Organized Oasis Week // Perched on a Whim

Organized Oasis Week continues today with a post from Laura Beth of Perched on a Whim!

Organized Oasis Week // Likes to Smile

Once upon a time, I had a junk drawer. It lived in the kitchen, it had a wide berth, and it took in all of the odds and ends that didn’t quite fit anywhere else. An extra nail file, packing tape, foreign coins, gift cards, batteries, buttons, hair ties…

Left to its own devices, the contents of my junk drawer combined to form a catastrophic catch-all. When the drawer was shut, I could ignore the issue. But when I needed to find something, a simple search could turn into an endless excavation. Something had to be done.

Could your junk drawer qualify as a junkyard? Perhaps, what started as a storehouse for permanent makers or pacifiers has become a catastrophic catch-all. I want to share my method for organizing your junk drawer.

1. First things first, empty out the entire drawer. [I removed mine from its rolling hinges and dumped the ill-gotten gains out for optimal access.] This is a fine time to give the ol’ drawer a good wipe down with a wet paper towel.

Perched on a Whim for Likes to Smile Organized Oasis Week

2. Next up, begin to sort. Discard expired coupons and unwanted extras, identify similar items, and begin forming piles.

Perched on a Whim for Likes to Smile Organized Oasis Week

3. After sorting, it’s time to contain the contents, so as to keep the junk drawer from becoming a junkyard.

There are organizational sets you can purchase, but I opt for the cost-effective act of recycling. By trimming cardboard boxes of household items, you can customize container size. If you’re looking to dress them up, add washi or colored duct tape. Plastic baby food containers and the bottom half of an egg crate are excellent for smaller items.

Perched on a Whim for Likes to Smile Organized Oasis Week

My favorite container for organization would be stationary boxes, because they have shallow walls and are colorful. I’ve been known to purchase cards with the motive of eventually putting the box to use.

Perched on a Whim for Likes to Smile Organized Oasis Week

4. You need to prioritize the piles you’ve made. This will inform your placement choices within the drawer. For example, I like to have my car keys and chapstick near the front of the drawer for easy access, and I like to place low traffic items in the back.

The key to completing this step is to not overthink. What works for you is likely to be different than what works for me. Pay attention to how you use your junk drawer, and remember that your placement choices are changeable.

5. Then, begin to assemble containers inside of the drawer. This step is a lot like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. It’s important to consult your content prioritization from the previous step. Focus on placing your high priority items near the front. In my drawer, I want equal access to receipts and stray bobby pins, but each calls for a different sized container. Let your priorities guide your container placement.

My main goal when assembling containers is to reduce wiggle room as much as possible. Nothing promotes a junkyard junk drawer more than loose fitting containers; it invites overflow and disorganization. If I have a sliver of space, I’ll stick something slender, like a pen, in place for the tightest fit.

Perched on a Whim for Likes to Smile Organized Oasis Week

6. Now, deposit the sorted piles into the various containers. Again, locate your high priority items first and deposit them near the front. Have fun with this step. You may even find that you return to step 5 to do some reassembling.

Perched on a Whim for Likes to Smile Organized Oasis


Perched on a Whim for Likes to Smile Organized Oasis Week

I respect orderly living, but I’m something of a hodgepodge hoarder. My junk drawer is a locale for organized chaos. The items are unrelated and random, but each has a reason to be there; and it’s a kind of organization I can manage.

Are you ready to tackle your junk drawer? In six steps, you can transform your junk drawer into an organized space where the extras have a home. Remember:

1. Empty
2. Sort
3. Contain
4. Prioritize
5. Assemble
6. Deposit

Is the task of organization welcome or daunting? How do you combat clutter in your life? And just for fun, what is the most absurd item in your junk drawer? Here’s mine:

Perched on a Whim for Likes to Smile Organized Oasis Week

I want to thank Stacey for the opportunity to share with you today, and may your week be filled with thoughts of magical unicorn gum!


Stacey Here! Two Things:

1) I want to thank Laura Beth for this ah-mazing post! Make sure to go check her out on her blog!

2) Reconstructing Amelia was my favorite book I read this summer! Want to read it, too? Likes to Smile Book Club is discussing it on September 9th! I can’t wait!!! Trust me, it’s so good, it deserves three exclamation points.


  1. Oh my goodness… great job! I love your craft compartments too!

  2. I love reusing containers for storage – mostly because i HATE spending money on storage stuff…I think it’s against every fibre of my DNA. I don’t understand why it’s all so expensive! The bobby pins are what gets everyone riled up in our house…they seem to be everywhere, and since I am the only one who wears them, I guess i am to blame!

  3. I just recently cleared out my junk drawer! It is amazing the things you can find in there.

  4. Great tips! I find that food boxes cut down to drawer height make the best organizers. And they’re free! I’ll have to try egg cartons — that’s brilliant!

    • Allyssa, I’m glad to hear that you’ve had positive experience with using food boxes, as well. Why it didn’t occur to me sooner, I’m not sure. For years, I observed my Dad’s storage techniques in his work room. He would keep nuts and bolts in empty butter tubs and peanut butter jars.

  5. My junk drawer has been calling my name! Great idea using boxes to sort items. I don’t think I can top the freakin’ magical unicorn gum!

  6. Oooh, heed the call, Dawn!