Simple Steps to Organize a Junk or Desk Drawer with Style

steps organizing a junk drawer
Do you have a drawer in your home that looks like this? Most of us have had a drawer that has gotten a little out-of-control. Organizing a junk drawer is actually quite easy and can typically be done quickly. Whether organizing a drawer that holds odds & end, cosmetics or office supplies, the process is the same.
Here are  simple steps to organize a junk drawer:
Step One – Empty & Edit
First take all the contents out of the drawer and purge. Item by item determine whether or not it is worth storing:
    • Toss if broken or expired {recycle when possible}.
    • Donate items that are not being used.
Take the opportunity to clean the drawer and line it with fresh paper if applicable.
Step Two – Group
The next step is to arrange items into similar groups based on function and size. When you come across items that don’t belong in the drawer, set aside in a separate group that will need to be returned to the correct place.
Step Three – Contain
Recently a Simplified Bee reader, Jeanette asked for suggestions on organizing a desk or junk drawer in a stylish way. The containers or dividers used and how they are arranged is where the “styling” comes in.

desk drawer organization tips
There so many organizing tray and divider options for drawers. Before you purchase any drawer dividers however, measure the drawer {width and height} to know what will fit. Also, keep in mind the sizes and quantities of the items you want to store to ensure you purchase the best option. The Container Store, Ikea, Target or any office supply store are great resources for basic and inexpensive drawer organizing trays like the ones in the desk drawer above via Apartment Therapy.

acrylic drawer dividers organization custom clear
I love the clean look of these customizable acrylic drawer dividers by LifeStyle Systems. Martha Stewart shows how to install them here.

Styling tip: For an uncluttered look, select a drawer liner in a neutral color and with a simple pattern.

Organizing your junk drawer doesn’t have to be expensive. Save money by using everyday items you may already have such as baskets, ice trays and shoe box lids in drawers to help keep items contained.

{image source: BHG}
For long narrow drawers like this one above, a trio of cookie sheets keeps supplies organized.

Drawer Storage Ideas BHG

{image source: BHG}
Muffin pans provide the perfect size compartment for smaller items such as stamps, paper clips and loose change.
stylish drawer organizing china bowls cups
{image source: Martha Stewart}
Put your China to good use everyday! Decorative bowls, plates and tea cups make this jewelry drawer colorful and functional.
HGTV had this great deak storage idea that’s also inexpensive and eco-friendly. Clean tuna cans and nestle them into a drawer to keep items neatly stored.

Step Four – Arrange

Next arrange each grouping of items into the appropriate container or divider. Keep in mind the idea is to be able to locate items easily and therefore, labeling the compartments may make sense in some cases.

how to organize desk drawer
Do you remember the first image of the messy, cluttered drawer? Here it is organized and functioning beautifully. Several containers were used in combination. First the basket {which was originally used} was spray painted a semi-gloss white for a cleaner look. A clear acrylic tray with dividers purchased at Target was added to divide the smaller items. A scalloped white bowl and vintage milk glass mug pulled from the cupboard were the perfect fit for containing iPhone cords and magnets.

Styling tip: If using different style containers & dividers, unify the look by having all the containers in the same color.

Keeping your newly organized drawer beautiful will take some maintenance. If it is a drawer used often, keep an eye on items that are misplaced and edit routinely. If the drawer is used infrequently, add it to your quarterly or bi-annual cleaning schedule so that it doesn’t get overlooked.
Do you have any fun styling tips for organizing drawers?
Happy organizing!
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