Holiday Deconstruction

It’s beginning to look a lot like two days after Christmas.  It was WAY more fun to decorate than it will be to take stuff down and put it away, I know.  This year Boo is not-quite-four, and she was very much a part of things this year.  She has a teensy tree of her own which provided endless entertainment (plus the whole “don’t touch the big tree! you can play with your own ornaments on your own tree” strategy…).  She put the little colored birds on the ceramic light-up tree

Image

Note how all the red birds are together, all the green birds are together, etc. That’s not an accident.

and she totally bought into the whole Santa thing this year.  A good time was had by all

But now it’s time to start taking it all down.  UGH.  Naturally, I have a plan for this.  This morning I pulled all of the bins out of the closet under the stairs.  First up? Candles.  I love me some Christmas flavored candles.  I have one that smells just like peppermint bark and it makes me so happy.  Candles are a big part of the holiday decor, so putting them away first puts a big dent in the whole job.  This is also a good opportunity to throw out any that are done.  You know the ones, right?  They kinda sorta smell like something, but the jar is all sooty and it’s just not nice anymore?  Yeah, that one’s done.  Last year, I threw away all of the heavy glass lids to the candle jars, which was sort of angsty for me,  But they took up space on the counters when the candles were lit, and they made the box too heavy when the candles were put away.  Much better now.

This morning I also took down the stockings and holders, and all of the little Santa doorknob covers and bells and twirly things (what are they called? you light the candles and it makes the windmill thingy spin and it’s lovely?  Yeah, whatever that thing is.).  I washed the Christmas candy dishes and cookie plates and they’ll be ready to put away when they’re dry.

That’s all that’s happened so far.  I’m off this week (and Boo’s at school so let the vacay HAPPEN), so there’s time to do a little every day without being overwhelmed.  I’m cleaning stuff out as I go, too.  Anything that we don’t use or love is OUTTA here.  Some things don’t get put out anymore but they make us happy so they get to stay.  Nothing gets a free ride, though.  We’ve all been through too many drama-filled family holidays, and sometimes just looking at the things that were surrounding us at those times is enough to bring it all back.  As my good friend Sweet Brown says, Ain’t nobody got time for that.

There’s no small amount of relief when the whole holiday season is over, I know.  Yes, it’s fun and full of joy and laughter (or it should be… ) but there’s a lot of pressure to meet expectations.  Christmas cards have to be sent by a certain day or THEY WON’T GET THERE IN TIME!  I ask you this:  in time for what?  Most of my cards were delivered yesterday, and it’s fine,  really.  I didn’t do a lot of baking this year because I don’t really enjoy baking so I leave it to the experts.  The Christmas that we had was the Christmas that we needed, and that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Guest Post–Skillets and Knives

I asked my very good friend Clay to write a guest post.  He and I are of a mind as far as getting organized/achieving contentedness and such.  I thought I’d introduce him to you.  And as I read this, it’s with no small amount of greedy anticipation that I express my thankfulness that he’s hosting my family for Thanksgiving day, and I can’t wait.

You can read more about Clay at the blog written by his dogs, The Buck-White Boys.  Enjoy!

***

My heart skipped a beat the other day when a friend said, “Black Friday is less than a week away!”  The fact that she was more excited about the shopping than the holiday notwithstanding, I realized that Thanksgiving, therefore, is right around the corner.  Which means, at least at our house, it’s time to begin some of our annual traditions.

Every family has holiday traditions, of course – Christmas Eve services, the traditional stuffing recipe, Hanukkah rituals – but there are a whole slew of other annual activities that, for us, really signify the special time of year.  Such as – the annual “pre-Thanksgiving cleaning of the oven.”  Yep, the weekend before the weekend before Thanksgiving, every year, I deep clean the oven from a year’s worth of frozen pizza drips and last-minute casserole spills.

The other big signifier of the impending holidays is the annual sharpening of the knives.  The best culinary advice I ever got – or listened to – was to invest in at least one really good kitchen knife.  Sure you can buy the block sets or cheap ones at a big box store, but a really good quality, well-made kitchen knife is the most important kitchen tool you can have.

And just like any investment, you want to take good care of it.  A well-made knife that is properly cared for will last forever, just about.  After much research I bought the Victorinox (yes, the Swiss Army Knife people) 8-inch chef’s knife.  It has a good balance, a sharp edge and is very well made.  Cook’s Illustrated and several other reviewers named it one of the best knives made.

