If you looked at this picture of the kitchen you might think it was organized.


You’d see the counter I just wiped oatmeal off of.

And the floor I picked pieces of plastic cheese wrappers off of.

And the basket that just minutes ago was full of coffee cups.

I cleaned it all up just for you.

You’d think it always looks like this.

You’d think it was clean.

And sparkling.

And shiny.


Behind those drawers is this kitchen’s Achilles Heel.

Are you ready?

Are you sure?

Can we please still be friends?

You might want to cover your eyes if you think you can’t handle it.

Because every time I pull open this drawer it looks like…..



Oh no.

The kitchen is embarrassed.

It’s hanging its crystal doorknob in SHAME.

This is the state of the junk drawer in the kitchen.

Just between us, I’m not even really sure how this happened.  Have you ever noticed that clutter multiplies?  Somewhere between November and now those pens had children.

And grandchildren.

Want to see some of the treasures I found in here?

This snowman pad.

Super cute.

But it’s spring.

This set of vintage keys.

I used them for a project.

I just picked the hot glue off of them for this picture.

These post-it notes with my name on them.

They are left over from the La-z-Boy Design Dash.

You can see the before and after of that room here.

This business card that’s secretly a seed packet.

It came from a restaurant called Harvest.

You plant the business card and it grows flowers.

This cute i-phone lens,

It attaches to your phone and takes different types of pictures.

Someone gave it to me as a gift and I stuck it in the drawer.

And sweet notes like these.

We are a note family.

We leave them everywhere.

I read it and stuck in away in the drawer with the snowmen and the keys and the camera lens and the pens and the rulers and the level and the sticky notes.


Something had to be done. So I squared my shoulders and faced my fears and the entire pen population of the state of Texas and:

1. Took everything out of the drawer.

2. Wiped it down.

3. Found some old silverware drawer organizers.

4. Sorted everything and threw some of it away.

5. Grouped like with like and put everything into one of the parts of the organizers.

And now?

It looks like this.





Full of joy.

The kitchen is celebrating with me.


What’s that?

Hold on a minute—those countertops just whispered something to me.

There are more drawers and Achilles Heels to conquer?


Just look at the shiny floors.

Let the rest of the drawers wait for another day. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Diane Diane

    Haha... my office/crafting room? It gets organized and prettied up and then... then it becomes my favorite dropping ground that multiples. UGH.

  2. Image for Patsy Gallery Patsy Gallery

    I would say that you are pretty normal and to just breath. Nobody is perfect, and if we were all perfect there would never be any room for improvement! We should take a poll to see how many people that follow you have that very same drawer. Have a great day and I love your blog and inspiration.

  3. Image for Tracey Tracey

    Truth be told, I have several of these Achilles heels around my house. In the kitchen. In the bathroom. In the living. room. Everywhere! Thanks for the inspiration to clean and organize. And thanks for letting us know about the new book! I'm definitely interested! Have a great day!

  4. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Haha, you should see my junk drawers (yes, plural). I have two at the farm and two at the city house. Yikes. They are very messy, try as I might to keep them under control. But shhh, don't tell anyone. I need to conquer them...soon. Can we still be friends? 😁

  5. Image for Sharon Sharon

    You are not alone. I have the same issue except multiplied by many. This spring weather is not conducive to being outside so I am taking advantage by going through each room and digging into those "hiding" spots. I know I'm in trouble when I can't find a spot anymore to tuck things away. Thank you for all the motivation you give for my creative side to shine through.

  6. Image for Tammie Tammie

    I'm struggling with my mud room/dog room/storage room. LOL I know I need some shelves & such, but don't even know where to start.

  7. Image for Sophie's Haven Sophie's Haven

    Any home I have lived in over the years I always had one drawer in the kitchen that was titled THE JUNK DRAWER..........

  8. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Well, I do not know if I have ODC or because I had five children....but when I watch TV, I just can't sit there doing nothing. Soooo...I take a drawer or a box from the closet or whatever, and sort it, send some stuff to the thrift store. Yesterday, I cleaned out my cookbooks. I got rid of 15 cookbooks. I think someone must come into my house and put cookbooks in my pie safe!! Anyway, makes me feel good. Hmmm...what can I clean out today? Everyone have a great day!!

    1. Image for Jenifer Jenifer

      Sharon, If you run out of drawers you may come visit me!! I don't have just one drawer. My kitchen has an entire counter that is 'junky'. I am ashamed of it and yet it never gets any better!!

  9. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Did I see stain pens? I NEED THOSE! Looks like a trip to the hardware store for me. And, the best thing I did for the junk drawer was to throw away all of those give-away pens. It makes a huge difference. My hubby brings them home from hotels, but he never even knows when they're gone.

