Imagine a Tidier Nightstand, Among Other Things


I haven’t written in a minute. That isn’t entirely true – I’ve written a lot, actually, but it’s all in 3/4ths finished posts in my drafts folder. It’s not that I don’t have things to say. It’s more because there is so much to say that I can’t seem to fit it in one clean post. Or several clean posts. I staked a claim on this space to say my words, and I’m finding it hard to stand on your own and say things. I’ll get there, but probably not today.

So for this very moment, I’ll tell you that over the last several days I’ve been watching Getting Organized with The Home Edit on Netflix. I am a long time follower of The Home Edit on Instagram, and I feel like this show made them accessible to me in a whole new way. I have, since I started the show on Friday (hi, it’s Tuesday), reorganized eight drawers, all of my accessories, my closet, and the baby’s clothes. I watched the first episode of that show on Friday and mere hours later found myself at the Container Store. And I’m still working!

The thing of it is, I’m not naturally an organized person. My spaces can get messy very quickly if I’m not careful. The thing that struck me most as I watched THE’s approach was the systems. They talk a lot about creating systems that are going to work for you so that you can keep a space functional. It felt sort of revolutionary as I watched them work to think about all of the ways that my systems weren’t working, and that it was within my control to make them work again, or for the first time. I hadn’t thought to imagine that I could be a person with systems that work.

I’m realizing in my mid-thirties all of the ways that I get stuck: out of habit or, in some cases, out of a simple lack of imagination. I didn’t imagine that I could have a nightstand that wasn’t packed to the limits with clutter, I just kept shoving receipts in there. I was so used to the same jewelry organization system I’ve had since college that I didn’t realize that I hated it and wasn’t actually taking very good care of my stuff. I’m a grown woman and have literally had a Rubbermaid tub holding all of my shoes for the entire 6 years we’ve lived in this house. Watching this dumb organizational show inspired me to think outside my own boxes for a minute, and imagine something that worked better. It’s been a busy few days, and I’m loving the new order that has taken over my life/drawers.

I’m grateful for the challenge to my imagination, and for the ways that it’s opened my eyes to look beyond what is to what could be. These challenges to the status quo don’t have to be scary – sometimes it’s best to just take the leap and head to the proverbial Container Store. In another life (the last decade, anyway), I’d have watched something like this and felt some degree of shame at my own mess. I’m grateful for a perspective shift in the last couple years that has brought me to this: imagine something better, and then make it happen. Glennon Doyle says, “discontent is the nagging of the imagination.” Instead of turning a blind eye to my discontent, or letting it bore a hole in my self-worth, I decided to face it. I deemed myself worthy of imagining, then enacting, better systems. My nightstand is the most meaningless microcosm of what I’m actually alluding to here, but it’s served as an empowering reminder even so.

Anyway. This is not The Thing(s) I Want To Say, but it is something. Which for today is enough.

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