One Woman’s Junk…..

It started out innocently enough.  I needed a piece of tape to seal an overstuffed envelope.  As usual, the tape dispenser that normally sits atop my kitchen work station has disappeared—most likely to the Diva’s room.  Of course, a journey into her room is like venturing into the black hole of death.  No worries, I bought a four pack of tape the last time I was in the office supply store.  I’m sure there’s a roll here somewhere.  First stop:  the junk drawer.  (Cue the ominous music.)

Yeah, there’s a reason it’s called the junk drawer.  I actually need a crow bar to get the dang thing open, it’s so crammed full of “junk”.  And so begins an hour of sorting, marveling at, and throwing away the contents of the drawer.  The first thing to greet me is a tangle of power cords—nine of them!  I don’t even know what electronic equipment half of them belong to.  “Don’t throw them out!” my family screams at me.  “We might need them for something.”  Of course, no one is willing to take the time to figure out which cord belongs to what.

There were two cell phones amid the cords.  Both of them my castoffs.  No one to blame for this but myself.  I put them in the bag of donations my son is taking to Haiti in July.  Buried among the hundreds of loose rubber bands, paper clips and safety pins is a set of keys.   Sadly, I have no idea what lock they might fit.  I try every door with no success.  Again, my husband tells me not to throw them out.  He’ll figure out who’s they are as soon as he untangles the cords.  Back in the drawer they go.  Right next to the tangle of cords.

Hiding between the twenty or so wallet photos of both my kids and various nieces and nephews and friends, is a $25 gift card for Blockbusters. Hmm.  A little late for that.  “Don’t throw it away!” my son pleads. “I might be able to use it online.”  Right.

There are four tubes of Krazy Glue.  Those darn things are so small, I can never find one when I need it, and so I run out and buy another whenever I break something.  Which happens a lot.  The drawer also has two calculators with dead batteries and flashlight with no batteries.  That would be really helpful in a power outage.   A spool of white thread has unraveled and is tangled amidst all the other junk in the drawer.  Several loose buttons keep it company.  An assortment of small tools is also hiding back in the dark recesses of the drawer: pliers, several wrenches, screwdrivers, an Exacto knife and those funny garbage disposal thingies.

My favorite find, though, is a monkey from the game Barrel of Monkeys.  It’s been years since my kids played this game, and definitely not in this house.  The sight of the little blue plastic monkey brings me back to the days when my kids were young and there junk was constantly interspersed with mine.  I miss those days.  At the time, it seemed like my house would forever be filled with their clutter.  Now, they’re pretty good about keeping it confined to their rooms.

What didn’t I find in the junk drawer?  Yep. Tape.  I could use several of the gold seals stuck to the side of the drawer, but they aren’t big enough.  Up to the Black Hole I go.  A few minutes in there and I’m sure I’ll no longer feel nostalgic about having my kids’ junk all over my house!

What about you?  What’s in your junk drawer?


About Tracy Solheim

Best-selling author of the Out of Bounds series--sexy, contemporary sports romance novels. See what she's up to at

Posted on April 13, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. The junk drawer is a scary place in our house, too. I live dangerously and keep my car keys in the junk drawer so several times every day I’m living on the edge. Many times I will find things in my pots below the junk drawer that have been squeezed out.

    I’m the only one who ever cleans the drawer and then only when I can’t stand it anymore. Everyone else just complains–no one louder than my husband who is constantly wandering around the house saying, “Where are my keys?” or “Where is my wallet?” Maybe if he kept his things in the junk drawer, he’d know just where they are!

    • My family would never survive if we kept the keys in the junk drawer. As it is, each one of us had a cubby above my desk in the kitchen to store keys, wallets, phones, iPods, etc. Somehow, we still end up searching for these things when we are ready to leave the house. 🙂

  2. Be afraid, be very afraid. You just described OUR junk drawer, except for gold seals, we have gold, silver and red stars. And some wooden shish kabob skewers.

    I did move all my peer cords to a clear plastic box and put it in the closet. With all the extra long phone cords I had to have before wireless phones were invented.

    Our drawer also has a Swiss army knife and exactly the Sam number of crazy super glues.

    Wait until everybdy is gone and then get rid of the useless items.

  3. Okay, I’ll admit we have two junk drawers – one filled with most of my husband’s tool-ish type of junk and another that’s brim full of what you mentioned – crazy glue, old keys, plastic toys, etc. I don’t know that I’ll ever do anything with it. When it gets too full, I sort of push things around to make it more accessible. It’s all someone “else’s” junk so I don’t know what to DO with it all. Now, THAT sounds like a good excuse, blaming it on everybody else!

  4. What’s one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Isn’t that how the Garage Sale came to be? 🙂

    A few years ago, we helped my husband’s parents move off their acreage and were faced with a barn full of junk. Nearly 40 years of accumulated stuff. Since then, we try to get rid of junk as soon as it starts wearing the JUNK designer label. Plus, my husband is a neat-freak, so anything we keep in our drawers is always tidy and organized. I think some of his neat-freakness has worn off on me because even my desk drawers are clutterless and organized. Hmmm, no wonder my mother loves him so much. Where she failed to get me to tidy up my bedroom, my husband has managed to train me to keep things where they belong. LOL!

  5. Pens, clips, markers, stickers, wrench, stick-it notes, rubber bands, pennies, pencils — the works!! And it drives my engineering-brained husband bananas.

    Sometimes one must find joy in the “little” things. 🙂

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