How to Organize a Junk Drawer: 5 Effective Strategies

Discover how to transform your kitchen junk drawer into a functional and organized drawer.
Junk Drawer

If you have a kitchen, chances are you also have that one drawer that’s become packed with all sorts of miscellaneous junk – think pens, paper clips, a random measuring tape, office supplies, maybe a damp cloth or two, and definitely a bunch of old takeout menus.

With so much advice out there on how to organize a junk drawer, the key is to simplify. Decide on one or two main functions for your kitchen junk drawer and tailor its contents to those needs. This strategy cuts down on the clutter, transforming your junk drawers from chaotic catch-alls into well-ordered spaces that stay organized over time. To get you started, we've compiled five tips for transforming your chaotic junk drawer into a purposeful and organized space.

Tip 1: Turn Your Kitchen Junk Drawer Into a Charging Station

Your kitchen is one of the central rooms in your home, where meals are prepared and daily necessities for both work and school are organized. Convert your kitchen junk drawer into a dedicated charging station for essential gadgets like headphones, smartphones, and smartwatches. This simple yet effective transformation ensures all your electronics are in one easy-to-find spot, cutting down on the morning scramble through junk drawers during the busy work and school week rush.

In any new or existing drawer, you can install a Docking Drawer Blade Duo outlet, which features a variety of ports, including fast-charging USB-C (PD), to keep all types of devices charged and ready to go for the day. Not to mention, you will keep your countertops clear of cord and device clutter by charging your devices directly in the drawer. Kitchen charging drawers are not just excellent organization tools. They are also great for encouraging family members and guests to eliminate screen time during meals and enhance quality time together.

Junk drawer organizerLeft: Kitchen junk drawer before organization. Right: Kitchen junk drawer after transformation into a charging station.

Tip 2: Create a Utility Drawer in Your Kitchen for Everyday Items

If the majority of your kitchen junk drawer’s contents are tools like screwdrivers, measuring tape, paper clips, batteries, lighters, flashlights, packing tape, and scissors, then creating a utility drawer may be the best solution for your junk drawer organization. More so than other drawer purposes, utility drawers can be difficult to prevent from turning back into a typical junk drawer, so opting for drawer organizers and dividers dedicated to specific items is key to staying on top of an organized drawer

Learn how to organize a junk drawer effectively by transforming it into a utility drawer, a move that's particularly beneficial for homes and rental spaces lacking a dedicated area like a garage for utility items. Utilizing drawer organizers can keep tools neatly arranged for easy access in a common space like the kitchen, ensuring essentials like flashlights, lighters, and backup battery packs are handy during everyday use or crucial moments, such as power outages caused by severe weather.

Organizing junk drawer

Utility drawer image via

Tip 3: Dedicate a Kitchen Drawer to Medications and Supplements

While medications you take at night may be best stored in a bathroom drawer, your kitchen is the ideal place to have a dedicated space for any medication you take in the morning or around meal times. This includes vitamins and supplements taken in pill form or powders used as an addition to smoothies, soups, and dressings for additional health benefits. Keeping these items in a centralized kitchen drawer near a refrigerator, pantry, or even where you store your blender, can help simplify taking daily medications or supplements. Depending on your lifestyle, you can also incorporate herbal teas, tinctures, or essential oils to create a holistic wellness drawer. Drawer dividers are a great addition to your kitchen wellness drawer to keep medications and supplements organized, and textured drawer liners work well to help prevent medication and supplement bottles from moving too much when you open and close your drawer.

Kitchen junk drawer

Kitchen supplement and medication drawer image via @simplyspacialhome

Tip 4: Use Your Drawer to Secure Items from Children and Visitors

If your kitchen junk drawer holds potentially dangerous or sensitive items like prescription medications, passports, lighters, button batteries, or even sharp kitchen tools, adding a lock to create a secure storage drawer can help protect young children and even visitors from accessing these items. Creating a secure drawer is no longer limited to a lock and key function—now, there are security options that incorporate fingerprint recognition for added protection to your kitchen drawer

To safeguard valuable electronic devices within a secure, locked drawer, think about integrating a charging outlet directly into the drawer space (like this popular choice). This setup allows you to keep devices not only safe but also fully charged within an empty drawer. Enhance privacy and security further by employing non-transparent storage boxes or even crafting a false bottom drawer, ensuring sensitive items remain out of sight, even if the drawer happens to be open. 

The security measures you implement should reflect the drawer's contents and its accessibility to others. If possible, select a kitchen drawer away from your more commonly used kitchen drawers to minimize confusion or inconvenience. Establishing a secure storage drawer is crucial not only in your primary residence but also in any rental or vacation properties you own, especially those with high guest turnover.

secured kitchen junk drawer

Secured kitchen drawer image via

Tip 5: Design a Coffee or Tea Supply Drawer in Your Kitchen

If you are an avid coffee or tea drinker (or both!), repurposing your kitchen junk drawer into a coffee and tea supply drawer can bring organization to all of your beverage accessories. Utilize a drawer organizer to neatly store all your essential items like coffee scoops, K-Cups, coffee filters, tea bags, tea infusers, and more. If you are an espresso aficionado, store your portafilter, espresso tampers, specialty filters, and kitchen scale in one easy location to brew the perfect espresso shots. 

No matter your beverage of choice, select a kitchen drawer nearest to your brewing devices as your coffee and tea supply drawer to simplify your routine and keep your items from being left out on your kitchen counter. Make it easier to clean any coffee grounds or loose tea pieces that find their way into your drawer by incorporating drawer dividers with a bottom or utilizing drawer liners. It can also be beneficial to choose a drawer near a trash can for quick disposal of items like used tea bags and coffee filters, espresso pucks, or used K-Cups.

Junk drawer essentials

Coffee and tea kitchen drawer image via

Bonus Tip: Install Drawer Dividers to Create a Dual-Purpose Kitchen Drawer

Learning how to organize a junk drawer effectively means recognizing when to adapt. While dedicating your kitchen junk drawer to a single purpose is ideal, often the size of your drawer or space in your kitchen does not allow this approach. In those cases, you can create a dual-purpose drawer by installing drawer dividers. Want to combine your coffee accessories with your morning vitamins? Or, maybe you want to charge your devices and store your utility items in the same drawer? No problem. The true goal behind repurposing your kitchen junk drawer is to transform it into a space that gives purpose to what matters most to you.

Junk drawer kitchen

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