Closet Clutter

Fibber McGee drawer
Fibber McGee drawer

When I was young, everyone in my family and relatives always referred to their junk drawer as “Fibber McGee’s drawer”, a drawer filled with odds and ends that didn’t seem to fit anywhere else.  I didn’t think anything of it until I got a little older, then began to wonder, “who is Fibber McGee?”

It turns out “Fibber McGee & Molly” was a popular radio show in the 30’s and 40’s, and one of the ongoing gags was Fibber McGee’s closet.  Every week someone would open Fibber’s closet, which created an avalanche of bric-a-brat and clutter; the dialogue would then mention odd things like a rusty horseshoe, 10′ pole, etc.  The person was buried in Fibber’s “stuff”, which had been “arranged just the way I wanted it”. The term, “Fibber McGee’s closet” became an American catch phrase synonymous with household clutter.

Nobody uses that term any more, but when I look at my own desk drawer, I can’t think of anything else better to describe this chaos than a Fibber McGee drawer.

Thought for the Day:  One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A. A. Milne

4 thoughts on “Closet Clutter

  1. I use the phrase “Fibber McGee’s closet” all the time, which I picked up from my grandmother. You’re right though, most people have absolutely no what the origin of it is anymore. I feel like I’m doing my part to preserve a piece of cultural history every time I have to explain it. 🙂


  2. This phrase has bumped around in my head for exactly 20 years at odd times. I even find myself using it from time to time, not having a CLUE if it ever meant anything.

    Reason being, in ’95 I was a lowly 1st year pipefitter apprentice all of 25 years old, working under a couple older codger journeymen named Mike and Virgil in the fabrication shop. They would ramble to each other incessantly and very little of it made sense to me at the time, quite literally “shop talk”, but the phrase “Fibber Mcgee’s drawer” (though I could have sworn he said junk drawer) was used once, just once, now 20 years later I can stop wondering if it was something they just made up!

    Serendipity, your blog thst is, can finally sleep now! (It’s 430 a.m. here lol)


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