Most homes and offices have a “junk drawer,” usually located in the kitchen, that serves as a catchall for objects that seem to have no other place to go. A junk drawer is simply part of a home, no questions asked. Right? In his book It’s All Too Much, clutter expert Peter Walsh begs to differ.
Lots of kitchens have a “catch-all” drawer. What’s in here? It’s always a surprise. Soy sauce packets from carryout, rubber bands, pennies, matches, pushpins, a stray refrigerator magnet. I’m only going to say this once: No. Junk. Drawer. Do I make myself clear?
I decided to survey my own junk drawer and see if that was a reasonable request. Photo by littledan77.
When I looked in my own junk drawer, I realised everything in it was either trash (such as expired coupons or old carryout menus) or it had a home somewhere else such as a pack of batteries in the battery bin of my workshop. There was no reason for the deck of playing cards—all the games go on the top shelf of the front hall closet. There was no explanation for why I had two corkscrews. When I finished putting everything in it’s respective place and culling through the trash I was left with a completely empty drawer. Suddenly I had an entire drawer in my kitchen to do something more practical with than store paper clips and Chinese menus. The tea moved from the cabinet over the stove to what had been the junk drawer, which made it easier to see and select the different varieties. The pots and pans which had been in a low and awkward cabinet next to the stove went into the cabinet above it, making it easy to select one and set it right onto the stove for use. Now instead of a small overstuffed junk drawer I have a large empty cabinet to put to better use. What could you do with your junk drawer if you liberated it from its junk?