The order of things

There is something about February that makes me crave order and organization. It is perhaps the chaos outdoors, one minute it is snowing like the dickens, the next minute it is sunshine-blue sky-birds are singing-eaves are dripping. I never know what to wear! Anyhow, as always I feel a yen for organizing, renovating, garden-planning and all that jazz (again I ask, does anyone say “all that jazz” other than me?) I get on that damn Pinterest and I can’t get off. What is it about that site?? It just feeds into every organizational urge I’ve got. For those of you who have thus far not gotten pinned to Pinterest, it is an ever-changing website for creating virtual bulletin boards where you “pin” things you see that appeal, or make you laugh, or drool, or whatever.

OH! I need a board for home reno ideas. Ah, yes, I must have one for recipes so I will remember those drool-inducing oreo pops. And of course there’s the pinboard for little girl birthday parties (didn’t get far with that one). And for the dream garden with the gorgeous gardens of Provence outdoor dining scene which I am SO sure I can reproduce in my backyard WITH mosquitoes. Then there is the brag board depicting all the places in the world I have been, and perhaps all the places I dream of going once I am wealthy and retired. Ha! Of course, there is a pinboard dedicated to crafts, and organizational ideas that would be a snap to incorporate into our busy everyday lives, and, and, and… goes on. Three hours later I wrench my parched self away from the computer screen, drag my now-asleep behind out of the chair and go to bed, my eyes bleary from squinting at everyone else’s pins to see if I missed anything. I love it. I hate it.

I am not naturally organized, believe it or not. I need the pinboards. I have become a whiz at making to-do lists, and writing it down really does help me to focus on what I need to do. Plus it makes me gain momentum on the list when I get that satisfaction of crossing even one thing off. Now that we have a child in school, we find that we desperately needed some central location for notes from school, lunch orders, book orders, calendars, homework and all the rest. I had a dream of a little desk just for me. When my birthday rolled round, along with a little birthday gift cash, I agonized over whether to spend the money on the much-coveted e-reader with the lovely lilac cover or to purchase some kind of desk. This is what I ended up with…

Mom Central Station

This sweet little number was a find at one of our fab local antique shops. I decided that the desk would be more of a meaningful gift to myself than the e-reader… really, I can read a real book instead, and do it while sitting at this dear spot. I put up a (real-life) bulletin board to keep all of our school notes, forms and miscellaneous bits of random but incredibly important paper that always seem to be floating around. The ribbon board had been sitting in its wrapper on the closet floor for about a year, so it finally got put to use for some of the hundreds of photographs we take and never frame.

In the early morning I like to tiptoe downstairs before anyone else, make a cup of steaming hot tea and just sit here. I look at the photographs, review the calendar to see what’s up this week, and make lists, which is another way of daydreaming as well as planning. Soon I am going to add a stack of garden catalogues to the drawer, as another perfect way to while away a few quiet moments of winter.

Upcycled soup can with felted wool cover

To corral pens and pencils which always seem to disappear anyhow, I upcycled a soup can by sewing a simple sleeve from a leftover bit of felted wool sweater that I embellished with a rosette. Tie a ribbon and ta-daaa! The can transforms into eco-chic desk accessory.

I dream of having a sleek new laptop there, but in the meantime I will make do with pen and paper, as long as they look pretty. It really is the little things that bring me pleasure.

I will never have a wrapping room, our craft table is always in complete and utterly glorious disarray, and sometimes laundry sits around clean but unfolded for days, but this small corner of the house is a place that has order. Everyone should carve out such a place for herself.

There are some fantastic websites and blogs for organizational ideas, Pinterest aside. Without being too precious, sites like Simple Mom offer really good tools for organizing everything from grocery lists to budgets, chore charts to (ack!) cleaning lists. This year I am definitely jumping onboard with their Project Simplify…check it out at Every week they will focus on one area of the home to declutter, purge and whip into shape, and challenge everyone else to join the fun. I figure perhaps the group mentality might be just the push I need to clean out my closet and give up that blouse I bought four years ago and never EVER wore. Join us! We must organize.

It's actually not usually this tidy.


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