Depending on the number of junk drawer you've got, and how cluttered and messy they are the mission may take you more than 15 minutes. But if so, take it in 15 minute chunks and you'll get it done!
In addition, this article is designed to help you learn how to declutter your drawer, and get you inspired. After you've gotten rid of all the clutter, the next step will be to organize what is left. For that I've created a different article with lots more ideas and real life pictures from readers. You can check out how to organize your junk drawer here.
Steps For Decluttering Your Junk Drawer
With many decluttering missions I don't actually suggest pulling everything out at once, because you can end up with a bigger mess if you get overwhelmed or run out of time before you can deal with everything.
But since typically a junk drawer is relatively small, even if it is overflowing with stuff, you may find it easiest to actually take everything out of the drawer when you begin this process.
Once you can actually see everything and spread it out further, first start by taking and throwing away all the trash and broken objects.
Next, look for items that don't belong in the drawer, but instead should have a different home. Take the time to actually put them where they need to go, and not just leave them laying on a flat surface where they become clutter in a different spot.
Once you've re-homed everything that doesn't belong look at what's left and if you haven't used it or even needed it and it's been six months, or a year, seriously consider decluttering it permanently.
Finally, after doing those steps, look at what you've got left and group like items together, and then assess whether you actually need that many of ________ (fill in the blank). Do you need three boxes of staples, or 27 pens? Winnow it down to a more reasonable amount of whatever you've decided to keep in there.
That should get you a long way toward decluttering the unnecessary clutter from your junk drawer, and allow you find what you actually do need and use in there more easily in the future even without too much organization.
Below I've got pictures from readers who've already taken on this challenge telling (and showing) you what they've done to get you inspired, and give you ideas for how you can tackle this mission yourself.
Joann sent in two photos from this mission. She explained of the before photo: "I had bought the plastic baskets about a week ago on anticipation of the junk drawer clean up and instead of throwing them somewhere I put then in the drawer and threw all the junk inside."
Then, she said of the after photo, "Junk gone and organized same items in each basket. Surprising what you find in a junk drawer :)"
She explained: "Here it is: the notorious "junk drawer" that also housed the kiddie silverware.
Somehow it wound up looking like a goodie bag. I couldn't believe all that I found in here when cleaning it out (that's what happens when it isn't child-proof latched and your four year old is responsible for it)."
Here's another before and after picture from a reader, Maggy, who said: "I did it and I couldn't be happier now that it's cleaned out. I introduced the 'new' look to the rest of the family and told them to put things back in the right place or no meals! hahaha"
Margarita shared the before and after picture of her organized junk drawer on the site's Facebook wall.
This is a really awesome transformation! Thanks so much for sharing.
Here's another before and after, from a reader, Katie, who said: "This so needed to be done! I found a phone book that my mom insisted we keep when we moved into our house. Recycled!" (You can find out how to declutter and recycle phone books here.)
Reecea from Fresh Juniper shared before and after pictures of her organizing process.
She started out with two drawers and explained "there were four grocery bags full of junk in the junk drawers. Who knows how long it had been since they were cleaned out?"
She decluttered and trashed quite a bit of stuff and eliminated one of the drawers completely!
She said, "I don't think we needed two junk drawers. How do you like my Dollar Tree pink wrapping paper as a drawer liner? When we do put some junk in here, I've got a couple of storage container options to keep it organized."
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!
Bottom before and after photos courtesy of a reader, Jessica