  10. Image for Teresa Ann Harral Teresa Ann Harral

    My kitchen pantry and drawers are very organized! They have dividers and every different coffee canister is labeled and on a particular shelf along with every other organized can and box and spice etc. I credit not myself but my neat husband for this. He is adorable! He is always quietly picking up after me in the kitchen and dining room and living room but........do NOT and I stress NOT dare to open up my side of the bathroom counter drawers and cabinet. Oh dear! you will find all kind of creams, jewelry, make up, hair tools all mixed together. It takes time to get ready to go somewhere because I can't find the right foundation or the other earring.....and the my side of the closet.....be careful you may trip over one of my flip flops or shoes. Okay enough is enough! There is NO reason for this cluttering of mine. All mine. I am going to begin to organize my junk drawers --one drawer at a time! Thank you again for your inspiration!!!! PS I just received your "The DIY" Home Planner and I am excited to begin some projects--but first to get cluttered!

  11. Image for Ann C Ann C

    I have been working on finding a place for everything and if it doesn’t have a place the round receptacle becomes its place! I got rid of my junk drawer two years ago when I had my cupboards refaced. I wanted the drawer for other things, so I sorted and put the pens and markers in the den, the tape measure in the laundry room along with the hammer, etc. I haven’t missed the junk drawer at all. In my defense I live alone so it’s much easier now than when I had a family.

  12. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    I love the crystal knobs sweet girl. Yep have not only one junk drawer but many. Closets are in better shape except one. Oh my. It along with the garage are truly in need of oraganing. So yes we are friends even sisters. Your friend's book sounds interesting. Checking it out. Dreaming of spring in Kentucky... up to 4 in hrs of snow might be coming to Bluegrass. Tornado warnings and temps hit 70 this week.. yep bet you remember crazy weather in KY

  13. Image for jillian jillian

    Ha, yes, I understand....although my dirty little secret is that I love organizing, so none of that here. A friend once said something like "you know that junk drawer everyone has?" and I just smiled and nodded. I could not say "Nope, all clean and tidy here" that would just be rude. Nice job!

  14. Image for Cindy@countyroad407 Cindy@countyroad407

    Okay, I have one drawer that looks like that. But I'm not allowed to touch it. It's the Mister's tool drawer. Yes he has a super large tool box in the garage but that's his large black hole in the kitchen. Ugh. I pick my battles. Popping over to hopefully win myself a gift card. I need it! Thanks.

  15. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    LOL!!!!!! I have one of those drawers-my stuff is in gallon sized ziploc bags, as I could not find the right sized organizers or dividers:) And then I forgot about it. Those items seem to multiply....sigh

  16. Image for Terri Terri

    You just made my day !!!!... I'm thinking maybe you "Staged" that drawer?????? could this post be a hoax.. or is it true??? In that gorgeous kitchen ??? I feel soooo much better about my "Drawer" situation now!!!!! lololol I am going over to check out this new book !!!!!

  17. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    My Hoosier-style baker's cabinet needs a thorough decluttering... and so does my main closet, and my... you get the picture! Not a good sign in such a small home as mine! Hugs and hearts, friend!

  18. Image for Christy Peeples DuBois Christy Peeples DuBois

    My bedroom is my downfall. I also have my desk in my bedroom and between coming in and changing clothes and stacking make in my desk it seems like a never ending clutter zone which causes me stress.

  19. Image for Karen S. Karen S.

    🙌🏽 Let's hear it for the "re"organized kitchen junk drawer. It's a never ending battle... and we are empty nesters. Oh well, kinda fun to have another new beginning. Fresh clean start 👊🏼.

  20. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Everyone has THAT one drawer! I’ve heard some people have an entire room dedicated to this sort of chaos. It’s probably just a rumor.😉 Have a happy day!

  21. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    How timely ... I actually just cleaned out OUR junk drawer a couple weeks ago! No extra silverware holders on hand, but enough little tins and boxes to sort things and separate! Cute post, and Melissa's book is one we all need to have, I bet, because somewhere .... we all have clutter!

  22. Image for Rosie Rosie

    I've started going through things like this, I don't have good organizers yet. I just wanted to say I ADORE your kitchen and then the view to the living room - stunning, everything is just so perfectly done, you have a special gift (or a really good interior designer!!).

