09 May 2009

I have no Junk Drawer

I don't have a junk drawer, and I'm quite happy that way. It goes in direct opposition (one of the very few times that I do diverge from her) to my mother's way, which is to have a junk drawer, a junk purse, a junk closet … you get the picture. The point is that people who tend to hold clutter tend to have these parts of their lives that are … junk.

What prompted me to give everything the ol' heave ho was an early morning while I was puttering around in my kitchen, making something for my darling husband. I don't recall which spice it was that I couldn't trace, but it was ever elusive. Fenugreek. That's the one. It's one of my favourite spices to use, both for its savoury aroma, and for its unctuous mouth feel when added to a soup towards the beginning of the cooking process. It was fenugreek.

At that moment, I started rifling through the pantry, the shelf above the stove (which is infrequently, if ever, used), the shelf above the fridge (which is damn near never used), and in all the drawers in the kitchen, starting with my spice drawer, and ending with my junk drawer. It dawned on me that while my computer files are neatly organised by project, and I can generally find things without the search feature, the rest of my life was slowly coming unglued, because of the chaos that I allowed to permeate everything.

Something had to go, and it sure as heck wasn't me.

Out came all the contents of the pantry, the shelves the drawers, everything. I arranged the whole mess atop my counter(s?), the stove, the floor, anywhere I could find another scrap of spare space. Then I attacked all the shelves and drawers with soap and hot water, to clean out the accumulated dust and debris that naturally builds over unkempt storage, like so many petals from the cherry blossoms on the ground during the first blush of Spring.

Then, slowly, methodically, and determinedly, I began to throw away anythingthat seemed remotely useless. The menu from the local eatery? They have a website. Gone. The random receipts from the grocery store? That food is long past eaten, and the paper has gone yellow with age, and become wrinkled. Yes, I got a fantastic deal on those strawberries, but this is surely not the way to enjoy that! As expected, most of the stuff in the junk drawer was exactly that: junk.

Anything else, like tools (hammers, chisels, screwdrivers) went to its own little storage area. No more office supplies in the kitchen. No more random scraps of paper that have no business existing, much less taking up valuable real estate on my tiny space. No more JUNK. All of it is gone now, and my pantry, although not the model of perfection, is organised, and easy to search. The shelves, although not strictly perfect, are still devoid of any random flotsam.

And for the record, there was no more fenugreek. I'd finished the last bit on a soup the week before, and had forgotten to make a trip out to the store to pick up some more. Never again.