Solving the big issues: Mystery Drawer

Got a wonderful email from a reader this week that made me laugh out loud and lift my spirits on a day where things weren’t going so well. It’s rare that I ever hear from the male readers out there (I know there are at least 7 or 8 of them) so I was stoked to hear that he enjoyed the blog and had spread it to the female members of his family. Dave wrote:

“Anyway over a few beverages I was discussing my recent encounter with the “mystery drawer”. A recent phenomenon that dawned upon me when attempting to decipher this particular drawer in the kitchen hutch, that everyone throws all possible shit into. After donning a pair of gloves and brandishing rubbish bags and Dettol wipes, I proceeded with the homicide like task of removing all matter of objects. Half eaten Jatz biscuit, hairbands, pens, bulldog clips, a lot of bulldog clips, invitations, Bunnings vouchers, unopened mail, screwdriver, batteries, mr potato head pieces, photos and so forth, that was what I could make out on the top layer.

I stood back, almost speechless at exactly what this drawer was. Its function, purpose, meaning. I wondered what drew people to it and what invited them, like a whisper as they walked past, to fleece them of whatever was in their hand or pocket, and shove it in this drawer. I wondered if I was the only one. So I approached others and realised that almost EVERYONE  has one. The unspoken myth. I felt better. Then emptied the entire contents into the wheelie bin. Then applied not less than 4 phillips head screws into each corner to prevent it ever being opened again. I realise another drawer will replace it in due course.”

Of course I immediately wrote back to Dave telling him that EVERYONE has one of these drawers…in fact I had written about something similar last year when I wrote about the Cup of mystery. So in honour of Dave, and all others out there who share similar drawers of mystery, I thought that I’d share just ONE of mine. My dirty secret is that ALL my cupboards and drawers are a disaster (just ask my friends who have been here). The house might be spotless, just don’t open the bloody cupboards! Mine lives in a random spot in the kitchen (we have this nook thing where I suppose you keep appliances that has a roller door on it, we never close the roller door and keep everything OTHER than appliances in there – vitamins, sunscreen, phone chargers, bread, tissues and even my cup of mystery still sitting there filled with shit.


Here, let’s open it up shall we?


DISASTER. It’s so full something inevitably falls out every time I open it.


I did a random pull (went to each corner of it to see what I could find):


These were merely SOME of the objects in there. There are so many School newsletters, drawings, cards from people, warranties and random paper SHIT you can’t see anything. The drawer is useless, merely a vessel.

IMG_7152 IMG_7155 IMG_7157

You can be assured that I put all that stuff BACK in there and shut that drawer because no one got time for that on a Friday morning. Every 6 months or so I sort it all out. Chuck out, throw out, purge.

And then start again of course.

Tell me about your drawer/s.
You have one right? Make Dave and I feel better would you?
What’s the most random thing you’ve got?


  1. Lisa Aherne says

    My secret is I hoard the tags from clothes, complete with attached spare buttons, sequins or whatever! I have a drawerful. If I were to get out the calculator and add up my spending I would have a seizure. Do I really think I could find the right button when needed, do I even still have the garment? My recent decluttering attempt saw the drawer emptied into a box, but it is still with me, squirrelled away at the top of my wardrobe. Gotta be a psychological explanation. Don’t want to know. Bottom kitchen drawer is very well organised, no real mystery there.

  2. Gah! Mine is out in the open, I walk past it EVERY time I walk into the kitchen. It makes me feel nauseous all the time. In fact, I have a suspicion that, if I were to dump the entire basket in the bin, I would never ever miss it. But who has the guts to make such a massive life changing decision on a Friday morning. Not this lady, that’s for sure.

  3. Haha! We have a whole room dedicated to this. We call it the Room of Requirement, you know, Harry Potter style. It’s meant to be a dining room but we can’t fit a dinner party in there comfortably so it has become a convenient place for everything from outdoor cushions to my excess bakeware, the printer, wine racks and some old bikes. Hubby regularly tears his hair out about it and we clean it out for parties etc but give me a couple of weeks and it’s back to being a cluttered den of all the crap I don’t want on display!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Is there a door on the room of requirement? I imagine it’s essential.

