Monday, July 15, 2013

Nicely in it's Place.

I love when things fit nicely within a dedicated space.*   There is a calming comfort to opening a cupboard and knowing exactly what is in there and where it is. Generally there is reason behind placement and, if given the chance to explain, it makes logical sense.

Moving and relocating all your possessions, then, causes a great deal of anxiety. This is occurring in stages, spread much, much too far apart. We are living in a 2 ½ bedroom house with ample living space yet our only personal items here are what we took with us on the plane. Yes, we have borrowed furniture and kitchen supplies, and we've purchased small necessities needed for everyday life, but our clothing and small electronics have remained the same. Our “express” shipment of kitchen and bedding items is delayed past it's thirty-day required delivery – it was packed up almost six weeks ago – with no expected time of arrival yet. Our remaining household goods have a delivery estimate of mid September, approximately ten weeks from now. That's seventy changes of underwear away and I'm already bored with the ten I packed.

Anyway, the good part (that I'm trying real hard to focus on) is that I have opportunity between shipments to organize what we have and prepare for the rest. The difficulties are remembering what we chose to bring here and what we left for storage, and then not needlessly spending money on organizing supplies we already own or that we won't end up using. So in the meantime, I get creative.

Today I made junk drawer organizers from empty food boxes. My Grandparents did this, my Mom does it and I carry on the frugal tradition. And it's fun. I originally intended these for my bathroom cupboard because I am aggravated with my personal care items sitting haphazardly on the shelves. Every time I pull my tweezers from the zippered pouch it topples over on it's side and knocks down my deodorant. Every time. Why do they make deodorant containers so top-heavy anyway? Just thinking about the mess makes me want to stop writing and go fix it but I haven't decided on exactly how I want to organize it yet. And also, I saw some great storage containers at Daiso (a 100 yen store, like the Dollar Tree but way better) and I'm trying to convince myself that I can make something better even though I'm not sure I have the supplies in my recycling box.

I used my husband's empty cereal box and an empty stick butter box, but I also have an empty Kashi cereal box too. I'm fishing for something more sturdy for my bathroom items though.  By the way, this junk drawer will not stay this neat.  Once our "junk drawer box" arrives it will be dumped in and haphazardly arranged in a semi-organized fashion, otherwise it wouldn't be junk drawer but a supply drawer.

Another creative storage solution I discovered recently stemmed from not having my food storage containers, like Gladware, that I use constantly. I only bought a package of medium and large after moving because I have so many coming -- eventually. Last week I made a delicious tartar sauce with mayonnaise, smashed capers and red wine vinegar. I used one of our two (borrowed) bowls to make it in and store it but that left us with one bowl to share and, since we both eat cereal in the morning, I needed something else. So the following night when I used half a tofu package it left me with two perfect condiment-sized containers. Of course they don't have sealing lids but plastic wrap works just fine. By the way, the tartar sauce makes a great dip for vegetables.

On the same topic of things fitting nicely in place, I have three photos demonstrating the idea in completely different ways.

First, storage under chairs at restaurants! Hello, America – this is a great idea. I have seen this at a few places here and it's incredibly convenient for purses, bags and umbrellas, all of which people carry here all the time, everywhere.

Second, word puzzles. This is a fill-in which greatly satisfies my need to put things neatly in boxes with nothing left over. It's very enjoyable. 

WARNING: If you don't like spiders then you may want to either prepare yourself or stop now. It's not horribly frightening, like hairy legs or bulbous body, but something interesting I've never seen before.

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Last, a spider camouflaging neatly in it's web. I looked at this pretty close until I realized what it was. Then I stepped back, took a photo, and heavily cropped it to get a better look. That's why the photo quality is noticeably worse than an average cell phone photo.

*In my case, this trait, commonly referred to as “being OCD”, stems from my anxiety rather than being a full-blown, diagnosed case of the disorder. Link: NIH: Whatis OCD 

(These photos were taken with an iPhone and are by no means intended to be "real" photos, just snapshots of where I was and what I saw.)

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