Weekend Projects

This Weekend: Prune & Purify Your Personal Purgatory

updated Jul 16, 2020
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

If open shelving keeps you honest and un-cluttered, junk drawers are the organizational opposite: a hidden spot where random things are stuck and linger until later used, relocated, thrown out, or recycled. It’s your own personal purgatory and a sanity-saving catchall, so don’t resist it entirely. Just hit the reset button periodically and bring it back under control…and accept that it will fill up again.

This Weekend’s Assignment: Reset your junk drawer and get it ready for a new round of random stuff.

(Image credit: Sarah Rae Smith)


Throw out what you obviously don’t need or want, like really old receipts or stale gum. Move anything that belongs in another place to its proper home. Then wipe or vacuum to get rid of crumbs and dirt.

The REAL Problem with Cleaning Out Your Junk Drawers →

5 Things That Don’t Belong In the Kitchen Junk Drawer

(Image credit: Shifrah Combiths)

Sort & Assess

Think about what should actually belong in the junk drawer — miscellaneous items that you don’t want to lose but really don’t have a proper home, like spare keys, the plumber’s business card, pens, and hair ties. Group like items so you get a sense of how to organize them. Do you need long trays for pencils, or small dishes for random change?

→ Creating A Junk Drawer That Works
One Minute Tip: Embrace Your Junk (Drawer!)
(Image credit: Cambria Bold)


Either head to the store, raid your home for containers, or DIY what you need. If you measure first, you’ll save yourself the hassle of buying or making organizers that don’t fit. And be realistic — purposely leave a portion completely empty for all those little things that will work their way into the drawer in the future.

Remember, as with all of our Weekend Projects, just do what you have the time and energy to do. This is a marathon, not a sprint!

  • Help motivate others by letting the rest of us know how things are going! Share your tips and photos of your Weekend Project work on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ATweekendproject