      • It absolutely has a door. It’s an extra bedroom that isn’t used but as I have nowhere else to put the dining table (too big for the lounge/kitchen but I refuse to sell it), the ROR was born. The joys of inner city living!

  4. Ours is called the “man drawer”. It’s full of instructions booklets and batteries and allen keys! My husband is the hoarder in my family and cannot throw anything out. Michael Macintyre, an English comedian, does a hilarious skit about the man drawer. Search YouTube for it. Worth a watch for a good laugh.

  5. We have a basket on top of the fridge and it’s filled with dead batteries, whiteboard markers, spare keys, allen keys (thanks Ikea) measuring tape, other crap and my pet hate, seeds, my Husband will collect seeds from plants and keeps them in the basket in envelopes. Envelops fall over……… get the picture. I clean it out every 6 months and stuff finds its way back in.

  6. Gail Virgona says

    We sure do but we’ve rebranded it the ‘busy drawer’ somehow makes it sound more productive. In theory it houses stamps, sticky tape, glue, string, paper clips, phone chargers etc. In reality it’s home to unopened mail (a bad habit of mine I hate opening mail so i don’t), old phones, lego (so much fucking lego – your version of kikki k erasers) screwdrivers etc etc. I have one in the laundry and one in my bathroom and every cupboard in the house has at least one shelf of mystery. I also have drawers and shelves full of lotions, potions, soaps and powders. I love myself a lotion and cannot throw them out. Every random soap and lotion I’ve ever been gifted is floating around my house gathering dust.

  7. Oh how I wish this was a competition.

    We used to have this clay monkey that held up a huge bowl that we’d fill with SHIT. Keys, blue-tack, toenail clippers. Dave would ask me where something was and I’d say, “Have you checked the monkey hon?” And vice-versa.

    So about four years ago the monkey got SO full that I emptied it all out and sorted through every broken pencil, every old receipt.

    Until I came across a really strange thing. It was small, black, hard, and all shrivelled up.

    “What the hell is THIS?” I asked Dave and he came over, looked, and said fuck knows hon.

    I stared and stared and slowly it dawned on me what it was. I laughed SO HARD because it was SO DISGUSTING ……. it was Roccos belly button thingy. You know those things that fall off a baby after a week? Yeah.

    YEAH. I vaguely remembered putting it in the monkey for safe-keeping and wanting to bury it with Roccos placenta under the apple tree. In my defence, Dave had just been diagnosed with cancer and Rocco screamed night and day so I was a bit preoccupied.

    *bows* Thank you for this opportunity to share, Baby Mac xxx

  8. we do have one and it has baskets as partitions. its sorta neat but TOTALLY full of crap. Good thing is it is skinny so every once in a while I am forced to go through the random leaflets and chuck out or it won’t bloody close!

  9. We have one. I’m inspired to do a blog post on it too! You should start the Baby Mac’s Drawer of Shit series 😉

  10. HappyandClear says

    I have multiple mystery draws at out house. In fact I once saw an organisational expert on Oprah that said you should allocate a draw as the mystery draw and then have a weekly clean out of that draw to help keep your counter tops clear at all times. I have the mystery draw, just not the weekly clean out.

    This all reminds me a lot of a song I used to like back when I went through my Jimeoin phase called ‘Third Draw Down’. So funny, you must check it out on you tube. Here is a link:

  11. Are you kidding? I have a bloody room like that! The rest of the house is organised in true OCD fashion and then there’s the spare room…..everything gets chucked on the bed when visitors are about to arrive and then the door gets closed. There are still unopened boxes from when we moved house at the beginning of the year.
    I did just buy two scrap books to fill with Emily’s artwork though. And believe me we needed two jumbo sized scrap books because that stuff just keeps flowing into the house!

