It’s a proven fact that 83% of statistics are made up on the spot. To that end, with no research and sources to show on my part, I am positive that 107% of all households have at least one drawer that:
Has mostly trash
Is full by someone sliding loose objects from the counter above
Contains old makeup, perfume bottles half filled (hey, I’m an optimist…), different hair products that were never used, etc.
Random office supplies (e.g., five paper clips, line of staples but no stapler, pens that don’t work, unsharpened pencils and no sharpener)
Only five items of anything
Truly, this list could go on indefinitely.
At church choir rehearsal, last week, the need for paper clips arose. I’m sure there is an adage about items only being needed when said object cannot be found. Our director looked around. No paper clips. As he continued to search, the choir members became a bit animated. (Age really has nothing to do with being quiet.) I mentioned outloud of a basket on the piano having an assorted collection of small things. My announcement was, in effect: There used to be a basket of nonsense somewhere on the piano.
The comment made a friend laugh. A basket of nonsense? What is that? We both started chuckling. He said he had a draw of nonsense at his house. Of course, once Brett, myself, and a few other friends thought about all of our junk drawers in our home, the conclusion was: Our homes are full of things that may have been useful in earlier times, but now had no purpose or use. I mean, really. One lone paperclip in a drawer? What are going to do with that?
Some of you are thinking: I’ll find a ziplock bag and start a collection of homeless paper clips. Then, as I’m cleaning, I put any found paper clips in the official ziplock bag. Let me help you now. Don’t bother. In the end, you will end up throwing away 12 paper clips as well as the ziplock bag (because no one wants cross contamination of office supplies or anything else).
I will pause a moment to mention that our choir director did eventually find the basket of nonsense with two or three paper clips at the bottom of the pile (with no help from any of us).
As I drove home, I tried to think of all of my junk drawers. That is what Mom used to call catch-all spots in the house. Here is my list of Nonsense Drawers:
Master bathroom: 3 drawers
Kitchen: 1 drawer (maybe 2 full junky/unorganized cabinets)
Front bathroom: 2
Kitchen desk: 4 (I’m including the two small cabinets underneath the drawers. Thank goodness that desk has doors for those shelves.)
Living room: 2 drawers, 1 cabinet, and 3 book shelves
Piano studio/Office: 1 small closet full of research, resources, books, notes, craft supplies
Yes. My house is full of nonsense. Here is where I pledge to clear out a certain number of ‘nonsense drawers’ per day during the winter break. Maybe that will happen. Maybe not. However, once I started working on a cleaning schedule, I slid down a rabbit hole of self evaluation.
How much nonsense is in my life? Does any identified nonsense derail my productivity? Of course, my personal thought process is to make a list. Following that step, I intended to review each nonsensical item. Which ones could I get rid of?
First, I needed to define nonsense. My dad loves to think about etymology, the development of language and how words originated and evolved. I’m not quite as scholarly, but I do love a great synonym. Here are some excellent selections.
Synonyms for nonsense:
From the first definition: spoken or written words that have no meaning or make no sense.
balderdash, gibberish, blarney, rubbish, gobbledygook, poppycock, twaddle, codswallop
From the second definition: foolish or unacceptable behavior
Mischief, naughtiness, misconduct, buffoonery, tomfoolery, shenanigans
I also looked up the word junk. An interesting fact (that I did look up) about junk; it can be a noun or a verb. I don’t think of junk as a verb so much as a noun, but when you ‘junk’ something, the object becomes junk once you abandon said item. Whether I want to call things that need to be junked from my house, my schedule, and spiritual life, nonsense or junk, those items need to go.
What should I do next? List? Calendar? Bullet journal?
Standard thoughts for purging junk and nonsense:
Don’t start deep diving on every aspect of your life.
It’s a techno age, but sometimes the apps, phone tricks, and websites can get in the way. I do everything in my Committ30 calendar and FB group.
Not everything has to be completed in a single timeframe.
Don’t make your list so long, you won’t start.
When things feel overwhelming, set a timer. Stop when the timer beeps - no exceptions.
Have great tunes to listen to while you work. (I don’t listen to podcasts when I’m focusing on heady stuff. I do have several playlists to motivate my work.)
Have a friend come over. Not to work, but just hang out while you work. I have a friend and we do this. Grab that favorite Sonic drink. Have someone to visit with and still get things done.
Of course, if that doesn’t work, start whistling.
YIKES image: https://www.freepik.com/author/flatart
Whistle image: copyright Disney (obviously)