In every house I have ever lived in, there has been a junk drawer. A catch-all. A place to throw everything that doesn’t fit in any category. A place to throw things when unexpected company arrives and you have to tidy up. I can clearly see the junk drawer of my childhood years. It was on the south wall of the kitchen, next to the refrigerator. In this drawer were books of matches, an old notched butcher knife, screwdrivers of the wrong size, a crooked pencil sharpened with the old butcher knife, a metal tape measure, a rain gauge (in the winter time), birthday candles of assorted sizes and colors, a flashlight with dead batteries, random keys, fuses for the fuse box in the basement, nuts and bolts that came from my dad’s pocket but were not destined to enter the washing machine, a small hammer, a shoe horn, an ice scraper, a ball of string, an empty scotch tape dispenser,
It was a pretty big drawer and the contents never remained the same. When I moved into a dorm room in college, there were not enough drawers for a junk drawer. My desk drawer doubled as the junk drawer/school supply drawer. Back then we still used paper and pencils and pens.
In my first home, which belonged to my in-laws for 25 years, a junk drawer had already been started and they left it behind to help me out I guess. It held pretty much the same stuff that had been in my childhood junk drawer, except it belonged to someone else.
Over the course of 40 years the junk drawer overflowed and finally took over 4 drawers in my kitchen because there were now extension cords, more flashlights, batteries, shoe strings, magnets, glasses cases, tiny pocket kleenex pouches and loose change. One drawer became a supply drawer for baby pigs. There were syringes, and bottles of medication, and razor blades, and plastic gloves. Another drawer evolved into a plastic bag drawer. Kroger bags, Walmart bags, K Mart bags, gently used ziplock bags, garbage bags, and bags that fit into various sizes of wastebaskets around the house.
When it was time to fill the drawers and cupboards in my newly remodeled kitchen I vowed not to have a junk drawer. This kitchen was going to be organized. And I had added several cupboards and shelves for non-kitcheny items so I was confident that I would not need one. Ever. Again.
I was wrong. I have 2 at this point. One drawer holds the backsplash to be installed behind my new sink (when my contractor/son has time) and books of matches, and a metal measuring tape, and some birthday candles, new packages of gum, chap stick, a hammer, and … oh yeah, loose change. You just have to have a place for all the miscellaneous stuff in your life. I just wish there wasn’t so much of it.
But at least I know where to look for it all.