There’s that saying…creative mind, messy desk…something like that? Creative person, messy everything…ummmm OK, I made that one up. And it’s no secret that great creative geniuses of the past and present have had immensely messy desks – I even found this really cool article on it and why you should have a messy desk as well, hahaha! It’s titled, 5 Reasons Creative Geniuses Like Einstein, Twain and Zuckerberg Had Messy Desks – And Why You Should Too. And while yes, my desk tends to be messy (I may or may not have been named ‘twister’ by fellow coworkers in the past due to the state of my desk area) I am a creative person and I will stand by that for my desk mess.
But move it into my kitchen and it drives me insane. And as I get older the more clutter the more insane I seem to become. Sometimes it’s just from a lack of hours in the day. Sometimes it’s due to sheer laziness and other times just an overwhelming amount of paperwork volume…or snack volume or just volume period. This happened to us this summer. While prepping and working long hours on our service project I started piling and dumping onto our butcher block sideboard in the kitchen. And when I wasn’t home and someone else cleaned the kitchen they did the same thing. And then we left for vacation…and then school started…and then I couldn’t take it anymore.
I’m not big on buying items to organize but something had to be done! I found some great small organizational bins by MadeSmart at Marshall’s and spent like $15 total to reclaim the inside of these drawers. I had previously been using a utensil tray that didn’t quite fit into the drawer properly so stuff kept sliding under it, creating more mess. Did I mention I bought those containers and added them to the mess for about 3 weeks before I jumped into the project? Yes, just straight up honesty here.
On one of the first cool Saturday’s of the fall season, I decided to bite the bullet and get to work. And what did I find…oh, I found a lot of trash and outdated coupons…I found enough playing cards to start our own small casino…I found more cosmetic items than I wish to share…I found enough pencils, crayons, markers and pens to serve an entire class at a public school….and then I found some sanity!
I started by setting up a station to sort all the objects – I used random bags from the pantry – kids, parents, toys, cards, pens…just set up the bags and get sorting. That way if you don’t completely finish you don’t have the urge to just scoop it into another big pile and continue with the mess you started with. Next I wiped out all the drawers and started laying out the organization cubes. Then I loaded the cubes up with what would be staying in the drawers. I dispersed the bags accordingly to the people the items belonged to and filed all essential paperwork in the proper files in the office. I wiped down the counter and uncovered the three decorative items I have there! I also added a charging station, because I am tired of everyone stealing everyone’s chargers and this way it’s in the kitchen and not in their bedrooms! That sure sounded easier than I felt it was. It was time consuming but well worth the effort. I am happy to report that several weeks in it is still in the organized condition that I left it in when I finished.
For years I have felt the clutter in the house cluttering up my mind and soul. Kind of sounds silly but at the same time it is so true. I have discovered that the small amount of time it takes to put something where it belongs out ways the time it takes to recover from a disaster like we had going in the kitchen. For me it’s become about a peaceful home. I am the same way about noise. Never knew it bothered me until I had a gaggle of kids. Let’s keep it down and keep it simple and neat. But for me it’s not always that easy. In the midst of cooking dinner and helping someone with homework, when someone else brings me something it’s easy to say, “set it over there”. It’s a process and one I am publicly claiming I am working on. Now, onto the basement and garage. May your journey to organizing be fulfilling.