Fix That Messy Junk Drawer You Hate Opening in 15 Minutes or Less

published Sep 20, 2023
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Looking inside an organized kitchen junk drawer
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Apartment Therapy’s Decluttering Cure is a free two-week decluttering program that’ll help you achieve a tidier home. Sign up here and get all 14 assignments delivered to your inbox.

Junk drawers have a bad reputation as a place to store “junk,” but that’s just not true — they’re more like the home for miscellaneous belongings that don’t have a place to go just yet. (And it probably doesn’t help that junk drawers often lack overall organization for the stuff that does belong there.) 

So let’s spend the day restoring your junk drawer’s reputation so that you no longer dread seeing what lies inside and can appreciate its importance in your home.

Day 3: Declutter a messy drawer.

Today you’ll be decluttering that one messy drawer that’s been a persistent issue. For a successful clearout, follow these steps to declutter your junk drawer.

  1. Take everything out — and we mean everything.
  2. Put items through the five-question assessment and utilize your outboxes for things you want to relocate/revisit, donate, or sell (if any). 
  3. Throw away any trash or unwanted items.
  4. Put everything back in an organized fashion.

That’s it! It’s really that simple. If you notice anything sentimental that’s worth reevaluating, make sure to set this aside from your outboxes. We’ll get to those another day!

PRO TIP: Before you put everything back, consider placing drawer inserts first. This will allow you to sort by categories and keep things as neat as possible. Find the drawer set we deemed the best in our Organization Awards.

Did you find anything interesting in your junk drawer? Tell us about it in the comments below.

More ways to participate in the Decluttering Cure:

The Cure Program is a tradition here at Apartment Therapy — it happens every January, April, and September. Click here to learn more about the year-round program and when to sign up.