Breakfast Television: Junk Drawer Makeover!

The Junk Drawer – it’s a common fixture in most homes – that catch-all place for everything and anything: menus, pens, nails, string, tools … you name it. If you’re not sure where it really belongs – into the junk drawer it goes.

But maybe there’s a better way to manage all those miscellaneous objects. In this Breakfast Television segment, we’re doing a junk drawer makeover. (Note: video is no longer available 🙁 )

Doing a junk drawer makeover is a simple 3-step process.  We begin with …

Dump and Toss

It’s too hard to organize a mess in a confined space like a drawer so give yourself some ample space to work like a tabletop or counter and then dump everything out onto it.

Start with tossing the obvious stuff. Things like coupons with expired dates; old menus; pens that don’t work; the combination lock with the missing combination. Toss anything that’s broken or you haven’t used in ages – just toss it.

And if you happen to come across mystery items – you know, those weird bits and bobs and miscellaneous parts that you’ve been hanging onto for years … just dump them in the trash. You probably will never miss them.

The next step is …

Sort & Arrange

Start sorting the stuff you’re keeping into natural categories. For example, all your pens and pencils together; paper clips, screws, etc.

Along the way, you may come across some stuff that already has a home somewhere else. Maybe the screws and nails really belong by the toolbox. Or you find emery boards and a pair of tweezers that you know should be in the bathroom. Set those items aside so they can be returned to their rightful homes.

And if you end up with an excessive amount of something – say, you’re exploding with elastic bands – ask yourself “How many is enough?” Keep a few and toss the rest. You don’t have to keep everything.

And the last step is the fun one …


Use drawer sorters to help contain and organize the stuff. Sorters will help you keep it all in order.

Measure your drawer first and then decide what drawer organizer will work best for you. You can find all kinds of organizers at your local dollar store, stationery supply store, and even some stores like Walmart, Canadian Tire, and London Drugs.

You can also use small boxes you happen to have hanging around the house. Just be sure the container is an appropriate size to accommodate the items. 

Use small containers or compartments for the small stuff like paper clips and elastic bands and long containers for pens, tools, and menus. And here’s a tip to organize the menus – use a clip or elastic to keep them together. Designating compartments for specific items will help keep the order and calm any chaos that could potentially build up over time.

The last word …
Once the drawer is organized, do your best to keep it up. Resist the urge to use it as a dump spot for stuff you can’t be bothered to decide on.

When you make it a habit to keep real junk out and toss the stuff you don’t need, it will be much easier to keep it all organized.


About Georgina Forrest

Georgina Forrest is a Productivity Coach & Organizing Specialist at Smartworks! Enterprises Inc. in Red Deer, Alberta. Her credentials include Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®), Organizer Coach, and membership with Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) where she has attained Gold Leaf status – a designation acknowledging her as an experienced professional organizer. Her specialties are geared toward increasing productivity, streamlining administration and decreasing stress in the workplace. She will teach you how to manage your time, space and information so you can be more effective and efficient at work. Additionally she offers training programs, productivity coaching and time management-related presentations.