Getting organized is one of those things I put in capital letters in my head. I have all sorts of ideas (Pinterest has a lot of unrealistic expectations, by the way) of what I’d like to do to corral the chaos in my home. I want my bookcases to be functional, not works of art, but I don’t think they should be crammed full of every volume I own, jammed willy-nilly in whatever way gets the most stuff in. I want my most-loved books available, plus all my knitting reference books, plus books that hold a special meaning to me and mine. Instead, I have the most eclectic and what-the-elf collection of titles and bindings interspersed with “gift books” like 1001 ways to say thank-you to God which I’d really like to get rid of but how do you throw out such a well-meaning gift?
Knick-nacks can Die In a Fire as far as I can see. At this point in my life, those carefully saved dust-collectors are nothing more than symbols of how much money was wasted in the pursuit of symbolizing important moments and displaying them on shelves and surfaces. For what? Am I likely to forget that I got engaged, married, and had two children? No, but I’ve got the Precious Moments (purchase-remorse included free!) to prove it. How many vases do I need? If somebody sends me flowers through a delivery, they come in a vase. If Hubby hands me flowers, I get out one of the two or three vases that holds meaning for me and I don’t look at the 1-800-look-here’s-more-clutter vases I have lined up on a shelf or seven.
There are two things I don’t mind being strewn about the house: photos of loved ones, and Hubby’s German stein collection. He is discerning and pragmatic when buying a new stein, and he has to really love it before it comes home with us. And every single one has been used, so they are not “just for show” and so they are allowed to stay and I get to rearrange them whenever I want (which really means whenever he’s not looking.)
I like having things contained in boxes and baskets so they are easily accessed and I know where they are. Unfortunately, we live with a dangerous spirit which tends to countermand my wishes. I’ve never seen this spirit but I know he exists, because if I send out the general query “Who left this bowl of dried-up food in the family room?” and nobody answers, I know it was the dangerous spirit. After all, my family would never lie to me or pretend they didn’t hear me or be dishonest about clearing up after themselves. No, it’s the spirit of disarray and discomfort, who knows just how to push my buttons and get me cranky. He is the one perpetuating this myth that I can control the clutter. He is the one who builds mysterious piles of paper interspersed with that receipt we’ve all been looking for. He’s the one who apparently owns 27 shoes that are always in my way, and he must be the one who leaves crumbs all over the damn counters.
If I didn’t have to live with him, I’m sure my home would look just like a Pinterest board. Pardon me while I peruse the Container Store website.