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what do you have in your kitchen "junk drawer"?

I seem to have two junk drawers in the kitchen, one for pens and paper and the other full of
kitchen items like a pizza wheel, apple corer, serving spoons, skewers, cake knives, etc. What's in yours?

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  1. Th second drawer you describe does not sound like a junk drawer; to me it's an essentials drawer!

    My junk drawer has Scotch tape, gum, coupons, binder clips, scissors, paper clips, rubber bands, a sewing kit...and that's all I can remember without getting up out of my recliner. :)

    1. I don't have a drawer devoted to junk, but there's certainly stuff lying around in my silverware drawer that I don't know why I have. Cookie cutters, for instance. I don't make cookies. Ever. Little fluted molds - I have no idea where these came from, or what use they might be. A very sharp knife that comes to two points - this was a gift from someone, now deceased, who I liked a lot. But I can't figure out exactly what it is, or what to do with it. A wine stopper that is just a hair too slim to actually stop up a bottle of wine. Metal nozzles for for an icing bag, minus the icing bag itself, and also minus any desire I have to ice something (see comment re cookies, above). Etc.

      4 Replies
      1. re: small h

        The knife that comes to two points sounds like it might be a cheese knife.

        1. re: ecclescake

          I hadn't considered that, but it's certainly possible. The blade is about 6" long, serrated, with a half-heart-shaped cut-out near the handle. So it can stab, slice, saw & hook. I pity the cheese that gets in its way.

        2. You do not want to "go there." Let's just say, a bunch of "stuff."


          1. My junk drawer has coupons, a box half full of birthday cake candles, an electric pencil sharpener, tape, pencil erasers, a couple pencils and pens, post its, a couple key parts for the kids' inflatable pool, a couple candle lighters, some lime green ribbon ... the rest I probably should throw away because I can't remember what it is!

            2 Replies
            1. re: SAHCook

              "some lime green ribbon"

              OK, this is odd. Until a few days ago we had some royal blue ribbon in our junk drawer. My partner and I were looking for something in the drawer and we both said, "Why is this in here?" Upon which I tossed it.

              1. re: ttoommyy

                Yes, it is a little odd. It's a leftover from one of the kids' birthdays. But one of the kids is always looking for ribbon for a very important craft, and I'd rather leave the lime green for them than let them into my "good" ribbon :)

            2. When we moved into our current house almost 12 years ago I vowed to NOT have a kitchen junk drawer and so far we've been successful. We have a few 'junk drawer' type items in front of the plastic flatware container. We have two screwdrivers, a pliers, ruler, tape measure, books of matches, chopsticks, bottle opener, scissors, and a few unidentifiable items that get stuck there because, well, where else are we gonna put them? I wonder what happened to all the stuff that was in the junk drawer at our other house?

              1. A couple of weeks ago I "downsized" my junk drawer. I did that by swapping the contents of two drawers. The former junk drawer was 36" wide. It was filled -- I mean FILLED -- with "stuff." I emptied the entire contents into a box and found: a gazillion pens (mostly dried up), pencils (mostly with no points), Sharpie markers (also dried up), rubber bands, paper clips, writing pads of all sizes, 3 tape measures, rolls of scotch tape, masking tape, a couple of flashlights, pads of sticky notes, marbles (don't ask), several Weebles (my youngest "kid" is now 28), two tiny screwdrivers, a Montblanc pen that had been missing for YEARS, a couple of pairs of scissors, pruning shears, (unidentified) keys, cell phone chargers from ancient phones, old, used batteries (I THINK they were used), and who-knows-what-else.

                The drawer whose contents I swapped with is only 12" wide. It had been crammed with utensils -- several pair of tongs, a ladle, a cooking fork, several spatulas and cooking spoons. Now I have a wonderful, 36" wide drawer where those utensils are organized and soooo easy to access. And I have a 12" wide drawer that holds a manageable number of pens and pencils (all ready for use), a few rubber bands and paper clips, a single roll of scotch tape, a couple of small pads, and one tape measure. Life is good!

                1 Reply
                1. re: CindyJ

                  Thank you for your post. I couldn't remember what we had in our junk drawer in our old house. We had everything you had except the Mont Blanc pan, Weebles, and cell phone chargers (we have them now). We have all of that stuff but it's strew about the house ; )

                2. We have two: One with cheesecloth, screwdriver, pliers, twisty things for plastic bags, rolling pin, clothespins, reusable straws and other "stuff"
                  The other with pizza wheel, shish kebab skewers, chopsticks, rubber bands, tongs, small strainer, funnel and all sorts of other "stuff"

                  1. One "junk" drawer 12"w. Has plastic divider thing in it to hold scissors, clips (for bags), scotch tape, postage stamps, small tape measure, greeting cards (1-2 birthday, 1 sympathy), big fat black marker (for marking boxes) and finer point Sharpie (for marking freezer bags), twist ties and rubberbands, one extra knob for kitchen cabinets, rubber door stopper, replacement mesh strainer for sink, self adhesive return address labels, coupons and local resto menus.
                    Have a bowl on top of the ledge that runs around the kitchen sink area, near the junk drawer, that holds larger junk items like lint roller, shipping tape, cough drops, pocket calculator, pens... So it spreads beyond the confines of the drawer.

