20 Actually Useful Items to Keep in Your Junk Drawer

HGTV Magazine is spilling on the products you really need.

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Photo By: Lara Robby

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Photo By: David Lawrence

Junk Drawer

They get a bad rap, but junk drawers can be lifesavers — if you fill them with the right stuff. Click through to see 20 must-have items.

Battery Tester

Determine which of your remote control batteries is dying with this handy tool that measures AAA to 9V batteries. Gardner Bender analog battery tester, $9, sears.com

Double-Sided Tape

The no-touch rolling dispenser means tape won’t lose its tackiness from too much handling. Scotch adhesive roller, $8, joann.com

Long-Lasting Pens

Ditch all your dried-up, stolen-from-the-bank cheapies, and trust a couple of these reliable pens. Each one has enough ink for seven years’ worth of list making. Note to Self pen and Punctuation pen, $9 each, both seltzergoods.com

Utility Scissors

The supersharp blades are strong enough to through heavy material, and the built-ins, including a bottle opener and wire cutter, are clever add-ons. The scissors can also be disassembled to become a knife. Cuts+More 9" stainless steel scissors, $20, fiskars.com

Spackling Paste

Fill small cracks and nail holes as soon as you see them with this spackling compound in a does-it-all tube. The flat edge serves as a putty knife, and there’s a built-in sanding pad for smoothing, too. 3M Patch Plus Primer 4-in-1 applicator, $7 for 3 ounces, lowes.com

Superglue Packets

These tiny tubes ensure you get fresh glue every time, not the block of cement you haven’t touched since 2011. Krazy Glue 0.5-ounce single-use tubes, $4 for a set of 4, staples.com

Stain Remover Pen

The formula treats coffee spills, marinara splatters and red wine dribbles until you have time for a full wash. Tide to Go instant stain remover pen, $3 for 0.33 ounces, drugstores

Do-it-all Tool

It may be less than 6 inches long, but this device includes 23 separate tools, including a screwdriver with 15 removable heads tucked inside its base, a 6-foot tape measure, a level, a flashlight, and even a hammer for light jobs. Kelvin 23 aluminum multitool in stellar silver, $30, kelvintools.com

Phone Charger Organizer

An iPhone charging adapter and its corresponding cord nestle neatly in this fish-shaped block. Goldie CableKeep iPhone charger organizer in orange, $13, nicebydesign.com

Eyeglass Repair Kit

This teeny suitcase holds all your repair needs, including nose pieces, mini screwdrivers, and a magnifying glass so you can actually see what you’re doing. Eyeglass repair kit, $7.50, kikkerland.com

De-Griming Pen

This easy-to-control pen makes quick work out of removing price stickers and other gummy residue from hard surfaces. Mess-Free pen, $10 for 0.34 ounces, amazon.com

Rubber Zip Ties

Unlike the plastic kind, these are reusable. Seal bags and bundle items like cable wires and extension cords with them. UT Wire Q Knot rubber ties, $8 for a mixed set of 24, staples.com


A telescoping wand and a bendable head mean
you can peek in, under, and around sinks, cabinets and hard-to-budge furniture and appliances. The bottom is magnetic — useful for picking up dropped screws and nails in tight spaces. Telescopic adjustable steel and aluminum flashlight, $18, momastore.org

Earbud Holders

Wrap buds around these plastic caddies and save yourself the annoying task of untangling. Bobino cord wraps, $10 for a mixed set of 3, kikkerland.com

Pet-Hair Brush

Sticky sheets on rollers can dry out over time, but these velvetlike bristles won’t lose their grabbing power. A chamber at the bottom even snags the fur you’ve collected so you can dump it out. FurLifter On-the-Go brush, $10, oxo.com

Stapleless Stapler

You’ll never have to worry about running out of staples since this gadget doesn’t use them. Instead it punches and folds through a few sheets of paper to secure them together. Kokuyo Harinacs stapleless stapler in pink, $9, walmart.com

Hem Tape

When was the last time you had an extra 10 minutes to sew your pant cuff in the morning? This sticky tape mends an unraveled hem and holds it in place for one to two wears. Scotch Essentials adjustable hem tape, $5 for a set of 24 strips, amazon.com

Screen Wipes

These moist wipes safely de-gunk your phone and tablet, and the individual packets are perfect for throwing in your purse. Windex Wipe & Go electronics wipes, $6 for a set of 12, drugstore.com

Furniture Pencils

Disguise scratches in wood with these colored wax pencils, which fill and tint scuffs. Keep a few hues on hand that match your furniture. Minwax Blend-Fil pencils, $5 each, homedepot.com

Label Maker

This one has a comfy ergonomic grip and — bonus! — doesn’t need batteries. Dymo embossing label maker, $13, containerstore.com