Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What's in Your Top Drawer?

We have this drawer in our kitchen we call "the top drawer". It's a catch-all for scraps of paper with phone numbers on them, membership cards to places we probably won't go to again, keys, coins, bills we may or may not pay, and things that we think we are going to need, or perhaps not.

There was a time when we decided that having a "top drawer" was not really a good idea. We made a point to have a set place elsewhere in the house for the stuff that otherwise would have been stored in the top drawer. It worked for a while, but the top drawer refused to go away.

Actually, right now we have a second "top drawer" in the kitchen. I don't know how this happened, but it has. This second "top drawer" is supposed to be for cutlery, which is great because trying to find a tea spoon can often be a bit of a challenge (As an aside, I think that tea spoons end up in the same place as the second sock in the pair - a place not of this world, evidently).

Growing up, I remember that we had a sort of narrow, vertical basket near the phone where we kept stuff, such as the family calendar, paper and pens. Speaking with some friends the other day, I found out that the "top drawer" is not an original idea. Many families have a version of "the top drawer", such as "next to the phone" and "next to the microwave".

My son tried to tame the top drawer by building a divider system with sections for keys, cards, coins, and papers. The divider system actually worked and our top drawer remained organized for quite some time. But becoming a black hole for shirt buttons, business cards and the odd AA battery is the nature of the beast. So the top drawer inevitably reverts to its natural state of confusion, until someone decides to sort through its contents and set things straight.

I'm sure that professional home organizers detest the idea of a "top drawer", but having one is very useful. It's true that at times it gets a bit unwieldy, especially when people try to stuff things in there that don't fit. However, it is great to have a place to put those things that otherwise would disappear in the whirlwind of our busy home. Invariably, things often get lost even while inside the top drawer, but that's sort of expected, so it's okay.

Where's your "top drawer" or a "next to the..." place, and what's in it?

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