Junk drawers don’t always deserve their bad rap, since they can proffer whatever odds and ends we need at a moment’s notice. But when they’re choked with actual junk? That’s when they fail to achieve their usefulness potential, leaving this humble drawer to be little more than a ticking time bomb that will eventually require a massive and mind-numbing go-through.
So why not take some time today and clear out some of the needless things that put the “junk” in junk drawer?
Some of these items can be collected by category, such as office supplies, and put away where they belong. Others can go straight into the trash or recycling. Have at it and enjoy a drawer you can be proud of when you’re done.
Put them somewhere you’ll remember to use them before they expire.
You haven’t sewn them on yet, or they’re extras, or you don’t even know where they came from. Put them with your sewing supplies or be realistic and just toss them.
Used (and overused) twist ties
These aren’t meant to last and it’s more annoying than useful to try to secure a bag with bare wire when the paper’s worn off. Invest in some reusable bag-cinchers instead.
Is your junk drawer a graveyard of misplaced bobby pins? Put them back in your bathroom.
Put them back in your wallet or collect them in a jar or piggy bank.
If you don’t need them, don’t grab them. (Or get in the habit of telling the take-out staff that they can 86 the straws in your bag.)
If these aren’t with your tools, how likely are you to ever use them? Back with their friends they go.
Cords and charging cables
If these are extras and you don’t know quite what they go to, consider disposing of them. Either way, they shouldn’t be taking up prime real estate in the junk drawer.
Errant LEGO (or other small toys)
Put them back with LEGO that are in their proper place.
You can find them online.
You only need one working one.
Hot sauce packets
You’ll be much more likely to use up condiment packets if you store them near to the full-size stuff in a small bowl or basket.
Same as above. If you feel bad about throwing these away, there is one smart way to reuse those takeout sauce packets.
Store them directly on your bulletin board, if you have one. If you don’t, do you need the push pins at all?
Keep these with your office supplies, unless you actually reach for them from your junk drawer.
Pens that don’t work
…or more than one of any type of pen. Streamline that collection!
Store them in an app and toss the bulky originals that you never have when you need them anyway.
Instead of three almost-gone little Post-It pads, taper it down to one almost-gone one (use it up!) and keep the backups somewhere else.
Broken pieces of things
Lets be real: If it’s still broken, you aren’t gonna fix it.
While you’re in cleaning mode, just put them back with their puzzles.
Apartment Therapy supports our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.