I also have several other knives – a “junk” set that I use for very general day-to-day stuff, another 10” chef’s knife, an 8” Santoku, etc.  Over time, a knife blade will start to bend and dull.  Regular use of a sharpening steel will help to keep the blade inline but at least once a year, a knife needs to be sharpened.

 

For years I listened to my mother complain about Thanksgiving, “I don’t want to do all that cooking.  Who enjoys that?  It’s never that good. And then you have to clean up.”  I have very few memories of Thanksgiving at home but wonderful memories of the day at friends’ and relative’s houses.  And I loved everything about it – the hustle and bustle, the smells, the mess, the cooking, the noise.  It’s probably my favorite holiday and I love to do all the cooking.  So since I’m going to be doing a lot of chopping and cutting, it just makes sense that this is the time of year to sharpen all the knives.  Kind of like replacing the batteries in a smoke detector at Daylight Saving Time, this way, too, I remember when all the knives were last sharpened.  You can have it professionally done, but good, electric sharpeners that produce great results are not terribly expensive.

My knives live in a very organized drawer because, once sharpened, I want to protect them as much as possible.  My pots and pans, not so much.  Every Thanksgiving there is always at least one day of my sitting on the floor by the cabinet, banging pans together trying to find all the right ones.  There’s usually a dismantling, too, of whatever organizational system I tried last year – I’m still throwing out wadded up coffee filters from the year I thought using those to protect the pans would be a good idea.

There’s one pan I really only use once a year – my great grandmother’s cast iron skillet.  This thing is a treasure.  I’ve said it’s the first thing I’d grab in case of a fire (after the dogs) but it would probably be the last man standing should the house burn down.  Grandma Buck’s cast-iron skillet has been used by generations of Bucks and it just makes me tremendously happy to use it every Thanksgiving.

As a Yankee, however, she would probably shudder to know that I’m using it to make Southern cornbread, but it’s how I honor both sides of the family.  My paternal great grandmother’s pan making my maternal grandmother’s cornbread.

Now, here’s the trick.  Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving, make the cornbread for the stuffing.  It’s a very simple recipe – corn meal, flour, milk, eggs, baking soda (this is not the time to use a mix).  But the first thing to do is to make the sausage for the stuffing, too.  So, in Grandma Buck’s skillet I brown a pound of sausage – full fat, full flavor, don’t skimp here.  Sometimes I use the sage-flavored sausage, but just a good quality sausage will work fine.

While the sausage is browning, mix together the cornbread batter and pre-heat the oven.  Line a Tupperware container with a paper towel and when the sausage is done, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon or strainer.  Yes, you’re trying to leave as much rendered fat in the pan as possible.  DO NOT turn off the burner – you want that iron skillet screaming hot.  And, if you do it right, once you’ve removed the sausage and pour the batter into the skillet it will “seize” and essentially cook the edges of the cornbread.

Oh, and when that cornbread comes out of the oven . . . I can’t tell you how many pre-Thanksgiving mornings I’ve spent over the sink eating that hot cornbread with butter dripping down my fingers and chin.  And that’s the moment, for me, the holidays begin.  The oven is clean, the knives sharpened, we’re ready for the holiday stretch from Thanksgiving to New Year’s and that taste, that smell, that moment of tasting that fresh cornbread with my grandmother’s traditions combined with our new ones is a time I look forward to all year.

The Craft Gene

Ugh.

I am not crafty.  I do not make stuff.  I do not create.  My home is not festooned with things that I have made.  I walk into Michael’s or JoAnn and I wander around like a zombie for twenty minutes and then I just give up and do the DIY Walk Of Shame back to my car, empty handed.  I have no interest in becoming a crafter, either, and I tend to make fun of those who are really into it.  The words “country crap-fest” are a part of my lexicon.

Growing up, this was a source of scorn in my family.  My mom was a serious crafter.  I have three crocheted afghans, an Amish quilt, and countless things she painted  in my home.  Seriously, there was a period of time in the late ’70s when no flat surface went unadorned by yellow glossy paint and orange rick-rack trim.  She put a lot of energy into cultivating this hobby with my sister and me.  Latchhook (omg do you remember latchhook?) rugs and pillows were our summer projects.  She would give me a size K crochet hook (I just had to google the sizing system, and K was the Big Fat one for noobs) and a remnant of yarn (usually in some brown/yellow/orange combination) and patiently sit with me while I painstakingly made three feet of awkward single or, in one blaze of glory, double chain stitches (again, googled to confirm terminology).  My entire body would clench up.  The yarn would be so tight around my hands that the end product appeared to be felted.  Hated. every. minute.

