14 Essential Items to Keep in Your Junk Drawer (2024)

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We all have that kitchen junk drawer; you know, the one. The one that holds all the little items that are not large enough to have theirdesignated space. These little things can be challenging to store and usually get stored in several places in the home. This place can easily be a dumping ground for anything and everything. But this valuable drawer needs to be organized too! I divided random items into Useful items for emergencies and repairs, Useful items for cooking and storing, handy notetaking items, and other useful items.

They are the first items bought in multiples because they can easily be misplaced and overlooked. So, to help you get these junk drawer items organized. I create a list of articles that "should" be stored in or near the junk drawer. Let's begin.

Jump to:
  • 14 Essential Items to Keep in Your Junk Drawer
  • Useful items for emergencies and repairs for the junk drawer
  • Useful items for cooking and storing in your junk drawer
  • Notetaking items to have in the junk drawer
  • The rest of the stuff that is useful in a junk drawer.
  • How to organize the junk drawer
14 Essential Items to Keep in Your Junk Drawer (1)

14 Essential Items to Keep in Your Junk Drawer

Useful items for emergencies and repairs for the junk drawer

Flashlights - A small flashlight works perfectly for the drawer. It can lay on the back of the drawer in case of emergencies. Check out our collection of Emergency Preparedness posts!

Batteries - These items tend to roll around a lot in a drawer, so having them in a small drawer bin works excellent to keep them contained.

Roll of tape - Did you ever need to wrap a present or tape an envelope? Having this in the junk drawer will help you finish your task quickly. Depending on your drawer's depth, I like to have them stand on their side to spot it easily.

Pliers - This one is helpful for those items that loosen in the kitchen. Store this one in the back of the drawer. Get a bin that fits all of these items for easy access in an emergency.

Some more useful things.

Screwdriver (Affiliate Link) - This one also helps with my pots and pans handles. Storing this one in the back of the drawer works great because it is not used often but can be pulled out in a pinch.

Band-aids - I am not talking about keeping your entire stash of band-aids and burn ointment creams in the junk drawer. You only need a few emergency kit items in this place, so you don't have to take out your large emergency kit. I like using a travel emergency kit about the size of my palm.

Super glue - You would be surprisedhow often we use this item. It helps if something breaks or chips. I particularly like single-sized glues because you can get rid of them after opening, even if it is partially used—no more dried-out crazy glue.

Tape Measure - And, last but not least, a small tape measure. This item allowed me to measure things in a jiffy, and I didn't have to go into our tool room. Storing it with the other tools (Affiliate Link) works nicely.

Scissors - Always, always, always have a pair of scissors in the drawer. As a kid, finding scissors in my house was hard because it didn't have a home. They would be moved from room to room but never returned to their home.

Useful items for cooking and storing in your junk drawer

Cooking string - I place the cooking string in a baggie to keep it protected since it is an item we use while cooking. Plus, it doesn't get unraveled when it is inside. =)

Rubberbands - Collecting a few rubber bands (Affiliate Link) is very helpful when keeping things together. Storing them in a small drawer organizer (Affiliate Link) works great.

Chip Clips - These items are helpful for more than just chips. They work perfectly for large bag items like frozen veggies, frozen fruit, etc... Store them in a larger bin with the cooking string.

Notetaking items to have in the junk drawer

Pens and Pencils - You not only need pens and pencils, but you can also use a permanent marker (Affiliate Link) (black) and maybe a highlighter. The permanent marker (Affiliate Link) is ideal for writing on plastic freezer bags when I am doing a freezer meal. The highlighter helps when looking through a magazine and finding a recipe I like. I pull out the magazine, and they highlight the ingredients I need to purchase for the recipe.

14 Essential Items to Keep in Your Junk Drawer (3)

Notepads - Do you get small pads that came free from charities? These are the notepads I am talking about; they are thin and long and can be stored standing up on their side in a bin or near the edge of the drawer.

The rest of the stuff that is useful in a junk drawer.

Some other things that are useful to have are:

***AD*** from Released Repurpose Reorganize: My List Simplified journal is a wonderful organizing tool for planning a move or a renovation. Use it to corral all the to-dos.

Birthday candles - This is where these delicate items will not break. Keeping them on their side up against the drawer side or lying flat above other things will protect them.

Twist ties are handy if you break a tag from a bread bag.

Takeout menus - Optional - Only add these if you have a large enough drawer or two drawers. And always place them in a large drawer bin that fits the largest menu.

Paper clip - A few paper clips in this drawer are a great grab when needed.

How to organize the junk drawer

Let's don't forget the drawer organizers (Affiliate Link)! If you have one, the first step is to clear the drawer completely, including the liner.

Now, declutter the small items you may not need. Get rid of duplicate pieces and unwanted items.

Then, organize these items into like items if possible. Determine how much space you need for each item.

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Several junk drawer organizers (Affiliate Link) will create a great storage solution for you. Below I am sharing additional tips for organizing a typical junk drawer.

Measure the inside of the drawers before you shop online or in the store.

Nothing is more annoying than buying a kitchen drawer organizer (Affiliate Link) that doesn't fit your drawer. Trust me, I know. =/ Here are some examples to help your drawer get more organized. (Full disclosure: These links are from Amazon; feel free to click through and buy these items from them. I will receive a small referral fee at no cost to you. )14 Essential Items to Keep in Your Junk Drawer (8) On Amazon, they have a filter you can sort the junk drawer organizers (Affiliate Link) by width, height, and depth.

Decide on what style you want.

Are you looking for a junk drawer organizer (Affiliate Link) that is one unit? Is expandable? Do you want one that is a particular color? Deciding this beforehand will help when you are looking for them.

How to deal with several small junk drawers.

And, if you have several small drawers and can't fit everything in one, you can do something like this that I did with my client. One of my clients decided she needed two drawers. The images below are how we organized them. One has various items in this handy organizer.

14 Essential Items to Keep in Your Junk Drawer (9)
14 Essential Items to Keep in Your Junk Drawer (10)

That's pretty much it. Organizing the junk drawer is what I call quick organizing. It's large enough to see the transformation but small enough not to take long. Good luck with your junk drawer project.

Let's continue the conversation. Do you store anything else in your junk drawer? Please leave a comment below. If you want other kitchen organizing tips, visit our Solutions for Kitchen section.

Looking for some more junk drawer organization tips? Check out these articles from other experts.

Tiny Spring Cleaning: How to De-Junk Your Junk Drawer

8 Smart Ways to Finally Wrangle Your Junk Drawer

14 Essential Items to Keep in Your Junk Drawer (11)

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