I’m in a Throwing Away Mood


Emptying my entire kitchen and then restoring everything has put me in a serious throwing away mood. I can’t believe the things I’ve kept. In the “junk” drawers alone, this is what I tossed:

• Pens that don’t work.
• Obsolete USB cords
• Buttons
• Pins and other promotional paraphernalia from my old job
• Rubber fittings to who-knows-what
• Brass fittings to who-knows-what
• Keys for who-knows-what
• Credit cards I’ve never used
• Business cards for businesses that no longer exist
• Rabies tags and ID tags for fur babies no longer with us

Of all the things in the above list we still couldn’t bring ourselves to toss the ID tags. Greg is keeping one as a key fob, and the other as a bookmark.

We found money too! Hidden underneath a stack of envelopes and scratch pads was $200! I also collected almost $25 in coins that had been tossed in there for the past eight years. Obviously, I need to clean junk drawers more often.

My drawers are now perfectly clean and organized. I have a set of three on one side of the kitchen. One holds all my office supplies like my address book, a business card folder, stamps, writing tools, stapler, tape, magnifying glass and scissors. The second is for medical supplies like bandages, syringes (for goats and dogs), and more scissors. The third drawer is my emergency drawer. I keep matches, lighters, flashlights, folding knives, and trash bags. It’s nearest the pass way so if power goes out, I can find a flashlight in the dark.


For the record, I keep a pair of scissors in almost every drawer in the kitchen. It drives me crazy if I need to cut something and can’t find them. I’m not naming name (Greg) but certain people sometimes don’t put things back after they’ve used them. This way bloodshed is kept to a minimum if I can find another pair quickly.

Despite the best intentions my cabinets didn’t get finished. Some of the doors were missing in the shipment. A couple were damaged, and one was too short. I have to wait for the manufacturer to build me new doors. I’ll post pictures once my kitchen is complete.

Still it’s finished enough to bring back all my supplies. The carpenter who redid my cabinets went above and beyond. I asked him if he could remove the built in microwave shelf and give me a full cabinet. He did, and then the company gave me the additional cabinet doors free. Then he gave me new shelving where there wasn’t any, and removed the wine glass racks that I never liked.

This gave me a HUGE amount of new cabinet space. There is so much space, I have entire cabinets with nothing in them! I went from bulging at the seams to light and airy space.

On top of this, Greg built me a pull out cabinet next to the refrigerator. I can’t wait to show you the pictures for that. This extra space is going to free up a big hunk of my pantry.

Whoever gets this house after us is going to think they died and went to cabinet heaven. It is that awesome.

It helps that I got rid of a lot of stuff. Aside from the things I tossed, we also hauled four big boxes of stuff that will either go to the next garage sale or got stored for the long term. Most of it is a mix of glassware, bowls, and duplicate pots and pans.

Emptying out the entire kitchen was not a pleasant task, but hey, I found $225, so I guess it was well worth it. As rarely as I clean out junk drawers, who knows when I would’ve found that money.

Have you ever found money by accident? Do you keep a coin jar for spare change? How often do you clean your junk drawers?


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  1. We do keep a change jar, though our bank will no longer count it, so we have to go somewhere else to do it. And yes, we’re way overdue for junk drawer cleaning. The basement is a priority, though. I still have so much stuff from when Alex was a baby.

    P.S. We had a cocker spaniel when I was a teen. When she died, I kept her collar. One of Alex’s stuffed animals wears it now.

  2. re: One of Alex’s stuffed animals wears it now.
    That is so sweet!

    re: change
    A grocery store in the next town has a machine that counts change and gives you a gift certificate for the amount to any number of places. I think I’ll just use it to buy groceries.

    • Madeline: I think one of the reasons “junk” drawers become junk drawers is because it becomes a catch all for the small stuff.

      I like my office supplies separate from the emergency supplies–especially when the lights go out.

  3. We save our spare change throughout the year in one box, and use it to go out for a nice dinner during the holidays. Everyone but me has junk drawers and I’m not allowed to touch them because they know the contents would all go away immediately. 🙂 As long as they keep their stuff out of my kitchen I’m fine with it.

    I usually find money in used books — I don’t understand why, but a lot of people seem to use $1 bills as bookmarks. On one memorable occasion I found a twenty in an old sewing book, along with a neatly-written shopping list.

    • Lynn:
      re: I found a twenty in an old sewing book, along with a neatly-written shopping list.

      That’s kind of sad in a way. Makes me wonder how she could forget both her money and her list.

      I have a few elderly friends who slip money away for a “rainy day” then forget about it. Hmm…that’s beginning to sound like me. LOL! Though I don’t deliberately save the money. It just accumulates there.

  4. What an added bonus to find the money! Sounds like a great kitchen with all the storage! That is one thing I’ve come to appreciate, as I think I mentioned before. Tons of storage in the kitchen is essential I think. Thankfully now we only have 1 junk drawer so I almost always have to keep it cleaned out or it could get so cluttered it might not be able to open 🙂


    • Betty: This is the second time we’ve found a large amount of money in a strange place. The last time it was $400 in a big sports bag. Greg put that away but he doesn’t remember why. I think he had planned to go on a company trip but never took it.

  5. Pens that don’t work. Check
    I can add to that: keys from the school stock cupboard I left 15 years ago.
    These were found in my sock draw. I’m always find interesting things in that drawer but rarely matching socks.
    I was intrigued to see your old cell phone in one of your drawers. I was trying to work out what model. I think I have that in my sock drawer too but too lazy to go up and verify this.

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