Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Surface Abusers Anonymous

Hi. My name is Leslie and I'm a Surface Abuser.

At least, that's what my sister has been telling me. Apparently, for most people, counter tops and tables aren't meant to be covered in an assortment of random crap.

The last few days around here have been a flurry of label makers and drawer organizers and trips to Goodwill. Because Kristin has a mission. She is going to get my house in order if it kills her. And my apologies in advance to all her other loved ones, because we haven't even looked in my linen closet yet, and there's a very real possibility that her head will explode.

It started innocently enough on Sunday evening. Kristin is staying with us for a couple of days, and as she was helping me out by cleaning up in the kitchen after our Father's Day meal, she looks up all casual-like and says, "You know, I could help you get some stuff organized in here if you want." And I start stammering and getting all sweaty, because I know, I know, that it needs to be done and that I long for a beautiful, mess-free house. But I also know what the insides of all my closets and cupboards look like and just how much work getting "some stuff" organized will entail.

And just as I'm about to be all "Nah, let's just have some fun while you're here," Mike practically leaps off the couch and falls to his knees in front of Kristin and pleads with her to please, please, pretty please help me. [Okay, I might be exaggerating slightly about this part. But you get the point, right? Mike really wants our house to be a *little* neater.]

So before I really have a chance to protest, we're literally elbow deep in all the contents of my kitchen cabinets. The funny part is, even though I know my organizational skills are severely lacking, I still kind of thought I was doing an okay job. But then my genius of a sister starts pointing out how much cupboard space I'm wasting (prime real estate, as she calls it) and looking at expiration dates on pantry items. Enchilada sauce from 2007, anyone?

A few garbage bags and one giant restructuring later, my kitchen is suddenly much more manageable. The kosher salt that I use every single day while I'm cooking? No longer kept in the far back corner of the cabinet where it's a pain to reach and annoying to put away (which meant that it more often than not just sat out on the counter). Now it's front and center and super easy to find. And my condolences to the Corningware that gets used pretty much only at Thanksgiving. Instead of taking up all that valuable space (ahem, prime real estate) in the corner cupboard, it's been relegated to a bottom shelf. The organizing world can be cold and cruel, but sometimes you have to do things you don't like so that you don't feel like screaming every time you try to put something away.

This is a work in progress. But the word I should be stressing here is progress, because - and I don't want to get ahead of myself and proclaim to the entire world that I'm now a neat freak - I think that maybe, just maybe, I'm making some.

We shall see. We're far from being done, and right now I should be working on the "homework" Kristin left for me while she is at the gym and Anna is sleeping. I know for a fact that there are quite a few surfaces that are still being really, really abused.

To be continued...


  1. Hmm I feel like we tried this once before (but on a much smaller scale). Tell Kristin its a fruitless endeavor, but good luck anyway! AK

  2. hmmm what did you think of my apt last weekend? Maybe I need a Kristin in my life! --- Caitlin

  3. Sometimes the easiest things are easiest to procrastinate. Mike probably jumped of the couch because you also had meat pie for dinner!

  4. I'm sure Mike was in the garage, mowing the lawn, or kettle bell-ing (?) and not on the couch... Ha.