A custom junk drawer organizer and why it was totally worth it to get that quesadilla from Chipotle

I am an organized person. It’s something that comes naturally to me. I find great joy in purging and redoing a space so that is more accessible and useful. Many of my home projects evolve from realizing a space is not organized well for it’s purpose and looking at ways to improve it. It’s my happy place.

Even so, everyone needs a good junk drawer. Someplace to throw that screw you just found laying on the floor that probably is important but you’re not quite sure why yet. You need a holding place for things like that but every few months even the junk drawer needs a good re-organization.

This wasn’t top of my mind when I grabbed lunch from Chipotle. I was just hungry and wanted a quesadilla to go. Once home, when I opened the takeout container, I noticed that the top piece had this great shape with divided sections that looked like the perfect size for my junk drawer and it only had a smidge of food residue. It was salvageable.

The Project

I wiped the container down with an antiseptic wipe. I didn’t want to risk washing it and fully submerging it in water as it would likely disintegrate. Their take out containers are made from molded fiber and while they can carry your meal home, I’m not sure how much water they can actually survive. After disinfecting, I used paint to prime the top part of the container and cover any remaining stains.

Now onto the fun part: playing with my daughter’s new set of Arteza pearlized acrylic paints that I gave her for Christmas. I’m not saying the gift was for both of us but we are a crafty family. We share our supplies. After painting the first layer of the pearl red copper, it was looking a little uneven but after applying a few more layers, I really loved the richness and depth of the color.

I didn’t need to do anything to the bottom as it would not be visible in the drawer but I decided to add some washi tape on the bottom to the outer parts of the dividers. No one will ever see it, but I’ll know it’s there and sometimes that is reason enough.

I covered everything in a coat of water based polyurethane for protection since this will get some wear.

Before reassembling the junk drawer, I purged the contents and re-homed things that didn’t belong in the drawer. Do we really need two butane lighters in our junk drawer? Especially since they already have a designated spot in our candle drawer. (Told you I was organized.) Once everything was pared down, I put our new drawer organizer in it’s place and nicely arranged the remaining “junk”.

I love how happy this simple project made me feel. I’m not saying I’m running out to Chipotle tomorrow for more takeout but I do have three more drawers in the cabinet and a matching set of drawer organizers would be nice.

Why this project?

I’ve posted a series of creative reuse, or upcycling, projects that I completed in honor of Earth Day. I love crafting and finding ways to reuse rather than dispose of items is a fun, creative challenge.  Check out my other fun projects from this month HERE!

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