Quick on the drawer

If you find yourself at a loose end any time soon, I thoroughly recommend getting stuck into that drawer in your house that everyone uses as a dumping ground

Peter Edgerton
PETER EDGERTON

As everybody knows, it's not much fun losing your wallet or phone, or even worse, both. Imagine my dismay, then, after a particularly long shift at work, opening the drawer where I always keep my belongings to find that they were nowhere to be seen. The desperate nature of the situation was compounded by the fact that, when I called, the phone went straight to voice mail. Zikes!

A quick sprint home confirmed that my things weren't there either. So, as is obligatory on these occasions, I insisted on returning again and again to the places I originally thought they might have been left, as if simple repetition of action might make them magically appear. It didn't. Frantically, in a final act of utter desperation, I grabbed firmly at the handles of the offending drawer, yanking it out as far as it would go and - lo and behold! - there were my wallet and phone, sitting right at the back, on the opposite side to where I'd left them. It was quite clear that they'd been swept up in, and mysteriously manoeuvered by, the sheer volume of stuff accumulated in that drawer over the last seven years. This simply wouldn't do. I resolved to tackle the problem forthwith.

The next day, armed with nothing more than gritted teeth and eager fingers, I ploughed through the contents of the drawer like a man possessed, flinging old contracts, ancient CVs, wires, clips, make-up (don't ask), cheap sunglasses, children's toys etc. binwards with wild abandon until there was nothing left in there but the bare essentials plus various weird-looking pieces of metal and plastic which nobody had missed for years but, you know, might come in handy one of these days.

You'll be delighted to know that, as a result of all this shenanigans, the drawer itself now glides gracefully in and out of its shelving, in sharp contrast to the preceding state of affairs when you would need short, jaunty run-up in order to conjure sufficient force to close it. Also, these days, I can leave my possessions in there at 6 o'clock on a Saturday and return to find them in exactly the same spot eight hours later. This brings me no end of joy.

So, if you find yourself at a loose end any time soon, I thoroughly recommend getting stuck into that drawer in your house that everyone uses as a dumping ground. It's a profoundly cathartic experience, plus you might find a few weird-looking bits of metal and plastic that, you know, may come in handy one of these days.