DIY Repurposing

10 Surprisingly Smart Solutions for Junk Drawers

Keeping the clutter under control often seems like a never-ending battle. But with a few repurposed materials and a bit of creativity, you can transform that dreaded junk drawer into an organizational oasis.

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Cereal Box Prize

With some pretty paper and several empty cereal boxes, you can make these cute and colorful drawer organizers in a snap, crackle, and pop! Use your drawer as a guide to determine the height of the dividers, cut them to size, and wrap and tape with the paper of your choice. I Heart Organizing gives you the step-by-step.

Cubed Categorization


A plastic ice cube tray from the dollar store gives you 12 great ways to keep track of the small stuff. From pins and beads to spare keys and loose change, everything can be kept at eye level. Bonus: Many drawers will accommodate two trays nestled side by side.

Nightly Recharge

With the average household harboring multiple electronic devices, the junk drawers of today are seeing as many plugs as they are pencils. Organization and efficiency experts Chaos to Order manage the machinery by running a power strip through a drawer. The result is a quiet place for your phones and tablets to recharge while you get some sleep too.

Menu Magic

Because they come in many sizes and shapes, to-go menus can be the bane of a junk drawer’s existence. The answer? Move the take-out department to the inside of a cabinet door. A wall-mounted acrylic brochure holder, available at any office supply store, will do the trick nicely.

Souped-Up Storage

After you’ve had your fill of soup, why not use the cans to hold life’s miscellany? This idea moves the junk out of the drawer and onto a wall: Hot-glue magnets to metal cans, then stick them to a steel cookie sheet and hang wherever you like. Individual holders can be easily taken on and off to access the contents as needed.

A Fishy Fix

Arranged snugly in rows, tuna fish cans are just the right height to fit in a drawer. If the standard six-ounce size doesn’t work for your situation, try smaller cans from products like green chilies or condensed milk.

Stuck on Organization

Versatile velcro eliminates the slide factor inside a larger storage area. Simply place a velcro dot underneath each corner of a basket or box to keep it securely in place.

Chalkboard Jars

This great idea combines old-fashioned mason jars and chalkboard paint. If you don’t already have jars and lids at home, you can find them at any store that sells canning supplies, including many grocery stores. The inserts of the metal lids become clever, changeable labels once the paint is applied.

Egg Carton Cache

Egg cartons are another real organizational find, with practical uses by the dozen. The price is certainly right, and depending on the contents, they can even be stacked. Store everything from tacks to tiny batteries, or repurpose a carton for your jewelry, as seen here.

Tidy Tins

A muffin or cupcake pan is right at home in a desk drawer, storing all sort of office supplies—from paper clips to Post-its. Or, use a pan to organize craft items like beads and thread; the tray can do double duty as a craft station when you pull it out for use.

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