by Katy on October 19, 2010 · 21 comments

I am not a naturally ordered person. I come from a family where we actually made fun of  the notion of “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Keeping an organized home is a struggle for me, and as much as I find solace and satisfaction in order, it’s a forced habit.

I brought home a huge zucchini from work last week that no one seemed to be laying claim to, and finally got around to shredding it last night. (Thank you, Cuisinart!) I decided the freeze them in one cup portions. The result was so pleasing to the eye, that I have yet to remove the frozen zucchini castles from their formation.

This got me thinking about other organization that have snuck into my life. My first inclination was to share photos of my my underwear drawer, which is organized within an inch of its life. (This is thanks to the Ikea drawer organizers I got from my sister last year, which I have added to with help from the Ikea seconds department.) However, I decided that there is no one out there in cyberland who wants to see my decidedly non-sexy underwear, organized or otherwise!

I suppose my inspiration is the Things Organized Neatly blog, which features, well . . . things organized neatly. It’s an odd concept, yet like a mini-mind vacation all at once. Ahh . . . . Nothing out of place, everything so very perfect. A glass of perfectly chilled water in a Mountain Dew world.

I walked around my house and chose a few things to photograph to illustrate my own attempt at organization. Zucchini, former junk drawers and a clothesline of paired drying socks all made the cut. My husband’s bedside table? Maybe later.

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something very soothing about looking at ordered objects, even if they’re not my own. Perhaps it’s the calm in the storm, or simply that semblance of control in an otherwise chaotic world.

Frozen one cup portions of shredded zucchini. They will be transferred to a Ziploc bag, but for now they enjoy their formation.

Paired socks dry on the clothesline, easy to match up when it's time for removal. Their shadow pleases me.

Tape, paperclips, glue and rubber bands. Batteries, chargers, drawer knobs and printer ink. They each enjoy their own little bin.

Are you finding yourself drawn to a more organized life? Are you following simple living blogs such as Rowdy Kittens, Zen Habits or Simpler Living? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela October 19, 2010 at 5:15 am

It’s always a challenge for me to stay organized, but I so so because it saves me $$$. When my things aren’t organized, I lose them, and have to buy new things. That’s how I end up with, say, 4 half-used rolls of scotch-tape.


Annie Jones October 19, 2010 at 6:45 am

I think I’m naturally inclined to organize things. However, I’m not obsessive about it, by any means, and not always successful (you should see my office area today), but I try and it pleases me when things get and stay organized.

Examples: My spices are in uniform containers and clearly labeled, but not alphabetized. My clothes are sorted by season and type of garment, but not by color. When I hang laundry, it goes up willy nilly, but I take it down in a certain order so that it’s easier to put away when I bring it inside.


Laura October 19, 2010 at 9:50 am

I’m a natural organizer, but it’s a constant struggle because no one else in my family is. I could have all the fancy bins, boxes, etc. (and we do) but I’m usually the only one who puts things away in them.

I’ve never hung up socks in pairs, but do check to make sure there’s a mte for everyone. I claim “no missing socks” ever as one of my talents (which is pretty pathetic as talents go).

I like your little zucchini pucks. I put extra shredded zucchini in Ziplocs, but flatten them out so that the bags stack neatly in the freezer. Yours are way cuter.


Lisa October 19, 2010 at 10:46 am

Some of my things are organized while others aren’t. As for Laura’s comment above about having no missing socks, I don’t either. LOL! I bought all mine in an identical color/style/pattern. They live in a single stack in my sock drawer. I just grab two as they’re needed. Meanwhile any old maids that need darning won’t create havoc because there are no pairs to start with.


Tracy Balazy October 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm

That’s a great idea, buying all the same color/style/pattern! I bought so many different kinds of socks to wear to my former office job, I have to match them all up to put them away. I’m going with your idea next time.


Juhli October 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm

You and I are kindred spirits! I love the pictures too.


Karen October 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I must be weird because I love the whole spectrum of disorganized to organized. Organizing calms my mind and inspires me, so I think I actually encourage a few messes–only of my own, mind you–because I really like the whole organizing process. It’s the best meditation in the world, for me. I really look forward to attacking my messy desk tonight!


