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Junk Drawer Ingenuity
Bringing order to your home's most over-used drawer

Junk Drawer Ingenuity

Everyone has one. But few of us use it effectively. That's right: the junk drawer. It always seems to become a catchall for everything from specialty kitchen tools to spare keys, gum to school permission slips, office supplies to emergency essentials. Turn your junk drawer into your dream drawer with some tips from Rubbermaid.

Take everything out of the drawer and put it on a flat surface. There's stuff that should be there (batteries, extra keys), and probably a lot that shouldn't: tools, school permission slips, junk mail, candy. Determine what's staying, and what's going.

Move items that are not staying in the junk drawer to their new home. Take the time to put everything back where it belongs. If there are items that you use often that take up space in the junk drawer, try using something called "active storage." Use a bowl, box or basket by your entryway to keep these items in, including sunglasses, keys to the shed, or your phone charger. Use a binder or folder to hold takeout menus, and keep it near your phone book. (Or better yet, bookmark menus on the websites of your favorite restaurants, and toss those old menus in the recycling bin for good!)

Now dedicate space for junk drawer must-haves. These are the things you want on-call on a weekly basis, as when packing lunches, jotting down notes while checking voicemail, handing off the house to a home-sitter or babysitter, lighting candles, and so on. Also, you'll want to keep some emergency supplies handy, like the essential flashlight and batteries. Add Rubbermaid Drawer Organizers to suit what you have left in your junk drawer. They come in different shapes and sizes, so they're always the perfect fit whether your storing paper clips, tape, notepads, scissors, or loose change.