Day 228 The third drawer down

Ah ha! Yes that’s right now we are getting amongst it. Who is familiar with the third drawer down? You know the one. It could be in the buffet, the kitchen cabinets, a desk or maybe the bathroom cabinet but nevertheless it is the same situation regardless of the location.

The first/top drawer is always the prime drawer with the important everyday/most used items. In the kitchen and the buffet it will likely be the cutlery drawer, in your desk it will be your pens, pencil, stapler etc and in the bathroom it usually has your hair brush, hair pins and the like.

Now the second drawer down is also a well used drawer with things you use fairly often. In the kitchen that will likely be cooking utensils, in the buffet it will be linen napkins and napkin rings, in the desk most likely larger tools like hole punch etc, and in the bathroom feminine hygiene items, spare razor cartridges etc.

Now the third drawer down that is everyone’s dirty little secret it is the hold-all area for every piece of crap that you really don’t know where to keep. Little bits of this and that that you keep “just in case you need it some day”, weird parts that you don’t remember what they belong to, keys that unlock mysterious places that you have long ago forgotten, a couple of Allen keys from Ikea, various nuts and bolts, torn off bits of paper with phone numbers or addresses that were important once, things you just stuffed in there because you couldn’t be bothered putting them back where they really belonged…

I am painting a picture here of a drawer full of clutter but alas it also houses that warranty paper you needed last September when the clothes dryer broke down. It would have been fixed for free but it cost you $120 because you couldn’t find this important little piece of paper.  Are you getting the idea here? We all have or had one of these drawers in our homes. If you had one, please share your horror stories of this drawer with us. If you still have one, get in there and clean it out today. Find a proper home for all those important “lost items”, discard the rest and share with us the oddest item you found in there.


No this wasn’t in my third drawer down, it just doesn’t get used any more.

Sewing tool

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Jana @ The Summer House

    Ohhh. I know what that is! I guess you could use it to cut a really thin pizza but it really is no good unless you are in a junior high sewing class…hahah

    Love your blog! I’m a new subscriber.

    • Hi Jana,
      I believe this is your first comment. Thank you for the kind words and I would love to hear from you more often as you sound like you have a sense of humor and I like that.
      The sad thing about this item is I don’t even know why I bought it in the first place. Something to do with texturizing for papercraft rather than sewing I think. That experiment must not have worked.

  2. I just cleaned out a card board box of odds and ends, misc. school papers I thought I might need some day, mementos, souvenirs from theme parks I went to as a kid. Most of it went to the donation box for my aunt who sells at a swap meet, a lot of it also went to the recycling bin, but in all of that…I found a two sets of guitar strings that I bought for $18 almost three years ago. So I restrung my acoustic and it sounds much better now.

    • Hi Allbert,
      so your 3rd drawer is a box. It is amazing what you find when you open up these pseudo time capsules isn’t it. I bet you were glad to find those guitar strings.

  3. My ‘latest’ third drawer down (I suspect I have a lot of them) was the filing cabinet. As well as bills dating back to 1984, manuals for long lost appliances and multiple copies of various notifications, I found the pieces of paper telling DH what his pin numbers are for his credit cards, and my two new credit cards from November last year which I couldn’t find and knew I hadn’t lost – if that makes sense – so I didn’t want to report them lost/stolen and go all all the associated fuss.

    As you can see, we don’t use them a lot. We are set up to buy with them from a couple of places on line, so didn’t need the plastic card for that, and just used our debit cardsfor shopping instead. But I did wonder what we’d do if we had an emergency at the same time as we had a cash shortage.

    I think I recycled or shredded over half of the papers in the top drawer of the three drawer cabinet, sorted out and relabeled the folders, so now putting stuff into the drawer will be easy, instead of on a pile balanced on top, which slid off at intervals.

    I know I use some of the space in the bottom drawer for all cables and connecting wires, but I’m not sure what’s in the middle one. I will investigate when DH goes out as it could make a useful space for my stack of coloured printing paper which is currently looking for a home.

    • Hi Jacquie,
      so much paper so little time to sort through it all. That is the war cry of a lot of people trying to declutter their homes. My husband and I are working towards being as paper free as possible. Most of our bills are paid on line and we have eliminated all the old warranty papers. If it wasn’t for the tax man we would be a lot more paper free than we are but that’s life.

