I recently came across a sleek drawer organizer in a magazine. It was customizable and available in such vibrant colors as lime, sky blue and orange. The splashy mat and dividers made the drawer come alive with modern quirky style.

But there is quirky, and then there is quirky.

Our kitchen drawers are quirky, too, I decided. A different kind of quirky.

One of the drawers in our old, white painted cabinets comes flying out if you pull too fast and furiously, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor.

Another stubbornly jams unless the stack of dry measuring cups inside is positioned just so. If it isn't, the only way to get the drawer open is to jiggle it in and out several times to move around the contents enough to slide one hand in there to – ouch – fix the mess.

I don't use many drawers in the bedroom. I'm fortunate enough to have my own walk-in closet with enough rods, bins and shelves to accommodate my wardrobe.

Far more interesting were my mother's and grandmother's dresser drawers, which I was sometimes allowed to poke around in growing up.

I was most intrigued by the contents of my mother's dressing table. One drawer contained her makeup, which I loved watching her apply. Another was stuffed with hair rollers, including those types with a nappy surface that causes them to stick together, as if preparing to take over the Aqua Net world.

It was in another one of her drawers that I one day pulled out fingernail scissors and chopped off my bangs, stuffing the blond clumps back into the drawer.

My grandmother's drawers were an interesting mix of everything from church bulletins and neatly folded nighties to pressed handkerchiefs and stacks of greeting cards bound in rubber bands.

At times, either woman would ask me to run upstairs to retrieve something from one of their drawers. My instructions were quite detailed: “Go upstairs and open the top drawer of my dresser nearest the door. On the far left toward the back – under the stockings – you'll find three envelopes. Please bring me the blue one.”

In later years I noticed that my mother, who rarely wears scarves, had a drawer full of them. When my then-preschool-age daughter would spend an afternoon with my parents, I would return to find their living room draped in colorful scarves of all sizes. They were flung over sofa arms and chair backs. They covered the ottoman and tabletops. My daughter would have several around her shoulders; my mother, at least one on her head.

“We've been busy,” my mother would say, watching me take in the sight.

So while the drawers in our lives may not be the most organized with the latest dividers, they sure are fun – and sometimes full of surprises.