15 minute Junk Drawer Rescue

We have 96 intervals of 15 minutes every day, meaning you have many opportunities to make a difference.  Each day this month, I’m giving you a 15-minute project idea. Pick your favorites to improve your day, yourself or your world. I promise you have time for this.

We all have one. The Junk Drawer. And that’s OK! They have a purpose and can serve you well; a very useful space in your house that will help you when you’re dealing with Junk and need the random tool or item that will help solve your problem.  Use this simple strategy to set up the Junk Drawer you’ve always wanted.


Get the right supplies. You don’t need to purchase new supplies to organize your Junk Drawer, you already have the supplies you need in your house.  But they do need to fit in the drawer (both height and width).  You’ll usually need to have low containers, but they can be varied shapes and sizes–whatever works for you. Here are a few of my favorite repurposed container ideas:

  • I always use pottery I purchase at university-student project/class fundraisers to organize in my home and office. Looks cool, supports college students and I own tons of it–so I want to put it to good use.
  • I also like coffee mugs and use them creatively for everything (cheaper toothbrush holders than the official toothbrush holder and easier to clean in the DW).  We don’t drink coffee and get tons of these as gifts, so we make use of what we have.
  • And I love the little, inexpensive bins (photo above) you can purchase at your local big box store, usually in the kitchen/home section.
  • My mom also uses boxes: cereal or food boxes (cut to fit–your cereal will survive in the plastic bag), shoe boxes, checkbook boxes or small gift boxes.

Any of these items work, use what you have available! Right now, find about 10 containers of varied shapes and sizes to use for this project.  You’ll also need one XL storage box (to use for 10 more minutes).


Start with a clean slate. It’s easier to start cleaning your junk drawer if you take EVERYTHING out of it and start fresh.  Don’t try to sort it now.  Just take everything out and put it in the right container–what you have on hand like a laundry basket, cardboard box or office crate.  And right now, you can just dump it in there (unless of course your like items are already together, then nicely place items in the container, no need for more work).


Get it all back together. Put your storage containers in your Junk Drawer.  Find like items and put them together. Put the similar items in the junk drawer together. Throw away anything that is broken or unusable.  Donate any item that is usable, but you don’t need anymore.  Only put the items back in this drawer that you’ll use on a regular basis–this is an active storage area that is used frequently.  Any rarely used items should go somewhere else like long-term storage, find somewhere else to put it like one of your saved boxes, you can do this project later!


Tip! How to keep it organized. Your Junk Drawer will go right back to insanity if you’re the only one maintaining it.  Even a 3-year old knows how to put things back where he found them, so I know everyone in your house can help keep this organized.  Show everyone your success and ask them to maintain this organized space by putting things back exactly where they got them.

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