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Throwback Thursday: Junk Drawer

Now that the kids are back in school, you might be finding yourself with a little more free time (or not!).   If you are finding the urge to get that “junk” drawer organized, here are a few simple steps in helping you.  

Let’s face it, we all have them…those drawers usually found in the kitchen that are shoved full of random items and gets stuck every time you try to open the drawer. Because it’s overwhelming,  you decide to do the most natural thing, just shut it quickly and forget about it.

What if you could change your junk drawer into a “daily needs drawer” where all the items you use on a daily basis are neatly stored away AND that drawer could actually close? I swear–just FIVE simple steps and you can make it happen.

A junk drawer has such a negative connotation and if you call it a junk drawer, it becomes just that. So, call it your “daily needs drawer”, your “at my fingertips drawer” or your “odds and ends drawer”, anything besides the junk drawer.

Here are a couple of my favorite shots of organized drawers.

 I LOVE bamboo trays–they’re probably my favorite way to organize drawers. They look nice and come in several shapes and sizes so you can separate objects of different sizes. This is a great photo to give you an idea of some items that you might want to consider storing in your drawer.

Real Simple

Real Simple

These clear, plastic containers come in many different sizes as well. It really just depends on which look you prefer. This is a smaller drawer so you can see what things are really essential if you don’t have a large drawer like the photo above.


And, here’s a shot of my own daily needs drawer

Amy’s Drawer

These are clear, plastic cases found at IKEA. I couldn’t find them online anymore but they don’t always have all of their products on their website. I found these in the office organizing section and they orginally came with a lid on top, which I took off.  I love these organizers because the dividers slide out so that you can create all different sizes of compartments.

And, really, anyone can do this–case in point: I was so happy when Tessa asked me to help her tackle her junk drawer. I had been eyeing this drawer for some time and have always wanted to help her organize. BUT, I have learned to control my OCD organizing habits when going to friends’ houses. So, as our husbands were out celebrating Father’s Day Eve, we met up for a quick organizing task.  Yeah, fun Saturday night!

Here is a shot of her drawer before…

Tessa’s Junk Drawer Before

As you can see it was filled with lots of potentially useful things, but Tessa didn’t really know because every time she pulled out the drawer it got stuck. So I introduced her to the five steps of organizing a drawer.

STEP ONE:  Empty out all contents of drawer

Tessa’s Junk Drawer

STEP TWO:  Sort items into like categories.


STEP THREE: Determine what your daily needs are and what you want from this drawer. For Tessa, she decided she needed paper, pens, charger, spot for her iPhone, place for change, flashlight, tape measure and a spot for her keys.  These categories are going to be different for everyone.  Think hard about what it is that you need at arms reach every day.

Just because it was in there, doesn’t mean it belongs in there. For instance, Tessa had coupons she stored in this drawer, but then never used them because they weren’t with her when she needed them. Instead of creating a spot for them in the junk drawer, we decided an envelope in the car would be a better place because then they would be with her and she wouldn’t have to try and remember the coupon before she walked out the door. Also, she had pair of binoculars in this drawer. While she did want to keep them, she realized that she only used them probably once a year. There was a better spot in her house for occasional use items.

We also got rid of her take-out menus in this drawer. She decided to throw them out completely because she tends to look online when ordering food. For those of you that still like to keep the paper menus, what about a clear file mounted on the inside of a kitchen cabinet to hold all of your menus?

Take-Out Menus

STEP FOUR:  Now that she had established her categories, Tessa decided to use bamboo trays for organizing the items.  When shopping for inserts, measure the length and width of your drawer and write down your items/categories that you are going to put in the drawers. Once you have this information head to any office supply store, or my favorite, Container Store, and do a layout in the store to see which organizers will best fit in your drawer.

Tessa’s Drawer

By the way, I should mention that we put down a backing so the drawers won’t slide around.

Tessa’s Drawer

STEP FIVE (my favorite):  Put items into their compartments.

Tessa’s Drawer After

And the best part of the evening….check out what her husband had to say.  A little early Father’s Day present to Tessa’s husband who has a bit of the organizing bug in him too.


Thanks Tessa for a fun (it was for me) Saturday evening!  I can’t wait to tackle another drawer in your house soon.



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Ikea Shopping

A week ago, I made myself a cup of coffee, sat down to read through my blog roll and opened up my computer to this:


Amy’s Computer-Sign of Death

The geniuses at Apple confirmed just what I had suspected….HARD DRIVE FAILURE!  Lucky for me, I’m extra cautious and had everything backed up on an external hard drive (I store this in a fire/water proof safe) and I also use Crash Plan which is an online back up system.  So, while I was sad to say goodbye to my white macbook.  I didn’t sweat it too much because I knew I would be up and running in no time.  However, it didn’t go as planned and I had to wait 5 days to get my new computer.  So, what do you do without a computer?

Shopping, of course!

My mom and sister-in-law were in town for a few days and they made sure I put an Ikea trip on our agenda.  Like always, I was giddy with joy when I saw a few new things.

 This table was beautiful with a walnut veneer top and solid ash legs.  It looked very high end and would look great with any type  of dining room chair.


Stockholm Table

These light fixtures were adorable and would be great in a kids room, playroom or the black/gold one in a dining

 A great solution for kid’s shoe storage and bench by the door.  This little bench comes in a variety of colors.


 Still one of my favorite chairs! Now it has a matching ottoman.



Tessa and I love the Expedit system and now it comes in a high-gloss finish and a ton of different colors including, this hot pink!


These green bins caught my eye when I noticed the price of 1.49!



 Love this bedding for a boy’s room.


 Such cute bedding for a girl’s room if you are trying to steer away from the usual pink.


 A pillow to match or I think this would be a great pop of color in a living room.


My favorite desk from Ikea now comes in two different lengths.


 This bath hand towel was just so cheery looking that I couldn’t resist snapping a photo.


 Still, my favorite item EVER from Ikea.  These drying racks can mounted on a wall and fold flat when not in use.


 And, my adorable sister-in-law holding up a coffee cup for my brother, an avid hunter.


Enjoy the weekend and we will see you back here on Monday!

Amy Signature


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Flashback Thursday

Command hooks have become my go-to for basically any project in my house.  I use them to hide cords from lamps, hang up dish towels, hooks for beach bags, you name it…I probably have command hooks in every room of my house.  My newest use is for my jewelry.

Check out how I use them to help organize my jewelry:


Amy’s Jewelry Storage


Amy’s Jewelry

 Command hooks come in all different sizes so they are perfect for your delicate necklaces and your chunkier ones.

Amy’s Jewelry


The best part about command hooks is they won’t damage your walls when you decide to remove.  They also come in all different weight limits so you will never have to drill another hook into your walls again.

Happy Organizing!






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