Wednesday, April 9, 2014


I have spent the last few weeks striving to uber organize everything in my new home. From alphabetizing my spices, to compartmentalizing garage tools, to finding spots for office junk...files, supplies, pens, stamps, it goes on and on.  I thought if I did this now, while I’m still settling in I will be one of those people who “has a place for every thing and every thing is in its place.” Side-note: Goodrich is known for having the first printed citation of the epigram: "Have a place for every thing, and keep every thing in its proper place.[2] The phrase was published in an article called "Neatness" which Goodrich published in The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio), in December 1827.”

So my neatness began.  I started with my closet.  Leaving a home with all built-in closet drawers, I bought some of Container Store drawers for my non-hanging clothes.  While at the Container Store, I shopped the isles trying to decide which pieces best suited my needs.  There was one piece that made me laugh out loud.  It’s called the 32-Compartment Drawer Organizer.  
32-Compartment Drawer Organizer
Laughing, because several years ago a group of our friends had gone on a short girls trip.  We had two suburbans full of women driving home and the conversation in our car somehow turned to who was the most organized of this group.  I will say, up front that of all of these 10+ women I am most likely the least organized.  Most of their homes are clutter free, each drawer and cabinet are neat and tidy and most impressive are their garages...cleaner than my kitchen.

We were bantering back and forth about who wasn’t really organized and what their secret shortcomings were that kept them from being crowned The Queen of Organization. It was then the question simply popped into my mind, so, as always, I blurted out “What does your underwear drawer look like?  Do you fold each pair of underwear and have a special spot for them, (thus needing the 32-Compartment Drawer Organizer from The Container Store) or do you take you underwear from the laundry room and simply dump it into its designated drawer?”  

I think we were all surprised to find out who the folders were from the dumpers.  We then called car #2 asking them if they folded or dumped their underwear?  You can only imagine where these conversations lead.  Even now, years later someone will randomly bring up the folding vs. dumping issue, laughter ensues.

I think it was interesting that the people who seemed so together and organized were underwear dumpers and only a very few were actually folders.  Why?  What causes some people to have the need to have everything in its proper place, yet simply dumped in a drawer.  Not that any of this matters, just a little mindless fodder...are you a folder or a dumper?

Me?  I’m a dumper.  I can get organized, I just can’t stay organized.

Example:  Every Fall and Spring season I reorganize my closet.  You know, change out sweaters for shorts, boots for flip flops.  At the beginning of each season some power overwhelms me and I go hog wild and spend hours organizing my closet.  I neatly fold all my exercise clothes, label my shoe boxes, and I hang my tops and pants by the color code method.  I have as many white shirts as I do lamps... so I have all my white shirts on one rod, then all my black, and on through the rainbow.  At the end of my organizational frenzy I’m happy as a clam, standing akimbo, looking at my perfectly neat closet.  A masterpiece!  Even my drawers are in order, shorts folded, socks matched and yes, my undies folded and neatly stacked. 
White color coded shirts

Rainbow color coded shirts

Then comes a day when I’m looking for just the right outfit.  I start yanking tops to go with pants, no that’s wrong. I pull skirts, then jackets, then more pants, different tops.  Shoes are strewn all over the floor, boxes tossed to the side, trying to find the pair that looks right.  This goes on until I have a heap of clothes lying on my closet floor and I’m late for the event.  I pull on whatever, and my once organized closet has become a FEMA Hazard Zone.   

Coming home, I’m totally over the whole masterpiece closet fabulousness.  I throw my clothes back on any hanger I can find and stuff them into the first available spot.  From that point on until the following season, my closet is “Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care!”  Not to mention my underwear, p.j.’s, and workout clothes drawers, they lasted orderly for about a week. Oh, and no shoe ever finds it’s way back into the marked box until it is put away for the following season.

So thus is my life.  I guess I’m doomed to living life like a slob behind closed doors. I suppose I will continue to plow through drawers, cabinets, closets and a garage looking for what I know must be there somewhere, until I can’t stand it any longer and I have a bastion of sanity and begin reorganizing, again.

Do I need a 32-Compartment Drawer Organizer for my life?  Have I learned that no matter how much one plans and organizes, life always throws a kink in the “proper place for everything” mindset?  No one can keep their lives completely tidy and compartmentalized.  Does anyone really want to live life so regimented, so confined?

Maybe that’s why I’m an underwear stuffer, it’s just not worth the time.  I’d rather spend five extra seconds looking for a proper pair of undies than spend an hour setting up the 32-Compartment Drawer Organizer...not to mention, does anyone really have 32 pairs of undies?  I thought I was weird with 43 lamps!

After Steve discovered his time here would be shortened he became determined to have every thing in its proper place.  He spent long days making sure the house was in tip-top shape, all appliances, sprinkler system, heat/ac, roof, yard, money matters were in perfect order.  

Steve always knowing there was a place for every thing!

Umpire, Steve directing at US Open

Grandy in charge!

Then, something would go a rye.  We would find one of the cars needed some huge repair, an air conditioning unit needed replacing…it was constant, always something.  It drove him crazy as he so wanted to leave me with no issues, no problems that needed solving.  I tried many times to stop his need for orderliness, but it was useless, that was Steve.  He was a fixer, a caretaker, a giver and a bit of a perfectionist.  Life and time got in his way, but oh my, did he leave me with so little to deal with…my precious orchestrator.

Truth: I do have a 32-Compartment Drawer Organizer, he is my living Lord and if I take the time to go to him daily, sometimes hourly, I will find he will direct my path, keep my life in order and there will be no place for FEMA Hazard Zone markers.

Sure, I go through times when I’m frantically searching for just the right answer.  I pull out all the stops trying to find that solution on my own.  My life becomes out of control, full of fear and questions, overwhelming, a giant heap of a mess.  If I stop, and go to my Organizer, I find, in his perfect time he will show me how to find a place for every thing and a way to keep every thing that truly matters, in its proper place.

For what it's worth,

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.”