To make matters worse, my sister became a champion crafter.  Her medium was counted cross-stitch, and she became quite a skilled cross-stitcher (is that what it’s called?  I’d ask her but, um, we’re not close…).  When I last crossed the threshold of her home, the decor consisted mainly of her intricately stitched masterpieces (and brass and glass, but it was the 90s and I assume she’s redecorated by now, because really?) and I firmly believe that our coming down on opposite sides of the crafting divide predicated our current distance.  I digress.

Crafting was a big deal going back generations in the family.  When my mom’s grandmother passed away, the embroidery she was working on at the time was lovingly placed, unfinished and with the threaded needle still where she put it last, in the cedar chest.  I have a quilt that my own grandmother and her sister in law sat down and made together.  Stuff like this was how the women in my family expressed themselves.

So every summer, my mom would come across a craft thing (pattern? idea? template? whatever.) and she would make dozens of them and those would be Christmas gifts for everyone we knew.  One year, everybody got these amazing Christmas tree angels that still take my breath away.  And this time of year when I’m starting to put our gifting lists together, I spend at least an hour or so wishing I was crafty so that I could fill my own stupid Pinterest board with my Wonderful Handmade Gifts and ideas.

I have other skills, yes, but when people ask what my hobbies are, I’m kind of stumped.  I love to read.  I watch movies.  I…. um….. I’m actually sitting here trying to come up with more “hobbies”.  I don’t have them.  I don’t have time, and I don’t say that in an attempt to convey how Very Busy I am, because I’m really not so much busier than anybody else, but I’d rather fritter my time away in a quiet corner with a trashy romance novel than making or collecting or whatever it is that hobbyists do.

My daughter is now of the age where she wants to make stuff.  She wants to draw and paint and glue and string beads.

Exhibit A:

Boo and Auntie Shae make a bracelet.

Of note, this picture was taken yesterday at my friend Shae’s fabulous bead shop, Sweet Beads.  Go check it out!  We’ve added this activity to our rotation of Things to Do because Boo sat there for a good thirty minutes, quietly yet enthusiastically stringing beads.  Awesome.

I wish I could teach Boo how to make stuff.  I wish I’d had the patience/interest/ wherewithal to pay better attention when Mom was teaching me how to do this stuff.  In the years since my mom passed, people have given me the things she gave to them (not in a “OH GET THIS OUT OF MY HOUSE” kind of way, either) and that’s why I have 3 Christmas angels and two magazine racks and a crocheted Ernie doll, among other things.  Her summer projects became her legacy.  When I see them, I remember exactly what was going on in the rest of the world when they were being made.  I want to give that sort of memory to Boo.  She helps me bake bread (she can stir like a champ) and we do puzzles but that’s really as far as we’ve gotten.

There’s more to come on this topic.  What do you do with your kids?  Are you crafty (and not in a Beastie Boys way…)?   What are some easy starter projects that maybe we could learn to do together?

What Are Your Five Things?

I like lists of five.  Five things are easy to come up with on just about any topic.  Like, what are the five best movies you’ve ever seen?  Your five favorite pieces of clothing?  Five books you’d need with you on a desert island?  Today, we’re going to consider what the Top Five things that need to be maintained in your home for you to consider it “picked up”.  

(For the record?  1.  Godfather 2, Inception, Memento, Gone With The Wind, the Usual Suspects; 2.  Denim skirt, ratty Washington State sweatshirt from 1993, fabulous Calvin Klein red/black/camel dress from this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary sale, the components of my standard uniform, my mom’s cashmere swing coat with the fur collar; 3.  Harry Potter #7, Pride & Prejudice, The Buccaneers, Neverwhere, …And Ladies Of The Club.)

In all reality, I doubt if any sane person is able to absolutely commit to an ironclad housework schedule.  Calendars aren’t a universal solution.  Nothing, in fact, is a universal solution.  So if you’ve tried any of the million organizing systems in the world and none has worked, you may feel like it’s your fault.  It’s not.  Well, not entirely.  Maybe you just need to re-examine your approach.

