They say nothing motivates better than the last minute. How true! I recently had overnight out-of-town company which, quite frankly, put the swift back into my Swifter in terms of making my apartment somewhat presentable. Oh, I’ve been meaning to organize my disorganization--going on five years now. I always eye shelving units upon every visit to Home Depot, and I own a copy of “The Ultimate Decluttering Guide” . . . if only I could find it. I have vacuum bags that can reduce a comforter to the size of a tea bag, but they sit in the bottom of my linen closet collecting dust. Then there are my space-saving hangers that can hold all my summer clothes on one hanger . . . but who has time to hang up clothes? I possess at least ten 64-quart storage containers, but still have 1,073 quarts of junk without a home. I even have a nylon bag for washing my bras…somewhere. It’s not like I haven’t TRIED to organize! Even though I was motivated to finally sort papers, clothes, and match pairs of socks for the first time in five years, I simply didn’t have enough time to accomplish my tasks before my guests arrived. So, a valuable, hidden talent kicked into gear. I began to stuff stuff everywhere. Before my guests arrived, I managed to cram the equivalent of six storage units (rent free!) worth of whatever under my bed . . . the very bed my guests would be sleeping on! I stashed stuff under and behind my sofa, and even slid a few items under the cushions. And inside the cushions. (Hey! They need periodic bolstering, plus what’s a zipper for except access?) If there was a molecule of space, my stuff inhabited it. I am so good at stuffing stuff, I swear I should have been a taxidermist! I even utilized my dishwasher and oven for stor-age. Yes, Judy and Bob looked askance at me when I said, “Let me get you a banana out of the dish-washer” but, hey, it worked. I had a loaf of bread and bag of chips that survived in there as well…and were quite edible, thank you. Oh, I confessed my slob nature to both Judy and Bob, and begged them not to open any closet doors for fear of an avalanche of everything from clothes to a deflated basketball to last year’s Christ-mas tree, fully decorated. I THINK they obliged me. I also pled with them not to look under the bed they slept upon. They would have had night-mares. I have no idea when I will feel motivated enough to undo my cramming, stuffing, and stash-ing now that Judy and Bob have left. First of all, I don’t remember what I stashed where. We fin-ished the bananas, bread, and chips, so I don’t need to worry about the dishwasher. In fact, my place looks more decluttered than ever, so why undo a good thing? Besides, there’s a perfect saying for my stow-aways: Out of sight, out of mind. At least for now.
Jean Mlincek is a freelance writer who resides in St. Petersburg, Fla.