“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.
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.”
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.”
“I will show you.”
It is then that I pulled out package after package after package of clever IKEA storage containers.