that way!

About five months ago I decided that I just couldn't take it anymore.  I'd cleaned out this drawer on occasion over the years, but this time I vowed to better organize it, keep only what made sense for the space, and KEEP it that way!

Step 1:
Grab that drawer (maybe borrow a forklift) and haul that sucker to your family room floor.

Step 2:
Turn on a movie you've already seen (nothing nail biting, you're working here!).  Blasting upbeat Broadway show tunes is also a good idea.

Step 2a:
If playing sing-a-long show tunes, offer family members ear plugs for the next hour while you work.

Step 3:
Dump out the junk from your said drawer.

Step 4:
Start sorting.  Toss trash in a small garbage bag, plastic grocery bag, or just make a pile.  Make piles for office/craft supplies, tools, batteries, coupons, things to file (receipts, etc.), and piles for specific family members or rooms.

Step 5:
Once sorted, spend the next few minutes finding homes for the stuff that doesn't go back into the drawer.  Little Girl's crayons go to a craft box, Tic-Tacs go to your purse, extra pens and scissors go with your main office supplies; you get the idea.

Step 6:
Get rid of duplicates. You may want a nail file in your drawer for random snags while you're in the kitchen, but you don't need two or three.  This drawer is going to be functional and convenient, but the majority of your supplies need to go to a main home that makes sense.

Step 7:
Take a look at your glorious empty drawer.  Breathe a sigh of relief that the worst is over.  Take a look at your piles.  What's staying?  Why?  Think about their use and why it's important to keep them in this drawer.  Create a plan to organize them.

Step 8:
Don't go crazy making it pretty just yet.  Right now function is most important.  Grab some dollar store plastic baskets/bins for batteries, candles, and lighters; use an old cutlery divider for pens, scissors, Chapstick, and tape rolls.  Look around your house for containers and dividers that will do the job.

Step 9:
Wipe down the drawer with a damp cloth.  Maybe place colorful removable vinyl to protect the drawer.  Add containers to drawer and organize items inside.

Step 10:
If an item doesn't fit well in the drawer reevaluate if you really need it there.

Step 11:
Stand up slowly and stretch your legs.  You're not as young as you used to be!

Step 12:
Slide your fabulous new drawer back in place.  It's easy now that you've cleaned it out.

Step 13:
Before closing your drawer, admire your hard work.  Isn't it pretty?  Isn't it SO much more functional?  Not so embarrassing anymore, is it?  In fact, you might want to throw a party in it's honor.

Step 14:
Go find your family and show them your tremendous achievement.  You'll have to walk around to find them.  Calling out won't work since they still have earplugs in.

Step 15:
Practice humility as they sing your praises.

Step 16:
Take note of any organizers that aren't working perfectly or that aren't winning any beauty contests.  Next time when you're out and about, keep your eyes open for containers that fit the bill.  Then throw that party.


P.S.  I found this post hiding in the closet of my blog...originally planned for late July 2013.  You read that right!  To this day, I still remember sitting on the floor of my family room with my drawer, trying to make sense of it all!  Sorry to say, I have no idea where the "After" photo ended up (we moved early August, just a couple weeks later), but I'm happy to announce that my kitchen junk drawer has never been this bad since, and my family continues to sing my organizational praises! 😂

post: 7/25/2013