A few words from the keeper of disorganized stuff

Have you noticed over the last couple of months a proliferation of publications making grandiose proposals to “Get Organized?” Gone (and good riddance!) are those slick magazines pledging “Your Best Thanksgiving Feast EVER!” and “Countdown to your MOST MEMORABLE Christmas!” Apparently, after all that feasting and memorable-ness, we suddenly feel the urge to rehab our nests.
But show me a cover that roars, “Take Charge of Messy Rooms!” and I’ll stop dead in my tracks because let’s face it, folks, it ain’t happened yet.
My problem is that I’m a perfectionist. Don’t laugh. Sure, you’d take one look at the stacks of stuff loaded on my desk and elsewhere and say, “Um … I don’t think so!” But trust me on this.
Yep, the reason for these expanding piles of stuff is that I can’t quite get a handle on the PERFECT thing to do with said stuff.
Take the recipe I found in the newspaper for Savory Salmon Cakes. Everyone knows that stuff you cut out of a newspaper is tricky. Newspaper clippings get torn. They yellow. They get lost in the cracks.
Therefore, I shall scan my Savory Salmon Cakes recipe and find a proper file for it in my computer. Yeah … no. My computer already has squillions of files of old, forgotten stuff.
For example, there’s the hopeful “Try This!” file containing all manners of stuff – from recipes for cucumber facial masks to the best way to photograph a praying mantis.
Also stashed inside my computer are actual food recipe files, prolific with thousands of offerings from my grandmas, aunts, mom, daughters and friends. And all those files have jaunty sub-files: “Haven’t Made This Yet but Sounds Good,” “Loved This but Hubby Hated” or the intriguing “Contains Strawberries, Make when Rob is Nowhere Around” (yes, Son-in-Law #2 inexplicably hates strawberries).
Other files contain “Seasonal Recipes,” “Healthy Recipes” and “Holiday Recipes” with, of course, all the above categories and sub-files from Grandma et al. So if I’m ever to see my Savory Salmon Cakes again, the scan-and-file-in-the-computer system isn’t the answer.
For nostalgia’s sake, I handled that clipping by going all low-tech. I ferreted out the Magic Mending Tape (do they still call it that?) and affixed my Savory Salmon Cakes newspaper clipping to a sheet of 3-ring binder paper.
OK, great. Now what? Where shall I put this sheet of 3-ring binder paper with a recipe Magic Mending Taped to it where I can retrieve it when the mood strikes for … what? Oh, yes. Savory Salmon Cakes.
It can’t go into an actual 3-ring binder. Yep, I donated them all. When I was, you know, re-organizing last year. So my new taped-onto-binder-paper-recipe goes into the stacks of stuff on my desk and elsewhere because I never figured out the PERFECT thing to do with it.
Please don’t write and ask me for a copy of my Savory Salmon Cakes recipe. I haven’t a clue where it is. Probably with other long lost stuff I cut out about “The Best Places to Live” or “Eat What You Love” diet, or “Five Ways to be a Successful Risk Taker.”
This is stressful, people! Knowing I am ready with perfect solutions for everything if I could just find them!
But then a thought popped into my head, and it was sobering. If I made a meal from every recipe I have filed in my computer or stacked on my desk and elsewhere, or contained in my impressive library of cookbooks I can’t live without, I’d have to live to be 147 years old.
Well. That probably isn’t going to happen. So for a girl who buys “Get Organized!” magazines only to lose them in stacks of stuff, the outlook is grim.
But there is light at the end of the organizational tunnel, friends. I’m not Martha Stewart for Pete’s sake, so maybe I can just accept the idea that a little imperfection isn’t so bad and move on.
Even more importantly, a small notation concealed quietly in the corner of those annoying “Get Organized” publications says, “Display until April 1.”
Did you hear that, people? YES!!! This year’s crop of “Get Organized” annoyances are almost history!

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