There's a lot of Macgyvering that goes on at my studio. A large percentage of the clever solutions that I write about involve some type of recycled item.
This is a paradox of sorts because I hate clutter. I don't like things stacked up or piled in the corner. If any item is going to survive at my place, it needs to find its place where it can be retrieved when needed, but otherwise out of the way.
Often that location is the junk box. The joke is that the stuff inside isn't junk at all. They're useful items that are in-between jobs. (You can't protest too loudly about this or people will think you to be a packrat in denial.) I know that these odds and ends will have their moment when they are the perfect solution to a problem.
This reminds me of a favorite George Carlin quip: If you have a pile of odds and ends on a table, and they are all swept off except for one, what do you have left? An odd or an end?
Here's an example: for today's TDS article titled, LED Panels - Great, but Diffuse Them, I found the perfect square of diffusion material in a junk box. It was part of an old soft box setup that had an inner panel as well as one on the outside. I didn't need the inner panel back then, but I kept it. And now it's part of my LCD rig.
It's funny how often readers will ask me where I got a mentioned tripod head, clamp, grip, or other item that in reality came from the box. I feel kind of bad not being able to point them to an item in the B&H catalog. But the honest answer is, if I had to wait for a delivery every time I had a brainstorm, very few of my inventions would ever see the light of day.
That's why the junk has to be somewhat organized. Not being able to find an item that you know you have is maddening. It kills the moment, and all the Macgyverness fades away.
I know some people have junk drawers. But honestly, that's just not enough real estate. Because truth be told... I actually have more than one junk box.
But you already knew that.