A Junk Drawer Solution (+ Giveaway)

We actually have two “junk drawers” in our kitchen. One is mostly mine (because it’s filled with stuff I use most often) and one is mostly Matt’s (because it’s filled with his stuff). When we moved in and originally organized our kitchen, I bought two of these bamboo drawer organizers and got right to work filling them with our junk drawer essentials. Since then one of the junk drawers works really well and is still very neat and organized, but the other one is a complete disaster. No matter how many times it gets re-arranged (cough-cough…. at least once a week), the drawer quickly relapses to its old, disheveled self.

My junk drawer (left) vs. Matt’s junk drawer (right)

Matt is amazing at a lot of things and works extremely hard to keep day-to-day operations around our home in tiptop shape. He makes the coffee each morning, does the grocery shopping, warms up the cars before we leave for work…. heck, he even irons! The man always gives 150% when helping around the house and totally spoils me on an everyday basis. He’s pretty awesome at A LOT of things, but one thing he’s just not a “natural” at is organization. Lucky for him (or maybe unlucky for him), he’s married to someone who actually LOVES to organize. #truth #myguiltypleasure

junk-drawerClutter and disorganization stresses me out and as much as I can’t actually see the mess in his junk drawer when it’s closed, knowing about the disorganization that lurks makes me cringe inside. I would arrange and re-arrange his junk drawer just about every time I opened it and without fail, the next time I opened the drawer it was back to a hot mess.

IMG_8723After six months of chasing my tail by arranging and re-arranging, I finally realized that I was trying to force a system that clearly was not working and totally wasting my time in the process. Bottom line: If I wanted different results, I needed to try something different.

drawer-disorganizedSo I set out to create a simple and inexpensive solution that Matt could keep organized with very little effort. I was confident that if I provided a system like that, Matt would always find his stuff, and I would save myself a lot of time not trying to reorganize it so often. #WINWIN

disorganized-pilesJust like any organization project I tackle, I started by taking everything out of the drawer (including the bamboo organizer). Then I sorted the stuff into three piles:
1. important items that should stay in the drawer
2. items that could be stored elsewhere (ie. the office)
3. garbage 

empty-drawerThen I measured the drawer’s dimensions and headed out to HomeGoods to find small containers that would act as individualized compartments for Matt’s junk drawer essentials. I knew that having a “home” for everything in the drawer would definitely help Matt keep this space organized.

silhouette-potrait-diyI spent $19 on random containers in the HomeGoods’ office section. Then I used my Silhouette Portrait and this sticky, gold foil paper to print out labels for each of Matt’s new containers. <— in wife language: no excuses for him to let the drawer go back to its old, ugly ways.

silhouette-potraitjunk_drawer_organization-008junk_drawer_organization-003I peeled the shapes from the gold sticky paper and stuck them to the bottom of each container. I chose simple symbols that made the system functional while really increasing the cuteness (Music notes for his headphones, a key for our car keys, a cent symbol for his spare change, and ampersand for his loose odds & ends, etc).

junk_drawer_organization-002Then I arranged and re-arranged the containers back in the drawer until I found the configuration that wasted the least amount of space while being the most functional for Matt’s stuff.

Before long, the new system was in place and looking fabulous! I especially loved that the mini containers ensured that each item had a specific home.

Before & After

Fast forward a month and I am happy to report the drawer is still looking fabulous… without me intervening to arrange or rearrange (woo woo!). It appears as though maybe Matt’s organizing skills weren’t to blame on this one, maybe all he needed was a system that actually worked for him & his stuff.

junk_drawer_organization-007To celebrate this mini major victory, we are giving away a FREE Silhouette Portrait to one lucky reader in hopes that this amazing machine can continue to solve everyday household challenges in style! Details on how to enter here —> a Rafflecopter giveawayjunk_drawer_organization

Bridget Signature

  • ellen ross

    I would label all of the storage boxes in my entire home!!

    • I never thought of that… but what a great idea! Thanks for sharing =)

  • Katie Crook

    We’re moving into our first home in June and I would love to use this machine to organize and decorate our blank-slate house! Can’t wait!

    • Congratulations!! So happy and excited for you! Yes… you could do some serious labeling in a whole new space.

  • Lauren Anderson

    Such a beautiful solution for the “junk”! It turned out great!

  • Robin Lewis

    I have the hardest time finding organizing solutions that work for the entire family. Great idea to use the Silhouette to label each container!

    • Thanks Robin! I hear ya…. it’s hard finding solutions that work for EVERYONE, especially for a group that doesn’t have the same organizing tendencies.

  • I haven’t had time to use my silhouette, but you better believe I will be labeling all the things as soon as I am done with my bachelor’s degree – September can’t get here fast enough. I think I will swan dive into a vat of glitter to celebrate… Or sleep for 3 days. Lol

    • OMG Congratulations!! You have us literally laughing out loud over here. Hang in there, you’re almost there!!

