I'm not a hoarder. Really, I'm not. There are neither unopened boxes of crap purchased on eBay crowding my hallways and creating a fire hazard nor food in my fridge that looks a like a junior high science experiment gone awry. I am guilty, however, of finding twenty four boxes of jell-o in my cabinets. I blame the jell-o infestation on one simple problem: there is no pantry in my house.
IMHO, this would be a much better use of jell-o...
How does one buy a house without a pantry? Easy. The house is chosen before completion and two first time home buyers ASSume that there will be a pantry somewhere in their shiny new abode. Alas, on move-in day, the question was finally asked. "Hey, Honey, where is the pantry?" Sadly, there wasn't one to be found.
Sooooo, fast forward quite a few years and two rug-rats later and the pantry-less kitchen is in utter chaos. Said chaos has spilled over to nearly every other part of the house. There is no rhyme or reason to where anything is stored and grocery planning is a complete nightmare. Hence the existence of the abominable jell-o stash.
It was at this point that I realized I had to seek expert advice. I needed divine intervention or the services of a certified domestic engineer Since neither the great and powerful Oz nor Martha Stewart were available, I sought help from the next best thing: my BFF, MBG, hater of clutter and purger extraordinaire. The date was set and the countdown began. Spurred on by the impending arrival of my own personal disorder exterminator, I first tackled my laundry room and master bedroom closet. I became great friends with the collection lady at my neighborhood Goodwill after bringing no less than sixteen garbage bags and four giant re-purposed amazon.com boxes of stuff. I considered it like preparing for a 5k. Or the Sugar Bowl. Maybe even an epic battle. I had to be ready when my trainer/coach/master sergeant arrived.
The big day arrived, which just so happened to coincide with Black Friday. I cut my shopping day short and went home before lunch to take a power nap.
When MBG and her crew arrived, my little devil dragged her little angels into the playroom and the great re-org of 2011 began in ernest. Every single thing was emptied from every cabinet in the kitchen, the hall closet and the old TV armoire which had been doing duty as additional kitchen storage. My shiny new iMac was waiting in the wings for its new home in the living room. Under the direction of MBG, like items were grouped together and inventory was taken. Actually, it was more like re-direction and more re-direction as my ADD meds had long since worn off. Luckily, MBG has lots and lots of experience dealing with those of us who need that type of assistance ;).
About 20% of the stuff pulled from the armoire.
Work in progress...
We called in reinforcements in the form of my husband being dispatched to my favorite pizza joint for sustenance. With full bellies and plans in mind, we took a quick trip to Target for supplies and then the real fun began. In the words of the late great Ben Franklin: "A place for everything, everything in its place."
Bakeware and small appliances were all re-located to the hall closet just off the kitchen. Canned goods, which had formerly been in three different places were put all together in the can racks in the utility room. Seldom used party ware and serving pieces were placed in sealed bins and relegated to the new black Friday special shelves in the garage. Coffee, tea and their accoutrements together in one cabinet, food in three others, all the pots and pans in the two next to the stove and finally drink ware and plates/bowls in the top two near the microwave. My favorite part? I finally had a good home for my at-home coffee bar.
Why, yes, you do want to have coffee at my house!
It was only 3 AM. And definitely time for wine.
I wanted to kill, or maybe just severely main, my not-so-dear husband when he wandered into the kitchen for breakfast and said "3 AM, really? Nothing looks different."
Fortunately for him, he avoided certain death as he recognized the scary-as-all-hell look on my face and tone of my voice when I suggested that he look in the armoire and cabinets. This time, he had the right answer and heaped mounds of praise upon me and MBG for being the answer to his prayers and making our kitchen the epitome of domestic bliss (or something veeerryyy close to that).
Well, it's been three months since the intervention, and I am happy to say that I have not relapsed. I have even cleaned out my office/overflow junk room and put a treadmill in there to help me get ready for my first 5k!
All hail MGB, my personal domestic goddess and queen of organization!
Now, if I can only bribe her into taking on my kids' closets...