Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Place for Everything,

and after Sunday, everything is in it's place.

In a classic case of doing the "too much" I was warned not to do by my doctor, I cleaned and reorganized ALL of our closets on Sunday. Did you know we have 9 closets? We do! And now they are beautiful.

It all started because I spent Saturday morning going through Landon's old clothes to put into the new girly Ikea bins in the baby's room (we used the Trofast system instead of buying a real dresser for Landon's nursery in Chicago because we didn't have any money and I wanted to add as much color as possible to our white walled room, and we're continuing to use them because I found that bins were great for baby clothes- it's not like you can really fold a onesie, but we did have to spend $22 on new bins because the bright red, blue, and green ones were messing up my beautiful "you are my sunshine" color palette). So, I opened up Landon's "0-3 month" plastic tub of clothes and sorted through all the sleepers and onesies and itty bitty socks. Landon had fun too. Lately he's been obsessed with pictures of babyLandon (one word) and carries the "Landon's First Year" photo book I made on Shutterfly just about everywhere we go. JP went up to check on him one night last week and found him fast asleep with his chubby little cheek stuck to an open page of the book. So he recognized many of his little pj's and liked pointing them out by name. We'll see what happens when he finds the baby wearing them.

After that I decided to take out anything Landon-related from the nursery closet (except old clothes already organized into bins) and move it to the closet of his big boy room. Then I realized JP had a few things in the big boy closet, including a box of valuable baseball he'd thought were lost in the move, so those had to come out (much celebration and a lost hour of him telling me how much they're worth, even though I explained they aren't really worth anything unless you sell them, something I am told will never happen). Then I thought I should look at the things I threw into the guest room closet because one day that will be our little girl's room and she doesn't really need easy access to the Halloween decorations. This snowballed into me crawling back into our closet under the stairs and finding a giant box of stuff I packed from my childhood room before we got married and never opened through all our successive moves. And then I started rummaging through our other downstairs closets to gather up odds and ends that had been stuck in random places when we were unpacking. Soon there were bins, labels, permanent markets, and STUFF everywhere and I was in the midst of it all.

JP, seeing that he could do nothing to help the label-making frenzy I'd whipped myself into, decided to take the dogs and Landon on a long walk through the fields and forest near our house. By the time they returned the sun had set and I was sitting on the couch, in the dark, with a slightly spasming back and a giant, satisfied smile on my face.

Everything we needed to save or would use again in the foreseeable future had been placed into neatly labeled bins. Everything else was in a giant Goodwill pile in the kitchen. It was such fun going through most of it. I had several memory boxes spread around the house- one from college, dominated by love letters and other evidence of my courtship with JP, another from high school, filled with swimming ribbons and college scholarship letters, and two from the younger years- postcards from elementary school friends, treasures carefully selected and purchased from tourist traps on our many camping trips, and even a letter my grandpa wrote to me when I was in preschool.

It brought home again how important it is to commemorate the big events in my kid's lives. My parents were really, really good about that. I have the card my mom made me the morning of high school swim try-outs (a blue piece of construction paper with pinking-sheared edges, signed by each member of my family), the letter my mom and dad wrote to me the night before my first state swim meet, the "menu" for the fancy, four course dinner they hosted in our dining room for me and my friends when I turned 12. I'm so glad to have all those things safely packed in a plastic bin under my stairs and I look forward to a leisurely day in my retirement when I can go back through them and cry happy tears.

But for right now I'm taking it easy (my back is better as I've forced myself into flat shoes for the past two days) and resting securely in the knowledge that when I want to decorate for Easter I can open the closet, pull out the "Easter decor" bin, and proceed to bunnify the kitchen. I believe this is called nesting, but I'm not sure my post-organization high would be any different if I wasn't pregnant. I think it goes back to my love of cubbies in kindergarten- it's so delightful when every little object is in it's properly labeled home.


  1. I speak Swedish (I know you are 1/2 Swedish, but I don't remember if you speak the language or not), and I always find IKEA names oddly satisfying. I love walking through the store and doing the translations in my head (trofast=faithful).

  2. I remember those menus from your Mystery birthday dinner! So fun!

  3. Marianne, to my grandparents' great disappointment I don't speak any Swedish. I'd previously assumed that the collections were named after the designer or something like that, I love that it's just Swedish words. Do they correlate at all with what the item actually is?

    And Pete, that was probably my favorite birthday party and I loved finding out that I still have a menu and a few pictures from the grand affair :)

  4. If you ever get bored practicing law, you could always start a business going in and organizing peoples' homes. I would pay for that. I LOVE organization, but don't have the patience to go through everything like that.

  5. Yeah, and I will be your first customer!

    I was just involved in bidding on a federal gov't contract (which was pretty cool and a definite learning process) but it made me realize that if we are successful (please, God!) I need to do a major re-organization of my home office - or what passes for one. Actually that presupposes it's ever been organized in the first place, which is a doubtful proposition at best. I am so not an organized person.

    People like you amaze me, although I must admit there is an element of sitting back and looking in wonder and disblief at a different type of organism. Dare I touch it? Does it bite? :D

  6. Sorta unrelated to this post. Although, you were organizing for the new baby. I came across this teether and immediately thought of you, or more so, JP and how he would likely think this was a necessity. ;)


  7. About half of the IKEA items are Swedish names/places, but the rest are usually descriptive of the item itself.