Organizing Junk Drawers

9 tips for turning cluttered drawers into useful storage space

A junk drawer gone wild is a frightening place. Find something fast? Forget it. But there are ways to reclaim that overstuffed space. Read on.

1. Use a cardboard bottle divider from a liquor or wine case to create compartments in a drawer.

2. Use ice-cube trays to hold small items that normally slide around in the drawer.

3. By using an open-weave cutlery tray and grouping similar items, you can transform a junk drawer into an office-supply drawer, a tool and utility drawer or just a more organized junk drawer.

4. If you have an old dresser you're planning to throw out, save the drawers. Just buy four caster wheels and screw them onto the bottom corners of the drawer. Now you can roll the drawer under a bed to store out-of-season clothes or blankets.

5. Empty junk drawers and throw out all the unused items. You'll be surprised how much space this will give you.

6. Line drawers with wallpaper or self-adhesive paper so that when you clean them there won't be anything stuck in the cracks and corners.

7. Use empty pill bottles or film canisters to hold thumbtacks, paper clips and other tiny items.

8. Using drawing pins (available at craft stores), attach elastic along both sides of the drawer for holding small bottles, film canisters or baby-food jars in place.

9. Extension cords—that staple of junk drawers—can be conveniently stored, without tangling, by simply winding the cord loosely and slipping it into a cardboard paper-towel tube.

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