You’ve heard of the phrase “can’t see the forest for the trees”?  This means that you’re so fixated on the details, the minutiae, the micro-ness of the situation that you lose sight of the bigger picture.  It goes both ways, you know.  It’s also very possible to see only the forest, only the whole, none of the parts.  Neither is ideal, and changing your perspective is what resolves this trees/forest situation.  So maybe you’re looking at your situation from way too far away when you rely on a calendar.

Instead of “what do I need to clean today?”, how about looking at it as “what’s my path of least resistance?”  It can be an entire room (like, “clean bathrooms”) or an area (“kitchen counter”) or a task (“laundry”).  At our house, laundry and dirty dishes clog up the entire place when they’re left undone.  What about you?  What are the five quick jobs that, if dealt with regularly, make the rest of your home seem easier to manage?

Get off the couch.

I think the hardest part of Getting A Grip is figuring out how to keep that grip.  It starts out like a New Year’s Resolution:  Oh YEAH I’m gonna get on top of this mess, and I’ll get rid of all that stuff and I’ll cook dinner using locally sourced ingredients every night and I’ll have fresh flowers on the table and the house is going to be no more than five minutes from clean at any time.  And you do it.  You get a routine in place (need one?  Email me.  I’ll help you put one together) and for one month or three months or six months you just kill it.  Everything happens as you hope it will and you have a smile on your face.

One day it stops.  I have clean dishes in the dishwasher and dry clothes in the dryer, and I’d think, “eh, it can wait” because I KNOW it only takes 10 minutes to take care of either one.  And instead of baking a loaf of bread on a Sunday afternoon, I’d watch five episodes of The West Wing.  The house is so nice and quiet when the laundry’s not going all the time…

And I’m at square one.  Again.  Ugh.  How do you snap out of it?

My old tricks didn’t work, either.  When the house is a disaster, I could guarantee a miracle would happen if I turned on an episode or two of Hoarders and saw where five bad decisions could lead me.  BOOM, I’m up and the kitchen is clean.  The whole point of Get A Grip is not to be all Gwyneth Paltrow and provide ridiculous examples of how your life could be more fabulous if only you were slightly more perfect.   I didn’t need a revolution.  I just needed to get off my couch.

The excuse I was using for being on my couch was that my job made me sad.  And it did make me sad.  But that didn’t mean I suddenly got to go on a housework strike.  I’m very fortunate in that I managed to marry someone who would let me wallow in self-pity take time to assess my options and he’d pick up the slack let me work my way toward a solution when I get like this.

There was a lot that I couldn’t control.  What it came down to was identifying what I could control, and focusing on that.  Work wasn’t going to improve on its own; I had to get off the couch (omg seriously) to make that happen too.  Being a grown-up means that when life hands you lemons, you get to decide whether or not you even want the damn lemonade, and if you don’t, you can opt for something else instead.  Like Diet Coke, or even a martini.  And a snack.  Not that you’re medicating with food (anymore…), you’re just calling your shot.

This week, I started a new job.  I’m working with a colleague I’ve known and respected for years, and I will be doing what I enjoy.  I took a bit of a pay cut to do it, but in the long run it’s going to be worth it.  Taking control doesn’t mean you’re a control freak.  It means that you have the means to decide who you are and what you will be when you grow up.  It also means that there are no more excuses to let the laundry pile up, and that this family only works if everybody does his or her share (even Boo, who knows she needs to pick her stuff up at the end of the day).   So when I go four months without entering a grocery store, that means somebody else has to or we become hungry, and neither of those are valid options in this house.

The catalyst for my getting up off the couch was the unfairness of it–poor freaking me, all sad because of work, because everybody else has such a perfect life.

someecards.com - Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.

I got over it, and by “it” I mean “myself”, because I had the power to fix it all along.

It’s good to be off the couch.

“I promise I’m not an idiot”: what to do if you lose every single piece of identification while you’re on a trip

OK so this past weekend, I met up with some of my gal pals (who are LOVING that I just called them that) for a long-awaited weekend of beer and cursing relaxation.  I flew from Vegas to Baltimore on Thursday afternoon.  About 3 hours into the 4-1/2 hour flight, I took out my wallet so I could buy a cocktail.

Cue the foreshadowing music.

