Let’s Get Organized!!

“We need to get organized!” my wife proclaimed.

This came not in the midst of our household mess, but in the aisles of IKEA, a place where organization is nothing less than a religion.

There we were standing in the very cathedral of organization, fully mindful of our sins and resolving like drunks on Sunday morning to do better.

You see, our idea of organization is to mindlessly toss whatever we have on hand onto the nearest surface that will hold it.

This is usually a counter top.

Once our counters are stacked to the point where gravity becomes the determining factor, we stuff whatever is on top of the counter into the cabinets under the counters.

And when the cabinets are full, we head to IKEA.

“Look at these little organization bins!” she exclaimed.

One has to admit they were clever.

But also troublingly familiar.

“Don’t we have some of those?”

She gave me an odd look.

“Of course not.”

“Why are you so sure?”

“Because if we had them, we would be more organized.”

I could see the logic – but I could also see where this was going. She stuffed our cart full of the clever little containers.

The sad reality is that there are entire industries dedicated to helping you get organized. There are makers of Tupperware, garage hooks, bins, baskets and boxes. There are purveyors of multi-tiered Lazy-Susans, soft-close drawers and Hide-a-Messes – and there are stores which carry nothing but cabinets, shelving and wire racks.

But it is all a lie.

An illusion.

The trick to organization does not rest on how much stuff you have or how cleverly you stuff it away. Rather it depends solely on how well organized your mind is.

Too speak metaphorically, it is like steering a barge down a river. The time to make decisions is not when you are slammed sideways against a dam by a raging current, rather it is far upstream when your mind ponders such questions as, where am I going and how can I best get there?

Which is not us.

“Where do I put these?” I asked when we got home from IKEA. I was speaking of all the clever storage containers we had purchased.

“On the counter.”

“There is no space on the counter.”

“Then put them under the counter, silly.”

I tried.

Believe me I tried.

“There is simply no space under there anymore,” I was forced to admit.

“I can’t believe that.”

“Seriously, the shelves are full.”

“Of what?”

“I will show you.”

It is then that I pulled out package after package after package of clever IKEA storage containers.

Author: Almost Iowa


56 thoughts on “Let’s Get Organized!!”

  1. I really like your beautiful blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. I will come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon.

  2. I can relate! We’ve been working on our basement lately and you wouldn’t believe the stuff we’ve found down there. (If you want 500 Beanie Babies, just give me your address and I’ll mail them immediately.) We have plenty of shelves and bins of all sizes. What we don’t have is an organized system of actually using them, but we’re working on it. It doesn’t help that one of us (not that I’m naming names, but it isn’t me) is severely organizationally challenged and also a pack rat. Luckily, I have wine, which helps a lot!

  3. I’m an organization nerd so I chuckled at the post and the comments, but I’ll give you a break and leave it there. 🙂 I also had a learning opportunity because I’d never heard of Duck and Brave. Hmm, I think I need to do a little research. Happy weekend, and bottom line – if you don’t need it in the travel trailer, you probably don’t need it in the house. 🙂

    1. If you use Brave, you have to remember to lower the shield on each site that you use. You do that by clicking the little shield on the upper-right menu bar – but you only have to do it once – there-after no more popups, fewer ads, no tracking. It is like internet heaven.

  4. I just put up a shed in the backyard in the name of ‘organization’…ostensibly to reclaim the garage, but how I see it going is that the shed will fill up with new stuff before ANYTHING comes out of the garage, or we’ll transfer all the crap in the garage to the shed, only to fill all that glorious, fresh space in the garage within a year. Here’s to stuff!

  5. “We don’t have too much stuff, we just need to organize it better.”

    How many times? Now, I’m trying to organize my workshop. Wish me luck.

      1. I bought a new tool cabinet, and I purposely bought one without the lift-up top storage space (which is totally useless, I don’t even know what’s in there anymore).

  6. LOL! The go-to space for stuff in our house is the dining room table. No matter how much I try to keep it clear. And IKEA cannot help us. I refuse to go into that maze!!

