The Universality of the Junk Drawer

Last week one of my reader’s commented that taking care of the niggly things is why we have junk drawers. And it’s true! Sometimes it takes too much brain power, or requires too much energy, or decision making to deal with one thing. That’s when it’s time to open up, or start, a junk drawer. A place to collect this seemingly, random accumulation of stuff. However, there are times when a certain kind of order, weird logic, or pattern appear. I write this as someone who deals with them professionally.

Thinking about junk drawers brought me a kind of relief. The relief that comes with not having to deal with something at that exact moment, but still feeling comforted that it had been handled in some way.

Perhaps this is why:

  1. Everybody seems to have at least one junk drawer. They’re universal.
  2. Nobody needs training on a junk drawer. It’s as though we all know instinctively what a junk drawer is, how it functions, and how to create one.

To me this is similar to using folders. In 10+ years of working as a records & information management professional, I have never had to teach somebody what a folder is, what it is used for, or how to create one. The concept of a folder, or a junk drawer, is universally accepted.

The last time I blogged about Junk Drawers, one of my reader’s commented, with relief, that she was glad I wasn’t recommending getting rid of the junk drawer. There’s definitely a time and place where it’s okay, and even beneficial, to be messy. Even though I love decluttering and organizing, having a junk drawer is one of those time.

The Magic of the Junk Drawer

It’s true. The junk drawer can be a magic place to make annoying things disappear. Hopefully they reappear at the right moment. It can be a place for discovering long, lost treasures. A way to relive a favorite memory. However, they can also become wastelands.

The best strategy is a combination of willful abandon (i.e., get the annoying thing out of sight) and occasional sifting. It’s healthy to go through your junk drawer periodically. Even if the sole reason is to make space for more junk. However, it’s likely you’ll be able to put some stuff away properly. Or at the very least, pass a few pleasurable moments reminiscing.

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