  • ADC

    I would use it for fun tags for an upcoming wedding!

  • So so cute, Bridget! I need a Silhouette ASAP!

    • aw, thanks ladies! Such a small project with such a big impact!

  • This is brilliant! I just bought a new house, so I know that I would use this a BUNCH. It’s a tiny little house (under 1000 square feet) so organization is going to be key. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

    • Congrats!! What an exciting time =) So happy for you!

  • Ashley F.

    I would finally organize my junk closet and label everything!

  • Amy Cheng

    Looks great! Would love a silhouette.

  • Amaura Cope

    The Silhouette is a totally new-to-me product! I love the idea of using it for organization. I could think of beautiful crafts to use it for as well 🙂

  • Heather @fitncookies

    Very cute! I think you mean matt’s is on the left above and yours is on the right. I was confused at first because his looked so organized! haha Oh and I would use this to organize my kitchen drawers or finally make a junk drawer!

    • Oh boy!! Yikes… thank you for point that out (how embarrassing)! I’m going in to fix that now — eek! #rookiemistake

  • H Buchanan

    Such a great giveaway! It seems like I keep seeing new projects that use the Silhouette every day! Personally, I would use it to organize our bookshelves / junk drawer / drop all spot. It gets organized but nothing ever gets labeled so usually after a few days everything gets all jumbled up again anyways. I love your simple labels you made for your drawer organizers!

    • We agree! We see some amazing Silhouette projects and often think, “wow… how did they think of that?!!!” The possibilities are seriously endless and we love seeing what people come up with.

  • Organizing binge — that’s hilarious…. and so darn true!! =)

  • Yes!! Genius!

  • Kendra

    I would use a Silhouette to make favors/gifts for the wedding I am Maid of Honor in this year 🙂 Love the new junk drawer!

  • nusra alam

    This is gorgeous. Love how simple yet beautiful this is! I def need to get on the Silhouette bandwagon!

    • Thank you and yes… we still have a lot to learn but there are so many amazing possibilities with this machine!

  • Lindsay

    I would love to use this exactly how you did – to add a cute touch for organizing everything!!

  • If I had a Silhouette Portrait I would use it to label everything, but also to make cute gifts for my friends!

  • Mollie

    I have pantry jars from Ikea that are just BEGGING to be labeled!

  • Laura

    So cute! I would love to tackle a similar project if I had a Silhouette Portrait machine!

  • Emily

    I would love to have a Silhouette. Even my husband wants one. I know the first thing we would both do is create pretty labels for our office. It needs it!

  • Jennifer Starnes

    I would love to tackle some fun projects!

  • Cam

    Love this! My husband, like yours, does a lot of helpful things around the home but keeping organized is just not one of them!

  • Kara D

    I should give this system a try in my computer junk drawer!

  • Kathleen

    I would give it to my beautiful dilaw and earn major brownie points!

    • Wow… Best Mother-in-law EVERR!!! Major brownie points 😉

  • Cindy J

    My husband and I *desperately* need to organize our office – papers, pens (we can never find a pen!!), boxes, computer & equipment!

    • The worst, right?! You can’t find a pen, then you organize to find that you had like 500 pens hidden all over!!

  • Angela

    I have a junk drawer in my kitchen that is completely out of hand. Half the time it is a pain to get it to shut without something getting in the way. I am curious, do you think it is the labels that helped or the new containers or the combination? I guess what I am getting at, could you have just put the fun icon labels in each section of your original bamboo container and do you think that would have helped? I am trying to figure out what might help my situation given I have a messy husband and 2 kids to contend with! =)

    • Great question, Angela! I definitely think it was both parts that made the difference (but probably getting rid of the container was the most important). The bamboo organizer could be awesome in another space, but it totally was NOT working to hold his items neatly. So it was very helpful to get containers that held each thing neatly and had a specific “home” to go back to. Then, the labels are helpful to remind my husband where to put each item back. So both steps keep it functioning over time, but the new containers was the KEY to get started. Does that make sense?! I hope I helped answer your question…. a little bit?

    • Angela

      Makes sense. Thank you for the reply. I definitely look forward to trying your idea to get our junk drawer under control…finally!

  • Thanks Nikki! Pantry labels would be amazing!!

  • A new home?! Congratulations!! We are so happy and excited for you!

  • Junk drawers seem to multiply sometimes, don’t they?! haha… good luck!

  • Meri Pritchard

    I would use it for organizational tasks just like your post! It would be so useful!

  • That would look awesome and would be so useful!!

  • Jody Hon

    Such a great option organization solution! I would love to do something similar with all of our gift wrapping and stationary stuff!

    • Yesss…. gift wrapping with the Silhouette would be a game changer for sure.

