Remove anything that doesn’t belong, and toss what’s broken. Then create smart mini-groupings so you can find what you need in a flash.
1. Cut a piece of newspaper to the size of the drawer. Bring it along when you shop for drawer inserts to help you puzzle together a close fit. It’s OK if the pieces don’t fill the space exactly; gaps can hold items like rulers. Stackable bamboo drawer organizers, from $4 each, containerstore.com.
2. Cluster related stuff: matches with (neatly bound) birthday candles, sunglasses with a repair kit, scissors with tape. Reusable three-inch rubber twist ties by Nite Ize, $6 for four, amazon.com.
3. Prop compartments with objects that catch clutter so you’re left with fewer moving parts (literally): a magnetic holder (next to calculator) for paper clips and pins, a pincushion, a magnetic square for tiny screws. Dozi magnetic paper-clip holder, $27, alessi-shop.com.
4. Designate spots for randoms, like mystery keys and tiny toys.