Junk Drawers Enable Organization
Demarcation of Order and Chaos
I’ve been thinking about junk drawers for the past few days, and not just because the phrase is fun to say. Junk drawer.The junk-drawer approach takes advantage
In chapter 7 of Human Scale by Kirkpatrick Sale, I learned of the Treuga Dei, the Truce of God. This truce was first propounded in AD 1041, and slowly became the dominant code in European warfare - that all battles must end on Saturday noon and could begin again on Monday morning. As time went on this code began to expand, encompassing Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday - war could only be fought on Tuesday and Wednesday. This code was observed for nearly four centuries through Europe. Then, Maximilian I, in 1508, amassing and centralizing power, began to ask: why not all seven days a week be peaceful?
We know the result. A period of unprecedented slaughter.
This is strange. Why?
What Maximilian was pursuing was not a mere minimization of combat - what Maximilian was pursuing was a breakdown of the distinction between war and peace. No set time for war means no set time for peace.
I’m encountering this as I organize my workshop and life in general, and trying to embrace it more fully.
Junk drawers are crucial to organization. This is a lesson I’ve learned a few times. I suppose I need to learn it better.
If there is nowhere to put junk, we end up putting the junk, well, anywhere. Don’t know where the #6 washer should go because your shop doesn’t use that small of washer? It’s human instinct to just chuck it in the #8 bin. Close enough. Put the exotic brake fluid (NOT a lubricant) with the grease.
Or, chuck it in the junk drawer. Your #6 washers, your exotic brake fluid, the weird 8-lobe bit you used for that one weird job that you’ll never use again… they don’t go back on the shelf and expound the clutter. They go in the junk drawer. And then, when that drawer gets full, you can begin to deal with it.
Have peace for five days. Then, if you need to wage war, let it out on Tuesday. Better than bottling it up or lashing out in weird ways.
A well-done, routine examen, is a junk drawer for sin. Regular confession, the emptying.