built in office desks farmhouse desk no junk drawer

How We Manage With No Junk Drawer In Our House

I don’t think I’ve ever written a more melodramatic blog post title than “How We Manage With No Junk Drawer In Our House.”

No junk drawer. The horror.

How DO we manage?

All joking and sarcasm aside, we really don’t have a junk drawer and haven’t had one for years.

It’s not because I don’t pine for a junk drawer.

If we had a spare drawer in the house, I would junk it all up in a heartbeat.

Kidding. Sort of. But that does tend to happen when you have a drawer assigned as a catchall.

In fact, in a survey sponsored by ClosetMaid in 2021, they reported that 88% of survey respondents had a junk drawer in their homes.

Despite the obvious bias of this survey, my first impulse was to say that the other 12% were lying about not having a junk drawer. Ha! But since here I am claiming to not have one I’ll check that impulse for now.

The simple matter is that most junk drawers are located in kitchens and our small kitchen only has 4 drawers.

Those drawers are designated for silverware, utensils, towels, and food storage items like baggies, clips, foil, parchment paper, etc.

Much to my dismay, we don’t have the space for a kitchen junk drawer.

sink skirt hack No Junk Drawer too few drawers

It’s not like our lack of drawer space has prompted us to Marie Kondo our way into not having junk in need of a drawer.

Nope. We have it.

So, what do we do with all our junk?

In short, it gets redistributed.


I’m so glad you asked.

We use a basket by the front door for stamps, a pen, a notepad, and business cards that I’ve saved for various companies like the heating guy, the piano tuner, etc.

No Junk Drawer basket by front door instead

We keep a random assortment of items that you might find in a junk drawer in our under-the-stairs closet.

Things like the tiny screwdriver for repairing eyeglasses, tape, Command Strips, and that tiny tube of Super Glue that’s always dried up when you need to use it.

We also keep a toolbox in the under-the-stairs closet because you’d be surprised by how often we need a regular-sized screwdriver or a level.

We call these our house tools. This set of house tools comes in handy when we are too lazy to walk out to the garage to fetch a tool.

under the stairs shelves No Junk Drawer

One thing that does help out our lack of a junk drawer situation is that we do not write many things down in this house. This might seem shocking to some of you, but it does eliminate the need to accumulate a jumbled assortment of pens, pencils, and notepads in a junk drawer.

There’s no need to write down messages for family members. We text.

If we are scheduling an appointment, that gets put in the calendar on our phones, not jotted down on a notepad or paper calendar.

However, I do keep a hook on the pantry cupboard that holds a pen and paper and other things I use regularly. Yes, my paintbrush is used often enough to have a permanent spot on the hook!

The paper and pen on this hook are used to keep a running grocery list. That’s the one thing that regularly is written down here. Whenever I take the last of something from the pantry, I jot it down on the grocery list to replace it the next time I shop.

No Junk Drawer pad and pen on hook instead

Junk drawers are often filled with miscellaneous office supplies like that motley assortment of paper clips, rubber bands, etc.

Any office supply item goes upstairs to our office where we have designated containers for those items.

We deal in so few paper items though thanks to having older kids with hardly any school papers and rarely getting a paper bill, that moving a stray paperclip to the office is not a big deal. That’s where mail that needs to be saved or shredded goes too.

colonial farmhouse office No Junk Drawer offices supplies are put away

Have I missed any obvious items that go in junk drawers?

Takeout menus? I don’t keep any on hand because we don’t eat out much, but if I really wanted to I suppose I could keep them in the basket by the front door.

Would I go back to having a junk drawer if we had the space? I don’t know.

Our current system forces me to be a little more deliberate with what we keep and where we keep it. I’m happy with how our household functions now with no junk drawer, so maybe not. I guess time will tell.

Do you have a junk drawer? Is it jam-packed with odds and ends or is it an organizational thing of beauty? I’d love to know.

Email me here or reach out via Instagram or Facebook with all your thoughts and how you stay organized or not!

Thanks for being here today. Here are some other blog posts you might enjoy.

One-Touch Cleaning Rule (I think this helps me with not having a junk drawer.)

The Great Barn Loft Clean Out

Organization Tricks That Work For Me

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