Today I cleaned out my kitchen junk drawer(s) which were overdue for a clear-out. I posted on this topic before – I could pretend it took me 5 years to get to this state again! The top drawer of my kitchen desk has always been used for small bits of hardware that I want close by. It’s also a catch-all for things that have no home.

Here’s today’s “before” picture:

Before the clean-up

I took a look at everything in there:

Spread Out

It contained stationery, hardware, electronics, cat toys, fasteners, keys and broken things. Here are a few details:

Cute Things

There were two gorilla key chains from my two Kipling bags, two fridge magnets which needed repair (keeping for sentimental reasons), one coin each from Ireland and Bermuda (I have not travelled to either place), a few enamel pins, a Pride cat sticker and some of my tangle of keys.

Here I have a door stop, pieces of a door lock assembly and a water tap, dots for covering nails and screws, picture hangers, Christmas ornament hangers, graphite for unsticking locks, and a “Roll Up the Rim to Win” slip announcing I won a doughnut.

Tape and Phones

This is 6 rolls of tape (two are robot-themed) and two non-functioning used iPhones (a 3 and a 5).

I made myself a list of the items I actually want to keep in the kitchen drawer:

  • Pen and marker (paper is nearby, next to the phone – landline!)
  • String (scissors are nearby with the kitchen utensils)
  • 1 roll of tape
  • Fasteners: elastic bands and twist ties (I don’t buy them but I save a few for re-use, from products I buy)
  • Keys
  • Mini-glue gun and glue refills – I repair more things when I keep them in the kitchen
  • Cat toys

Here is the “after” picture:

Tidy for Now

I added a box-cutter for slicing big cardboard boxes into smaller pieces before I recycle them. I don’t have any string right now for tying together bundles of cardboard, so I need to add some. The keys are spares for my house, Β a spare for my sister’s house, a key for the shed padlock, and a barcode for ordering a replacement chipped car key.

The other two drawers are in pretty good shape.

I found permanent new homes for a few things. I decided to put extra shoe laces in my sewing basket because they are related to clothes (?) Nails, screws, picture hangers and cable guides belong in the tool box. Christmas stuff made its way back to the Xmas bins. Notebooks, pens and pencils have a proper stationery drawer in my “office.” The cell phones can be donated/recycled. I fixed the fridge magnets! And I finally threw out all those keys which had belonged to old padlocks, bike locks, luggage locks, etc. which I no longer own. I am sure of that because I last cleaned out the drawer 5 years ago and I haven’t touched any of those keys since πŸ™‚

This was a good mini-project for a rainy morning. I have two more mini-projects coming up, which I’ll share later.Β It has cleared up outside, so it’s time to trim more shrubs out in the yard!

Do you have any tidying and decluttering projects on the go?


  1. Major decluttering going on here – even got OH into the swing of things. I am doing it semi Kondo style ie I see if an item sparks any joy! I am impressed with your drawer. I kept shoe laces with my insoles and support bandage / stocking (for my dodgy knee) with my tights at one time – they are such a difficult category to house.

  2. Interesting choice for storing shoelaces. I keep mine in the top drawer of my dresser with my socks. πŸ™‚

    Oddly, I don’t have a junk drawer. I do, however, have a narrow shelved closet space in the kitchen that does not quite meet the requirements of a pantry but is also not good for much else. It has become sort of a supply/overstock catch-all, and it needs a thorough going-over.

  3. This sort of task is RIGHT up my alley. With all your photos and descriptions, I thought about where I keep those items. Keys are SO hard to throw out thinking ‘I may just’ and then you never do… I wonder if there’s a better way to ensure this doesn’t happen. Labeling keys can be risky, but at the same time ‘sister’s house’ isn’t exactly giving a (dumb) thief an address!

    I noticed I keep my ‘rubber band ball’ near the entry with a pen jar, but logically, I use rubber bands in the kitchen, so I’ll move those when I recall.

    I must declutter all the bread tags I’ve kept – there’s no reason other than my greenie nature, and I can (supposedly) add them to a plastic milk bottle and seal with a lid and call it done.

    • I have more bread tags than I need, too. It bugs me to throw them out but I can make myself do it! I have been thinking about baking my own bread again, which would solve the problem.

  4. I do actually have one such project on the go, which is clean out the art room. I tried to start it yesterday but then realised I had to do some prepatory work in *other* rooms for some of the stuff to go to. I’m going to leave this comment then get up with my phone camera and take before photos so I can be inspired for the after photos, and post it all on my blog. πŸ™‚ Inspired by your post.

  5. Margie in Toronto

    My last real area to de-clutter is my bedroom closet. It’s large, but very awkward as it has a small, regular closet door but actually stretches the 9′ width of the room – so clothes would get lost in the back. I keep coats there but otherwise it’s for odds & end storage – including a box full of paper that needs to be shredded. My old shredder died at the start of the summer and I only just bought a new one last week – so that is the next big de-cluttering project. Otherwise I’m not in bad shape.
    I have a drawer for all those odds & ends but keep a lot of things in jars – it keeps them all contained but I can see what’s what – and where it is!

  6. So tidy! I’ve been trying to declutter, but it’s not been too productive. Still got rid of a few things. I’ve been more productive with “decluttering” the yard. Still so much to do out there though.

  7. Fiona

    I love the “exploded” photo showing everything spread out! When we moved house we had so much of this stuff lurking in drawers or bags. It depresses me thinking of small, non-recyclable plastic the world over used for many pointless things, like toys in fast-food packs. I still have a couple of final boxes to declutter left over from our move in January!

    • Oh, I know. All the small plastic one-time-use junk is so discouraging. And ultimately ends up in landfills and oceans. You haven’t been in your new place a year yet, so you get a “pass” πŸ™‚

  8. I have many such drawers and spots around the house. Mr S likes to “pop” things in the kitchen drawers to maybe use later. Things like the rubber band around asparagus and the ties on bread bags. I have been giving away or tossing on average one thing every two days. A slow and steady approach.

    • I think I am the one who does that at our place, but I like to think the things I keep are useful and reasonable. Rom stashes things away in his office, for instance, he might save a tin or box (even a coffee can) that he thinks is nice and use it to store things. It makes for odd decor πŸ™‚

  9. This is impressive and inspiring. Our junk these days seems to be mostly pens and such – our daughter brings home a different one every day from school (where are they coming from?) and they somehow end up in our junk drawer or a bowl we keep in the kitchen. Rubber bands seems to be reproducing faster than we can use them as well. But otherwise everything seems to be under control, or at least I think it is.

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  12. Why do we even have kitchen junk drawers. I have cleaned mine out three times…think it’s due for another cleaning….now if I could just remember what I put in them and why…

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