People could make us much as £3700 from their ‘junk drawer’, claims Backmarket

A messy drawer. Image: Bing Image Creator

A nationwide study has revealed that the average house has at least one messy drawer or cupboard in their home, with 52 percent admitting they feel ASHAMED when someone stumbles upon it. 

A quarter (25 percent) regularly fall out with their other half over the state of their messy drawer, with one in three (36 percent) insisting they should hold on to old items “just in case’ they come in handy. 

And the average junk drawer contains two redundant tablets, three old smartphones, six screws, five empty batteries, five hair bands and grips, and an average of five out-of-date takeaway leaflets, according to the poll.  

A tangle of four power leads, four unused headphones, four empty pens and three boxes of matches, are also squirrelled away, according to the data.

Allen keys (three), broken watches (three), rolls of Sellotape (three), old keys (three) lightbulbs (three), strips of Blu Tac (three), small screwdrivers and plasters (four) and out-of-date business cards can also be found lurking. 

The study by Back Market also found that the oldest items come in the shape of three-year old birthday cards, tablets, bank cards and disused games consoles. 

Says Katy Medlock, UK General Manager for Back Market, which sells refurbished tech:

“From out-of-date manuals to odd buttons, the contents of our messy drawers is fascinating, but the biggest shock is the high number of tech gadgets simply gathering dust. 

“People could be making as much as £3,700 from the phones and tablets hiding away in their messy drawers, as well as doing something good for the environment at the same time.

“That’s why we’ve launched Trade-in by Back Market, a place where you can sell your unused or damaged smartphones, tablets, and MacBooks. You can also swap your unused or damaged smartphones for a ‘new’ refurbished device.”

The nation delves into its messy drawers an average of eight times a week, with 89 percent admitting that they are often surprised at what they find.

It takes an average of three weeks for a newly cleaned junk drawer to get filled up again.

Three-quarters (74 percent) would love someone to come along and sort out the contents once and for all as one in five (18 percent) admit they can’t close their junk drawer. 

To help tackle their overwhelming drawers, one in three (36 percent) admit they would be willing to sell their devices to be refurbished but they don’t know how. 


  1. Pens and biros

  2. Loose batteries

  3. Screws and nails

  4. Rubber bands

  5. Paperclips

  6. Appliance instruction manuals 

  7. Takeaway flyers

  8. Hairgrips

  9. Old receipts

  10. Hair bands

  11. Used batteries

  12. Spare buttons

  13. Foreign currency

  14. Empty pens and biros

  15. Phone charging cables

  16. Old birthday cards

  17. Plasters

  18. Power leads

  19. Lighters

  20. Small screwdrivers

  21. Unused headphones

  22. Allen keys

  23. Half empty paracetamol packets

  24. Old keys

  25. Old bank notes

  26. Memory sticks

  27. Nail files

  28. Old business cards

  29. Broken mobile phone chargers

  30. Sellotape


Chris Price