We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Among the topics that can split a household, sports, politics, religion, and iPhones versus Androids are known to be touchy subjects. Add to that list: junk drawers. Apparently this method for coping with homeless home items is enough to create a house divided. Over the weekend, designer Justina Blakeney shared on Instagram that her husband was all-caps SHOCKED to discover her stash of miscellany when they moved in together. Like any partner looking to settle a good-natured dispute, she turned to social media to ask who else was Team Junk Drawer, and hundreds of followers, including fellow design pros such as Dabito, Miki Carter of Plot Twist Interiors, and Alberthe Buabeng, weighed in.

It turns out, a lot of people are pro junk drawers, and many have a basket, cabinet, or—in some cases—a closet (!) dedicated to uncategorized items. One interior designer even commented that she intentionally carves out these places into her clients’ homes. We’re going to go ahead and say Blakeney wins this battle and that junk drawers are here to stay. And now that we’ve settled that, here’s what a professional organizer has to say about the right way to manage these controversial storage spots. 

Why You Need One

“I think junk drawers are great because they’re real,” shares Julianna Strickland, founder and CEO of Space Camp Organizing. For the pro, having an organized home means having a functional home, so dedicating a drawer in your kitchen where scissors, batteries, extra keys, and pens can live “just makes sense.” 

What Belongs… 

It may seem ironic, but Strickland believes a junk drawer actually keeps the junk out. Think of it instead as a “utility drawer” that’s easy to access and holds all the miscellaneous things you often need on a daily basis. “For me, that means my pruning shears, flower food, and cable ties,” she says. “They all live together nestled next to my grocery list and a letter opener.” 

…And What Doesn’t 

Strickland’s biggest warning: Steer clear of storing trash-adjacent items in there. This is not the place for extra sauce packets from fast-food restaurants, receipts you don’t need, or dried-up glue sticks. Combining your unsorted items with bits and bobs that should live in other categories should also be avoided. “Your ice cream scoop and steak knives will be happier living with cooking utensils or silverware, not next to your assortment of batteries,” she notes. No argument here!