  23. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I have a small chest that was once my husband's childhood "bachelor's chest," and is now in a corner of the dining room where it holds the telephone, a lamp, and a super-cute little three-drawer-thingy that's RED. At one time in the last 35 years, it held all our valuable VHS tapes. It was perfect for that. Now we have no VHS tapes (who am I kidding? the girls stashed their favorites and the home movies in the only room with a VHS player). That chest, though. It's now filled with randomness. Greeting cards. tea lights, gift bags, photos that came in cards, and just about anything else that I'm not sure where to put. It's my Achilles heel. Thanks for the intervention. Now I feel super-guilty for postponing the inevitable! LOL

  24. Image for Naomi S. Naomi S.

    Ah-ha-ha! I promise I have those Achilles heels all over the house! The kitchen junk drawer is the worst. Tools, paint swatches, screws, nails picture hanging hardware, florist's wire, and on and on....... If I don't know what to do with it, into the junk drawer it goes! But isn't it okay to have a drawer like that in the house? I always tho't it was. Now, I know it's not because it frustrates me no end when I want something that I THINK is in that drawer and it takes me fifteen minutes to sift through the debris and come up without what I'm looking for! Yup, I don't think it's so okay anymore. I've been meaning to clean and sort that drawer for months. Thanks to your reminder I am inspired to walk my talk. I wonder how many days it will take me to get it in shipshape. I think starting is the hardest so maybe if I put it on my calendar I will actually start. Wish me luck and success and thanks again for your inspiration. Just in case my enthusiasm wanes I think I'd better get Melissa's book!

  25. Image for Hope Hope

    I am 62 and would consider myself an organized person. WHen life gets stressful I grab a handful of chocolate chips and tidy a closet.....because there will ALWAYS be a space to organize or straighten....even when because of death and the empty nest -I live alone! That's why it's called houseKEEPING not house done!

  26. Image for Rebekah W Rebekah W

    My kitchen “office” looks like this- must be those sneaky pens collecting clutter while we aren’t like looking.

  27. Image for Mary Mary

    Thanks for keeping it real :).... you are a good writer Karianne and your authentic, creative and fun voice comes through in every post!

  28. Image for Terri Herman Terri Herman

    At least you have pretty knobs! I find the top of the desk area keeps piling up. The hubs is not about organizing. 😂

  29. Image for Jean Merell Jean Merell

    Hello, can you please tell me what the kitchen counter top is? What material and name? I love them. They look exactly like what I have in my mind that I want, but have not found it yet. :-)

  30. Image for Leslie Leslie

    We truly are friends now! Why do those drawers do that when you close them???...or my closets???...or my desk?!!! That book is needed here. Thanks for sharing the book and that drawer.

  31. Image for Sherry M Sherry M

    Spring is when I organize drawers and closets every year. For me, spring is the time to deep clean. The rest of the year my motto is, out of sight out of mind.

  32. Image for Jessica Woodall Jessica Woodall

    I love organization and the more ideas I get the more I reorganize!!! I love the handles you have on the kitchen cabinents...where did you get them? I LOVE Harvest...but I haven't got the business card flowers!!

  33. Image for PJ PJ

    I love the feeling of being organized and opening drawers and closets that are pristine. It is spring cleaning time here, and I have been on an organizing spree. There are all sorts of goodies headed for the market table at my next garden club meeting. (We put out things we no longer want. Others make a donation to our scholarship fund in return for taking those things.) I look forward to reading Melissa's new book. I so enjoyed Love the Home You Have.

  34. Image for Susan Susan

    Me too KariAnne! I have a junk drawer that needs attention regularly! And I'm so glad that we can be friends, because you are funny, and kind, and funny, and inspirational, and funny, and my kind of people! I love reading your posts and I'm loving your new book as I conquer decorating my home. Happy Spring (cleaning)! Susan

  35. Image for kathe kathe

    When I cleaned my kitchen's junk drawer ( first time in about 5 years), my DH had me 'save' for him what I wanted to throw out. I put it in a box for him - and there it sits . . .!!

  36. Image for Jes Jes

    Hmm, my cupboard with my kids art supplies and my attached desktop with bills, art "masterpieces" from my kids, invitations, homework, etc!

  37. Image for Bobbie Allgood Bobbie Allgood

    You are an inspiration in so many ways. It's nice to know that someone who is a normal person, just like me can be so accomplished. It gives me hope. And now where can I get the same drawer pulls that you have in your kitchen? I love them.

  38. Image for Heidi S Heidi S

    I do love those handles! I have long skinny drawers in my bathroom vanity that I don't think have EVER been organized...the stuff that ends up in them is truly...odd.

  39. Image for au au

    I wish I only had one drawer that looked like yours did. I have several. They are large and full. I will get to them and get them organized. I just don't know when......Thanks for the inspiration though. At least now I remember that they are there.

  40. Image for April J Harris April J Harris

    I do apologise, I pressed return too quickly and my website didn't go through on the comment! Not sure if you can amend it as it the link is broken. I'm really sorry! Sharing your post around!!

  41. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I think everyone has a junk drawer or two or three.......I know I do! My craft room gets organized then I work on a project and it's a mess. It also becomes a dumping ground for things I dont have a place for yet. I just shut the door!

  42. Image for Dawn Dawn

    I know! I had three areas with a clutter drawer. One downstairs, office and kitchen. Now I have one drawer! It feels so good to have everything edited and sorted. I feel kind of smug about it! 😉

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