What to keep in the junk drawer

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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The infamous junk drawer: what to keep and what to throw away

When you open up your kitchen cabinet, do the tape, scissors, nails, glue, rubber bands, and everything else intermix into a globular mess? You just wanted the scissors but the glue top came off during an opening last week and your scissors, post-it notes, and car keys are currently one monstrous amalgamation. What is one to do?

Haven't you ever wanted a slightly less cluttered junk drawer? And have you ever wondered what does and doesn't belong within? For those looking to de-clutter, create more space, and be able to find what they're actually looking for, we've compiled a few easy-to-do, simple to implement ways in which to get that perfect space you've always craved.

The Items Everyone Needs Close at Hand

Depending upon many different factors, it's obvious that each of our junk drawers will look different. Some may be the height of compartmentalization with space for small papers, home office tools and shoe laces; others may look worse than our own trash containers.

What's contained within can be anyone's guess. But here are a few potential items which many tend to keep in close proximity at all times:
  • Scissors
  • Pens/pencils
  • Calculator
  • Post-it notes
  • Batteries
  • Paper clips
  • Duct tape
  • Scotch tape
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Matches
  • Change
  • Cards
  • Napkins
  • Bottle opener
  • Nails
  • Keys
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic bags
  • Safety pins, and other such "treasures"

Depending upon your organization, throwing in everything and anything may just suit you. Why not toss in the the book-full of coupons that may have expired in the last decade, the keys who no one in your family knows goes to what lock, that half-eaten Subway sandwich? You get the point.

So, what do you really need in there?


For those looking to make the most out of their space, how about cleaning it out and finding the perfect compliment of items. Lay out some newspaper, pull your mess out, and dump. Sift through the detritus on your countertop, picking out only the most valuable of items. Old or expired things can be tossed. Items that you may have forgotten about decades ago can be cast aside, trashed as well.

In many cases -- and this goes back to your organization level -- certain items which may have found their way into the space belong elsewhere. Screws, tweezers, and more can be placed with like-minded items in your tool kit or medicine cabinet for easier access. Sort, pile, and return items which belong elsewhere back to their real homes.

For the rest -- the most important items -- which you'll need on a daily basis, how about some simple organization tips!


A plastic junk drawer organizer can be a great way to place what you've found to be most valuable in a simple set of contained spaces within the cabinet. The scissors can sit comfortably away from the glue, the staples can be separated from the rest, rubber bands can take up the back, and so on.

Who knew that it may actually be an important thing to separate items and cut down on potential dangers. A recent story from CBS Boston covered a fire in an Amherst, New Hampshire, home.

It was started by a battery, paper clips, and post-it notes in close proximity to one another. The fire actually began due to the 9-volt battery coming into contact with metal and some paper, thus sparking the house blaze. While this is a rare occurrence, it does (maybe) make us think twice about what's in that drawer and how we organize these things.

So, maybe there are some items you may not want to keep in your junk drawer. But, in the long run, with a little organization, thought, and effort, one can simplify their life, save themselves time and effort searching around the house for an item, and (hopefully) keep their batteries, papers, and metal items separate.


CBS Boston: NH Fire Marshal Warns About Junk Drawer Items After Amherst Blaze.

Real Simple: Make Over Your Junk Drawer.

Above photo attributed to zeelecious

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