I wasn't born with an obsession to organize, it kind of found me.
It’s been years since I moved out and my Mama is still shocked that I have a thing about organization. I’m still shocked that she thinks I would remain that 13-year-old brat forever. We’ve both had to adjust to our new realities. She knows that she can’t leave a cup unattended at my house too long or it disappears into the dishwasher, and I’ve accepted that what she sees as brattiness is just mislabeled Divahood.
My Organization – How It Began
As in the course of all things, my organization journey began when I moved out. It’s amazing how organized you will become when you have to pick up after yourself and you don’t have a little sister to blame. Then there’s the other stuff; Landlords who don’t respond well to excuses of forgetfulness. Cars that actually require action on your part when the oil thingy lights up. And Professors who expect term papers on time….that sort of thing.
Then there was getting a job, getting married, having children….having a life. All this stuff required some organizational skills on my part. But, the biggest game changer came 5 years ago when my young husband was diagnosed with brain tumors, 4 of them to be exact. My whole world become about being organization. But we made it through.
Then a year after his last radiation treatment, he woke up one morning and had lost his sight. We took a little time to have a full-blown meltdown. Then I turned my attention into becoming an Organization Guru overnight.
The Blind Leading The Blind
Wow, did we both have a lot to learn! What immediately became apparent was that we had to be even more organized. My husband had to depend on things being in the same place every time he went to get them. And, did I mention we have children? We had to adjust to the fact that things couldn’t be left out to be stepped on or knocked over. EVERYTHING that he might need during the day while I was at work had to be easily and predictably found.
We learned first hand how frustrating it could be when we each wore a blindfold for a couple of hours. That’s all it took for us to have a better understanding of his new world. But, it was a challenge to our creativity. Because he needed functional stability, I needed beauty, and the kids just wanted to be fed on time. We learned to combine our needs and work like a well maintained Mercedes. We still break down, but we look gorgeous when we do!
How To Marry Function & Style
One of the first things I tackled was the Built-in Hutch in our kitchen. My husband cooks for himself and the rest of the family on occasion, so I was highly motivated that he be able to continue to do so. He also loads and unloads the dishwasher, (again MAJOR motivation on my part!). And I can’t really enjoy the break if I’m constantly being called into the kitchen to find something for him. It interrupts my Dr. McDreamy fantasy hour. And so began the Great China Hutch Project.
My husband has never been one to stray into the world of real food….he’s British, so cereal every day was already his norm. I love glass jars, so it made sense to me to put his cereal in them. They are readily available for him, and I can see when we are running low. The cereal bowls are in the cabinet just above on the lower shelf. If you want to see more pictures of my China Hutch visit my Facebook page.
All he has to do is count the jars from the right, and he knows what’s in them. Silverware is in the Hutch middle drawer with a nice divider. Cooking utensils are in a champagne bucket next to the stove and spices are kept on a set of 3 cake stands in an order he can remember. No matter who is cooking, when something is used it is cleaned and immediately put back. This leads to a practically clean kitchen by the time dinner is served. Habits are a beautiful thing!
The Beauty of Function
It’s actually an amazing thing to watch him cook or even just unload the dishwasher without hesitation. He is my person and, I am his. He lives his life with this fantastic level of grace that I’m not sure I could acquire in the same circumstances. Our lives have changed and, organization will remain a priority at our house. But that never means I have to give up my joy of surrounding us with style.
He no longer cares if he’s eating off a china plate with dainty pink roses, mostly because he doesn’t know, and I don’t care that they have to be stacked in the sideboard on the left side lower shelf. Every time I open that cabinet door, I thank God for the gift I was given…. the chance to live my life with my husband and an organizational nirvana that would make any woman’s heart melt!