Thursday, February 07, 2008


Okay, I admit it: I am addicted to organization. I love the way organized spaces look. It just makes me happy to see organized things. I love to watch that show on HGTV called "Mission: Organization", where an organizational specialist goes into someone's place and sorts, organizes, and stores all their stuff for easy access.

Oddly, despite my adoration of organization, you probably wouldn't think it if you saw some parts of our home. For instance, right now my office has stacks of small boxes, baskets, trays, and plastic bags of various paperwork (the bain of my existence) on top of the desk/hutch. Our laundry room has a large and a medium plastic storage bin filled with various paperwork. Neither of these rooms would give any indication that I am addicted to organization, because they have not yet received my attention. But they will... soon.

In our previous house we had a fairly good sized pantry in the kitchen, in which we stored our kitchen trash can (to keep it out of reach of our dog), human food, dog food, rolls of paper towels, various assorted electronic kitchen appliances, and the large pots and pans that didn't fit under the counters. Despite my frequent attention to the pantry, to my dismay it never quite looked like this:
Aaaahhhh... this pantry makes my heart sing!

A hundred years ago when I was single and lived in my very own groovy bachelor condo, I had a super-organized linen closet. All my towels and sheets were folded to the exact size of the shelves (I hate it when stuff is bigger than the shelves and hangs over the edge), and I even had my bath towels stacked by color, darkest on the bottom to lightest on the top. Emerald green, seafoam green, mint green. I know, you're probably thinking 'Seafoam green???' but it was the 80s. My best friend Baron used to love to open my linen closet door and marvel at my precise organization. (God, we were SUCH huge queens.) Nowadays I'd prefer something more like this:
In our last house both Spouse & I had our own walk-in closets, which is completely amazing for a house built in the mid 50s. Houses built in the 50s usually don't even have 1 walk-in closet, not to mention 2 of them. His closet was attached to our bedroom, whereas my closet was attached to the other bedroom on that floor. When we 1st moved in my closet had a single rod running the short length of the closet with a single shelf above it. I took those down and installed a rod nearly 3 times that length running the width of the closet, and installed 2 shelves above. It was an awesome closet that allowed me to store all my clothes easily. No more packing and unpacking seasonal clothes. In this house I don't have a walk-in closet. It looks more like this:
I've had friends laugh at me because I alphabetized my spices. But Spouse is a good cook and uses every kind of spice and herb you can imagine. If they were simply tossed into a cupboard it would take 20 minutes to find anything. When your spices and herbs are alphabetized you know exactly where to look. Paprika won't be on top of the cardamom. Dill won't be in front of the sage. No sirree, as long as you know the alphabet you can find whatever you need right away.
When we moved to this house it was important to me to organize as much as possible when unpacking. Of course Spouse wanted to unpack all the boxes at once and toss everything into random cupboards, but I was able to restrain him. We've done a good job of keeping the kitchen cupboards nicely organized, which not only looks good, but also saves time. We're lucky to have a large kitchen with lots of cabinets.
We've also done a good job organizing our attic space. There's 1 corner of the attic that's nothing but Christmas: the artificial trees, wreaths, holiday home decor, tree decorations, lights. Its all Christmas, all the time. There's another corner for luggage. Honestly, I can not explain how 2 people ended up with 6 suitcases and 5 duffle bags. And then there's a corner for odds and ends we don't need often, like gift wrap, old record albums, and old college text books. But we can walk around in there, hunched over of course, and easily find whatever we need.

To begin working on 1 of my New Years Resolutions, this Sat Spouse & I are going to open up all these containers of paperwork, throw away what we can, and sort/organize/file the keepers. We may not finish on Sat, but getting started is likely harder than finishing. I vow to defeat the beast (paperwork) that mocks me!

Crush du Jour: Troy Garity


Java said...

Good for you! I hope you and the spouse get lots of good paper organizing done this weekend. Then you can come to my house and organize my stuff. Nah, better not. Don't want to give your organized heart a cardiac arrest.

Shirley Heezgay! said...

hon, i say wreck the place, throw the shit all over the place, bring in the neighbours's crap and get in touch with HGTV.

how much fun would that be. course, you'd have to live with it until then, but man!

oh, and crush du a cream soup please.

cb said...

Um... OCD much?

This gay landlord that I had was so anal about this stuff that he would get out the broom and sweep the fringe on his persian carpets to line it up-- while guests were there. He also followed behind people and wiped out the sinks after they used them.

I secretly would go around kicking the fringe, of course.

Gregory said...

The pictures in this post give me such a hard-on,

When the Contatiner Store catalogue comes in the mail, whichever of us picks up the mail with it in the stack, Miss Clever or I will announce. "The new porn issue is in!"