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Spring Cleaning

Mar 03, 2019 04:55PM ● By Julie Ross

Julie Ross

Spring Cleaning

Step One: Junk Drawer Safari


By Julie Ross


I’m writing this at the close of another rainy day. Did you know an atmospheric river can be 250 miles wide, 1,000 miles long, and can carry 20 times as much water per second as the Mississippi River, where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico? Me neither.


This intense weather event kept me indoors much of the day, providing the opportunity to not only gather facts about intense, moisture-heavy storms but also to begin spring cleaning activities. Long-time readers might recall my favorite way of easing into seasonal de-cluttering is by taking an amazing journey into my kitchen junk drawer and discovering the surprising collection within.


Here are some of this year’s discovery highlights: two bags of flag toothpicks (one American and one assorted international), two boxes of round toothpicks (one plain wood and one of various colors; really, what’s with all the toothpicks?), a small hammer, an assortment of birthday candles (long fancy striped ones, two half-empty boxes of the regular short kind, some thin curvy ones, and a few previously lit candles in the shape of numbers 1, 6, 2, 8 and 9, evidently saved for when a matching birthday comes up), a box of wooden matches from Stellina in Pt. Reyes, an individually wrapped single napkin from Soup Stock in Tokyo, refrigerator magnets (a frog, a bee, Elvis, Beatles), 20 pairs of chopsticks, two bags of single and one box of double skewers, two turkey basters (I have never used either one), seven little packets of cut-flower food, a box of Mason jar lids, various adhesives, three Chuck E. Cheese tokens, a plastic dinosaur (brachiosaurus?), a yellow plastic cylinder thing that looks like you poke it into a citrus fruit to extract juice, a wooden rolling pin with no handles, and a cork from a nice bottle of Prosecco.


If the tidying up guru Marie Kondo were here, she would likely point out that literally nothing in this drawer sparks joy and should be tossed. And that (aside from the fact that we do not actually know one another), is why she is not invited over.