The Junk Drawer

Everyone has one, right?

It’s that drawer that all the odds and ends are thrown into.  Things that don’t have a home elsewhere.  The front of the drawer holds things that are used often, but the back of the drawer becomes kind of a black hole that we only venture into when we just can’t find that one item we suddenly need and think oh, maybe it’s somewhere in the junk drawer…

Most of the time the junk drawer is in the kitchen, because that’s the room where we seem to need the odd item the most.  Except for one flat that had a miniscule kitchen with almost no drawer space so the junk drawer ended up in the hall cupboard, my junk drawer has always had a top spot in the kitchen as well.

Doesn’t matter how organised the rest of the house/drawers are, there’s almost always that junk drawer to bring forth that wee bit of chaos.

It’s sometimes so full with things that it’s hard to open or close – this seems to be a common problem with junk drawers.

junk drawer

Let’s see.  I’ve got scissors, that always necessary item in the kitchen.  They’re at the front.  Matches – regular size and extra long – can & bottle openers, corkscrews, bag clips and rubber bands, an extra timer, the lemon juicer, egg cups, a zester, can and bottle caps, nutcracker, apple corer, straws…and I think I’m afraid to dig any deeper.  I seem to remember there are some spare cupboard handles somewhere in there.  Or not.

My parents’ kitchen junk drawer also held some tools, a spare screwdriver and a pair of pliers, but I have a big tool box in the laundry room off the kitchen with all that stuff and more nearby, so the junk drawer is tool-free.  They also had a flashlight and spare batteries in there, but I keep those in the entryway drawer instead.

I’ve seen some tutorials on how to organise your junk drawer, but that seems almost unnatural.  Can junk drawers be organised?  I suppose they can, but it’s a disturbing idea.  With all due respect to Martha Stewart, that ain’t gonna happen.  Spring cleaning notwithstanding.

Some folks have a junk drawer in every room of the house.  I’m not that bad.  Although there are a  couple of drawers in other rooms that may be trying to compete for the title of secondary junk drawer if I don’t straighten them up…

Fess up.  Do you have a junk drawer?  And what treasures are you hiding in there?

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2 Responses to “The Junk Drawer”

  1. nicole Says:

    Oh yes, we have a junk drawer! I have always thought of junk drawers as an interesting thing, a phenomenon of sorts. Everyone has one, even if they do not consider it to be so 😉 Let’s see if I can say this in a non-confusing way…
    You’re opening a box and need a little help. Or you’re fixing something and “if I just had a little wire or something…” Or “I wonder if a little screw right here would hold this together?”
    I find that these little things that happen in the day, little ‘problems’ if you will- sometimes couldn’t be solved if it weren’t for the junk drawer. That one set of teensy screws that managed to linger once you’ve thrown that ‘thing’ away that just got swept into the drawer, they swing into action in a pinch. And I have found that when problem solving, without thinking I find myself at the junk drawer, studying its contents. Also, I become more inventive during these times, a sewing needle stuck in an old bobbin of thread becomes a tool with 25 uses, everything in the junk drawer seems like a multi-tool in a way. So interesting, I could talk about it forever!
    And then of course, there are things that have a designated spot, things we put in the junk drawer that we use often, and because well- that is where it goes. A tiny pair of nail scissors (front left), a small screwdriver (front center) or two and the pack of AA batteries (front left), just to name a couple.
    And yes, I giggle sometimes when I bump the junk drawer closed with my hip and it bounces back quickly or causes the contents to crinkle forward like a tidal wave of ‘junk’ after a digging session. But unlike my kitchen utensils drawer, I just smash it down and push it in!
    Lastly- ONE time I tried to organize it and all hell broke loose for a month after that. Worst thing I ever did regarding my junk drawer. What I did find that is a habit now (because sometimes there are things in there that just got sucked into that void, that are clearly needing to visit the dump), is that when I am digging feverishly for “that little purple thing, remember?” is to actively pitch anything I come across that makes me go “oh what the crap is this” a few times a month during an item hunt.
    LOVE this post Chana!

  2. Esther Says:

    I have a semi-organized junk-ish drawer in the kitchen.
    I had a semi-organized junk-ish drawer for papers in the bedroom but that is now properly organised in an Ikea filing box.
    I have a couple of junk drawers by my bed full of everything I ever put on my bedside table and couldn’t be bothered to find a place for.
    I have a junk cupboard in my living-room for photos+ other junk but I was good and tidied 2 large junk drawers into ‘craft supplies’ and ‘office supplies’.
    And then the shelves in the laundry room get tidied once every 18 months or so and in between become piled high with junk I can’t stuff in any of the other junk drawers.
    And this is after I have spring-cleaned in preparation for our move! Sigh

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