Organizing a Junk Drawer — or is that an Oxymoron?

Today we begin DIY/How To month at Apartment Therapy. I do have a couple projects in mind but no definite plans for when to do them. However, maybe this DIY month is just the kick in the pants I need. I am starting small though and my first project is organizing my junk drawer and sharing my process with all of you.

Junk drawers are just that — drawers filled with junk. Odds and ends that are useful but just don’t really have a designated home. And, of course with the mere title of junk drawer, it is the first go-to place to put random things with the thought being, “I will organize later”. Well, later is here.

As the above pictures indicate, my junk drawer was a mess. I sought out organizing trays on the internet and may go out and purchase one soon — but for now, my goal was just to clean and organize the best I could without one.

Here is list of what I found in my junk drawer:

  • my Bloomingdale’s charge card (which I immediately put in my wallet)
  • 3 working ballpoint pens
  • a 2009 weekly organizer
  • a regular ruler, a scale ruler, a triangle, and 3 tape measures
  • 3 color markers
  • 2 highlighters
  • a box cutter
  • 2 dried up glue sticks
  • 2 travel sewing kits
  • 3 spools of thread
  • 2 boxes of matches from Hong Kong, reminding me of our vacation there making me smile
  • a Leatherman
  • packet of EmergenC
  • a stapler
  • a box of staples
  • Scotch tape
  • cough drops still in package
  • unopened memory card for camera
  • lens cleaning cloth that came with our camera — unopened
  • travel power converter
  • a box of incense cones from a Christmas ornament our German friend gave us
  • USB cord for camera
  • USB cord for IPod (an extra one)
  • an extra set of earphones
  • tube of Blistex
  • laser toy for cat
  • return address labels
  • $2.79 in change
  • Tide to Go pen (love these!)
  • a fold up subway map
  • spare set of car keys
  • Forever stamps
  • a shoelace we use as a cat toy

After sorting through my drawer, I threw out some stuff, put some items away, and kept the rest of the items where they were but just made it a whole lot neater. A drawer organizer sure would help keep this drawer from becoming such a mess. Maybe I should also start calling it something other than a junk drawer? I actually put my Bloomie’s card back in the drawer when I was done organizing. It is safer there!

For drawer trays and containers ranging in prices from $1 to $30, try the Container Store or

Images 1 and 2: Sparrow King