Most mornings, I eat a bowl of oatmeal – sprinkled liberally with cinnamon (not too exciting, but hey, it keeps me regular). Like many of you, I store the cinnamon with other spices on a revolving rack. You can see it pictured here. See how the spices are labeled, and the jars are clear so you can see inside? It comes that way, filled with spices, many of which I never use or have even heard of. But it’s foolproof, right? No, not really…
One morning, bleary-eyed and discombobulated (I’m not a morning person), I accidentally grabbed the cumin instead of the cinnamon, and proceeded to sprinkle it liberally on my oatmeal. Yes, it was labeled – but cumin is pretty much the same color as cinnamon, and my foggy brain registered the color in the bottle, not the words on the label. The problem is I hate the taste of cumin – especially on oatmeal! I skimmed off as much of the foul spice as I could and then I ate the oatmeal (I hate to waste).
You would think something like that would only happen once, but no…as I said, I’m not a morning person. When it happened again a few weeks later, I decided to take action to prevent it from happening again. I threw out the cumin, since I’ll never use it anyway (did I mention I hate the taste?). And I filled the bottle with chili peppers (since I like chili peppers and there was no bottle for it on the rack anyway). So far so good – I haven’t put chili peppers on my oatmeal yet.
So what does this have to do with organizing? The solutions for many of your clutter problems can be just as simple as tossing out the cumin.
For example, do your clothes tend to pile up on the accent chair in the bedroom? Consider removing the chair – you can’t see it under the piles anyway. Adding some hooks at the back of the door might make more sense.
Does dirty laundry pile up on top of the hamper? Try removing the lid.
Does it seem like every pen you reach for is out of ink? Toss it instead of putting back in the drawer (why do we do that anyway?)
Sometimes we over complicate things to such a degree that we feel paralyzed. Rather than tolerating everyday petty annoyances, look for simple solutions and see what you can come up with. Eliminating a few small irritations can reduce your stress and frustration in a big way. Please share your ideas in the comment section below so we can all learn from each other.