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl October 19, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Ooh, your junk drawer is WAY neater than mine.


Karen October 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I live a life of both. I have some things that are organized to the Nth degree and other things that aren’t AT ALL. I think I’ve mostly given up organizing the spaces that the whole family uses. It’s futile. The room that’s the most organized is MY craft room which I only minimally share. I suppose if I had the time and energy, I could go the rest, but it just undone as fast as I can do it.


Marissa October 19, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Their shadow pleases me too!!


Tracy Balazy October 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm

In the past few years, I’ve found that the busier I am with my job and social life, the less organized are my closets, drawers, car trunk, etc. Now that I’m unemployed, I’m a regular Martha Stewart!! It really is a good feeling to have things where I can find them, and I agree with Katy that the placement of items, whether on a clothes line or a cookie sheet, can be so aesthetically pleasing!


Christopher October 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm

This one has verrrry limited application for most, but I finally figured out that an ice cube tray works perfectly for setting out different keys of harmonicas in the order that I’ll need to grab them at a gig. I felt like a genius when I figured this out (oh, and 10 cents for the tray at the thrift store).


Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary October 20, 2010 at 6:01 am

Christopher, that’s awesome! I use ice cube trays (also bought for pennies) to hold earrings. I put the whole tray (well, actually two of them! they stack so nicely) in my drawer, and one pair of earrings in each cube. Works like a charm.


Robin B. October 20, 2010 at 4:47 am

I love the frozen zucchini idea — I’ve got some going bad in my fridge right now — this is an area I really need help on. How to re-use leftovers, what to freeze (and how to freeze it) before stuff goes bad (like vegetables) and then, what to do with it later. Can you give us some examples of how you’ll use the zucchini in those portions?



Magdalena October 20, 2010 at 6:28 am

I’m naturallyorganized and I drive other people crazy. If I can’t find a home for some widget and no one seems to be using it, it goes in the discard box. My kitchen spices used to be alphabetized, but I buy large quantities now and they go in big jars, so it’s not as effective in the cabinet to arrange them by letter – I group them by type. I hang clothes in my closet by item type – dresses, aprons, nightgowns. (I don’t own much else.) My bookshelves are arranged by topic. About twice a year I have to reshuffle things because other people don’t put them away in the right order!


Naomi Seldin October 20, 2010 at 6:54 am

Well, I think you know my answer to this question … 🙂 Order definitely makes me happy, as does organizing things. I’ve been that way my whole life. Reducing my stuff has made it easier to keep things orderly, but that’s mostly because I eliminated the stuff that I really didn’t need or use.

I’m going to have to look around my house now for my most orderly looking stuff. Thanks for the link love!



Dmarie October 20, 2010 at 7:10 am

nice post…thx! I toss frozen shredded zucchini into stir fries & crock pot soups, and it takes 2 cups thawed to make my recipe of zucchini bread (I don’t drain it for bread.


Dmarie October 20, 2010 at 7:11 am

Durn, my whole reason for posting was to say that sock pic is great!


Surface Earth October 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Love the shadow of the socks!



Wanda October 31, 2010 at 11:26 am

I freeze shredded zucchini (1 1/2 cups per freezer bag) for zucchini patties. It’s so much easier to drain after it’s been frozen…..you don’t have to salt it. I also reuse the bags.

1 1/2 c zucchini
2 T minced onion
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c flour
2 eggs
2 T mayonnaise
1/4 t oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Spoon batter (about 2 heaping tablespoons per patty) into greased (I use olive oil) skillet & flatten slightly. Cook on medium heat until browned on both sides. I like to top them with sour cream.


Lilypad November 1, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I am half German, but all organized. Whenever I’m freaking out about organizing something or cleaning something or upset about something being a mess, I just tell my family: it’s a German thing. Germans even have a saying about it after all: Ordnung ist alles. (Order is everything.) It’s definitely a sickness. I’m a recovering perfectionist. I don’t want my son to end up this way, so we focus on organizing things to keep them easy to find and well-cared for, not just for the sake of everything looking perfect. But I do enjoy a secret thrill when my world is ordered and neat looking!


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