Are you familiar with the term ‘White Elephant’? Generally speaking, white elephant represents something you have in your possession that you would like to toss in the trash; however, for some reason, you feel a sense of obligation and you hold on to the item you do not want.
White Elephant gift exchanges are gatherings where you are encouraged to bring the above described item and (with the absence of guilt) pass it along to someone else. Even better, you return home with an item someone else deemed worth tossing but you deemed worth keeping. Read more
Today, I am going to share my thoughts with you, as well as what is in my junk drawer and what is behind door number one and door number two. Yes, today I risk sharing too much, though perhaps I crossed that line long ago. I have such a hard time focusing on one thing at a time, and my busy mind is starting to prevent me from falling asleep easily. On the surface, I like to have things organized and tidy. I do not like having clutter around the house, in my car on my desk, etc. Nor do I like clutter in my head, yet it my head seems to be a permanent residence for clutter. If you were to come to my house on any given day, you would find a relatively clean house. Wait a minute. I just looked around me, and well – I do see some clutter. UGH! Looks like I have even more tasks to tackle today. *sigh* I digress.
Generally speaking, the surfaces in our house are cleared of clutter. Because we have two dogs, you would be hard pressed to come to our house and not find clumps of dog hair on the floor or dust on the mantel, etc. I try to vacuum the house every week, and I try to dust the house and clean the bathrooms at least once a month. I don’t clean windows, nor do I mop our vinyl floor. My husband will mop the floor approximately twice a year, which I appreciate. Based on my cleaning efforts, our house is – as I said – relatively clean. However, there are a few places in this house where I fail miserably on lack of clutter and organization. And today, I have decided to come out of the closet. Though cleaning and organizing the closet is a better use of my time.
I submit to you my first example of a chaos and clutter: our junk closet. This closet is in our dinning room/kitchen area. We keep the dog food bin [not pictured] in this closet, as well as bags, batteries, paper products, broken toys, old phones, candles, etc. I have tried organizing this closet on two separate occasions: while nesting during my first pregnancy and during a PMS surge of frustration caused by the clutter. Evidence of the prior organization attempts is no longer – well – evident. I have given in to my junk closet, as now I simply try to keep things relatively easy to find, when needed. And, I am thankful for the fact that the junk closet has a door, making it easy to ignore the chaos and clutter.
Next, I submit to you my second example of my poor organizational skills: our linen closet. What a mess, eh? And, by mess, I am referring to the way the items are literally stuffed in the closet. Sometimes, I will close the door in an effort to stuff the items more firmly in place. Much like an overstuffed car trunk or suitcase, which requires you sit on top of it to close, our linen closet needs an extra push to close completely. What bothers me most is the fact that much of what is in the linen closet is no longer needed or used. I could easily take the blankets and sheets to Goodwill or MUST, so those who need these items can have these items. Why don’t I clean out the closet? Well, I have tried. Some of the blankets have emotional ties, and I can’t help but wonder, “What if I need these sheets one day?” It’s ridiculous. Some of the linens in the closet haven’t been used in over a year. I highly doubt I will ever ‘need’ much of what clogs the closet.
Oh, and if you look closely, you will see Kyle from South Park. (Second shelf going down, by the yellow sheets, face down.) One of my siblings gave me all four characters of South Park for Christmas several years ago. Why do I still have these stuffed characters? I haven’t a clue. Maybe I think they will be worth something one day. I can see it now, I’ll bring them to the Antiques Roadshow and gasp in amazement, as they inform me the four South Park characters are worth half a million dollars. Wow. What a moment. Yes, I most certainly should keep those four characters. My husband and I are going to be rich! Or not.
The closets and junk drawer give us a place to hide things. We are able to keep various items we believe we will need one day, but we can keep them in a place that doesn’t interfere with our day to day living. Well, the junk closet is opened daily at our house, when we feed the dogs. Our dogs are great companions, so I’ll accept the chaos of that closet for the sake of the pooches. So, although the outside may appear nice and neat, with tidy counter tops, table tops and mantels, what is in the closet may tell an entirely different story. And, if we actually took time to go through the junk drawers and closets, I am certain we would find more junk than anything else. Why is it we hold on to junk? The junk doesn’t just fill our drawers and closets, it fills our minds. Throughout my day, I have thoughts in my head that do nothing but create chaos and clutter. Typically, the chaos and clutter comes from thoughts of insecurity, paranoia, anger, frustration, etc. In an effort to shut out these negative thoughts, I might turn to food. And, just like an extra push is needed to close our overstuffed linen closet, I become overstuffed with food and need an extra tug when trying to fasten my jeans.
When I was in elementary school, one of my teachers gave us grades based on how clean we kept our desks. She would go around on a weekly basis, checking to see if our desks were neat and organized. She made the comment that she could tell a great deal about a person based on how tidy a person kept his/her desk. Her comment stuck with me, and I always made sure my desk was organized and clean. Even as a kid, though, I thought the joke was on my teacher. If she ever came home with me and checked my dresser drawers or closet, she would be appalled. I knew how to give an appearance of organization and neatness, but I lived a life of chaos and clutter behind closed doors. Nowadays, my dresser drawers and clothes closet are in better shape. Still, I have a great deal of work with regards to the junk drawer and closets, which is apparent in the pictures I shared. And, I have work to do regarding the clutter and chaos in my head. Perhaps, if I start working on one, the others will follow naturally. Stick around, ‘after’ pictures could be right around the corner.