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My Version of a Junk Drawer…Help Me!

I was talking to my cubical mate at work the other day and she said something that inspired me. “Junk drawers are a great place to start organizing. You can finish it quickly and feel satisfied.” Brilliant!

I was inspired to go organize my junk drawers until…drum roll…I realized I did not have any. As a recent college graduate who has been living in an apartment with five other people, drawer space is at a premium. There were no extras to throw junk in. Therefore, I have accumulated junk bins/bags. Cheap, somewhat stylish, randomly pieced together bins and bags to hold things I either did not need all the time or had no idea what to do with.


Moving recently and getting my first “grown-up” apartment that is ALL MINE (WOOHOO!!!!). I have decided to start off with organizing my things. The problem is I have no idea how to go about this. This is compounded by some restrictions/wants that I have about organizing my “junk drawers.” These restrictions/wants are as follows:
    • Drawer space is still at a premium in my little 700 sq. foot apartment
    • I will be moving in 12 weeks. Whatever I organize needs to be transportable.
    • Most of these things need to be easily accessible and easy to find
    • None of the things in this pile seem to be related

On a positive note, I do have a HUGE closet that is relatively empty. I am trying to stop myself from just throwing everything in there and closing the door 🙂


Okay so what is in the pile:
    • Office supplies: pens, pencils, highlighters, staples, glue, scissors (I think), paper clips, graph paper, etc.
    • CDs – program cds, picture cds
    • Pictures and cards (only ones important to me…I threw out the rest before I moved)
    • Cords – charging cords, connect to the computer cords (I have a lot of little electronics)
    • Scrapbooks
    • Important documents (thus the huge black safety box my mom insisted I buy and I was mad because it cost like $70…hello, poor college student who can eat off of that for like 3 weeks) 
    • Other really random things

So please, please, please tell me how to get started or send some suggestions!!

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6 Responses to My Version of a Junk Drawer…Help Me!

  1. Erin Gentry June 9, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    This is great advice! I will definitely have to put my cords in seperate bags and label them. What a simple but great idea.

  2. Karli June 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    A simple way to organize and move your version of a Junk Drawer is use 3 clear Rubbermaid containers.
    Label the containers Memorabilia, Electronics and Office supplies. The scrapbooks, picture CD’s and cards can go into the Memorabilia container. The charging cords, computer cords and small electronics can go in the Electronics container. If you can, separate the cords into resealable plastic bags and label. Finally combine the safety box, office supplies and program CD’s in the Office Supplies container.
    I hope this helps!

  3. Erin Gentry June 5, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    Wow Liz! This was such great information. I am not sure if I will use all your tips (I’m not going to put too much effort into this as I am moving in 10 weeks) but your cord ideas, hooks for purses, and maybe the drawer system are perfect! i will definitely remember this when I move to a more permanent place.
    Thanks for all the suggestions!

  4. Liz Jenkins June 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    Assuming there is a bit of room on that back wall (corner?) to the left on the photo-I would place a floor to ceiling shelving unit (or as tall as you can), perhaps with doors to store things you don’t use regularly. These can go in clear plastic boxes that are labeled so you can find them later.
    You can use a thrift store find or perhaps an old bookcase.
    I would also recommend a series of hooks behind the door for backpacks, umbrellas or anything else that could be hung. I usually do a higher row, and a lower row (around 3′-4′ from the ground).
    I store all my extra cords in a cord organizer but you can easily use clear plastic boxes for this (labeled of course).
    With closets like this, I usually remove those wire racks and make a U-shape with solid shelves on brackets all the way around (you can get these from Lowe’s), leaving a small portion for hooks (usually behind the door). I do the lower shelves wider than the top ones – this way you use all available space. Your current layout barely utilizes this space at all.
    Office supplies do well in drawer systems – either ones that sit on a shelf or one that rolls. Try to keep like with like – and label what is in each drawer.
    Store a small stepstool in there to access things that are higher. Keep in mind that the higher the item, the less it is something you use regularly.
    Hope this helps!

  5. Erin Gentry June 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    I did not even think of our canvas line. You are right that this would be a stylish yet easy to move system.

  6. Naomi June 4, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    What about using some of the cute boxes and hanging shelves in this line:
    Cute enough to be in your closet, easy to stack and move. Just put ‘like with like’ and put the photos in an album or scan ’em and get a digital photo frame, and store the originals and the keepsake cards away in archival box… Your Mom is totally correct with the ‘important docs’ box 🙂 You could always put the whole black tome in a pretty looking box 🙂

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