  12. This post made me LOL!

  13. joolzmac1 says

    I have a ‘bottom drawer’ in the kitchen. There you will find string, batteries, tape measure, screw drivers, chopsticks, cable ties, buttons, a jar full of screws that fall out of furniture and you find them on the floor (WTF?), silver polishing cloth, blue-tac and drawing pins. I have a little stationery box in the study cupboard so that’s where the hole punch, ruler, stapler and staples are.
    I do not let paper clutter my house. Accounts to be paid go in a purple plastic folder, kept in the study, until paid, then they are filed in a filing cabinet. Newspapers get purged every 2-3 days. Junk mail fliers basically go from the car to the recycle bin as soon as I get home – I hate them!
    I do have a wonderful ‘walk-in’ linen closet which has floor to ceiling shelves. This is where all manner of ‘stuff’ gets put, especially if I need to do a quick tidy. I currently have 96 rolls of toilet paper piled up in there (on special for $10/24rolls!).

  14. I have one, it’s called ‘you know, Mum’s drawer.’ My Mum had a drawer just like it when we were little. Mine SO needs a clear out right now… this is such a universal post!

  15. Kirsty Michalzik says

    My mum and grandma went through a phase where they were making (or buying – I can’t remember) this horrid tasting juice that’s supposed to cure/prevent cancer. It must have had mushrooms in it because it was called “mushy juice” and it was kept in a big punch bowl, named “the mushy bowl.”
    Once the fad had worn off, the punch bowl stayed on the kitchen bench and became the random/mystery object bowl. We continued to call it the mushy bowl.
    “Where are some batteries?”
    “I dunno – try the mushy bowl.”
    One day, mum emptied out the bowl, put it away and put a mini set of plastic desk drawers in it’s place on the bench. I suppose because it would help organise the mystery items and make them easier to find. With seamless transition, they were called the mushy drawers. No one thought twice, it just made sense to call them that.
    It was only ever questioned when we had friends over and they heard us refer to the little bench top drawers as mushy draws. They’d ask “why do you call them that?” We’d respond “because that’s what they are.”
    As kids, we didn’t actually know why.
    It’s so strange thinking back on it now.
    If you just read all that I apologise for wasting your time LOL
    I’m just laying in bed trying to get sleepy. I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to share the tale.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I like the tale! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • ahoy.jenni says

      Yes I know the mushy juice you are talking about…cant think what its called, I know people who did it too! Funny story I enjoyed it! Kombucha! It just came to me!

      • Kirsty Michalzik says

        That rings a bell! I know it smelt terrible. I was about 10-11 years old at the time! It didn’t make much sense to me.

  16. Krista Warren says

    Junk drawer…yup we all have them! 🙂 hooray for junk xo

  17. Ok, totally have to get our emptied tonight and see what the almost year of accumulation renders. I know that I can’t even remotely compete with a dried belly button though.

  18. I sooo have one of those and its almost as exciting as yours!

  19. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Of course I have one of those I think everyone has one or maybe more I cleaned out our hutch drawers 2 weeks ago and I was shocked at what was in them Allen keys,balloons a children’s colouring book from 1994 and old pens rubbers and lots of rocks wtf were rocks doing in there and why did we keep them!

  20. Maxabella says

    This is my Third Drawer Down dilemma. If not here, then where!?!?! x

  21. MotherDownUnder says

    We have a few spots around the house…keys, coins, business cards, iPods from yesteryear live in the hall, miscellaneous cords live in the living room, and the kitchen features chopsticks, take out menus that we never order from, rubber gloves, and manuals for appliances.
    Now I want to just chuck everything out!

  22. Margaret Elvis says

    I think my whole house is a mystery drawer when I come to think of it Beth. The one good thing though is I always know where to find anything I want. My place is always in a state of flux…..sorting, storing and getting rid of things. There being only the two of us here now of course makes for much less mess……or does it?

  23. I wish there was a ‘like’ button for all of these comments. So funny

  24. I have mystery drawers, mystery cupboards, even whole mystery rooms.
    This post made me a little sad that I’ve quit sneaky ciggies. Oh how I loved smoking.

  25. I certainly do have one. I have four actually in my office desk and one in the kitchen which stores old phone chargers – you never know when you may need one!

  26. Praise baby cheeses I’m not the only one! I have ‘mystery drawers’ and all manner of shit hidden away all over the house. I’m currently blaming it on renovating and the fact we haven’t got all of our cupboards/shelves/etc installed yet. Once we do, there will (no doubt) still be all manner of shit hidden away all over the house…


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