                    1. scotch tape, pens, AA batteries, (expired) coupons, recipes, post-notes with grocery lists, to-do lists and random phone numbers. On occasion when i am waiting for an oven to pre-heat or the rice cooker to finish I will open the drawer and pull a hand full of things out to sort, pitch and keep...

                      1. Clothes pins and chip clips, rubber bands from asparagus/celery/broccoli, a sharpie, batteries, scraps of cheese cloth and kitchen twine that are theoretically large enough to use but I never have a use for them, used/washed mason jar lids to be reused when a tight seal is not important, rings for jar lids, masking tape, cute brass bottle opener that doesn't open bottles very well, and a broken refrigerator magnet I need to glue back together (I really like it!).

                        1. I have all that other "stuff" that posters mentioned with the exception of the Mont Blanc pen PLUS the manuals for my gas range, coffee maker; radio, OXO timer, Sirius radio (who can remember how to re- set the timers on all these things???) Also have the instructions for dis-arming a neighbor's alarm system, her keys, extra car keys for my own and DH's car, MY KITCHEN tool kit, since DH never returns anything to its "place". Oh, also the"just in case" $50 bill. That's all in the junk drawer. In my necessities drawer are the peelers, scissors, skewers, ruler, tape measure, can/bottle/wine openers. You know, those kitchen essentials!

                          1. Since I only have two drawers on the boat, each 8X11X1 inch, I have a fairly short list. Long metal skewer, pen, pencil, eraser, grater, wine stopper, 2 cork screws, P 38 can opener, and my mat for rolling rice around fish.

                            1. Not a junk drawer as such, but a tertiary utensil drawer that actually is in a sideboard in the dining room. It contains rarely (or never) used items such as:

                              * A pizza cutter (sharp wheel with a handle type).

                              * A garlic press (I gave up pressing garlic decades ago when I learned how to use a chef's knife).

                              * A betelnut cutter that I bought in the late 1970s for a buck or so and have never used for anything in the past 35 years.

                              * My late grandfather's huge, heavy cleaver (he was a butcher by trade, but every time I consider using it I think of those missing fingertips of his).

                              * A honey dipper.

                              * A cheese shaver.

                              * The third-best corkscrew in the house.

                              * A seriously ugly plastic spoonrest with some kind of slogans on it written in Hebrew.

                              * A set of a dozen small (3") stainless tartlet pans that I forgot I even owned until this thread prompted me to go look in that drawer (thanks sweetpotato, time to make some tarts!).

                              * The shredding and slicing blades for my Cuisinart food processor.

                              * A mysterious white plastic utensil with two fork-like prongs spaced about an inch apart. I have no clue what this was originally intended for or why I continue to allow it to live there.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: BobB

                                BobB - Do you have an older cuisinart? I had something that sounds like your white utensil that came with my old cuisinart, and, I think, was made for cleaning around the underside of the blade.

                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                  I do, and that explains it. Thank you!

                                2. re: BobB

                                  Ooooooh! I have one of those white plastic utensils, too. And I'll bet L.Nightshade is right -- that it came with an old Cuisinart food processor. NOW I feel I can safely toss it!

                                3. This thread prompted me to go and clean out the junk drawer and freecycle a bunch of stuff. I am no longer the owner of:

                                  - a crappy Santoku knife that I never really got the hang of using
                                  - three foil cutters for wine bottles, all shaped like fish
                                  - a napkin dispenser
                                  - halloween cookie cutters (I never really make shaped cookies)
                                  - a whole alphabet of magnetic fridge letters
                                  - a blunt breadknife with a melted handle

                                  ...and they didn't fit in the drawer, but I also rehomed a Dutch oven with a melted knob, and a bag of assorted jams and relishes bought by non-foodie friends because it's 'quirky' and they think you'll like another jar of chili relish.

                                  Thanks, CHers! I feel less cluttered already!

                                  1. My new kitchen has four drawers, two of witch are 8" wide. Between moving and limited space I have drastically pared down the junk drawer!

                                    Twisties, rubber bands, wooden clothes pins, mechanical pencil, ball point pen, sharpie, masking tape, scotch tape, post-a-notes, scissors, screwdriver with changeable tips, measuring tape, metal hem measure (washable and great to see how thick that steak really is), reading glasses, key for kitchen window locks, little business card holder which is the master cheat sheet for the location of seldom used, out of sight items, random cat toys brought to me while cooking by four legged beggers.

                                    1. Don't know I'm afraid to go into it.

                                      1. hilarious thread, thanks OP. Mine has a cookie cutter, spare keys, screws that don't belong anywhere that must have fallen out of something, the dogs worming and flea pills, a dog comb, bits of paper/receipts with no home that ended up there, rubber bands, paperclips and a dog collar from our dearly departed dog from 8 years ago. Every move this drawer barely changes, I'm moving again in 3 weeks so maybe time to sling out most of the garbage.

                                        1. cat treats and catnip, organiers that used to hold specific stuff which has now gone awry, thumbtacks (why??? I have no place to tack anything and I stick myself half the time I go feeling around for something in there), rubber bands, paper clips, binder clips, old birthday cards, god knows what else.