Many people seem to have a kitchen junk drawer, and these drawers hold a wide variety of stuff. If not in the kitchen, the drawer full of random stuff might be in a utility room or a hallway or a desk. Usually, they’re filled with a few things you need but those things could be surrounded with clutter.
Most items found in junk drawers can be classified into a few categories:
Becky Harris at Houzz.com wrote that she got rid of these things recently from her junk drawer:
- Eyeglasses with hideous frames from about 20 prescriptions ago
- Hardened Liquid Paper (I don’t even have any use for Liquid Paper anymore)
- 5 sets of Delta Airlines headsets
- 6 inches of carpet tape, which is perhaps enough to use on a dollhouse area rug.
- Packaging and headphones for every iPhone and iPod I have ever owned, including some that are no longer in my possession.
An online discussion at Chow.com of junk drawer contents inspired someone else to do a cleanout. She got rid of these items, among others:
- Halloween cookie cutters (I never really make shaped cookies)?
- a blunt breadknife with a melted handle
If you take the time to remove the pure junk, you can then consider giving your junk drawer a new name. Laura Gaskill suggested the “really useful stuff” drawer in a post she wrote for Houzz, organizer Monica Ricci calls it the utility drawer, and Becky Harris calls it the catch-all drawer.
Random useful stuff
As commenter Nicole wrote on Be More With Less:
I organized my former junk drawer a few years ago and now it’s the useful drawer. I keep markers, scissors, tape, little screwdrivers, chip clips, that rubber thing you use to open jars, and the manuals for my small appliances (rice cooker, for instance) in there.
Other common things include batteries, binder clips, coins, coupons, gum, hair elastics, matches, postage stamps, reading glasses, receipts being held onto until it’s clear the items won’t need to be returned, rubber bands, sticky notes, and a tape measure.
Some of that random useful stuff might better be kept somewhere else — you probably shouldn’t keep any papers in the junk drawer, for example — but that’s a personal choice.
The Junk Drawer Project asks participants: “What is your fondest memory surrounding an object in your junk drawer?” The answers show that many people choose to keep bits of memorabilia in their junk drawers.
Marie Irma Matutina said: “I have a bunch of new and used birthday candles, some with glitter, some are alphabets or numbers and they remind me of all the great parties, get togethers and gatherings I’ve had over the years with really great friends.”
And Leah Jackson said: “A birthday card from my mom that I can’t seem to get rid of.”
Other people mentioned cards and candles, too.
Odds and ends
I relate to Michelle W., who said this in another discussion of junk drawer contents: “My junk drawer is full of things I am hiding from the cats — rubber bands, bread bag ties, hairbands, etc.”
And then there’s Randy, who said the oldest thing in his junk drawer is a harmonica. “It just feels wrong to get rid of a harmonica, so it sits there mocking me because I never learned to play it.”
Your individual junk drawers
Erin Thompson, who maintains The Junk Drawer Project, was interviewed by Jillian Steinhauer about the project:
I started asking my friends about their junk drawers and quickly realized that the way that people curated their own junk drawer totally made sense for their personalities. I am finding that you can learn a lot about a person by way of their junk drawer.
What might your junk drawer say about you? If you don’t like the answer — or if your junk drawer just isn’t working right for you any more — maybe it’s worth spending a bit of time to make a change.