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I don’t understand why junk drawers feel like a necessity, but we’ve inevitably ended up with one each time we moved. It always seemed so messy but necessary. We stopped having one and it made life so much easier!
It was always an annoying clutter source that I knew was there even if I couldn’t see it.
With the junk drawer finally gone, I get extra kitchen space, which is vital when you have a smaller-sized kitchen.
I’m committed to never having a kitchen junk drawer again.
You too can manage to get rid of junk drawers once and for all with the helpful tips to clean out your junk drawer below!
How I Knew I Needed to Get Rid of My Junk Drawer
The junk drawer is the easiest way for a procrastinator like me to “clean” the kitchen.
Instead of dealing with mail, loose hair ties, mints, and miscellaneous tool bits, I’d stick it in the junk drawer to be dealt with another day.
Eventually, it got to the point I couldn’t even open the drawer without junk falling to the cabinet below! I’d take everything out, clean and organize it, and be proud of my work.
Until…another few months go by and I was back in the same cycle! If you’re stuck in the same routine, it’s time to say buh-bye to junk drawers.
How To Clean Out A Junk Drawer
Clearing out a junk drawer is not such an easy task. The items inside are typically ones that don’t otherwise have a home.
An important step to getting rid of junk drawers is to find homes for the contents.
That keeps you from pulling everything out, spending half an hour realizing nothing inside has a designated spot, then getting discouraged and dumping the contents back in the drawer.
Start With the Mail Pile
The most space-consuming part of a junk drawer is usually mail. All the sales flyers and credit card offers inevitably end up in there, along with bills that you aren’t able to address the second they come in the mailbox.
Keep a paper shredder nearby.
We have ours right next to our counter and while it’s not exactly the most attractive part of our kitchen, it does make it easier to shred junk mail immediately instead of stashing it for later. As our good habits solidify, we’ll move it into the laundry room to hide it a bit better.
A tip to reduce the mail you receive is to sign up for e-billing through your utility and loan companies. We get so much less mail now that everything is on autopay with e-billing.
Find A Home For Batteries
Miscellaneous batteries always end up rolling around in junk drawers. Having a designated spot for them in a closet keeps them organized and keeps you from digging around when your computer mouse suddenly dies!
A battery organizer is perfect for organizing your batteries by size, and includes a handy battery tester so you never have to wonder if that battery you’re grabbing is still good.
Ready to deep clean the rest of your kitchen? See the blueprint to deep cleaning a kitchen here!
Stick Condiment Packets in The Pantry, or Toss Them
If you seem to have 34820 packets of soy sauce, ketchup, and mustard, ask yourself if you ever really use them. If not, toss them!
But if you do find yourself using them, stick them in a small bin in the cabinet or pantry. That will keep them clean and organized. Plus it’ll prevent them from accidentally getting punctured and leaking all over everything.
Get A Key Hook
Running late for work, but can’t find your keys? We’ve all been there!
Getting a key hook and placing it in an easy to use spot like near the garage will keep you from rummaging around your junk drawer and jacket pockets to see where you last left them.
It’s not enough to just clean your junk drawer. Trust me, I’ve tried but it just seems to fill right back up with more junk! Which is kind of it’s given purpose, but that doesn’t help with having a well-organized home.
Now that your junk drawer is empty, it’s time to fill it back up by making it useful! Take a look around your kitchen to see what drawers are the most crammed.
Divide up the contents of that drawer and relocate it to the former junk drawer. Add pretty junk drawer organizers.
Once it’s full and has an actual purpose besides just a junk collection spot, you won’t want to or even be able to use it as a junk drawer catchall any more and you’ll gain useful drawer space!
Do You Truly Want To Keep Your Junk Drawer?
If you’ve found your junk drawer to be actually kind of helpful despite the chaos it contains, you could instead keep it as a multi-purpose organized junk drawer.
Just cut down on the contents and use bins or a divider so everything inside has a home.
Do you truly need 5 rolls of tape inside the drawer? Probably not, right? Keep one inside and move others to a supply closet.
Got a bunch of menus from local restaurants? Consider taking pictures of each page then store them in a digital file. Or you could check their website or social media page to see if their menus are online. If so, toss them!
As a last resort, get a file and stick all the loose menus inside to keep them organized. If it’s something you use regularly, keep it handy by sticking the file to the inside of a cabinet door with double sided tape.
Always find yourself needing a pen and paper at the last second? The junk drawer is where those end up, but rummaging around to find them while on the phone is stressful!
I’m not a huge fan of cluttering up the outside of my fridge, but an adorable magnetic notepad with an attached pen or marker is worth it to cut down on the headache of hunting for a pen quickly.