It just wouldn’t be American if we didn’t keep an entire drawer full of stuff we never use. I speak of the kitchen junk drawer: an odds-and-ends assortment of crap you con yourself into keeping even though everything contained therein has no value what-so-ever and you never even remember what of worth is there.
Check out these ten things taking up valuable space in your kitchen drawer.
1. Sauce Packets
Feeling saucy? These salacious little bags of flavor such as hot sauce, soy sauce, and honey are entirely necessary whenever you’re eating Taco Bell or Chinese takeout, but they are utter junk if you’re holding onto them after. Why? Because you’ll just end up with another two dozen the next time you give into a Fourth Meal craving.
2. Plastic Utensils
Nothing beats a handy spork when you’re eating stew, but there comes a time to let go. If you have perfectly good silverware or any silverware really, it just doesn’t make sense to hold onto forks and spoons that you’re never going to eat with. Or worse – knives that can’t even cut. And just like the sauce packets, you’ll get more with whatever takeout you order.
3. Takeout Menu Flyers
This one is easy to rationalize because you probably have favorite places that deliver. But ever since a little invention called the World Wide Web (does anyone still call it that?), you can look up the menu for, and order from, any restaurant faster than you can rummage through that drawer, making these fliers perfect recycling fodder.
4. Crushed Red Pepper Packets
File this with Taco Bell Hot Sauce under “the next time I need to use this, I will certainly have more of it”. These packets are worse because a) they doesn’t say anything clever on their packaging, and b) unlike the preservative-rich hot sauce, these fresh ground flakes have a shelf-life. Buy some at the grocery store and call it a day. Toss anything else.
5. Over-The-Counter Medications
Who knows when you’re going to need DayQuil again? Well, fair enough—but you’re probably not going to remember that you put a particular packet in this superfluous drawer. Either reunite these capsules with their brethren in the medicine cabinet or just toss the dang things out.
6. Bendable Straws
Oh, good, you have bendable drinking straws. That’s awesome because I’m a five-year-old child that can’t be trusted with a glass of water. Unless you actually have a five-year-old child, an entire box of these useless drink accessories are cluttering your drawers, and it’s time for you to say enough is enough.
7. Reused Birthday Candles
While you may feel smart and frugal for saving birthday candles, these already burnt, mostly melted nubs are one of the sickest kitchen junk drawer jokes because you can always buy a couple dozen for a buck or so the next time you’re at the grocery store. And you will.
8. Old Phones… And Their Charging Cables
Good on ya’ for not techno-wasting cell phones, which can have huge ramifications for the environment, but you need to figure out what to do with those six Nokia and BlackBerrys taking up space. Maybe charity or… something? Anything? Your guess is as good as mine.
9. Orange Peeler
To be fair, you need an orange peeler if you’ve never heard of a knife before. This fairly unhandy tool usually winds up in the junk drawer around the time that it sprays citric acid directly into your eye, or when you get tired of having to clean junk out from under your fingernails.
Even if you don’t have this specific tool, there’s likely a different, narrow-use utensil gathering dust in your drawer.
10. Egg Dying Dippers
These hexagonally bent wires are useful when it comes to dipping eggs in dye, but won’t help you do anything else. Also, you know you’re going to get more the next time you buy an egg dying kit, so these are probably best served in the garbage bin.