15 Things to Toss From Your Junk Drawer Today!

Have you looked in your junk drawer lately? Kudos to you if you don’t have one! Here are 12 things to toss from your junk drawer and how to keep it organized in the future.

Junk drawer full of items

Most families have a junk drawer. It’s generally in the kitchen, and everyone contributes to the mess and disarray that resides in it.

It doesn’t start as a “junk” drawer. It begins as a place to keep frequently used items so they are quick and easy to get to. We all have good intentions when it comes to this drawer, but after a while, it just gets out of control.

Items Typically Found in a “Junk” Drawer:

  • Scissors
  • Pens
  • Batteries
  • Coupons
  • Device charging cords
  • Hair ties
  • Spare change
  • Magnets
  • Chip clips
  • Rubber bands
  • extra nails and screws
  • fingernail clippers
  • nail file
  • Anything on the counter you need to hide in a hurry

And so many more things…you get the picture.

Years ago, I did away with our “junk” drawer, and it felt so freeing! Everything has a home and goes where it belongs, even if that means into the trash can. I challenge you to eliminate that junk drawer, but there are solutions if you can’t.

Are you ready to get that drawer under control? Here are 12 things in your junk drawer to throw away right now.

1. Expired Coupons

pile of coupons

Throwing coupons in the junk drawer for safekeeping always sounds like a good idea, but they often expire there, too.

Clear out the expired coupons and consider storing coupons in an organized and readily accessible location, or use a digital app to keep them organized and completely eliminate them.

2. Screws and Nails

screws and drywall hangers

Have you ever found a screw on the ground and thought, “I wonder where this belongs?” So many miscellaneous screws and bolts get tossed into the junk drawer, never to be seen again. Toss the screws and bolts to start the organization process.

3. Old Batteries

pile of batteries on a counter

Batteries require special disposal techniques, and sometimes, it’s easier to toss old batteries in a drawer and forget ‘em. Grab those batteries out of the junk drawer and dispose of them today.

4. Take Out Menus

take out menu on counter

Every time you order from your favorite restaurant, they toss a take-out menu in the bag to go. After a while, those menus pile up, usually in the junk drawer. Recycle those menus and free up space.

5. Pens and Markers

pens and markers on counter

Pens are one of those items you can never find when you need one, and maybe that is because they are all thrown in a junk drawer. Clear out the dried-up pens and pens with missing caps, then organize them with other office supplies.

6. Condiment Packets

ketchup condiment packets

It’s tempting to save those leftover sauce packets from to-go orders, but they can clutter and expire in the junk drawer. Throw out those sauce packets and clear out the clutter.

7. Device Charging Cords

device charging cords in a jumble

Electronic accessories seem to hang around long after the electronics are tossed, and you don’t know which cord goes to what device. End the collection of cords and cables today and free up that drawer space.

8. Mail

stack of old mail

How often do we toss the mail on the counter, and then that mail ends up in a drawer during a quick clean-up?

It’s time to go through all those old envelopes and inserts and get rid of that junk mail. Enroll in paperless options with creditors and others to keep that paper mail to a minimum.

9. Medicine

blister pack of medicine

Medicine has expiration dates, so it is essential to keep medicine in an easily accessible location with all its packaging. Medicine, like individually wrapped tablets, can end up in the junk drawer, but those medications should be tossed in favor of safely stored items.

10. Hair Ties and Bobby Pins

Hair ties and bobby pins

Can you ever find a hair tie when you need one? Don’t start a forgotten collection of hair ties and bobby pins in a junk drawer. Move those items to the bathroom where they belong.

11. Restaurant Napkins

Man holding a take-out napkin

It’s rare, but occasionally, fast food restaurants give you more paper products than you need, and with how often they forget the straw, it’s tempting to toss that extra in a drawer for next time. These forgotten paper products will collect dust in the back of the junk drawer, so throw them away today.

12. Office Supplies

Push pins, paper clips, and Post-its are common household items tossed in the junk drawer, but when push pins come to shove (pun intended), we forget them there. Organize the office supplies in the office where they should be and free up the junk drawer space.

13. The Restaurant Will Send More Utensils!

A pile of plastic-wrapped plastic cutlery.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Who isn’t guilty of saving the takeout utensils we haven’t used? You never know when you will need a set of chopsticks, but you need not save the open packages with cutlery you don’t need. Toss those single-use items and invest in a good pair of chopsticks or utensils for on-the-go.

14. Spare Change

Dollars and coins on a table.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

As a person who doesn’t use cash often, there is always a surprising amount of money in my junk drawer. It’s a nice problem to have, sure, but all that spare cash can be better served somewhere else. Clear the coins out of the junk drawer and use them to teach your little ones the value of a penny saved is a penny earned.

15. The Loyalty Card Collection

woman pumping gas
Image Credit: Shutterstock

It seems like every store you go to has a loyalty program you want to join, and when the cards start to clutter your wallet, they find themselves tossed in the junk drawer. The best part of loyalty programs is using those points, so download the app for money off your next tank of gas and toss the card to free up junk drawer space.

How to Organize a Junk Drawer

Keeping a junk drawer organized is challenging, but being able to grab something you need quickly is the point of this drawer, so let’s set it up for success!

1. Declutter

Pull all the stuff out of the drawer and throw away the items on the above list, along with anything else you don’t need.

2. Use Bins and Dividers

Use bins or dividers to keep items organized. Each item will have a spot, and you’ll be able to keep on top of what you have and don’t need to save.

3. Maintaining Your Junk Drawer

Add the junk drawer to your monthly cleaning tasks to keep it under control. Let other family members know what’s in the drawer and what doesn’t belong so they can do their part in keeping it organized.

Keeping a junk drawer organized can be challenging. Throw away the things you don’t need today! Then, organize it and keep it that way so it will be what it’s supposed to be: a place for things you can grab quickly when needed.

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Anika Gandhi

Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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