The Great Junk Drawer Debate


  1. 1.
    old or discarded articles that are considered useless or of little value


  1. 1.
    a boxlike storage compartment without
    made to slide horizontally in and out of a desk, chest, or other piece of furniture.

After reading the definitions of junk + drawer, I have decided a junk drawer is not anything I would want to have in my home. And who would? I think we all just want stuff in our homes that are useful and of value.
I personally don’t have a junk drawer in my home. But my husband does for sure. I think he may have several actually.  Thankfully they are in his spaces. Like in the garage and office, places I rarely go.


In my line of business, I find the majority of junk drawers have all or some of these characteristics…

  • they are located in the kitchen
  • things that are in there may have a purpose
  • things in there often no longer have a purpose
  • things get thrown in there to clear off the counter
  • stuff goes in there because it is easier than putting it away, or, no one knows where it’s supposed to live
  • the drawers are often full and hard to open
  • things are haphazard
When I help a client organize a junk drawer, these are the characteristics I prefer to see in a junk drawer…
  • it is user-friendly
    • meaning, things are easy to find and easily accessible
  • what’s in it makes sense
    • having the box of nails from the kitchen remodel in the drawer isn’t helping anyone
  • it makes life easier
    • you have access to things that are used often or used nearby

Here is a photo of my “junk”drawer.

(Please remember, everyone’s drawer is going to contain something different. And, it may contain more or less than mine)

junk drawer

Junk Drawer or Utility Drawer?

The microwave is above this drawer so it also holds microwave plates, plate covers, hot mats and trivets, as well as “junk”.

These are the other things you will find in my “junk” drawer.
  • a hammer
  • a couple of very small screwdrivers to be able to fix small things
  • a little kit of nails
  • adhesives such as tape and museum putty
  • pens and pencils (way too many it looks like)
  • lighters for lighting both the barbecue and candles
  • rubber bands (maybe a few too many)
  • push pins (which are rarely used but these are all we have)
  • double sticky tape to keep the cat from scratching the furniture
  • scissors
  • safety pins
  • coupons

It also contained things I don’t need in there and will clean out promptly.  (after I am done writing this of course. I must focus…)

  • a letter opener (we don’t even open our mail in the kitchen)
  • so many paper clips (i have some in the office drawer in the next room)

I guess that wasn’t too bad. Only a couple of things.

How do I determine what lives in my “junk drawer”?
  • I only put things in it that myself or my family needs immediate access to and are utilitarian in nature.
    • The hammer is there because I don’t want to have to look in the garage for one. It is kind of hard to walk around where the tools are.
    • Scissors, tape and rubber bands, pens and pencils. Everyone needs those. It also keeps others out of my office drawers, which ensures my things will be there when I need them.
  • I know that it is not a temporary place to hold all things. A place for everything and everything in its place.
    • I will give you permission to have a small container in the drawer that is a temporary holder and is cleaned out regularly. That means when it’s full, find a place for everything in it or get rid of it.


How about we think of it as a Utility Drawer rather than Junk Drawer. Click To Tweet


I have an idea. How about we think of it as a Utility Drawer rather than a Junk Drawer. It might make a difference in what lands there!

Junk drawer or not?  What do you think? Let me know below…


Happy DeJunking the Junk Drawer,



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