Day 15 Purging Tips – Junk Drawer

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Originally published January 15, 2016 and updated January 2018 and January 2024.

Today is Day 15 of the 31 Days of 10-minute Decluttering Tips Challenge.  Today we’ll be tackling an organizing buggaboo for most people – the junk drawer. We’ll take 10 minutes to purge items we don’t need from that black hole of a junk drawer. Remember our goal is to clear the clutter of things we don’t need from our lives and home so that we can better enjoy life, so let’s go. 

open organized junk drawer wall clock inserted image with title text reading 10-Minute Decluttering The Junk Drawer

Some people choose to call their junk drawer an “everything drawer” with the idea that it will help them keep from collecting junk in it. I’m a simple girl and I call my junk drawer a junk drawer. I’m of the mindset that one woman’s junk is another person’s treasure. But to keep it from becoming a useless junk pit of a drawer, it’s important that you purge and reorganize your junk drawer frequently. If you purge the junk drawer every month or two, it will never get to that scary movie stage and you’ll be able to maintain it with just 10 or so minutes. 

Clearing Clutter – Tips for Purging Pens, Pencils and the Junk Drawer

Grab the 6 purging bags you created earlier,  print out your free printable Purging Clutter Checklist and head over to the junk drawer. 

Take Everything Out- Keep in mind that we’re doing this in 10 minutes, but unless you have a surprisingly large junk drawer, you should be able to tackle the entire drawer today.  Lay the items you take out on a table or counter. 

Group Like Items Together – Quickly group like items together. Place items that belong somewhere else in piles by either where they need to be returned to or by who they belong to. Don’t take the time to relocate them right now, that will come later. 

Drawer with dividers and pencils organized

Evaluate – Look at each group you’ve created. Throw away any broken items. Throw away any pencils less than 5 inches long. Really. You are worth more than a stubby pencil. Consider each group you’ve created. How many rubber bands do you really need? How many paperclips do you need in the junk drawer? If you have a large pile of change, do you need to keep it in the junk drawer or can you turn it in at the bank for cash?

Purge – Remove items you don’t need to keep and place them in one of your 6 purging bags. Get your family to help you relocate the items that belong somewhere else. Take a minute to talk with your family about what items belong in the junk drawer and why those other items don’t belong in the drawer. 

Put Everything Away – Put the items you’ve decided to keep back away.

More Pencil and Pen Organizing Ideas

Upcycled Cigar Box – A quick and easy recycling project using an upcycled cigar box for organizing. Great for desk supplies, jewelry, papers, or collectibles.

4 decorated yellow cigar boxes.

Anyone else a Big Bang Theory fan? Make your own Sheldon’s Bazinga Pencil Cup. 

pencil cup with "periodic table of the elements" on it holding pens and pencils

You can make these recycled bottle organizers for free. They’re great for organizing small items in your junk drawer. 

3 clear bowls with colorful washi tape holding office supplies.

Junk Drawer Organizing Products

Bamboo Expandable Drawer Organizer

Adjustable Drawer Organizer with Removable Dividers

for Silverware, Cutlery Tray, Kitchen, Bathroom, Office, Bedroom and more

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03/12/2024 11:58 pm GMT
Bamboo Drawer Organizer Storage Boxes Set
$30.97 ($6.19 / Count)

Multi-Use Drawer Organizer for Kitchen, Bathroom, Office Desk, Makeup, Jewelry and More

5 Boxes

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03/12/2024 11:57 pm GMT
Adjustable Drawer Divider and Organizer
$25.97 ($6.49 / Count)

Expandable Drawer Organization Separators

for Kitchen Organization, Bathroom, Bedroom, Junk Drawer and more

Adjustable Dividers17 - 22"


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03/20/2024 06:56 pm GMT
Clear Plastic Drawer Organizers Set
$15.29 ($0.61 / Count)

4 Sizes Drawer Organizer Trays

for Bathroom, Vanity, Makeup, Bedroom, Kitchen, Junk Drawer, Office and more

25 pieces

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03/12/2024 11:08 pm GMT
10 Pcs Clear Plastic Drawer Organizer Trays
$12.99 ($1.86 / Count)

Organizer Bin Trays with Non-Slip Silicone Pads

for Junk Drawer, Kitchen, Makeup, Bathroom, Bedroom, Office, and More

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03/12/2024 11:18 pm GMT
23-Compartment Original Junk Drawer Organizer Tray

Plastic Multipurpose Storage Bin for Drawers

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03/12/2024 11:23 pm GMT
Expandable Utensil Drawer Organizer

5 Compartment Non-Slip & Adjustable

Large Utensil Organizer

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03/13/2024 12:13 am GMT

Whew! Another day of purging down. Open that nice clean junk drawer up and smile. Then be sure to join me tomorrow for Day Sixteen in the 31 Days of 10-Minute Purging Tips challenge. Let’s purge some more so you can enjoy life more.

Find all my decluttering tips, printables and challenges in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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  1. I’ve been purging a lot around my home and it feels so good to walk into a room and see clean. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Celeste, I’m glad that you’re enjoying the results of your purging effort. I’ve been purging quite a bit, too, and it feels like a big weight has been lifted off.

  2. This is such a rewarding little project. I love quickly doing this for clients because they often find it intimidating and I think of it as a fun puzzle.

  3. That is definitely true that the junk drawer needs to be looked at every month or two. I try to keep on top of it, but someone is always putting something in there. I did have to have my son find somewhere else to keep all of his pens and pencils, because there just wasn’t any more room. He used an old drinking cup, and put them in there, where he does his homework.

    1. I have the same challenge, Brenda, of people “sneaking” things into my junk drawer. I don’t want to have a junky junk drawer. šŸ™‚

  4. I am a total Big Bang Theory fan, and love your pencil cup! My daughter hordes crayons, pencils and markers. This reminds me that I need to purge her collection.

  5. Love that we both have posts on the junk drawer. This is such a rewarding little project because you open that drawer so many times a day. Definitely worth a little investment to get it running smoothly!

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