I am Organized, Just Look at All my Piles

After much careful consideration, I have made a momentous
decision. I am going to get organized. And I mean it. Really. In
fact, I really feel that I am finally ready to embrace organization
and welcome it into my life.
After much careful consideration, I have made a momentous decision. I am going to get organized. And I mean it. Really. In fact, I really feel that I am finally ready to embrace organization and welcome it into my life.

OK, the truth is, I slipped on all the papers that littered the floor of the den and I shrieked at nobody in particular, “Doesn’t anybody clean up after themselves around here?” Naturally, after I got up and stomped around the house while muttering many bad words, I realized it was my mess that landed me on my butt in the middle of the den. So clearly it was I who needed to clean up after myself.

And if you’ve ever seen my den, you’d know what a scary thought that is.

Truthfully, I am not organized. I am more of a disorganized person. In fact, I’m a person who has little piles of junk all over the house. I’ve been this way my entire life. And that’s a problem, because if you’ve been disorganized your entire life, it’s really hard to know where to start when you want to organize yourself.

Should I start in my closet, which has clothes in it that a much thinner me wore long ago? Or do I dive right into the den, which has papers in it that may have been typed on a typewriter or even mimeographed? Or should I look at the entertainment center, which has a large collection of cassette tapes piled in the back of it? And what about the garage? I’ll be honest here – a car has never graced the inner sanctum of piled up junk that is my garage.

So the first thing I did was buy about 20 magazines that had organizational tips in them. And I even read two of them – the rest I put into “magazine pile No. 3” which is the pile of magazines I keep in the family room. Please don’t confuse that with “magazine pile Nos. 1, 2 and 4” which are kept in the bedroom, bathroom and den.

Anyway, the first magazine had tons of incredibly unhelpful tips like, “take unused forks, hang them on the wall and use them to hold mail.” I wish I were making this up. Who the heck is going to slam a bunch of forks into the wall and then hang the mail from them? Give me a break.

And just how the heck does that differ from a pile, anyway? It seems to me that all that did was move the pile of mail from the den floor to a bunch of forks stuck on the den wall. It still doesn’t guarantee that I’ll read the mail. It only guarantees that I won’t slip and fall on it.

And it also guarantees that my family will be insane at dinner as we all try to stab peas with our knives, because all the forks in the house are holding the mail.

And speaking of mail, the second magazine had even more unhelpful tips. One was, “sort your mail into piles of ‘to be read,’ ‘to be tossed,’ ‘to recycle’ and ‘shred.'” Oh for Pete’s sake, I already do that. It’s just that my piles live on the dining room table. And once they get really big, I move all the piles to the den floor.

And that’s when realization slapped me upside the head. I actually am organized – I just don’t use forks to prove it. Sure I have piles everywhere – but until my fall, they were very organized piles. How many people do you know who are so efficient that their magazines are sorted into four different piles in four different rooms?

So I did what any woman who wants to be organized and efficient does when she realizes that she actually is organized and efficient. I went shopping. After all, something had to be done about the den floor. So I bought about a zillion baskets and plopped all my piles into them. I even laid them on the den floor in a nice little pattern that allowed for a walkway from the den door to the desk.

And I must say, I’m thinking about calling one of those magazines up and letting them use my idea for their next issue about home organization. Because it turns out, I am a very organized person. And as a bonus, we still use forks at dinner. Even when we eat peas.

Laurie Sontag is a Gilroy writer and mom who wishes parenthood had come with instructions. Her column is syndicated. She can be reached at [email protected]

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