9 Things Always to Keep in Your Junk Drawer

In every house, hidden inside a desk, end table or kitchen is a junk drawer, that catchall for myriad odds and ends that just don't seem to belong anywhere else. The junk drawer has earned a bad rap for collecting clutter, but it’s actually the perfect spot to keep the random items you don’t need all the time, but are absolutely essential in crucial moments. Here’s a list of must-haves for the modern American junk drawer.

  1. Tiny Screwdriver

    Pocket Screwdriver

    A small screwdriver is a must-have when it's time to fix many unusual items around the house. Clocks, toys, eyeglasses and sunglasses, and lots of other household items have teeny tiny screws that a regular size screwdriver just can't handle. Keep a small screwdriver or mini screwdriver set in your junk drawer, and you’ll reach for it more times than you’d expect. Available at Amazon; $6.77

    Related: Be Ready for Anything with 10 Mighty Pocket Tools


  2. Battery Tester

    Battery Tester

    Changing the batteries in the remote only to find it still won't work is frustrating. The culprit for a dead remote could be expired batteries. If you have a battery tester in your junk drawer, you can save yourself some trouble, and be sure the batteries you’re loading into a remote (or any battery-operated device) have plenty of juice. Just make sure to properly expose of the dead batteries. Available at Amazon; $5.33.

    Related: 9 Super Practical Products You Can Power with Sunshine


  3. Super Glue

    Gorilla Super Glue

    You may not need super glue often, but when you need it, you need it. If you can't remember the last time you used that open tube of super glue that's rattling around in your junk drawer, get yourself an emergency back-up supply of the stuff. When you buy super glue, buy a multi-pack so there’s a fresh tube available when accidents happen. Available at Amazon; $9.70.

    Related: 10 Things You Didn't Know Super Glue Can Do


  4. Wood Stain Marker

    Wood Stain Marker

    So, you find a random scratch on your hardwood floors or wood furniture while cleaning the house. That little imperfection will likely go forgotten and untended unless you have a fix-it close at hand. That’s why you should always keep matching stain pens and furniture pencils in your junk drawer. Reach for them whenever you notice a scratch and you'll keep your home looking polished while avoiding a big project. Available at Amazon; $8.99.

    Related: 10 Ways to Give Furniture a Fast Facelift 


  5. Lint Roller

    Lint Roller

    The problem: You notice dog hair on your pants just as you’re running out the door but there’s no time to change. Or, your grandmother wants to pop in for a quick visit and you don't want her to sit on a cat-hair-covered couch. The solution? If you’ve got a lint roller in the junk drawer, you can clean yourself or your couch in a hot second—saving you precious time. Available at Amazon; $15.19 for a 2-pack.

    Related: The 10 Best Things You Can Buy for Your Laundry Room (for Under $50)


  6. Measuring Tape

    Measuring Tape

    Will that couch on Craigslist fit through the doorway? How big does your welcome mat need to be to fit the door? Keep a measuring tape in your junk drawer to get the right answers to all these little questions. If you keep it in the busiest room of the house, it’ll save you a trip to the garage to hunt for a tape measure. Available at Amazon; $9.99.

    Related: 11 Things Never to Keep in Your Garage


  7. Box Cutter

    Box Cutter

    In the age of online shopping, some people receive as many as several packages a week. If you're opening those cardboard boxes with your scissors or kitchen knives, take care: Sharp implements will quickly become dull when used for jobs they're not designed to handle. Instead, use a dedicated box cutter or utility knife for this purpose. Keep one in your junk drawer so you're always ready when the postman brings a parcel. Available at Amazon; $7.49.

    Related: Get Your Fix: 20 Easy DIY Repairs for Every Part of Your Home


  8. Screen Wipes

    Screen Wipes

    A screen wipe will get rid of the gunk on your phone screen, and the schmutz on your sunglasses. Keep a small packet of screen wipes in the junk drawer so you can reach for them while you're at home or grab a wipe on your way out the door. Available at Amazon; $9.75.

    Related: The Top 10 Grimiest Spots in Your Home, According to Science


  9. Flashlight


    Sure, you need a flashlight in the event of a blackout but it's also handy to have one for other little jobs—when searching for an item that's rolled under a piece of furniture, for instance, or illuminating the inside of a dark cabinet. Keep a small flashlight in your junk drawer for these and other occurrences and you’ll know exactly where to look for a light source when you need it. Available at Amazon; $16.99 for two.

    Related: 10 Safety Essentials That Most Homes are Missing


  10. Don't Miss!


    Clever project ideas and step-by-step tutorials delivered right to your inbox each and every Saturday morning—sign up today for the Weekend DIY Club newsletter!