Chris Trainor: What’s in your junk drawer? | Chris Trainor

We all have one. Though there might be some of you who are slow to admit it.

But facts are facts. If you’re looking for something small to do around the house, there really is only one place: the “garbage drawer”.

Do you need a pen? A post-it notepad? A paper clip? How about some change? Check the garbage drawer.

I bet you have a drawer like this, probably in your kitchen. And you can probably remember exactly where the trash drawer was in the house you grew up in.

When I was a kid, our trash drawer was right under the microwave. It was a repository for everything you might expect: pencils, safety pins, pizzeria coupons, the local phone book. Yes, children, there used to be things called “phone books”. Actual paper books listing phone numbers for everyone in town. I grew up in Abbeville and our phone book was about the size of one of those Archie comics you can pick up at the grocery store. We were also given a Savannah Lakes Regional phone book that had numbers for McCormick County and Greenwood businesses. That too was stuck in the garbage drawer.

But the trash drawer in my children’s home also often contained some things that you might not immediately expect, such as screws, washers, small nails, and other pieces of hardware that my father might have needed for a small repair job at short notice. Honestly, I think he could have built a decent storage shed or little mother-in-law’s house just with the things that were in that drawer under the microwave.

Flash forward to this day and now I have a trash drawer in my own house. Well, instead of a trash drawer under the microwave, we have three of them. (Don’t worry, there are plenty of other drawers for cutlery, pot holders, and any of my wife’s roughly 6,194 kitchen utensils.)

Our trash drawers have all the usual suspects. Scissors, sharpie pens and markers, small flashlights, pins, postage stamps, a stapler. There are also an alarming number of lighters in the drawers, both the traditional cigarette-style lighters and the long “triggers”. And a big box of matches. Noteworthy: we don’t smoke and we don’t have a wood fireplace. I’m not entirely sure why we have a dozen lighters and an industrial box of matches, but there they are.

But there are other things too. With a cursory glance through the garbage drawers last week, I also found some of those felt pads that you placed under furniture on wooden floors, a first-generation iPad, the paperwork for a “lifelong fabric protection plan”, several of these clips for sacks of potato chips, drink coozies, 7 Dollars in cash, an envelope with my daughter’s school photos, and two bottles of Elmer’s glue.

There is also a book called “The 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse”. Somehow, a book about drinking smoothies for 10 days is 167 pages. I found it under a sheet of old Burger King coupons.

Well, a lot of people would probably tell you to get rid of some of the stuff in your trash drawer. Heck, TV presenter and author Marie Kondo has had a career promoting the organization and getting rid of things when they don’t bring “joy” to your life.

Not sure if our kitchen drawers are any joy, but I can light a real fire with one of my dozen lighters while also having a choice of around 50 pens to use to jot down a list of items I have. I have to make 10 days worth of green smoothies out of the store and at the same time freshen up the lifelong fabric protection.

Because you never know when you will need fabric protection for a lifetime.

Chris Trainor is a contributing columnist for Index Journal. Contact him at [email protected] You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisTrainorSC. The views expressed in this column are only those of the writer and do not reflect the opinion of the newspaper.

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