The junk drawer is a tricky little monster. Even its name makes you think it's okay to let it get, well, junky. But a junk drawer without parameters means that every few months you'll have to tackle a small mountain of those suuuuuper annoying little things you've basically just put off dealing with. For a "junk" drawer that's really more of a useful spot for miscellaneous items in the kitchen, follow these ten commandments.
Thou shalt decide what belongs in the junk drawer
Deliberately think about what items you need within reach regularly in the kitchen. Maybe it's Sharpies, rubber bands, and a candle lighter.
Thou shalt not put anything in the junk drawer that does not belong
Do not use the junk drawer as a catch-all or you'll be adding up a few seconds of putting something away here and there into a bigger and really not fun project not fondly known as Cleaning Out Your Junk Drawer.
Remember to use a drawer divider
A free-for-all drawer is asking for a tangled mess of unknowns. Compartmentalize with some kind of divider. A flatware divider is perfect. See this post for more ideas.
Thou shalt tame cords
Chargers and other cords that you have decided to keep in your junk drawer cannot be allowed to splay themselves every which way. Keep them tidy with rubber bands, velcro strips, or clever wrapping technique.
Thou shalt not use the junk drawer for storage
Refill batteries do not belong in the junk drawer. Neither do all your pads of Post-Its. Only keep things that you need to reach for on a daily basis (and not their backups).
Honor things that need to be fixed
By fixing them regularly. Maybe you've designated a spot for them in your junk drawer, and that's okay — if you make it a habit to actually fix them.
Thou shalt still clean out your junk drawer
Add this to your weekly or monthly cleaning tasks, even if it's just a quick, purposeful glance inside to congratulate yourself on how clean your junk drawer is.
Thou shalt be able to see what's inside
If you have to dig to see what you have in your drawer, you're stuffing too much into it. Edit your choices about what truly belongs.
Remember to be true to yourself
Keep what you need in the junk drawer, not what you think should go in a junk drawer. If you want chapstick, hand lotion, and hair ties in there and choose to keep rubber bands in the office, go with it.
Thou shalt have a spot for tiny things that need to get put away
Buttons, errant Legos, and the rubber tip of the door stopper inevitably find their way into the junk drawer because they require action that can't always be taken immediately. Again, that's fine if you have a designated spot and routinely address what collects there.