Roughly 18 hours later, I was at my friend’s house in Hershey PA (you know you were wondering where the Vegas locals go for vacay…) and I grabbed my purse because we were ready to go get some food.  I started pulling stuff out that I wouldn’t need with me (i.e. flight snacks) and I realized that my wallet was not in my purse.

I was 2100 miles from home with no money, no cards, no driver’s license.  What’s a girl to do?  I answered a round of “You’re kidding, right? Are you sure? Is it in your suitcase/in the car/under the couch?” and then it was time to deploy.  The first phone call was to Southwest Airlines, who told me 25 minutes later that I needed to go to southwest.com to fill out their lost item report.  Because nothing is more reassuring than telling the internets that you are adrift in Central PA with nothing that says you are who you are.  Yikes.  Clicking “submit” was like telling Jesus to take the wheel, let me tell you.

Then I called Mr. Incredible at work, which was humbling.  “We may have a situation.”  As ever, he hit the ground running and cancelled cards and did All The Right Things.  He’s good in a crisis.  And then after that, there wasn’t much to do.  It was day one of a 4-day bender trip, and I was in good company who, I must say, rallied to my aid.  Those bitches ladies do not let one of their own go thirsty hungry.

In the back of my head this whole time was the nagging question, “How exactly, in this post-9/11 era, does one travel without identification?”  I called Southwest again, because talking to people is more comforting than clicking around some anonymous website.  “Randy” told me “Oh, just go to the airport, they’ll know what to do.”  Um…..?  That’s not very reassuring, Randy.  Can you give a sister a heads-up about what’s in store?  “There’s a process.”

Cue more foreshadowing music.

So Monday afternoon, well before my flight, I got to the airport.  I went to BWI lost and found, just in case.  Nope, nothing there, but go downstairs to the police and see if they have it, because sometimes they put stuff like that in their safe.  HOPE!  Alas, nothing there either.  Le sigh.  So I schlep back upstairs and two terminals over to the Southwest counter.

“I lost my wallet on the way to here.  I don’t have any ID at all.  Can you help me?  I promise I’m not an idiot.”

And he did.  He did some quick verification as to who I am and where I’m going, and then he checked my bag, so I wouldn’t have to get a suitcase through security.  Then he gave me my boarding pass and sent me to security.  “Good luck, ma’am.”  Eeeek.

So I’m cool like Fonzie (“ayyyyyyyyyyyy” *two thumbs*) in line.  I get to the “picture ID and boarding pass please” lady, and I say “I lost my wallet.”

“I’mma need help up here”, she calls over her shoulder.  Everyone in line immediately looks at me like I’m Up To Something.  I step over into the penalty box and try to look inconspicuously wholesome.  A few minutes later, TSA Officer Dash comes up to me and starts asking questions.

“What happened?”

Duh.

“Do you have anything in your purse with your name on it that you didn’t make?”

No.  Not even a business card (stupid no-glory job).

“What time’s your flight?”

About two hours, and it’s delayed.

“Are you a smoker?  Smoke ’em if you got em.”

Geez.

He then gives me a form to fill out, which grants him and the TSA to access “A Database” that contains my information.  I will be answering some questions about my life, and that will verify my identity.

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

He gets on his batphone, hits 1 and CALL, which means a red phone rang in a secure room somewhere off premises.  He gives his own verification code, gets one back, and gives my name and date of birth to start the process.

He asked where I work, where I live, where I lived before that because I haven’t lived where I do for very long, what kind of car I own, the name of one family member, and a couple other questions that only I would know the answers to.  Basic life stuff, nothing really invasive, and it’s all in a database somewhere.  Freaky.

I get past that portion of the program, and it’s time for the swimsuit competition.  I receive a THOROUGH pat-down from a very nice and professional female agent.  Let’s just say, she and I became, and shall remain close, and I will always remember this encounter fondly and with no regrets.

And then I’m through.  So if you lose your wallet on a trip, there’s hope.  You’ll get home.

Here’s what I wish I had known or done in advance:

  1. Quick inventory of what is actually in my wallet.  Insurance cards, AAA card, etc.  For no other reason than to be able to determine quickly just how up the creek I really am.  Also, cleaning out anything unnecessary (am I going to Costco on this trip?  the children’s museum? work?  then I don’t need those cards.)
  2. Copy of at least my driver’s license somewhere in the world.  Even if it had been at home on Mr. Incredible’s computer, he could have emailed it to me, and then I wouldn’t have been *quite* so sketchy at the airport.
  3. Dude, check around the floor before you get off the damn plane.  Really.  Are you new?

