Friday, August 10, 2007

Junk Drawer

I've spent the past couple hours cleaning out junk drawers. I felt all sort of righteous ambition when I began this project, but now I'm starting to think it may be hopeless.

Many kitchens or laundry rooms have that one catch all sort of drawer that collects odd bits of this and that. That's understandable. If we had just ONE, that would be fine. Our house, however, seems to have gotten more that it's share. The clutter and chaos in these drawers baffle the imagination. So today I decided to take control.

The particular drawers I happen to be wrestling with this evening are the ones in my husband's night stand. Ordinarily I ignore the drawers on his side of the bed when I do my cleaning. But today as I was picking up I went to tuck something into a drawer for him and was horrified by the wild menagerie I found there. So I dumped it all out onto the bed and had him identify what was to keep and what could get pitched out. He groused about it a bit, saying it wasn't so bad and I should just shut the drawers and not worry about it...but I prevailed. Once I got it all laid out on the bed it became apparent pretty quickly that there was A LOT of stuff in those drawers that had no place in our bedroom.

There were 37 pencils and pens, 18 keys we have no idea what they go to, a wild assortment of batteries, and several items of fishing tackle. There was a package of mantles for a Coleman lantern, restaurant and gas receipts from our trip to Alaska in 2005, various nuts and bolts, and a few weird shaped metal things that neither one of us could figure out what were or where they came from. There were ear plugs (for use with machinery, not sleeping) and guitar picks and old combs and a tool for adjusting the lawn sprinklers. There was money from Bon Aire picked up on one of his scuba trips, a button that came off an item of clothing we no longer own, an attachment for the vacuum cleaner, and something that looks like some sort of buckle ... to what? There was sheet music, a deck of cards, duct tape, and a rain poncho in a little plastic pouch. There were loose cough drops and paper clips, post it notes and pennies. There was an allen wrench, four different pocket knives, and a packet of salt from Lufthansa airlines - I guess from our trip to Egypt. There were rubber bands and chapstick, plumbing parts and a piece of an old phone. Oh wait! There's more...there was an old blood pressure monitor and glasses lens cleaner, a home depot gift card that has been used up and a CD for how to be an effective Sunday school teacher. There was... ok, ok you get the idea.

HOW and WHY did he get all this stuff in there? My inner clutter Nazi is in take-no-prisoners mania of wanting to have a place for everything and everything in its place. But when faced with the sheer magnitude of different categories of stuff co-mingled in those drawers I admit my courage begins to waver. I sort and I toss out and I put away. But still there is a pile of STUFF I don't know what to do with and a few odds and ends that I don't even know what are. What's a good wife to do? Sigh.

He's a good man. He's kind and he's generous, a fabulous kisser, and a pretty good cook. He supports me in more ways than I can count. He's handsome and funny, dependable, and has integrity right down to the marrow of his bones. So why should I care so much that he tends to leave his socks on the couch at the end of the day and gives cluttered junk drawers a whole new meaning?

I take a deep breath and tell myself to keep it all in perspective. After all, my office gets pretty out of control messy at times too.

Overall our house is quite tidy and with the the exception of the occassional sink full of dishes or kitchen floor than needs mopping I'd usually be quite comfortable having people pop in unannounced. Granted, the closet and drawers are sort of scary. But I'm not planning on inviting fly lady over any time soon.


Booklogged said...

I have to ask - Are you LDS? Something about the way you described your husband led me to think you might be. I've never asked anyone this right out before. Please don't be offended. Please. All the things you said about your husband are great.

I laughed at the drawer dilemna. One I've faced many times and you encouraged me NOT to face it again in the near future. It sounds like that night stand drawer sounds humungous!

Belladonna said...

You crack me up. I'm not offended. But I can't help but wonder what it is about being a borderline slob and a pack rat that makes you think of mormonism? Yes, I'm LDS. I've mentioned it a few times here and there, but recently did a bit more specific writing about faith stuff over on my OTHER blog - "My Small Plates". Both it and Mind-Muffins are listed on LDS Women Bloggers.

I'll also be a contributing writer on a new LDS forum that is going through Beta testing now - soon to make its public debut.

The night stand has three drawers and they were ALL full. They are now pristine...but I don't expect it to last.

Heather said...

Look at the crazy junk drawer as an... um... opportunity? Once in a while pick up one of the things you can't identify and use it as the basis of a creativity exercise in which you imagine what on earth it might be and what it could be used for.

Or, decide that since you have no idea what it all is you'll obviously never use it, and toss it all!

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