I love organization. I’m not sure if it helps or hurts that I have a compulsive organizational purchasing addiction… but I’m starting to believe it might be the latter.
My main goal this weekend was to finish unpacking and organizing my house to reinstate my sanity, and hopefully reduce my overall sense of anxiety. The big things are always easy to get set up – furniture, TVs, books….major and limited quantity items (including all things kitchen). They get packed most systematically, and are easy to unpack — giving the first senses of home in a new and strange place. It’s the little stuff – like ALL the clothes and jewelry – that linger causing complete and total chaos when I can’t find what I’m looking for.
Somewhere along the way I began compulsively buying organizational bins, organizers, hangers, milk crates, office supplies, and pretty much anything that can hold many smaller things, or breed the idea that if you own them, things will magically be organized and minimalistic. I own no less than about 20 Ball Jars, and I don’t really know why.
Friday night was the start to my weekend of re-org, and despite not having a hammer to hang my wall art, I still managed to get the ball rolling with some minor furniture moving and office file thinning. A productive start. By Saturday afternoon I was in full neurotic force. Drawers were pulled out, corners were vacuumed, papers and all the ‘non-essential’ items were thrown out. Empowered with my sense of increasing accomplishment, I made a list of other errands I’ve been putting off — which included finally picking out new glasses, and making some returns. A great plan — until I realized that one of the items was actually from HomeGoods, the perpetual black hole for my existence and the source of my growing addiction. I’m pretty sure if there were a HomeGoods loyalty program I would hold platinum VIP status — but there’s not, so I’m more likely to end up in HomeGoods anonymous (or living on the street in a ‘reclaimed’ fort made of bins and milk crates).
Once I walk through the doors I lose complete sense of time, space, and all things rational. I know it’s wrong, but I just can’t help myself. Do I need another cutting board? No, but what if someday I do? More file boxes? I mean, it is tax season; I’m certain that somehow they would actually end up saving me money. And pillows? Don’t get me started on pillows. After 5 minutes I was nearly comatose, slowly and numbly walking down the isles, mentally fitting all of my things into new organizational structures and re-setting the general color scheme of my life. And then it happened.
My phone went off, bringing me back to the full reality that it was 6pm on a Saturday and I was buying bins. I stared at my phone in disbelief for about ten seconds, and then, as if out of a movie, I made a grown-up (that’s stretching it) and rational decision to let go of the cart and walk away. I walked out of HomeGoods without putting anything in my cart – not a thing. It was both liberating and terrifying. As I walked (read: ran) out the door I knew I had to keep moving forward – blinders on.
The ladies of craft night had come together to celebrate a birthday – a plan that I had somehow forgotten amidst my organizational craze, and I was going to be late. I became fully aware of how badly I needed to interact with other human beings, away from responsibility, work, and anything more serious than college basketball and laughter filled stories about life’s little ironies.
Granted, we were only out for a couple of hours, and god knows I can’t stay out for any period of time after the double digits, but we had a few good drinks and a lot of great conversation. Not everything can be planned and organized into bins — ‘everything’ being life, and all of the good, bad, and funny that it includes. I needed these drinks to save me from HomeGoods, a night of compulsive closet-organization, and most of all, from myself. And it worked.
Today I was able to pick up where I left off, sans HomeGoods, and made some serious progress with my to-do list. I still have more to do, but I’m not going to sweat it. I don’t need any more bins or random house wares, just a few focused hours to finish things off, and a good number of breaks with friends and laughter to remind me what’s really important when I forget.