A Tour of Junk Drawers

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Don’t you just love an organized junk drawer? They’re even better when they come with a gnarly before picture. I rounded up some lovely junk drawers to share. This isn’t a lesson on how to organize your junk drawer, it’s simply a collection of organized junk drawers meant to inspire and motivate you get your junk drawer in shape.

junk drawer organization

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Junk Drawer Eye-Spy

Check out this amazing drawer transformation by Lisa from Dwell Organized out of Kelowna, Canada. It’s practically unrecognizable, but also quite fun, like a little eye-spy book. Can you spot one purple lighter, an orange wristband, and three scotch tapes in the before pic? I’m betting this homeowner didn’t even know what was buried in there. Now, everything’s purged, sorted, and divided, and everything is accessible.

Lisa used a combination of individual iDesign shallow drawer organizers and a pre-configured tray to calm this chaos.

Junk Drawer Drop Zone

Liz, a professional organizer and owner of Norzanized out of Tennessee, made over this drop zone junk drawer with clear acrylic organizers. This space has everything a person needs on the way out the door, and it’s all easy to grab — right down to the perfect pair of shades.

Junk Drawer Reset

Junk drawers, because they’re used so often and have so many items within them, will get messy. As long as there’s a system in place, they should take only a few minutes to reset. So how do you reset a junk drawer? Well, if you want to go all out, you can take it all out and start fresh. If your drawer is mostly okay, just take items out bit by bit, purge extra, and remove items that are supposed to live elsewhere.

Krystee, from Sparx Organizing in Calgary Canada shared this drawer reset. You can see all the same organizing components and most of the same items within the drawer, just… less. And neater, too. This is classic junk drawer here with the batteries, birthday candles, and spare change, but orderly and efficient.

Krystee uses a bamboo organizer in combination with extra drawer bins to use every inch.

Junk Drawer, Light

From organized to… organized brightly. While this drawer (which is mine) was organized in the before picture, the variety of items in the clear dividers made the space look messy, even though there’s a method to the madness. Purging and swapping out the acrylic for white plastic divided tray brightened the space up. Everything is still easy to find, but now it looks nice, too. See how I organized my junk drawer in this post.

Anatomy of an Organized Junk Drawer

So what do these drawers have in common?

  1. They’re full of a variety of items that don’t seemingly belong together, aside from the fact that they’re all useful things with no other home.
  2. They’re divided up, and each category of item usually has its own little home.
  3. They’re minimal. Yes, there are some pens, but not too many pens. There is some change, but it’s not overflowing. Same goes for the keys, the rubber bands, the clips. There’s a reasonable quantity of all these items.

More Organized Junk Drawers

Here are some more organized junk drawers — they don’t have before pictures, but there are some lovely afters. It’s like snooping in a medicine cabinet, but with permission.


Alex, professional organizer and owner of Living Simply PGH uses a combination of acrylic bins to make this drawer efficient. Keeping each category minimal is KEY to keeping this drawer looking good and functioning well. Just three pens and a sharpie — could you downsize your junk drawer that much?

A minimal junk drawer is an organized junk drawer.


Amanda, owner of Beautiful Chaos Organizing, used individual white bins to organize this drawer. The individual bins fit together like a puzzle, using every inch of this drawer as effectively as possible. There are a LOT of items in here, but they all have a home and are properly contained.

A divided junk drawer is efficient and can help you stay organized.


Using similar individual white dividers, Courtney from Organisee keeps just the basics in her junk drawer — post-it notes, pens, chip clips, twist ties and a Pikachu, of course. #momlife

Your junk drawer needs to be real and serve your family regardless of how you organize it.

Color Coordinated Junk Drawer?

Nathalie, owner of N Organized Life used one white divided drawer tray that fit into the drawer like a glove. This minimized junk drawer is totally on-brand with Nathalie’s organizing business — all black and white! It’s quite impressive. Color-coordinating your junk drawer isn’t essential to keeping it organized, but if you know what you like, why not go with it?

A color coordinated junk drawer? Sure! As long as it's organized.
Nathalie from N Organized Life created this minimized junk drawer that’s totally on brand with her organizing business — all black and white!

Final Thoughts on this Tour of Junk Drawers

Isn’t it fascinating how much each of these drawers have in common? Almost all of them have keys, pens, a tool or two, and a lighter. There are also lots of clips, knives, and tape — none of which I keep in my junk drawer.

Does that mean my junk drawer is wrong? No. It works for me, just as these drawers work for their owners. There’s no one right answer when it comes to organization — as long as it works for you. And if that means keeping a Pikachu in your junk drawer so you always know where to find it, then so be it.

Junk drawers need to work hard and be functional. What’s your junk drawer looking like these days?

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