The Junk Drawer

And what I found there.

We keep our stamps and batteries in a drawer in a built-in desk in our kitchen. Sadly, that’s not the only thing kept in that drawer. Over the years, our cleaning person used it as a catch-all for little things she could fit in there. And we apparently added our own things.

Today, sick of dealing with a drawer I could often not close, I emptied it as a prelude to cleaning it out. Here’s what it looked like neatly arranged on my kitchen’s center island:

My Junk

Here’s what I found:

  • A set of 6 precision screwdrivers with 3 of them missing.
  • A screwdriver that does not belong to the above set.
  • 3 small padlocks: 1 with keys, 1 with combination known, 1 with combination unknown.
  • A “Jet Fuel Only” sticker, which is kind of odd because none of our vehicles takes JetA.
  • A small plastic ruler.
  • 3 promotional pens, all working. Why they aren’t in the pencil cup on the desk is a mystery.
  • 4 black wooden pencils with erasers, only one of which is sharpened.
  • A pencil sharpener.
  • Numerous sheets of return address labels with various holiday themes, all received in the mail by charities that thought I’d pay for them when I never asked for them. (Wrong.)
  • 2 broken sterling silver bracelets, badly tarnished.
  • An empty Tylenol purse size bottle.
  • Part of a AA battery charger, but not the part that actually plugs into the wall.
  • An exposed roll of 35mm film.
  • A small red square plastic filter.
  • A single-hole punch.
  • A wooden clothespin
  • A small black plastic protractor (think elementary school).
  • An iPod belt clip.
  • An embroidered Ducati patch.
  • 2 round adhesive-back pieces of Velcro, both soft side.
  • 2 pennies
  • 2 rolls of quarters
  • 1 roll of dimes
  • A Garden State Parkway toll token
  • A bottle of Plexus 2 plastic polish
  • A bottle of stamp pad ink
  • A First Class Mail self-inking stamp
  • A telephone jack splitter
  • A tiny of green tea flavored “mints”
  • 2 black binder clips: 1 small, 1 large
  • Several dozen paper clips, 5 of which are preconfigured as Macintosh floppy disk removal tools. (Long-time Mac users know exactly what I mean.)
  • A handful of rubber bands, half of which are dried, cracked, and unusable
  • The “start” pin for a light timer.
  • A tube of dark red lipstick.
  • A tube of Blistex.
  • 2 rings for hanging bird toys in a cage.
  • 8 key rings, empty
  • A key ring flashlight with AAA battery still working
  • 3 partial rows of staples
  • A contact lens case
  • A small round sponge
  • An envelope slitter
  • Multiple screws, including two screw-in hooks
  • A rubber foot for some kind of stand
  • A wooden peg for our futon
  • A wooden peg that looks like it came from a game
  • A lapel mic clip
  • 3 black beads, 2 of which are almost identical
  • 3 promotional pins: 2 Feedburner logos and 1 QuickBooks heart Mac
  • 2 WINGS program pins
  • A tiny safety pin
  • 5 various sized wire ties
  • A sprayer nozzle
  • Magnet-backed promotional 2002 calendar from an out-of-business local mechanic
  • A rock with bits of green color
  • A SanDisk neoprene zippered media card holder
  • A bookmark with Mount Rushmore pictured on it
  • The manual for a Sony cassette recorder
  • A pocket calculator, not solar-powered, with installed battery still functioning
  • A piece of masking tape marked “Do Not Open” with the adhesive dried up. I have no idea what this was affixed to, but recognize my handwriting. (I hope I didn’t open it.)
  • A Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Card, likely never used
  • A package of drapery pins
  • My “captain” pilot stripes from the summer of 2004, when I flew at the Grand Canyon
  • A Newton rechargeable Battery Pack
  • 7 D cell batteries, 2 of which are in an unopened package
  • 2 loose C cell batteries
  • 43 loose AA cell batteries: 6 lithium, 17 alkaline, and 20 rechargeable (4 nickel-cadmium, 15 nickel-metal hydride, and 1 unknown)
  • 8 AAA cell batteries in an unopened package
  • 2 9-volt batteries, both rechargeable nickel-metal hydride
  • Numerous postage stamps in the following denominations: 1¢, 2¢, 3¢, 4¢, 20¢, 27¢, 41¢, 42¢, 72¢, $1, $3, $3.85, $4.80, $4.95, “forever” (current First Class rate)

No, I did not find a partridge in a pear tree, despite the season.

The batteries pose a problem. The rechargeables are likely all dead for good, but there’s no place to recycle them in Wickenburg. The other loose batteries are probably at least half spent, which is why we don’t use them. The lithiums likely came out of my SPOT Messenger, which requires lithium batteries. When they’re too used to rely on them in SPOT — which I need to have fresh batteries — they work great in my handheld GPS and most other devices. The fact that we have so many loose batteries amazes me. It’s probably because they kept sliding into the back of the drawer and we kept buying more.

Anyway, the drawer is now empty. My next tasks is to clean it out — with soap and water — and then put back in the things that are supposed to be in there: batteries, stamps, and a few things likely to be in a regular desk drawer.

The rest of this crap? Who knows where it will end up?

And I wonder what’s on that roll of film…

4 thoughts on “The Junk Drawer

  1. Wow. Good job so far on the Junk Draw. I don’t know what your motivation was to write this blog post but I can tell you that it did inspire my blog today. I can totally relate. Thanks!

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