As an epilogue to this adventure, I received an email from Southwest Lost and Found yesterday:

“We are happy to tell you that we have located an item that closely matches the description of your reported lost item.

You only need to reply to this email, within 45 days from today’s date, with the following information to facilitate its return:

1) Verify the shipping address for your item.

2) Method of payment for the shipping cost. (Why do I have to pay?)

  • We use FedEx ground to return items and would ask that you supply a FedEx account number to pay the shipping fees directly to FedEx.
    • If you do not have a FedEx account, one is easy to get by clicking here.
      or,
  • If you have a preferred shipper, please give us the company name and your account number and we will do the rest.

After we receive this information, the item will be shipped to your desired address and we will close the report. We cannot hold these items in perpetuity, so if we do not receive a reply within 45 days, the item will be salvaged and the report closed.

We would like to thank you for flying Southwest Airlines and to invite you to try us again.

Sincerely,

Southwest Airlines Lost Item Recovery Team”

You better BELIEVE I’ll be flying Southwest again!  HOLLA.

Guest Post! Learning To Love Your Junk Drawer

Today we have a guest post from my friend Rhiana, with whom I bonded years ago over the lethal combination of designer shoes and wedding planning. When a friendship begins in such a manner, naturally it’s going to thrive.

You can find more of Rhiana’s musings over on http://kitetailsplaycenter.blogspot.com/, where she is a frequent contributor of much acclaim. I invited her to write a post because I know she’s crafty (in more of the “makes craft-type things” way than the “she gets around” way, at least for purposes of my blog…) and she and I tend to be of the same mind when it comes to organizing. As it turns out, she ran into a common organizing conundrum, which she of course turned into a victory. Enjoy!

* * *

When Kristie asked me to guest blog I was ecstatic. What you may not know is that I love, love, love me some Kristie B. I just adore this woman and I jump at in any opportunity to be part of her amazingness. (Yes, I just made up that word).

So Kristie initially asked me to blog about my craft/art area since I teach art. So that is what I started doing. And then I realized my craft area doesn’t actually functioning the way I really need it to function. So I tore it apart and put it together again. Still no dice. So I am going to work on that some more and hopefully Kristie will be gracious enough to invite me back when it is finished so I can reveal that to you. Oh, and the moral to that story- just because it is organized doesn’t make it functional.

So instead of my craft room I am going to share something else. Something dark and personal. My “junk” drawer. Now I think it goes without saying that if it was truly junk it would be in the garbage so “junk” for me is that miscellaneous stuff that doesn’t really have a home but you need to keep somewhere. I have for you exhibit A:


So I used a bamboo kitchen organizer from either Williams-Sonoma or Crate and Barrel (I can’t remember which) to wrangle all of my crap. In the way back I have my label maker. Now I don’t use it every day but I use it often enough that it needs to be handy. And if you don’t have one you should go get one. Like now. Or after you finish reading my very, very important post.

I keep all my charging stuff in there. All the camera and phone cords are in their own compartment. I always know where they are and I always know where to find them. The front left is where I keep my pens and post it notes. The middle back is where I keep my D batteries. Why just the D batteries you ask…? Well, the rest of the batteries belong in the “Man Room” (which is a post for another day). The D batteries belong in the heavy duty Mag Light flashlight that we keep in the kitchen for power outages so it makes sense that in an emergency we aren’t shlepping down the dark stairs to our basement and into the dark, dark Man Room looking for extra batteries. We also have lighters, a stapler, the camera, tape, and extra wine cork in there. The key here is the drawer organizer. This prevents things from sliding around every time you open and close the drawer and also prevents search and destroy missions. When things are compartmentalized you can see things so much better. (Close your eyes, can you see everything in your “junk” drawer? If not, go and get your drawer organizer. And your label maker.) A place for everything and everything in it’s place. It becomes less of a “junk” drawer and more of a miscellaneous drawer.

To recap, the organizing tips are:

* Just because it is organized doesn’t mean it is functional
* Drawer organizers are indeed the best thing since sliced bread
* Get a Label maker. It will change your life in ways you never thought possible.

Thanks again to Kristie B for letting me guest blog- she is da Bomb! For reals yo!