What’s in your messy drawer?
There are some unwritten rules that we all blindly follow in our homes, such as keeping all your carrier bags inside another carrier bag or putting clothes that have been lightly worn in a pile.
But the junk drawer is a thing of beauty – no one sets out to create one but somehow, all your odd bits and bobs find their way in, and before you know it you’ve lost track of what’s even in there.
Rubbish removal experts Divert.co.uk are no strangers to sorting out clutter and after conducting an online poll on messy drawers found that on average, items get abandoned for four years.
“We all do it, and you can picture now exactly which drawer you’ve been blindly throwing miscellaneous items into never to be seen again,” says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“It’s time to open the drawer and face the rubbish you’ve been hoarding for once and for all.”
The usual suspects
Messy drawers are the go-to place to shove everything that has nowhere else to go, but do you even know what you’ve been putting in there?
On-demand waste removal specialists Divert.co.uk asked 1800 customers to have a riffle through their messy drawers in an online survey to see what items were most likely to be banished to the junk drawer.
The most common items exiled to the drawer were:
Batteries – Usually out of the packet, and most likely do not work.
Instruction manuals for appliances – remember the toaster that broke three years ago? Still holding onto that manual JUST IN CASE.
Random keys – Are they for the windows? Are they spares for the back door? Are they even for your house?
Spare screws – You kept the spare screws for the ever-so-sturdy bookcase you built five years ago on the off chance it’ll fall apart. It hasn’t.
Wet wipes – The little ones from the takeaway that they always give you too many of, that might be usual if you remembered they were in there.
Desk items – Paperclips, rubber bands, and Sellotape which has mostly run out.
Takeaway menus – Even though most of the family order from apps now and the menus have changed in the last few years.
Old technology – You could open a museum of iPhones past and present with the collection you have in the drawer, not forgetting the tangled mess of old chargers!
And the average time something’s been in the drawer? According to our survey, it’s four years – although some people owned up and said “decades”.
Weird and wonderful things kept in the messy draw
Baby teeth – Diana 53 “The kids have left home now”
50 Hotel room keys – John 38 “I honestly don’t know why I have them”
Lock of an exes hair – Taylor 44 “Yeah I should throw that out”
Old photos bought from a charity shop – Rhona 72 ” I have no idea who they are, but they do look so happy”
WW2 used bullet case – Tom 33 “My Grandpa gave it to me, I don’t want to throw it out”
Taxidermy Mouse – Dan 34 “I bought it off ebay”
Hall: “You have the usual suspects that most people seem to be hoarding, but sometimes people stash bizarre items such as birthday cards from exes or the ashes from old pets in their drawer.
“If you’re rummaging for batteries only to discover Fido’s remains in a box under a pile of Chinese menus – it’s definitely time for a declutter.”
How to get organised
You may have lost hope with sorting out your messy drawers, but thankfully Divert.co.uk has some tips for how to transform it into a useful space and finally ban the clutter.
The first thing you need to do is to take everything out and assess what you’ve actually got hidden away, and give the empty drawer a good clean.
Hall: “Considering most things spend on average four years in the drawer, you’re very likely to find things you completely forgot you had, so don’t be ashamed to throw things away that have found no purpose in this time.
Once you’ve faced the music and finally parted ways and correctly recycled the empty batteries and the instruction manuals for old appliances, it’s time to start categorising what is left.
Organisers such as Marie Kondo have perfected the art of organising spaces, providing plenty of inspiration if you’re stuck on where to begin.
(We’re totally aware that Marie says to throw out anything that doesn’t give you joy, and that leads us to think she is blissfully unaware of the concept of the junk drawer. But bear with us.)
A KonMari staple is the use of small containers or trays inside of drawers which she calls Hikidashi boxes, to separate different items to make them more accessible.
Instead of splashing out on a purpose made set, you could use old Tupperware boxes or ice cream tubs, anything that fits inside the drawer to help sort the spare batteries from the stationary items.
Hall: “Junk drawers by nature will end up in a mess within a few months if you don’t keep on top of them with regular tidy ups.
“Otherwise it’ll be another four years until that last bit of Sellotape sees the light of day again.”