The 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!”
“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.
“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.