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Every home has one: a junk drawer. Although these drawers can be useful for storing miscellaneous items, the problem with them is that they have the funny habit of becoming overrun with, well, junk.

Batteries, small tools, sewing kits, tape, scissors, chip clips, notepads, old coupons, matches, flashlights, stamps, coins, birthday candles, pens and pencils, paper clips, glue, hairbands, chop sticks–you name it. If an item doesn’t have a designated place in a home, inside the junk drawer it goes.

Of course, once the drawer gets overstuffed, it can be difficult to open and close, let alone find the one item you’re actually looking for. While plenty of the mystery drawer’s contents may still be useful, do you really need that dried-out highlighter with a missing cap?

Restore order once and for all to your home’s junk drawer with these three simple steps, courtesy of’s David Caolo:

1. Remove the drawer, contents and all, and place it on a sturdy work surface. Take out all of the items inside the drawer, and set them aside. (Pro tip: Scrub the inside of the drawer before returning any items to it.)

2. Consider each item’s purpose. Ask, “Should this be stored somewhere else?” “Do I have a use for this?” “Do I already own one of these?” or “Does this still work?” Take action accordingly. (Pro tip: Purge more than you save.)

3. Set up an in-drawer organizational system. Use longer trays for oddly shaped objects and small boxes to collect loose items. (Pro tip: Wrap a rubber band around writing utensils, rulers, etc.)

Remind yourself to revisit the junk drawer every six months for a clean-out. This not only helps keep chaos to a minimum, but also motivates you to keep it organized as you use it!