The small items (junk?) drawer

Most of us have a drawer full of random small items like bottle openers, corkscrews, ice cream scoops, can openers, pastry brushes, thermometers, vegetable peelers, etc. Many of us thin them out periodically, pitching “what was I thinking?” items like ravioli presses and corn on the cob holders. Every now and then I come across one I really questioned when I got it but have come to love. Examples are that red silicone tube for getting garlic cloves out of their skins, that item that looks like scissors with hemispheres on the ends (great for meatballs and cookies), and the egg slicer, which also handles strawberries and mushrooms.

When I am in other kitchens this drawer is disorganized and also holds things like flashlights (torches), pencils, rubber bands, tools, and random keys.

What is your relationship with your “small items” drawer?


We have an overly large silverware drawer, so the food-related odds and ends (veg peelers, melon baller, can opener) go there. The junk drawer (masking tape, rubber bands and twist-ties, post-it notes, an unholy number of pens) is separate. I try to keep both organized but I live with the Lord of Chaos (aka DH) who apparently believes in the joy/excitement of daily scavenger hunts.


Sounds very much like our home, but in the last few years my wife has finally clicked with how much easier life is amidst order. She has also embraced Marie Kondo except for in our kitchen. Since I cook for her, she is ok with pots, pans, knives, etc. everywhere.


I will not divulge how much of either, but “kitchen gadgets” most definately seperate from the household “junk” drawer(s).


It’s complicated.


“Relationship” is at hand. He periodically calls for a purge, boxes up what is not used “daily” and stores them in the basement, marked “misc. kitchen tools”, which makes them totally unusable. Once a year or so, the box will be donated at pet rescue. I have learned to handle just about all kitchen tasks using a paring knife and church key.


I have kitchen gadgets (pizza wheel, garlic press, wine vacuum seals, various peelers, wine key, kitchen shears, etc.) in one drawer and a separate “junk” drawer with pens and pencils, Post-It notes, paper scissors, batteries, etc. There’s also a drawer with plastic wrap and bags, bag twists, tabs, and clips, the mandoline slicer, kitchen scale, and dies for my pasta extruder.

Did I answer the question?


You get high marks!

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Yikes! I want everything where I can find it, often hastily.

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Indeed! A friend once sat in my kitchen watching me cook and remarked, “You make it look like ballet.” Which, of course, is a good metaphor. Reach, grab, use, set down, repeat with another implement. All without taking more than a step.



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Only one drawer? :joy:
I have silverware caddies in 2 drawers, but chaos reigns in the rest - although I have installed spring loaded dividers in the rest to try to corral the unimaginable mass of things - not just rubber bands and bottle openers, and cooking stuff, but screwdrivers and hammers and wrenches and batteries and bandaids and cat toys and … at least with the dividers, I can attack one compartment at a time to try to thin the herd.

OMG just to think about it, I need, in the words of Edward Gorey, a postprandial tipple.


I have three “zones” of gadgets.

  1. Spatulas, tongs and spoons used most often in a crock by the stove. Knife block on the counter.
  2. Two drawers with baking implements, measuring cups, meat thermometers, corkscrew, dishers, peelers and other items used less often.
  3. Box in the closet with duplicates and items I’m not sure why I have.

I try to keep the tape, batteries, pens etc. in my desk.


Love my garlic clove E-Z roller - yes, it’s a one-use item, but I still love it (bought it at Kitchen Etc. a gazillion years ago).

I’ve kept a handful of wooden-topped or hard-plastic corks that come with various liqueurs, with corks in varying sizes, because I can usually never get the original cork back in the wine bottles (especially if they’ve used the fake cork stuff). This allows my hands to grasp the cork more easily to twist it out. Similar to these:


I have extra measuring spoons, I have an egg slicer that gets used maybe 3-4x a year, garlic press; handheld can opener, zester (nutmeg and fruit), spatulas I don’t want sitting out in my canisters because I don’t use them often enough; my Tavernello heavy-duty wing corkscrew received as a gift back in the mid-1990s (because I’m a failure with a waiter’s corkscrew), 2 pizza wheels, small tasting spoons, a shrimp deveiner, the beaters to my hand mixer, my Thermapen, 3 sizes of funnels, a thin metal cake tester, and other things I can’t recall.

In another drawer, I have several bags of the rubber bands that come around asparagus and other veggies (who can I donate them to? Maybe a food pantry has a use for them?). In that same drawer are extra batteries that fit into various kitchen items (timers, my Thermapen, watch, etc.), along with baggies, foil, cling wrap, Mrs. Meyer green bags, and the instruction booklets for all of the appliances in the house.

Finally, another small drawer holds pens, Sharpies, stickie pads, coffee filters, some meds I take (along with my morning vitamins), and a sandwich press.

I’m in a galley kitchen, open on both sides to living room and dining room, so as @pilgrim said, it’s an easy dance to get to what I need.


I’ve got 4 separate small items drawers for:

  1. Small cooking tools and utensils that don’t stand next to the range.

  2. Mandolines, steels, stones, crock sticks, angle guides, etc. for cutlery (and overflow cutlery that doesn’t make the varsity).

  3. Scissors and shears.

  4. The other household small tools like hammer, pliers, tape, tape measure, brushes, flashlight, etc.

1-3 are in the kitchen. #4 is in a pantry.


I used to have a drawer dedicated to those. A BIG drawer. Now, whenever I get a new appliance, or gadget, or basically anything that comes with instructions, I immediately go online and download them. I have a folder specifically for that purpose, with sub folders for each device. That folder is cloud-accessible, and also available on all my devices. Then I ditch the paper one. The electronic documents are also searchable, so there’s that.


I picked up these in a cookware shop while visiting family (I paid a lot less than the Amazon price here)
Super easy to use and to clean as they are silicone. And they are adorable to boot!


I should probably do that - almost all of the appliances came with the house when I moved in in 2011, so some are older. Maybe I’ll see if they’re out there the next rainy weekend. :slight_smile:


What’s the dividing line between enough and extra? We have… um… five sets. Well, maybe four complete sets (stainless steel, black plastic, orange plastic, blue-green plastic) and one incomplete set (white plastic, where the teaspoon melted a bit in the dishwasher and so is unreliable for baking).


3 Drawers all in small kitchen. 1 for silverware & steak knives & serving spoons. and emergency straws when the FF milkshake’s ones aren’t with them. 1 drawer for peeler, ice cream scoops, large knives, measuring spoons, etc. and 1 larger drawer for tape, glue, markers, batteries–it’s a mess!