Thursday, September 25, 2014

Welcome to the junk drawer.



 Tell the truth: does your  junk drawer look like this? 


Okay, this is not my junk drawer  (I’m not showing mine!), but it’s a good example of what the inside of  a junk drawer can look like.  Mine has a lot more elastic bands.

Yes, I am letting down my guard, but I haven’t completely lost my mind. Revealing the junk drawer at its worst? As if. 

Some items currently residing: 

The Princess dachshunds’ toothbrushes and toothpaste. We seem to be out of beef and chicken flavor

Two measuring tapes

2 packs of sparklers because you never know when a birthday party will break out














Bag of red candy of mysterious origin

Dozens of elastic bands from the newspaper

Collection of false noses and glasses - for visiting children or silly adults














Car keys

Sunglasses

Canadian Tire money (10 cents)

Small gardening scissors















Binoculars to follow antics of squirrels
















You get the point.

I’ve been trying for years to solve the junk drawer problem. Finding a place for everything and everything in its place.  If you try to live by that principle, why would you need one? 

Then this week I read an article about Daniel Levitin, neuro-scientist and author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information,  Included in the brainy article:  The Junk Drawer.

I immediately ordered the book so it could sit in the pile of other non-fiction books urgently awaiting my attention. 

But I digress. Apparently, we have to adopt organizational tactics to help reduce the brain’s workload.  Come on, friends, try to stay awake:  I’m getting to the point, which is of course, the junk drawer. This holding tank for 'stuff'  allows us to cut down on time and mental energy wasted on trivial decisions, such as where to put three pair of false noses and glasses.  Face it, they didn’t merit a lot of thought.  The dogs’ toothbrushes? Right.  I’m sure I’ll find them mentioned in the book when it shows up. 

That’s all I needed! 

Now I have this advice from an expert, I can really relax—about this one silly thing anyway.  We don't need to worry about that junk drawer!

Maybe twice a year I’ll throw out the stuff I can’t identify. Exactly where did that red candy come from, anyway?  I’ll use the mental energy saved to catch some bad guys on the page.  Or read a book!

Okay now, your turn. Junk drawer confessions? Triumphs?  I can’t wait. And if anyone wants to share what’s the weirdest thing they’d found in their junk drawer, well, I’d sure like to know what that is.

19 comments:

Lynda Turpin said...

Junk drawers (yes, that would be plural) are an important part of my life. I am, by nature, an organized person, but there are always going to be little things that just don't fit logically in a specific place. Rather than putting them in a non-logical place (and forgetting where that place is), I put them in a junk drawer. Then, when I need to find them, I can go to the junk drawers and usually find what I'm looking for. As a matter of fact, there have been many times when I was looking for something, and couldn't think of any logical place I would have put it, and I just pray that I put it in a junk drawer.

Aurian said...

I don't have a junk drawer. Junk just ends up on my desk, or my boyfriends desk, and when I clean, most of it ends up in the bin. I have a collection of teapots, and they are excellent to put loose things in, like spare keys, and marbles, and other things you find. Of course I never remember which teapot I put certain things in, which makes picking up one always a surprise.

mary kennedy said...

Do I dare admit that I have more than one junk drawer??True confession time. The junk has spilled over into a second drawer (and who knows, maybe it will even reach a third.) A veritable tsunami of junk! I know everyone can relate to this post, MJ!

Anonymous said...

My junk drawer is the most high traffic drawer in my kitchen. The kitchen: that IS where everyone has their junk drawer, right? It's the "go-to" drawer. When you need something fast, like a paper clip or a congealed cough drop you'll find it there. The junk drawer is the ground zero of my daily life. What's to feel guilty about that? There should be an annual day of celebration and appreciation. HH

DogsMom said...

I "organize" and clear mine out several times a year. How does it get to the point of needing it be done again? I guess I am not getting the organizing part right.

Nicole said...

My junk drawer used to look like that, but I've tried to "organize" it, if that makes sense! I have little plastic bins that help somewhat. To my recollection, I've never found anything truly awful in there---unless it was so bad that I've blocked it from my memory! On a side note, I may steal an idea from a friend which I think is genius, and perfect for me---starting October 1 (you can choose any month) and following along with the date, get rid of one item from your junk drawer (or elsewhere in the house/garage) on the first, 2 on the second, etc... I'm going to try this to help me get a little more cleaned up before the holidays! :-)

Grandma Cootie said...

My junk drawer looks a lot like that, only organized lol. It has those plastic dividers in it. I thought inserting them would prevent the drawer from becoming full of junk but it just stacks it up differently. And I should confess, one of my junk drawers anyway. It seems wherever there is more than one drawer in a room one of them starts accumulating junk.

