To Have or Have Not…

Do you have a junk drawer? Is it hard to imagine your home without one? Is it full of “what if I need this one day” junk or “I have no idea where to put this, I’ll stuff it in here” junk?

There are different schools of thought on this hot topic. Some organizers say, go ahead, have one drawer that you let be completely messy and disarrayed. Your inner clutter bug can be confined to that one hidden drawer. In fact, one of the cleanest homes I’ve known had a junk drawer (although it was cleaned out regularly so I don’t know if that counts).

The other camp believes a little structure can and should be brought to even the messiest junk drawer, with a little sorting and containerizing. After sorting, you realize that most of the items taking refuge in the drawer are in fact junk and the rest can be sorted into specific categories and containers.

I don’t personally like having a junk drawer, it gives me an unsettled feeling and yes, there maybe something wrong with me. Still, there is one place where I welcome a junk drawer with arms flung open wide– in children’s rooms.

Collecting seems to be in kids’ DNA, some more then others. Rocks, knickknacks, cards, etc…all the random stuff kids collect go right into their junk drawer AKA treasure drawer.


You know an item belongs in the treasure drawer when you first find the unidentifiable object on the ground, just barely avoiding stepping on it.  You have no idea where it is, but you know it must belong to your little one.  You ask your child “what do you want to do with this?” and the answer is, “I want to keep it.” All those items belong in their treasure drawer.

Another benefit to having a treasure drawer/box, is for entertainment purposes. Whenever your kiddos seemed bored and are roaming around teasing their siblings, have them go clean out their treasure boxes or drawers. They will find stuff they have forgotten about and will suddenly be entertained for a half hour at least! Totally worth it.


We had perfectly built-in treasure drawers in our previous bed, but since we traded our bed for a bunk bed, we found ourselves drawer-less! Which means no place to store all the junk, um, treasures.

Time to find space in our handy bookshelf from the toy overhaul project. It has been serving us well, with maintenance sessions sprinkled throughout the past year. I knew we left some space to grow and could easily find a place for a treasure drawer.

Plan A- Designate two of the baskets on the bottom row as treasure basket/drawers. But once we tried it out, they were just too big. They were a large black hole to dump things in. To find anything you had to first dump everything back out (the same problem occurs with toy chests).

The treasures needed more division and also a smaller container so there was a limit in place.

Plan B- Ikea (which I am grateful to live super close to) to find another solution that will fit perfectly in our Expedit bookshelf.

The winners? Two different types of orange containers. It wasn’t too hard to pick these out of the crowd.

  1. I am currently in love with orange
  2. they hide the junk (otherwise I would lean towards clear containers)
  3. they were on clearance!











I am a little concerned about their durability, but our IKEA project boxes have held up well, and the price had me at clearance.

I love having the two different types of containers, the box for trinkets and the magazine file for paper-type treasures. The paper storage is a perfect addition since their project boxes were getting stuffed with finished projects they wanted to keep. Their cork boards offer one option for these projects, but we definitely needed more storage space.


I used another small shoebox to divide the large orange box up even more.

Now they each have their own shelf for the treasure boxes and space to display their favorites (Anyone else have Cars crazy kids?).


As they are developing their independence, they long to have their own “personal” belongings. While most of their toys are shared, it’s great they can have a little space of their own too. When organizing systems are flexible and can adapt to changing tastes you know you are on the right track!


So, what do you think? Do your kids have a junk drawer in their rooms? Do they need one?

Stayed tuned for part 2 of finding a home for kids’ treasures as I collect different options to share!

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  1. My oldest has a junk drawer in her room and all over her dresser….it drives me CRAZY but I can’t convince her to clean it up. My 5 yr olds is bit more contained but still.
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  2. Great post, Autumn. We actually have the Ikea storage boxes in white holding our video games and movies. We need a few more, so I’m glad to know they’re on clearance at Ikea; I better get over there and snag some before they’re gone. We just have to pray that my husband never sees this blog post with your orange containers because he has been asking me to buy him some in orange. Absolutely nothing else in our home is orange, so I said, “Ummm…..well, how important is orange to you? Because I hate it.) haha :) The poor boy wanted to do our bathroom in orange…..another vetoed idea.

    • Don’t run out to Ikea yet, only the orange were on clearance. I guess most people feel like you. I think an orange and hot pink bathroom sounds great!

      • Actually I think hot pink and orange could be really fun! I also wanted to mention that the orange looks really good in the girls’ room. It might be growing on me. :)

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