Mark Roemer image of a junk drawer

Useful Things You Need in Your Junk Drawer

Whether you are living in a house or an apartment, chances are you have a junk drawer. What is a junk drawer, you may be asking yourself? A junk drawer is simply a drawer dedicated to things that don’t have a place in your domicile. Meaning, there are not enough of these items to warrant a specific spot in your home. For example, we all know that pots, pans, plates, bowls, and cups all have a place they belong. However, where will you store items such as keys, pens, scissors, or thumbtacks? Some of these items could be placed in a home office if you have one, but most of us do not. I, Mark Roemer, will provide you a list of things that belong in a junk drawer that can be useful. What you choose to do with the other items is up to you.

How To Organize Your Junk Drawer

To start having a useful junk drawer, you will have to start by cleaning your existing junk drawer out. Assuming it is removable, you will want to begin by tipping it out onto a large flat surface. Doing this will allow you to see things a lot better.

For starters, you might want to look at things you have not used in several months. Just because it is a drawer for items you don’t have a place for, does not mean you should keep things in there you never use. This is a good practice for most things in your house. I do this for many items in my home. On January first of every year, I check my closet for items I have not used that year. To keep track of this, I turn all my hangers backward. Any hanger that is still backward gets donated to local charities. I then take the remainder of my clothes and turn them around again. I repeat this each year to keep a clean closet.

As for the junk drawer, I suggest you start by throwing out trash or papers that you no longer have use fore. Then, look at items that have haphazardly been tossed in there when you were too rushed to put them away. Take those items and put them where they belong. The remainder of the things can stay along with the items I will be suggesting below.

The Items

The first thing I am going to suggest is miniature beauty products. This may seem like a strange thing to have in your junk drawer but stay with me here. Many beauty products can double as a household fixer. An example from the top of my head is baby oil. Let’s say you were recently on vacation and the hotel or resort provides you with baby oil. Most people will either take the full bottle or the remainder of the bottle when they leave. Use this baby oil, sparingly, to untangle necklaces or bracelets. The oil will allow the metal not to catch when you are trying to straighten it out. Another great product is a bobby pin. It can be used to hold a nail when you are putting pictures up, or it can be used to reset electronic devices.

The next item I am going to suggest is a multi-bit screwdriver. Many mechanics and construction workers hate these, but in truth, they are suitable for people who don’t use them professionally. Likewise, if you don’t have a lot of space, you don’t have the room to store several different screwdrivers in a massive toolbox. The benefit is that no matter what kind of screwdriver you need, you will have a bit to do the job. Just remember, these screwdrivers are not usually the best quality. If you are doing a big job that requires repeated use of a screwdriver, you might want to breakdown and get the proper tool for the job.

Next, get some Goo Gone (or any other product of similar effectiveness). The product can be used for nearly any sticky situation. Let’s say your son or daughter comes home with gum on their shoe. All you need to do is put a couple of drops on the gum and shoe, and you will be good to go. Additionally, it can be quite useful when you come across those stickers that just won’t come off glasses, cups, plates, or bowls. Just don’t forget to wash them well after using this product.

Another set of items you will want are safety pins, zip ties, and binder clips. I like to call these problem solvers. If you are installing a new computer and you want to keep the cords together, all you need to do is reach in your junk drawer and pull out a zip tie or two. This will keep your cables from tangling, and they will look good as well. As for the safety pins, perhaps you are installing new curtains, and they are a little longer than you would like. Roll the curtain up and use the safety pins to keep them at that length. Then, when you get time, you can sew them properly.

The final item on this list is painter’s tape. This is not just for painting. It can be quite useful when you don’t want to have the tape stick too much. Quite often, when putting tape on something, you will have difficulty removing the tape. Additionally, you could have tape residue that remains on the surface of where you placed the tape. While you do have that Goo Gone to get the sticky residue off, you will have to spend more time than you should.


While we may call it a junk drawer, I, Mark Roemer, feel it is in our best interest to keep it as useful as possible. Make sure that you clear it out every so often. Things have a way of piling up in junk drawers if you are not careful. Also, don’t be afraid to add other items to the drawer that you find useful. This is a list of things I think you need in there. Anything that you might find helpful in your house should be added, as this list is not exhaustive.