The junk drawer

October 18th, 2007

How the search for a hammer can lead to a life of unmitigated suffering, or Look How Far We’ll Go to Stay in the Same Trouble We’re In:

Hammer – Last Sunday we went looking for a hammer to hang Halloween decorations. The hammer was last seen in our bottomless kitchen junk drawer. 16 oz. claw hammer with fiberglass handle $6.89 at Staples.

Storage Chest – A sturdy 4-drawer storage chest seems like it would solve our junk problem. $39.99 at The Container Store.

Container Store – Thirty-nine stores each with more than 10,000 products devoted to helping people simplify their lives. Projected 2007 sales of more than $600 million. Guess one storage chest is never simple enough.

Self Storage – At $22.6 billion in revenue each year, the self-storage business is the fastest-growing real estate segment in the US and perhaps the fastest-growing industry overall. This country now has 60,000 self-storage facilities totaling 2.2 billion square feet of space. Shoulder-to-shoulder, all 300 million Americans could fit inside these handy self-storage units now ranging across our homeland. But then, where would we put our stuff?

FlyLady – Looks like we have some de-cluttering to do! This online champion of household organization and tidiness sells $4 million a year in books, kitchen timers, license plate holders, ostrich-feather dusters, calendars, mouse pads, T-shirts, tote bags, sink stoppers, water bottles, and lapel pins. She does this by sending up to 15 emails each day to her flock of 400,000 subscribers reminding them to get out of bed, get dressed, make their beds, clean their sinks, cook dinner and buy more stuff. So much to do.

Get Things Done – This guru du jour has created the GTD® System for sorting excess stuff like paper, things, worries, thoughts and those hundreds of unwanted emails flooding your inbox every day. His sold-out, $600 per day seminars reveal the inner workings of his complex “decide-not-to-decide” system that includes a 20-point flowchart on how to process your thoughts so that you can free yourself from thinking.

Now do you know what to do with the hammer?

Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up the week and throw it away for good.


  1. Wow… I didn’t realize that there was so much that went into the organization industry. Perhaps I need to familiarize myself a bit more with it. 😉

    Comment by Karen Beth — October 18, 2007 @ 6:23 pm

  2. Or not.

    Comment by Karen — October 18, 2007 @ 7:57 pm

  3. Sometimes the big mega home storage stores and glossy pages of the magazines that give you steps for the perfect “system” feel like organizational porn. Perhaps an initial rush and excitement, a titillation in viewing the wares. But then you realize that the realize that the real deal is just that: real. For example, for reasons unknown to me my son refuses to place his shoes in the nifty storage bin purchased for just this purpose. My husband has yet to make use of the closet organizer I was kind enough to install. And I, (what? Who, me?)must accept that I have more fun organizing than I do living organized.
    Now I’m off to consider how I too might make a buck selling my formulas and boxes dressed up as necessity.

    Comment by bella — October 18, 2007 @ 8:34 pm

  4. If I label the “decide not to decide” system crap, will that free me from thinking as well? Geez!

    Comment by Mama Zen — October 19, 2007 @ 3:06 am

  5. Those catalogs from gurus and specialty stores are organization porn. Whee!

    Remember the George Carlin routine? It’s the classic on a place for your stuff.

    Comment by kathryn — October 19, 2007 @ 3:36 am

  6. Wow. Guess there are perks to living in smaller cities without They are coming though, they are coming.

    Comment by denise — October 19, 2007 @ 6:03 am

  7. I took this literally and went for a peek into my junk drawers. We have 3, and I’ve been meaning to clean ’em.

    I pulled all the stuff out of each drawer and took photos (mostly cause thats a funny thing to record). Apparently I have 2 hammers in one drawer. That might be where yours went.

    And the funny thing is, everyone’s junk drawers are different.

    I did do the FlyLady thing for awhile. I was pretty clouded with depression, close to losing my marriage because I was so messed up… I needed to learn how to get some sort of schedule in my life. It helped me. The act of putting my shoes on really did make me feel good. The one thing I bought from her was a calender. Her’s had HUGE squares with no photos… it was my dream come true.

    Comment by Momma_Phoenix — October 21, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

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