And I can't tell you how happy I was to read this: 'I immediately ordered the book so it could sit in the pile of other non-fiction books urgently awaiting my attention.' As soon as I had read the paragraph above it my mental to-buy list started adding it. I don't want to read all that non-fiction but I guess I think I should instead of one more cozy. The cozies always win.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Great thinking, Lynda! You save a lot of time with them. I confess, I have three. Shhh.

Hugs.

MJ/VA

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I laughed out loud, Aurian! I also have teapots, but hadn't thought of putting miscellaneous stuff in them. As long as it could cope with some boiling water, all would be well.

Hugs,

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I have just confessed to Lynda that I have more than one and now after Aurian's post, I'm thinking the teapots look good for some stuff too.

XO

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Absolutely, HH aka AA! I laughed out loud at the concealed cough drop because we all have at least one.

Go to indeed!

Hugs,

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I think the dropping in and closing the drawer is all we really need to do, my friend.
Organizing schmorganizing.

Hugs.

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Nicole, what a fabulous idea! Especially around the 25th, today. I could throw out all my hubby's old shirts and maybe, just maybe, I will.

Hugs.

MJ

Nicole said...

LOL---I did that with his ties one year! :-)

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I am on the side of the cozies, GC! I have actually LOST the last urgent non-fiction book I bought. But I haven't lost any cozies. Hmm. What would Freud say?

Hugs.

MJ

Aurian said...

Hi MJ, my teapots are collectibles, all in the shapes of cottages (and one castle), so not for use at all, just decoration. So why not use that space?

ceblain said...

My story is a little different in that my husband is now the "keeper" of the junk drawer in the kitchen. (I also have another little one in a front foyer table that he didn't take over, thank goodness as I still know where a few things are.). All of this madness started in February when I was unable to walk and get up from bed or the recliner to do almost everything for more than an hour a day.. My husband had to take over all the household duties and still is doing about 75% of it as I have not recovered yet. So, when he checked out the junk drawer where he keeps a few little screwdrivers, an eye glass repair kit, some kitchen string in a dispenser, a few rolls of assorted types of tape, a package of night light bulbs to replace burned out ones in the small kitchen lamp that we keep on the counter and turn on at night, and a few other repair items. Then he saw a few of MY things as they were called, like the clear plastic "fishing line" as I call it, the kind you use to hang up sun catchers or Christmas ornaments and in my case I use it for when the original (or already replaced) line breaks. So, he decided we didn't need that in the junk drawer. So that disappeared. Then he decided to put ALL of the batteries (other than the ones for our watches that he uses to replace dead batteries in our watches) (he is very handy), upstairs in the loft where we have a roll top desk that no one uses, but is used for storage of now moved batteries from the junk drawer, extra printing paper, the spare printer cartridges, etc. etc. I also had some picture frame hanging items in the junk drawer too, all making it easy to get at when you need them immediately. So, he put all of these things of MINE and too many more to list, (and moved them to a place he decided upon and I don't know where that is. So, when the plastic "fishing" line broke on my stained glass cardinal figure this week, I went to get some of the clear plastic liine and it is not there. I asked where it was and he said, somewhere. I put it away. Yes, but where?? Then I needed a little picture hanging nail and little security bracket that you use for hanging a picture for use in my closet where I had not ever hung anything but wanted this particular picture. So, no nails etc. are now in the junk drawer (all were in a nice little plastic box I will mention) and he told me he put those away too, in his workshop. The workshop is in the basement, and I can barely go up and down two stairs so I cannot go looking for them, and in three days he still has not found the plastic line I need for my stained glass piece. I used to keep a few batteries in this same drawer for quick replacement, and this week as well, I also needed three AAA batteries for a clock that died and those are in the desk on the second floor which I can not really get up and down again without great pain and danger to myself if I do it and fall. So, I am just going to put the cardinal glass ornament in the junk drawer and the clock in the junk drawer along with the picture that I want the nail set for and maybe he will go and find the things that I always had available to me and never had to ask for before he "organized" it for me. He organized all of my gift wrap, tissue paper and ribbon and boxes and those are in the basement too which means every time I need some of that he has to go and get the plastic tote/toes for me to look through for my stash of wrap. It worked out fine when they were in my closet; easy to get at and he never had to go FIND them. So, to me, in all this "organization" he has done, it seems to me that now it takes so much more time to fix anything or get to the things you need as they are so nicely PUT AWAY some never to be seen again I bet. Sometimes having a couple of junk drawers is a good thing especially when you are not into treasure hunts or not able to get to them easily. So much for organization.

Cynthia

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I think it's a brilliant idea, Aurian. It sounds like a wonderful collection. Hugs!

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

The politics of the junk drawer! Cynthia, you have my sympathy - hope the dueling junk drawer situation improves and that you continue to mend.

XO

MJ