The Junk Drawer Project was a website that celebrated the Great American Junk Drawer: drawers filled with a random assortment of stuff. Sometimes people feel proud of their junk drawers, and maybe slightly embarrassed, but most homes admit to having one.  At the Junk Drawer Project, people could upload photos of their junk drawers — like the one below.

The trouble starts when most of the drawers in your home end up being junk drawers. Things get lost and stuck, the drawers themselves get stuck, and your pancakes burn while you try to track down the missing spatula that you just know is in a drawer somewhere.

Drawer dividers to the rescue!

The solution is to use drawer dividers to divide and conquer your space.  Drawer dividers are available in many shapes, sizes, and materials.

Metal mesh:



Fabric mesh:


Some are specifically intended for specific purposes, like this sock organizer:

But note that you could use it for small office items, cake decorating tools, small toys, and many other things.

Some dividers are one item with divisions and some are many small containers that sit side by side in a drawer.

You can even make your own dividers from cardboard boxes or other recyclables.

The point is to create specific spaces for everything, instead of a single mixed up space.

Step by step

The first step is to remove everything from the drawer you are working on. Clean the drawer once it’s empty and set it aside.

  • Sort the items, removing any that don’t belong in the drawer in question. If you’re working with a silverware drawer, you can sort it into forks, spoons, knives, and serving utensils. If it also contains coupons and rubber bands, you should put those somewhere else (or throw them away). You might also have subdivisions, like soup spoons and teaspoons and grapefruit spoons. Just put like with like.
  • Determine the number of spaces you need and how large they need to be. Measure the drawer, too.
  • Choose or make a drawer organizer that will fit in the drawer and hold the items you want to keep in the drawer. This could be the toughest part of the job.
  • Place each group of items into one of the spaces in your organizer.

Close the drawer and reopen it to make sure that everything actually fits. If it doesn’t, try moving things around or admit that you will have to find a different place to keep some items.

Over the next few days, notice whether you are able to find every item and return it to its spot. If not, you may need to rethink your organization. In general, a well-sorted drawer with the proper drawer divider will not get untidy because it is easy to find things and easy to put them back.

“A thing of beauty and a joy forever” might be overstating it a little bit, but you should find that organized drawers make your life easier and help you accomplish things more quickly and with less stress.