Let’s Get Organized!

1398209847The hardest things about being stuck at home for weeks on end is inventing new ways to avoid doing the things you normally avoid doing.

In better times there are simply not enough hours in the day, but under quarantine, there is nothing but hours in the day.

So what to do?

My wife had a suggestion. “Let’s get organized!”

“Say what?”

“Let’s spend time organizing the messes we never seem to get to.”

“I don’t see any messes?”

“I am talking about the ones you don’t see.”

“I have a better idea,” I told her.

“What’s that?”


“How about Scrabble instead.” she threatened.

So organizing it was.

Every house has hidden messes. They are the out of sight, out of mind places where you stash the things you want to get rid of but don’t want to throw away.

Our list is as follows:

The Mess That Lurks Beneath The Kitchen Sink

This is where cleaning supplies and garbage bags are buried under multiple layers of things that are neither cleaning supplies nor garbage bags.

The Junk Drawer

Where small household items go when you don’t know where else they should go.

The Stairs That Lead Nowhere

In most houses, this is known as The Hall Closet, but our closet is most unusual. Behind the door is a stairway that leads straight up into the ceiling. It is if the architect designed a two story house but only delivered the plans for the first floor.

It is a great place to throw things.

The Pile In The Basement

This is where things go after you realize that the door to The Stairs That Lead Nowhere will not close once you add whatever it is you are holding in your hand.

But enough of that..

The art of organizing is really nothing more than shuffling things from one place to another. One must move items from where it is convenient to set them down to where it is possible to find them.

It is much more difficult than it sounds.

We began by removing everything that was neither cleaning supplies nor garbage bags from The Mess That Lurks Beneath The Kitchen Sink.

First came the wrench that I once used to tighten a leaky drain pipe.

“I’ll put it with the tools in the shed,” I said.

She frowned. “What color is it?”

“Pink.” I told her, “Uh, I guess that makes it yours.”

She owns a complete set of tools colored pink to identify them as hers. She did this, so she could lose them herself rather than have me do it (but that never stopped her from accusing me of losing them – though usually she was right).

“What do you want me to do with them?”

She thought for a moment. “Put them in the junk drawer.”

Next came several rolls of the shelf lining contact paper.

“Toss them in The Stairs That Lead Nowhere,” she said.

“I don’t think there is enough room.”

“Okay, add them to The Pile In The Basement.”

Next came six empty jars.

“Let’s just toss them.”

“No,” she said, “I use them to store odds and ends.”

“They are too big for the junk drawer.”

We agreed on that.

“And there is no more room on the stairs to nowhere.”

So we agreed again: The Pile.

And on and on it went until there was nothing lurking under the kitchen sink but cleaning supplies and garbage bags.

“So what mess do you want to attack next?” I asked.

“I have a better idea,” she said.



Author: Almost Iowa


52 thoughts on “Let’s Get Organized!”

  1. Our dishwasher blocked up a couple of days ago so I had to undo the pipes under the sink and clear out the pipes, having previously emptied all the junk from under the sink. As my part of the job was completed and the dishwasher was now working perfectly, I left it to my wife to dispose of anything that was rubbish and when I next looked under the sink we seemed to have the same amount of vital and indispensable stuff as we had before when it was rubbish. Still, it kept us out of mischief for an hour or two.

  2. Ha ha. I’ll bet a lot of people can relate to this one. Netflix sounded like a great idea in the end. I don’t have any closets, no basement or attic. But I have my husband’s “shop.” That place is wonderful because I never go out there. The perfect repository for clutter and stuff. 🙂

  3. Dang, that sounds a whole lot like the way my husband and I organize things. Especially if we do it together, because he hates to part of with anything. Now if I do it alone….I can fill some trash bags. Which I then sneak to the curb on trash day when he isn’t looking. Netflix does sound like a good compromise!

  4. Well at least you have answered my question. How does Netflix resemble the junk drawer ? Because I seldom find just what I was looking for. Lately Moving Art is close enough. Sadly it is usually buried under several layers of New Releases and What’s Popular. As for reorganizing I prefer to reorganize my excuses by the day of the week to match the reorganizing task She Who Must Be Obeyed ( eventually ) has in mind for reorganizing. Besides we are both retired. Lets schedule that for tomorrow.

  5. Oh, you haven’t even gotten a good start yet. I’ve done closets, attic, cupboards, drawers and made one pass in the garage. I’ve got another pass of the garage and some work in the barn to do. The real problem is that when I get those bags to donate I can’t get rid of them because they are closed too. So, now I have bags stacked up instead of individual items. Hope you found something good on Netflix.

    1. I worry about doing too much too fast. This quarantine might last for awhile and once one is done straightening up and NetFlix is all binged out, what is left? Scrabble? 🙂

    1. The scary part about working at home is having all those tasks peering over your shoulder. When I worked at home, I could do in two hours what took eight to do at work. Which left six hours. 🙂

      Actually, I built a system over the summer that a vendor bid over $500,000 to do. My boss was pleased, his boss was not. She wanted the $500,000 grant, because once you get one, the next is easier to get. 🙂

  6. Rearranging various junk piles? That does not sound the least bit like a good use of anyone’s time. Take a nap. You’ll feel better.

    1. Being in the middle of a project with no end in sight, is nothing more than being caught up in a never ending project. It’s like household tasks. I have often wondered why once you clean the dishes, they don’t stay clean. It’s one of life’s mysteries.

  7. I really like the scrabble ploy. In terms of organizing, Peggy and I have his and her sheds. it does make things easier. 🙂 As always, thanks for the humor. More important now than ever. –Curt

    1. I have a shed, she has a sewing room. So tell me this, why does all the stuff that she bought at IKEA that we never used go in my shed instead of her sewing room?

    1. There really is no such thing as Scrabble. Yes, there is a box with stuff inside – but it is merely a prop, a cudgel if you will to threaten husbands with.

    1. Junk drawers are actually very delightful, if one has the right frame of mind. Think of them like a curiosity shop, antique store or The Goodwill. It’s a great place to go shopping for things. The only problem is once you find something you like, where do you put it?

      1. I never thought of it that way! I always just thought of it as the place I always look for batteries that I stuffed in there months ago, but all I manage to find is empty battery packaging. I think the junk drawer must eat batteries. Especially AAA.

  8. I have missed you. Somehow I don’t see your posts anymore but I must remedy that situation. I need chill and humor and organization of the under the sink cabinet. Glad you and the bride are still around, jotting down tales of life.

  9. Good choice. Now, I as see it, the space under the sink is ready to adsorb a plumbing project and at least six pasta meals. You’re good to go on that NetFlix thing.

  10. Since we moved the only thing that needs organizing is the unopened boxes in the garage. I have both cars in there so I’m happy. I’ve managed to stave off what will be inevitable but I’m running out of excuses and my doctor refuses to write any more notes.

  11. My husband’s idea of organization is scheduling his naps in between the westerns that are on afternoon. And we are two episodes into ‘Tiger..whatever’ on Netflix and I am so grossed out but can’t look away. Obviously, we both need help. Scrabble?

  12. I can never organize or clean with the husband in the house. Everything I try to throw out he grabs and runs it to the barn.

    1. We have a shed instead of a barn and unlike your husband, I try to grab shed stuff and run to the trash with it – but I rarely make it before being stopped and made to return it.

  13. Completely sensible hierarchy. Rarely would anything go from the junk drawer to under the sunk. I’m sure there are several untold stories about the stairway.

      1. Oh no! Cold up in the TC, but none of the white stuff (fingers crossing, whispered chants for clemency from the weather gods).

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