Debunking the Myth of the Junk Drawer

Can I blow your mind for a moment?  YOU DON’T NEED OR REALLY EVEN WANT A JUNK DRAWER.

Whaaaaaat?!  You say?  “Oh you OCD, anally retentive organizers… OF COURSE you would say that. But most normal people have a junk drawer.  It’s a thing.  It’s ok.  It’s totally ok.”

Sure – that’s fine.  And you’re right – most of us have one or more of these offenders in our home.  And I’m not here to judge if you’re 100% content on sifting through tiny sharp objects for a rubber band (for possibly 2 minutes or longer)… just because your parents always had a drawer like this one. Or because you don’t think it’s worth the time to figure out a ‘home’ for all that random stuff.  Keep calm, carry on and stop reading here.

But if you’re NOT convinced that a dark, deep abyss where everything is just mashed and jumbled together is the best spot for broken jewelry, batteries, confiscated toys, eye glasses, super glue and Tums, I will clearly lay out the super easy steps for you to never search again for a paper clip or the back door key.

Before

Before

After

After

The junk drawer is a myth.  There… I said it.  I don’t know where it came from or who came up with the term but it’s actually kind of ridiculous.  Even for some of the super organized, we’re convinced that a junk drawer is okay.  It’s normal.  Everyone has one (or 5).  Maybe it allows us to feel more ‘normal’ when we strive so hard to keep the rest of our life in strong working order?  But if you’re really striving for order in most areas of your life, this is a REALLY simple and easy fix that can bring you (even though perhaps a small amount) of daily joy and satisfaction.

After I made this shift in ALL of our top drawers in all pieces in my house, I can’t tell you how seriously pumped I get when I can find something immediately or because my husband no longer has to ask me. And truly, with the digging and sifting time in search of a particular item, I wonder how much time we’re saving in the long run.  I mean if it no longer takes more than 3 seconds to put my hand on something I need (even the tiniest thing) than that’s gotta add up in time savings right?

Before

Before

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After

So the magic…. The big reveal… the crazy secret.  It’s not rocket science but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve suggested it to clients because they simply hadn’t thought of it first.

No more junk drawer = drawer organizers or utensil dividers. Bam.

The process: (like we do for every other thing we organize)

  • Sort and categorize; purge as much as possible as you go.
  • Take inventory of what you’re keeping and take measurements of the categories and drawer space.
  • Use one from around the house or buy a drawer organizer or multiple small containers that you can puzzle together to create a super custom drawer.

Next time you’re asked for a Sharpie or some tape, grin with pride and direct that person to your new and improved ‘junk drawer’.  Happy grabbing.  Perhaps even consider renaming it 🙂

My happy kitchen drawer

My happy kitchen drawer