Close this search box.

What Should You Throw Away From Your Junk Drawer? (These 10 Ones)

Do you have a junk drawer? How often do you clean it?

As a professional hoarder who’s trying her best to become more organized, I can tell that I have way too many junk drawers. I hate looking at my shelves in the living room and seeing too many items, so I put everything I don’t need in a drawer. But as time passes, there are more and more things in there: old cords and charges, coupons, old receipts, paperwork, and so many other things.

If I want to be an organized person, I need to start practicing what I preach, so I need to declutter my junk drawer ASAP. If you’re like me, let’s take on this challenge together. It will take around an hour to complete, and it will make you feel a lot better. You don’t want your useful things to mix with expired or broken items, right? Well, let’s not keep this intro any longer because we need to declutter our junk drawers. Roll up your sleeves and go! Here are all the things you need to get rid of:

junk drawer
Photo by RogerMechan from

1. Menus and coupons

Your junk drawer is probably filled with lots of things that don’t have a designated place. We live in a digital world, so printed menus and coupons can be a rare sight, but it’s not always the case. If your favorite restaurant doesn’t have an online menu, keep your coupons or menus in a place where you can see them.

If you leave these items in your junk drawer, you’re more likely to forget about them. If you know that you want to use that coupon or order from that restaurant, put the menus and coupons on your fridge using a magnet. Hang them on the side of your fridge, or put them in a cabinet along with cookbooks, for instance.

It’s unlikely that you’ll remember to take out the clipped coupons from the junk drawer before you leave the house. To ensure you have them with you while you run errands, tuck them into a little, clear zippered envelope that fits in your purse or the console of your car.

2. Charges and cords

If your junk drawer is filled with old chargers and cords, it’s time to sort them out and see which ones you still use and which ones you should get rid of. On the other hand, it’s not a terrible idea to keep a universal charging cord in your junk drawer in case everyone in the home uses the same kind of phone charger. Just let them know where it is so you don’t lose it.

The best thing you could do is have a separate drawer where you keep all other chargers, cables, and cords, so everything is organized. If you put everything in the same drawer, you’ll end up having a mess.

3. Paperwork

Besides risking forgetting about important paperwork, putting everything in there can cause them to get stuck. Take out of the drawer any important bills, receipts for things you meant to return but never did, or holiday cards from the previous year, and shred, recycle, or file them.

junk drawer
Photo by Milton Buzon from

4. Too many markers and pens

It’s not a problem to have a few functional pens and a permanent marker in your junk drawer. However, if your drawer acts as a storage area for every pen in your house, it’s time to tidy up. Grab a piece of paper to test each pen or marker, and save the ones that work.

Get rid of the ones that are broken or that won’t write anymore, and store them in a cabinet or desk drawer together with additional backstock office supplies. This way, you know where everything is when you need it, and it will be much easier to get it.

5. Utensils and takeout packets

Have you ever pulled out soy sauce or ketchup packets from the hidden depths of your junk drawer? I did, and I had no idea how they ended up in there. Of course, you shouldn’t store food items in there in the first place, but it can happen anyway, so you should do a quick decluttering session.

These items can expire quicker than you think, so it’s better to keep them in your fridge or pantry and remember to use them before they go bad. Moreover, your junk drawer shouldn’t be a place where you store plastic utensils, packets, or straws. Just like having too many condiments, putting utensils in a drawer you don’t use that often can make you forget about your items. It’s best to put them in your silverware drawer so you can use them when needed.

6. Office supplies

Since we discussed office supplies a little while ago, we should dive deeper into the subject. If you don’t want your junk drawer to be filled with everything and anything, make sure you give it a good tidy-up session every now and then.

With that being said, your junk drawer shouldn’t double as an additional desk drawer (unless that’s its purpose in the first place, of course). If you put stray staples, paper, rubber bands, binder clips, pens, markers, and post-its in there, along with everything else mentioned on our list, they’re more likely to get lost.

Moreover, you can get hurt if you also pop a pair of scissors in there or lose some thumbtacks. If you have a home office, take your supplies there or put them in a special office drawer for easier access.

7. Vitamins and medicine

I’m pretty sure you don’t want your medicine to fall into the wrong hands, so it’s best to keep your prescription in a special cabinet or drawer. If there are multiple members in your household and they all need medicine, you can get a lazy Susan or some small bins and sort the drugs by family member.

Make sure you sort them and see what’s still good or not, and check out your local disposal location via the FDA, so you can safely get rid of any expired medicine.

junk drawer
Photo by Marc Neal from

8. Broken, duplicate, or mystery items

Unless we’re talking about pens (because they can easily go missing when you need one), there’s no reason why you should hold on to broken, duplicate, or mystery items. They only take up space and serve no purpose.

Take a few minutes to go through your junk drawer and identify all the things that are weird or can’t be used. Of course, I know you might think that they’ll be useful sooner or later, but if they stop working or you have no idea what they are, you’re probably better off without them.

9. Household items

How many household items do you have in your junk drawer? I found a compact multi-tool, a measuring tape, and a small tube of superglue in mine. They can be used for something, but it’s easy to forget about them when you don’t see them often or when you don’t know if you have them or where they are.

If you don’t have a toolbox already, maybe this is your sign to start a tool collection. You can put all your household supplies in a small bin and put them in a drawer or a hallway closet if you have one.

10. Money

Oh, yes, that’s more common than you think: there are lots of people who forget that they have money in their junk drawers. Whether it’s a couple of coins or a few dollar bills, it’s still money, and you shouldn’t leave it along with other things you probably forget about.

If you want to put money aside for particular things, you can put them in a piggy bank, such as this one, and you can take them when needed.

What do you think about this article? Do you have all these items in your junk drawer? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed reading this article and you’d like to check out something else from Wipe and Organize, here’s a good post for you:
5 Ways to Eliminate the Smell of Tobacco Quickly From Your Home

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *