Why ‘the bottom drawer in the kitchen’ becomes a reflection of your life

Dec 30, 2023
Source: Getty Images.

Where do you keep your family history? If you look hard enough, it’s probably in the ‘bottom drawer in the kitchen’!

My living arrangements have changed many times, as with most of us. First, the family home with my siblings, then shared accommodation while studying, youth hostels while travelling, my first ‘real’ grown-up flat/unit, a ‘love nest’, my first married home, a bigger home with kids, another bigger home… empty nest echo… downsize; retirement living by choice or circumstance. And, if we are exceptionally blessed… grandchildren.

Despite being the poster gal for Bad Housekeeper of the Year, I do have one thing in common with you Domestic Cinderella goddesses; one thing no household can live without. Do you want to guess what all these living conditions have in common? What’s the one thing every bedsit, flat, unit, house, mansion, yacht can’t exist without??

No, not a bathroom and toilet (although, from your lips to God’s ears)… a messed-up, untidy, hold-all, ‘it should be there’ conglomeration of all things absolutely essential to daily living — the bottom drawer in the kitchen!

Don’t try to deny it! Most of us have this drawer, rely on this drawer, use this drawer daily, but still never organise it. Why? Because there’s always something new to add.

Where’s the extra chalk for the kid’s blackboard? In the bottom drawer in the kitchen.

Please suffix each item here with ‘Where’s the extra/new …’. Candles, batteries, photos nobody wanted, small scissors, double adaptors, tape measure, cotton, sticky tape, light globes (no, not the energy burning ones, the ones that save the planet), fridge magnets, paper clips, bulldog clips, glue, colouring pencils, small/big tacks, pins, that thing that threads the needle for sewing, stray buttons, those old Christmas gift tags, a pencil, eraser and BluTac (oh please, let there always be BluTac), balloons etc. etc.

The universal, undeniable, truth is if it’s not in the bottom drawer in the kitchen, then it’s likely we don’t have it.

An old drawer full of items that might be useful! Doesn’t everyone have that? Source: Getty Images

If you’re anything like my family and friends, there’ll always be an addition for any subtraction. As the kids grow, stuff replaces stuff and the drawer contents continue to grow.

Rechargers, USBs, ports, head sets, noise eliminators, headphones, ear plugs, cables, old phone cases, old mobiles, remotes, expired bus/train/computer café cards (‘cause there might be a few dollars left on it, huh?), the musical festival wrist band (‘cause if I leave it in my room it’ll get lost), that one hardcopy photo (says the 16-year-old granddaughter) “when I looked skinny”. The list goes on …

If it’s vague, non-descript, known to have entered the house at some point, been referred to 10 years ago, enjoyed by that ‘wha wha’ cousin and/or was the centre of a two-hour debate regarding aqua or blue colour swatches; it’s all in that drawer.

Now, as a Mum and Grandma, you’ll find my ‘bottom drawer in the kitchen’ the place to find everything, but maybe spread to two drawers because the contents seem to follow me. There are five decades of stuff down there. I promise I’ll tidy it up one day.

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