I apologized to the photo lady at Costco today because I have been in there no less than half a dozen times in the last four days to pick up pictures.
"If I were really organized, I would have just sent in one nice big order instead of all these tiny orders."
She shrugged. "Being organized is overrated."
And oddly enough, I felt better. That's why we go to Costco. For photos, for cheap lunches, and for a little bit of philosophy (fortunately, that last bit is free, which is good since it's darn near impossible to escape that store without spending more money than you planned on spending...but I digress).
So being organized is overrated, but that hasn't stopped me from spending nearly every waking moment of the last few weeks going through the house and trying to get stuff in order. It started with me having one of those light bulb moments about our coat closet. There I was, sitting on the couch, nursing Julianne, looking at a magazine article about Valentine's cookies, when suddenly it dawned on me. Our coat closet could be our office. Measuring 5' x 4', it's spacious enough. It's centrally located. It has shelves. It has a trap-door to the crawl space where we could bring up the wires for the computer.
I found everything I needed at The Container Store, and waited for Jason to come home to tell him the great news. I can't tell you how giddy I was. No less giddy than if I had discovered our house had a second floor. What? There's more space in our house? Eeek!
Jason came home. I pounced on him (not literally, or not quite literally). He said, "Where do we put the coats?"
OHHH! THE COATS!
And so--quite rationally--I broke down crying. My plans were ruined.
Okay, not ruined. But had to be tweaked. Even though the coats could be moved to the garage, Jason was not in favor of that idea (him: "It'll clutter up my garage"; me: "And I guess our coats will be cold when we put them on"). Also, we happen to store folding chairs in our coat closet which also cannot be moved since the shed they used to be stored in developed a leak when the roof caved in from snow. However, the filing cabinet from our bedroom could still be moved into the closet, as well as some other office-y things.
Once the filing cabinet was moved, I was inspired to move the office desk out of our bedroom as well (and into our spare room that we usually rent out). So after cutting a few holes, we were able to convert a bookcase into a mini-office station. Then I wanted to get rid of the other filing cabinet in our room that I had been using as a nightstand, so as a cheap alternative to buying new nightstands, we got nice wood TV trays that work perfectly.
When Sydney saw the new arrangement in our bedroom (that is, sans huge desk and filing cabinets) she exclaimed, "Look at all this space! I love it!"
It's nice to feel validated. Even from a toddler.
Since I was already in the mood of getting rid of things, I went through the closets and got rid of lots more. Lucky for me. And lucky for Goodwill.
Eventually, the spirit of organization took over my little red head, and I decided to update all our framed photos, a task which ended up involving me buying new frames for the hallway.
All the picture organization stuff is what led me to Costco multiple times, and also prevented me from writing too much here because I was using all my computer time cropping photos. Let me tell you, it took serious discipline to keep my little blogaroo from turning into a photo blog because all I wanted to do was post pictures and not write anything. Well, here's one of my favorites anyway:
In the end, I would say that this whole organization thing has gotten a bit out of control (something tells me I might have thrown away something important), but it still feels oh so good to get it done. It has actually made my February rather enjoyable because I feel like I'm getting a head start on spring cleaning.
Being organized makes my life simpler, or rather makes my environment simpler. And sometimes, in the midst of the chaos of real life, that's the best we can hold onto. This past week has brought us sad and difficult news from some close friends of ours, and unable to do much except pray, I have turned to organizing my file cabinets, my closet, my junk drawers, my books. Emotionally, Jason and I are reeling; visually, our DVDs are alphabetized.
At the end of the day, the coat closet essentially has remained a coat closet. But that's okay.