  4. I have been working on our filing cabinet, which isn’t too bad, just needs regular tending. But because I’m decluttering seriously, I shredded 4 years worth of my husband’s pay stubs. (He’s worked for the same company for 10 years, so frankly, I was surpised there weren’t more of them.) Well, here’s the funny part. The next week, his pay stub ended up on my desk, and I thought “Well, I’ll just tuck that in the file.” Couldn’t find the file!! It had been so fat for so long, and now it’s just a skinny thing that I had to carefully search for it. Somehow, that just didn’t seem right.

    • Hi Cindy,
      when I think of file drawers I think of work and it is my day off so I don’t want to even go there but I will anyway. File drawers are like houses the more file space you have the more you will fill up. We don’t have a file drawer any more just a couple of small file boxes hidden away in the linen closet. They only house paperwork we can’t throw out but don’t need to access much so out of sight out of mind.

  5. I’ve been thinking about which 3rd drawer I have, and I think I have too many! I’ve decluttered all of them in the past 3 months, so why are they still filled up? 🙂

  6. My third drawer is a 2′ square cardboard box that houses all the odds and ends, momentos, etc that were stored in an antique dresser in my sewing/craft room. Two years ago I moved my work space down into the basement to make way for a nursery. Everything that didn’t have specific home elsewhere ended up in that box as I didn’t move the antique dresser to the basement. I’ve opened the box once(!) in two years looking for something that I knew used to be in that dresser.

    I can tell you without looking what the most unusual item in that box is though. My uncles are farmers (peanuts, corn, cotton, soybeans), and a number of years ago they experimented with planting a special breed of cotton that was indevelopment. The seed had been altered so that the cotton would grow in specific colors so it wouldn’t have to be dyed and would remain color fast. So in a tiny little box in that big box, I have two or three lovely brown cotton puffs still attached to their pods that my uncles gave me. Its odd, and has no purpose, but I’ll never get rid of it.

    • PS – The other stuff will probably go really soon though. 🙂

    • wow Donna – I am imaging fields of multicolored cotton planted in rows by color!!

    • Hi Donna,
      we all have those special little things that we all treasure and don’t plan on getting rid of, yours may be a little odder than most though. lol! Just kidding. How come this little gem didn’t show up on Day 168 (What is the stangest item among your clutter). Maybe we should repeat that day because it seems people might have been holding back on me.
      I must admit I was hoping the cotton puff was pink.

      • Sadly, those little puffs of cotton are not my oddest clutter item in my house. That honor goes to something belonging to my husband. It sits in the basement on top of the freezer collecting dust because it will never,ever be displayed while I’m alive, but he hasn’t given me the go ahead to get rid of it. And no, (lowering head in shame and disgust) I’m not going to describe it beyond saying it is a “shelf”.

  7. Thanks for the prompt! My ‘third drawer’ is in my living room and I throw in everything that doesn’t have a home. Went through it yesterday and put everything in its proper place (yes!!! I finally have a ‘proper’ place for most things). It left me with an empty drawer which is just perfect to put all my gardening stuff like seed packets, twine, catalogues. I’m such a crap gardener, I’m sure I’ll be decluttering and chucking out all of it in 6 months’ time 🙂

    • Hi Loretta,
      well done, no more third drawer.
      I am a crap gardener too so I know where you are coming from. I use the hit and miss approach, if I plant something and it dies too bad pull it our and try something else. I have a great yukka plant, a star jasmine, a rosemary bush, mint, basil and a ground cover that all gorw regardless of the neglect I heap on them so they are keepers. And I am particularly good at growing weeds, no effort what so ever.

      • Oh! Weeds! With the heat, humidity, and rain we’ve had this summer, you should see my weed garden –it is tall, lush, and green. Are we going to have a post about garden clutter soon? I wouldn’t know where to begin…

  8. this post made me laugh. so true. but I realized I have just one 3rd drawer, and that is occupied by a laptop that needs repair. My boyfriend will come in january and hopefully do that for me… and as soon as that goes out, I will put a paper saying EMPTY (like in drawer 4) in it. that will keep me from stuffing it up again.

    maybe you could make mini missions on drawers, seems like everyone has some clutter somewhere in those…


  1. […] to a suggestion in a comment from Lena, this week we are going to tackle a little drawer decluttering. Drawers are all over the […]

  2. […] Loretta on Day 228:- Thanks for the prompt! My ‘third drawer’ is in my living room and I throw in everything that doesn’t have a home. Went through it yesterday and put everything in its proper place…Read More […]