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Everyone’s dirty little secret: the junk drawer


Busy, busy, busy. That’s the theme around here lately. The weather took at decided turn towards downright chilly over the past week reminding me of all the things that need to get finished outside before the snow flies.

But you know how you can be flying along checking things off the to-do list and then everything comes to a screeching halt until you get through one really unsavory project? That’s what happened this past weekend. I was alternating between gardening and my first upholstery project (can’t wait to show you) when everything had to stop. Enter the junk drawer.

We never really had a junk drawer when I grew up (my mom is exceptionally neat). We had a drawer by the phone with a lot of pens, paper and phone books (remember those), but nothing else except maybe a roll of scotch tape ended up in there. At the family cottage though there was a junk drawer that could have swallowed a small child. And that’s what mine was looking like this weekend.

The drawer had been getting difficult to close lately so I knew a reorganization was imminent. And then I found myself needing something in that drawer. For a split second I thought about driving to the store and buying a new one (of whatever I needed, I can’t remember what it was) rather than face that drawer. When I realized how pathetic that was, I just pulled that thing out and went at it.

And here’s the sad state of things when I pulled it out (and I’m pretty sure a bunch of stuff fell behind it when I did that):

Let’s take a closer look. At a glance I see plant label stakes, fishing line, sewing needs, hairspray, soil testing kits, a first place ribbon for a dog obedience competition, pinking shears, metal polish, audio cords and a measuring tape. These items should never all be in the same place.

And this is what it looked like once it dumped its guts.

This cute little guy—a piece of driftwood colored with markers—came with the house and I thought he deserved to stay. Poor guy was stuck in the junk drawer and I’m so glad I rescued him.

I pulled out all sorts of stuff that didn’t belong in there, including two handfuls of tools that should be in the basement with the rest of their friends but had apparently been stranded upstairs. I also threw out a lot of stuff including any cords that didn’t have an obvious purpose (which was all of them), some random seeds. And then I gave the whole thing a good scrub before a quick reorganizing. 
Ah, much better (for whatever reason I took the picture of the drawer sideways so the layout makes a little more sense if you rotate it in your mind).

So fess up: Do you have a junk drawer and what would I find if I opened it up right now?

4 Responses

  1. I'm late in posting this but my drawer looked just like yours… only worse! I spent hours cleaning out and rearranging everything in there, only to find, 3 months later, it looks just like it did before. I give up. I guess I will always have a messy junk drawer in my life.

  2. We've managed to have a very minimal one, so minimal that I would not call it a junk drawer. Mark just bought a big standing tool cabinet so the junk corner of the basement which held all his tools is suddenly organized. We mostly have lots of junk piles of paper that needs to be looked at, filed or shredded.

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