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How I Handle Junk Drawers: Containerize!

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.

Junk_kitch2_topview2 Junk_kitch1_nopaper2
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!

Junk_bath_smalltopview2 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)?

About Megan G

I'm a easy-going, hard-working, sport-loving gal from Michigan who is proud of her midwestern roots. Graphic designer by trade and a sports fanatic by heart. My friends tell me, "Meg, you need to slow down!" but usually I don't listen :) Some of my favorite things include traveling, playing and coaching volleyball, going to sporting events, going to the beach, finding new ways to be creative, seeing new places, and helping people and the environment.

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11 Responses to How I Handle Junk Drawers: Containerize!

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  7. barbara September 25, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    this what i have been looking for.. i used to have these but now i dont know where to buy these… any answers on where to find them?? cutlery trays are horrible they do not hold enough and draws are messy

    • Erin Gentry October 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi Barbara – you can find our interlocking drawer organizers at Wal-Mart and Meijer. I hope they turn your drawers into masterpiece of organization!

  8. andrea d October 21, 2010 at 6:31 am #

    Wow! i NEED TO DO THIS! My BF is always yelling that I have way too much makeup! I need to organize it! Miracle Mamas introduced me to your site! I am so thankful! You have tons of great tips on here

  9. Megan G April 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    I agree Beverly! Sorting is one of my key steps – if not THE most important thing I do – when I’m organizing anything. I’m glad you share my love of sorting! (And by sorting, for me that includes sorting things right into the trash that I don’t need or use anymore. Ha!)
    And you are right – I know exactly where I can find anything I need in these drawers, and I LOVE that feeling – everything in it’s place. The next thing on my list is our pantries – I have to admit I’m a little excited about that project – especially with our new modular canisters! Thanks for the comment!

  10. Beverly April 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Don’t you just love sorting things? I do.
    And I love to see things all in their right place sorted like with like.
    Great Job!
    Of course the main thing about drawer organization or any organization is to be able to find what you want when you want it. I know from the looks of these drawers you will be able to do that!

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