How to Conquer the Dreaded Junk Drawer

Written by Courtney Carver on

This is not a post about organizing your junk drawer. This is a post about getting rid of your junk drawer, catch-all, or whatever you call your special place for crap.

The junk drawer is the ultimate form of procrastination. “Because I don’t want to take the time to find a place for this, I’ll just throw it in here…and never use it again.” For that very reason, the last place most people want to turn to when decluttering is their junk drawer.

For some, the drawer is an actual drawer (or 2) usually in the kitchen. For others, it might be a junk shelf, box or special area where all the junk winds up.

If you can, after reading this post, take 10 minutes and take care of your junk drawer. There is a reason it’s called a junk drawer. You put stuff in there because it has no where else to go. The junk in there means less to you than anything in your house. That’s why it’s a mess and that is why it is hidden.

I speak from experience here. I used to have two junk drawers. While they were always full, I can’t remember what was in them. I do remember they captured my attention because they were so disturbing, but I don’t know why specifically.

conquer your junk drawer once and for all (any of these methods will work)

The Table Top Method. Dump your junk drawer onto your kitchen table. Dump it right in the middle of the table. Eat dinner around it. If all that junk enhanced your meal and made you feel good, load the junk back in the drawer and put it away.

Even though you might not be completely aware of it, that feeling you have at the dinner table, surrounded by junk is exactly how part of you feels about the junk drawer. Even though it’s behind closed drawers…you know how it makes you feel.

Hide It. This brings the Hide Your Stuff mini-mission to a whole new level, but it is a great method of figuring out what is really important. Dump the contents of your junk drawer into a bag or box. Label it and hide it for 30 days. If you didn’t miss it, dump it. No peeking to try and remember what you might have forgotten.

Dump it. Take a leap of faith and be confident that there isn’t buried treasure in the drawer. (There isn’t) Dump it or donate it and be done with it once and for all.

Sort it. If you are looking for gentler method, this is for you. Schedule an hour, turn on some calming music and sort through the junk drawer. Give each thing a proper place. If it doesn’t have one, let the item go.

  • If you are worried about what to do with your junk, check out Does Decluttering Help the Environment and Where to Donate Your Stuff.
  • If you think because you sew, scrapbook or have another artistic hobby that you need a junk drawer, you don’t.
  • If you think you don’t have time to conquer your junk drawer, think of it this way, if you take ten minutes after reading this post and handle it, you will never have to spend time reading or thinking about a junk drawer again. This is going to actually save you time.

Junk attracts junk. Clutter attracts clutter. If that wasn’t the case, your junk drawer wouldn’t be so full. If you want more clutter, keep it up. If you want more time, space, and peace…you know what to do.

Quick Review: Do not waste time organizing your junk drawer. Get rid of it completely.

What is standing between you and your junk drawer?