Yes, I said drawerS. Plural. We have several. Some drawers don't qualify as "junk," but I use the same method for them all: containerize. I found the word "containerizing" on this blog, and had to give her props. (Thanks Laura!) Her post about establishing limits and boundaries is what it's all about for me. I hate looking through a bunch of little things (pen caps, chapstick, bandaids, nails, screws, hairties, chip clips, etc) trying to find one other little thing.
My bathroom drawer is probably the largest and has the most stuff in it. Just about every inch is containerized. Some of the "sections" include: headbands, hairties (neutral colors), hairties (fun colors), barrettes/bobby pins, chapstick/lip gloss/extra mascara, eye liner/makeup brushes, eye shadow, pens/pencils/misc, and it leaves enough space in the corner for my notepads (that I use to write reminders to myself all the time!). Can you imagine if all of this stuff was just in a drawer all mixed together?
We also have a couple junk drawers in the kitchen. Our drawers aren't very big, so we have ended up with two. Once again, the boundaries are the savior that keep things in their proper place.
In another bathroom drawer, I use a cut down bandaid box as a container. It upholds the boundaries, and it's a great way to reuse the box. It holds my nail polish (top/right corner). Any old boxes will work – cereal boxes, granola bar boxes, etc – just trim them down to the right height and they are ready to containerize!
I think the most important thing is to put things together that make sense for you so you can find what you need. For example: one cubby for rogue nails/screws/nuts/bolts; another cubby for hairties/barettes/clips. It's however it makes sense to YOU. As long as you sort everything out (tossing what should go in the garbage), organize the items, and then (the key) be good about putting things back in their correct place, your junk drawer will keep your junk organized.
I found this other story about a junk drawer, and it made me laugh…Katherine of Raising Five ended up organizing her junk drawer (a.k.a. the "no-no drawer" in her house) after she couldn't find a spare key. She also addresses the question of "what does your junk drawer say about you?" I found that quite interesting.
How do YOU handle – or better yet – conquer – your junk drawer(s)?