The Very Necessary Drawer Your Kitchen Probably Doesn’t Have — But Should

published Nov 11, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

A fun thing about me is that if you tell me that I absolutely need to do something, I will probably respond with, “Oh yeah? You’re not the boss of me!” It is rare for me to turn around and tell people what to do — unless the advice is really worth sharing. So when I say your kitchen needs this pretty specific method of organization, I mean it.

I think it’s safe to say most kitchens have a “junk drawer.” I spied a neatly organized one on The Home Edit’s feed and was inspired to overhaul my own. While the overall aesthetic pictured may feel a little aspirational, my major takeaway was the emphasis on battery storage. Keeping batteries stored in little bins in your junk drawer is a pretty simple idea, but that also means it’s really doable. 

I’ve tried other battery storage options before. The dedicated battery holder I ordered at one point didn’t fit anywhere easily in my kitchen. It got returned pretty quickly. I resorted to keeping all the different sizes jumbled together in a random gift box on a shelf next to my Instant Pot. While it worked to keep things all in one spot, I never really knew what was in there without opening it up. 

I started out by emptying everything in the drawer, then replaced what really and truly belonged there in their own dedicated spaces. The Home Edit has a line of drawer organizers at Walmart that would likely serve well here. For me, this is a rare moment where I choose function over form. Because it’s in a drawer, I don’t need my “system” to match or be super modular. I just used what I had on hand, whether that be pencil trays or random small boxes I’ve collected.

Moving the batteries front and center to an often-accessed spot changed things a lot more than I expected. Batteries are one of those things that just sort of disappear if I don’t keep tabs on them — especially with kids old enough to just take what they need for whatever random toy/remote/flashlight they think I don’t know about for reading under the covers. Keeping the different sizes separate means I know what I’ve got on hand, and what needs restocking. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

The thing about keeping batteries accessible is that they’re not just about convenience, but also safety. I know this because in 1999, my middle-school best friend and I bought an extra pack of batteries on New Year’s Eve for our grocery store flashlights “just in case” things turned hairy when the clock rolled over to a brand-new century. (Spoiler alert: We did not need the backup batteries, let alone the flashlights.) 

Kidding aside, now living in earthquake country means the power could go off at any time for an unknown length of time. It’s likely that no matter where you live, there’s some sort of climate-related emergency possible, especially as the seasons change. While it’s recommended to have extra batteries tucked away for these specific situations, it’s been my experience that these “extras” always get tapped into for everyday use. And with darker afternoons creeping around the corner, now is the perfect time to reorganize and restock.

This post was originally published on Kitchn. Read it there: The Very Necessary Drawer Your Kitchen Probably Doesn’t Have — But Should