The Tiny Miracle That’ll Finally Organize Your Kitchen’s Junk Drawer

published Jan 4, 2018
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(Image credit: Ayumi Takahashi)

Even if you don’t believe in miracles, you probably believe in tiny miracles. They’re the little things that, against all odds, happen and make a huge difference in our lives. A tiny miracle can be a recipe that gets dinner on the table during the most hectic weekday, the little hack that finally organizes your fridge, a newfound motto that helps you stay on top of kitchen messes, or anything else that seems like a gift from above. To help us all start the new year off right, we asked some influential bloggers and cooks to share their biggest tiny miracles.

Have you heard of Joanna Teplin and Clea Shearer from The Home Edit yet? This newish duo — they started their company in 2015 — already has major support from brands (Target!) and celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow! Rachel Zoe!) alike. They offer in-person and virtual consults, but even if you’re not looking to pay for their services, you can drool over their enviable Instagram feed: shots after shots of perfectly organized pantries, closets, and more. Bins after bins! So many organized white shelves! Perfectly-written labels!

So I was curious to find out what tiny miracle has managed to change their seemingly perfectly curated lives the most. Turns out it wasn’t one specific acrylic bin — it was a rethink of an overly cluttered space we probably all have.

“Most of us have a designated drawer in the kitchen for odds and ends that’s commonly referred to as the junk drawer — but it need not be!” says Teplin. Their fix: Give it an intentional purpose with intentional items, and it can be a huge bonus. Instead, call it your “everyday drawer.”

“If you fill the drawer with things you use every day — tape, stamps, change, hair-ties — you will never have to search for these things again,” says Teplin. Plus, it eliminates a black hole space that can be a source of stress and frustration for many people who sweep any old thing into the drawer (read: most people).

“Without having an assigned and organized spot for everyday items, I was wasting time constantly checking the junk drawer to see if something was or wasn’t there. This became a big waste of time when all I’d need was just a piece of tape, which would only sometimes be where I was looking,” says Teplin. Taking the time to rethink that drawer for items you truly use every day, and organizing the space so that all those items are easy to find, can streamline your daily routine.

“There are so many daily annoyances that are simply beyond our control,” says Teplin. “Dedicating just a little time to think through what items belong in that high real-estate location of the kitchen drawers is a win!” Now, it’s easier for her to get her daughter’s hair into a ponytail, or wrap a last-minute gift, or add a stamp to a bill, because she’s dedicated the former junk drawer to these frequently used items.

To get the space under control, the team likes to use drawer inserts. “One of our favorites is this set sold at Target! This specific pack includes a variety of shapes and sizes, helping to account for the various elements that are likely to be found in your new everyday drawer,” Teplin says. Having inserts does double duty: It makes it easier to find stuff, and it keeps you accountable, too. “Having drawer inserts makes you more aware of the space and its constraints so you can’t easily squeeze in miscellaneous items,” she adds.

“Honestly, converting the junk drawer to the everyday drawer is a crowd-pleaser. Most people find themselves with unnecessary odds and ends floating around the kitchen, but having a dedicated space for everyday items that deserve to live in this hub is a game-changer,” Teplin says.

What do you think — are you ready to reframe your junk drawer as your everyday drawer?