Junk drawer…

In every house I’ve ever lived in from the time I was old enough to have memories until now, there has been one drawer in the kitchen that was simply “the junk drawer.” It’s one of those facts of life that is so certain, I’ve never questioned it and, in fact, assumed it was a universal feature of all kitchens everywhere. 

Need a needle and thread? Junk drawer. A pen and note pad? Junk drawer. Any type of battery every devised by the mind of man? Junk drawer. Playing cards? Junk drawer. I just go with the assumption that the junk drawer is simply some kind of quantum space that exists outside the boundaries of the natural laws of the universe. How much junk can fit in the drawer has no relationship to the apparent physical space the drawer itself occupies. 

After more than seven years here, I finally grew impatient with the process of digging through every object I’ve ever owned in order to find an AA battery. The resulting clean out revealed, among many other things, a total of 10 pairs of eyeglasses, five flashlights, four decks of playing cards, and literal handfuls of bits and pieces whose original source or function I couldn’t identify.

The net result was a third of a trash bag to throw away, a few items that someone, somewhere might possibly use tossed in my “to donate” box, and a drawer that still seemed mostly full after I’d returned the array of things that live there permanently. Keeping a firm grip on the amount of accumulated stuff was fairly easy when I moved house every two or three years. Now that I’ve more or less homesteaded, it doesn’t just accumulate, it multiplies.

Reaching the bottom of the junk drawer feels like an accomplishment, but that’s only because I studiously avert my eyes every time I walk through the garage. For now, I’ll just keep telling myself that’s a “cool weather” project better suited for the fall. Once the weather turns, I’ll let you know the next lie I’ll tell myself to keep putting it off. 


I’m not a horder. I’m a neat freak (thanks for passing on that family trait, mom). Knowing that I have a place for everything and everything is generally in its place begs the question, where did the boxes and boxes of stuff now filling every room in the house come from? Seriously. If there’s a flat surface in the house, it’s got boxes stacked on top of it. And the worst is yet to come. I still haven’t attached the kitchen in anything like a meaningful way. My closet and bathroom and still pretty solidly intact. And I haven’t even contemplated bringing down the vast grid that networks my TV to my computer to my phone. The cabling alone will probably needs its own box… with everything zip-tied and neatly labeled, of course, so I can reconstitute the network right out of the box as soon as I actually find a place to live. So yeah, food, bathroom, and network, those are the things I have deemed essential to life and those that will be the last to find their way into the growing mountain of boxes and crates (remember the last scene of Raiders of the Lost Arc?).

The last time I moved, I had enough “stuff” to nominally fill a one bedroom apartment. I think it’s safe to say that I could probably make life livable in several of those now. I know that at some point I’ve had to hand carry all of this stuff into the house, but I can’t for the life of me remember where most of it came from. I suppose knowing where it’s going is really the important part.