  7. It’s a plot. Two factions are at work – the IKEA storage types and, and Lois suggest, Marie Kondo – one side urges us to reduce clutter and the other offers to facilitate those projects.

    At greatest risk are folks like us who can’t remember if we already made a particular purchase.

    1. “Let’s make a list before we go shopping.”
      “So we know what to buy.”
      “When have we ever come out of a store with what we went in there for?”
      “Make a list anyway.”
      “Okay then, but first let’s stop by Office Max to pick up paper and pens for lists.”
      “Do you always have to play dirty?”

  8. So good to know that I’m not alone in this “habit.” To hear my friends and relatives tell it, I AM the ONLY slob in the universe.

  9. LOL. I was certain that upon realizing that the shelves were already full of containers, you’d be off to IKEA for more shelves! I think a lot of us share your challenges. I am currently bugging my husband to purchase more file cabinets!

  10. Yes, organization is wonderful. But. It. Still. Takes. Up. Space.
    The trick to dealing with stuff is have less of it. Says she with a holier than thou voice😁 living in less than 50 square feet.

  11. Uncanny. We mentored Bosnian families when they first arrived as refugees. Emina arrived as a junior higher and now is a mother (of a daughter whose middle name is Joy–lump in throat). She has a business degree and is working toward mentor/coach certification, but needs “coachees” so she can practice. Our first Zoom meeting is tomorrow. I’m to set the agenda. You guessed it. My problem is all the boxes and piles of photos, clippings, letters, research, and just stuff that was my mother’s, grandmother’s, and great-grandmother’s! That’s what happens when you’re the oldest daughter of the oldest. . . well, you get the idea. Deciding what to keep is arduous!

    1. The first rule of Zoom meeting is to make sure you are nicely dressed. The second rule is to make sure there is a blank wall behind you, so no one can see your mess. 🙂

      1. Love it! Actually, I’m going to do just that on the 30th as I’ve been asked to join a Texas book club about Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II. Leora was my grandmother. All five sons served, but only two came home. Will gussy up for that one!

  12. Well, lookie here. I read this post about ten minutes ago. Look what just showed up in my email spam folder — a solicitation from an organization/moving crew:

    “Let’s be honest, we all need a little extra holiday cheer this year. And that means more decorations! But where are you going to put everything else? That’s where MOVITS portable storage comes in. Whether you’re looking for a place to store empty boxes, need a place for the things you had to move to make space for decorations, or you need a spot to hide presents from kids—we have you covered! We don’t just move you. We organize you!”

    I’m not about to link to their URL, but it looks to me like WordPress and Google have their organization down pat! This is not only suspicions confirmed, it’s utterly creepy.

    1. I object to getting hammered by WP to purchase “now while this special offer is on”. If it wasn’t for the friends here I’d have left by now. We’ve been sold out again.

    2. Google, Facebook, Twitter and now WP all coordinate their gathering and sale of personal data, clicks and likes. You don’t even have to visit Facebook to have them monitor you. You just have to load a page with a Facebook button on it. Like the one above and AJAX does the rest.

      I use the Brave browser with built-in no-tracking and ad blocking. I also use Duck-Duck-Go search engine. So far, this works.

      1. I hadn’t heard of the Brave browser: something to explore. I tried using the Duck, and for most things its fine, but if I’m doing historical research, etc., the results often are pretty slim. I have learned my lesson about those ‘discount’ cards at grocery stores and such. What a world.

    1. Yeah, but John, you have an excuse. You moved in the last year or was it two? No matter, it is still a great excuse.

      You can use the “we are still unpacking” for at least five years.

      1. Yes, it was last year. Our neighbor came over and wondered if everything was okay after five days. “I didn’t see any cars so I thought maybe you guys had left.” We always get the cars in the garage by hook or crook. That is what we did. It is still unorganized though. I need shelves and hooks and all the crap you mentioned that the people sell to get us organized. My problem is I have to submit any purchase request to the purchasing agent. She may or may not swing by Home Depot to get the stuff. You can see where this is going. Oh, BTW who complains most about the garage disorganization. Yes you in the back. Bingo you are right. She does.

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