10 Ways You Might Not Be Making The Most Of Your Junk Drawer

We know what you're thinking: Make the most of your junk drawer? What does that even mean? Isn't the junk drawer supposed to be a jumbled mess of all the things that don't have a place?

And we get it, it may seem a bit overkill to try to maximize the use of this space, as the appeal for many is that it's the one area they don't have to think about. However, if your drawer isn't organized, it can be hard to find the items you need, which may cause frustration. Further, you may buy an excess of something you already have just because you can't find it. Therefore, keeping your junk drawer orderly could save you money and give you peace of mind.

The first step is knowing what belongs in the drawer and what doesn't. While this list will slightly differ for each person, there are some basic things that almost everyone stores in this drawer. Budget Dumpster says that office supplies, coins, keys, screwdrivers, batteries, lighters, and chargers are typically kept here, while gum, bills, medicine bottles, condiment packets, dollar bills, makeup, and glasses should be removed, as they could either cause a mess or get damaged.

If you're looking to get your junk drawer in order, you'll find the below information useful. Below are 10 things you should avoid doing with your drawer, so that you can keep it orderly.

1. Never decluttering

If your drawer is overflowing, you probably haven't decluttered it recently (or ever). Go through your items and remove anything that isn't useful or that should be stored somewhere else.

2. Holding onto papers

Some of the items you could remove are restaurant menus, small appliance manuals, or old mail, which can easily build up in your drawer. Most of this should be thrown away, but important manuals or bills could be filed in another place.

3. Keeping old pens

Junk drawers can also sometimes get overrun with office supplies like pens, highlighters, or markers. If you can't remember when you purchased them, test out each one and throw away any that no longer work.

4. Referring to it as a junk drawer

If you're calling it a junk drawer, chances are that it's going to live up to its name. Naming it something else, like office supply storage or a catch-all, will help you remember to only place things inside it that you'll actually need in the future. 

5. Not keeping items separate from one another

If your drawer is a cluttered jumble of a million different items, it's probably difficult to find the things you need. Keeping the same items together, like all your batteries separate from your paper clips, will help you in the long run.

6. Failing to use dividers

To keep your piles separated from one another, use drawer dividers, which will also give the space an organized and satisfying appearance.

7. Limiting yourself to one drawer

If you find it hard to find your items or to close the drawer, you could create two or three utility drawers. However, make sure you truly need the space and aren't holding onto things you don't need.

8. Placing the drawers in one room

Further, if you're going the multiple drawers route, think about adding one to each room. For instance, maybe you need office supplies in the office but tools in the garage. If so, place these items where they're most often used.

9. Thinking you can't have fun with the design

Most people neglect their junk drawers and allow them to become chaotic messes, but that doesn't mean you can't keep it organized or have fun with the design. Make it your own by adding a liner or using labels.

10. Believing you have to use a drawer

At the same time, who says you need to use a drawer? You could dismiss the idea altogether and instead create a system that works for you, such as a utility cart in the office or bins on a shelving unit.