Tuesday, November 9, 2010

(Dis)organized: Thanks, olden timey peeps.

So I am epically disorganized. There are rooms in my house where, if I were to let an organized person into them, they would probably have a panic attack. In fact, I did once let my cousin into my most amazingly terrifying room (and it was in worse than normal shape because I was in the middle of sorting thousands (truly, I know I exaggerate at almost all times, but I am actually not, right now. Maybe I should. OKAY MILLIONS) of ancient photos of my mom's side of the family.) My sense of wanting to share all the super awesome stuff I was finding overrode my anti-shame safety features and I was all heartily OH WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THIS LETTER I FOUND and she stopped in the doorway and said, "Oh!" I think she'd thought I'd been robbed. Well, yes. I was robbed: Of any natural ability to create and maintain any kind of order at all. (But that letter WAS awesome.)

Anyway, so I'm tired of it. My house is about 40% functional and 60% cram everything in there and shut the door so no one will see. I know where the first aid kit is and I'm pretty sure I could dig up my passport but if you needed, say, wood glue, I would probably draw a blank and then go buy more and then the same thing would happen next time. So I decided, you know what? I'm an adult. I have an adorable house that I am straight-up ruining through ineptitude. So I went where I always go where I have a problem: Directly into denial.

But then, a few weeks (months) (okay, years) later I went to the next best place, which was the library. And, indeed, they did have the solution, as they always do. And: Free! So I got out a book called What's a Disorganized Person to Do? and I started reading it, figuring it would, if not solve my problems, at least give me some tools with which I could (sigh) solve my own problems.

And indeed, the book contained many, many helpful items. Unfortunately, my house is so completely unhelpful. Here are some tips for your pantry! (Er, what pantry?) Your mudroom can be more efficient! (Mud. Room?) Your foyer can store a multitude of items! (Hmm. Foyer?) Your linen closet! (Hmph.) Your bedroom closet! (Is the size of a phone booth!) Your garage! (Again, nothing.) Your basement! (Dungeon, size allows it to contain furnace, water heater, and not much else.)

So perhaps there is a reason my disorganization has reached epic levels despite a nearly restraining order level obsession with IKEA. My house is conspiring against me. It was built for 1850s and we've done nothing to improve it's storage abilities since then, doing things like adding indoor plumbing and owning refrigerators. (Well, actually, and adding a small addition but that's not that funny and, frankly, that addition is almost exactly the footprint of the bathrooms so we're sort of at square one.)

So my house is designed for someone who owns two outfits, no food processor, and who can store stuff in the minuscule basement because there's no furnace back in the olden times. So, essentially, I have to go buy the equivalent of a mace or a battering ram from the Container Store or the aforementioned IKEA (which I think would be, respectfully, Elfa shelves and BJURSTA items) and beat my house into submission. And so I go at it, hanging hooks and shelves and putting things in boxes and putting those boxes away etc. And, frankly, I'm failing. Everything looks exactly the same. I hang hooks and people hang random items on them immediately, almost before I can even finish screwing them in. I spend a whole week clearing a space in the basement to build some shelves and 1) my children lock me down there (really, but they did let me out (which is too bad because I stashed a book down there for exactly that eventuality)) and 2) as soon as the space was cleared, SOMEONE stored a broken down crib in it when I had my back turned.

As I see it, I am faced with two choices: A) Give up. (I am so very good at this.) Decide it will be easier when the children are older and let chaos reign in the meantime. 2) Get more battering rams and, more importantly, more game, and rule with an iron fist. (I just typed "iron fish" which I actually like better but which, sadly, makes less sense and sounds undelicious.)

I'm still deciding. But, just in case, I sort of took dozens of pictures of my house at its worst and might post them as before and then, when the shame gets to me enough to motivate me to use the iron fist/fish, after stories. Maybe. This depends, as all my potential kareoke performances (WATERLOO) do, on how much I have to drink. So: We'll see.

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