  • I am drooling over the Silhouette! Been on my “dream list” for a couple of years now. And I love the little symbols you came up with–such a cute way to keep organized!

    Visiting from LorimerLiving.Com
    XO, Jaclyn

  • Regina

    I would love to use the Silhouette! I have the perfect drawer to re-organize!

  • Kacy Johanson

    I have been looking at the Silhouette for years. I would love to win one! I would use it for EVERYTHING! 🙂

  • Wallynet Romero

    I would definitely move forward to do something like this to help my hubby keep his stuff organized. Thanks DIY Playbook for the tips. Love this blog.

  • Lindsey Hammer

    This is amazing I have 1 too many drawers I could use these tips for! A Silhouette would help while organizing many rooms!

  • Amanda Risius

    This is such a good (and cute!) solution!!! You can easily see where each item goes.


  • Lauren J

    Maybe my husband would actually keep our junk drawer organized with this!

  • LikeWhat11

    Clever! I would use a Silhouette to create customized wall art – and for some major labeling!

  • Summer Lee

    I would label all my bins (drawers + the pantry), and use the machine for monogramming items (like my ever growing water bottle collection)! Looks awesome!

  • Katie

    I’ve seen these all over blogs. Would love one to get organized in drawers and closets and use for some decor projects.

  • Erin Heckber

    I was just dreaming about these recently. Little storage space means using every inch as best as possible

  • Marissa

    LABELS! Oh, so many labels!

  • Leslie

    My favorite part of the project are the gold foil symbols! I would probably use the Silhouette to make personalized gifts for friends and family! Monogrammed everything and framed quotes/symbols for all the birthdays/holidays/weddings/just because.

  • PAM

    Labels and love the gold foil symbols

  • Lucy

    i’d use the Silhouette to label EVERYTHING!!! Seriously, I have terrible handwriting, so I’d relabel anything that I’ve handwritten.

    • hahaha we feel your pain Lucy! Casey is a lefty and has some really bad handwriting…this comes in handy for pretty labels!

  • I love this organization idea!! And I secretly love that your hubby likes DoubleMint gum 😉 I could definitely use a Silhouette machine. Being a mom of two girls who have a lot of play doh, dolls, shopkins, crayons, markers, etc I am a crazy organized person to keep me sane. Thanks for sharing your expert tips!

  • Kim R.

    Neat idea! Could also work as a no-cost version with empty/recycled cardboard boxes of various sizes. The kind with lids that jewelry comes in would be especially good.

  • I love your picture labels! I’d love to use that idea for my my toddler. He obviously can’t read yet but pictures would help him clean up better (hopefully). I’d use a Silhouette for that, and lots of other organizing and labeling!

    • Diana, didn’t even think about how helpful it would be for kids! Genius!

  • Tara

    I’ve been eyeing up the silhouette recently but don’t have the money to afford it right now. If I won, my house would be label happy haha!!

  • Carolane Godbout

    As a new mom in BAD need of creativity and some well deserved me time (20 minutes at least!) I already have a list of all the gorgeous projects I could do with this machine I’ll never be able to afford 😉 I’ll really keep my fingers crossed for this one !

    • You deserve it Carolane! Those 20 minutes would be blissful for you 🙂

  • Karrie Millheim

    I would make crafts with my girls

  • claassenclan

    This is so awesome! Having 3 kids, I think I would be using it ALL the time!

  • Palma King

    I love DIY and I always have to get creative when trying to do shapes or letters freehand on projects to try and get them to look great. And being the anal person I am, I end up doing it over and over until I either accept the result or give up. I’ve seen this product and would love to own one. Fingers crossed!

    • We know exactly what you mean Palma! The Silhouette would definitely help with that.

  • Connie

    It’s hard to let go of a solution that *should* work but just doesn’t. I’m about to tackle our “junk” drawer again (I just re-did the kitchen gadgets drawer).

  • Trang

    I love this idea. It’s like organizing within organizing.

  • Amanda Scott

    I just got a bowl for my boyfriend’s stuff – I didn’t like that his stuff was just strewn on the table when he’s here (for the practical reason of messiness and the psychological reason of I don’t want him to feel like just a guest). It’s working pretty well so far, he’s far less interested in organizing than I am. I need my keys in their specific spot by the door otherwise it’s a 30 minute frantic search.

    I’d probably do some epic labeling, especially in the pantry, if I had a Silhouette. And make a ton of planner stickers.

    • LOVEEEE! And the 30 minute frantic search?! Been there far more than we’d like to admit. =)

  • Kjaydee

    If I had one of these, I would be labelling EVERY-THING. Maybe to the disdain of my husband…. 😉

  • Taylor Closet

    I would use it for labels and making cards plus more….

  • Amy Z.

    I would use it for craft projects and definitely for labeling too!