Hello, home dwellers. This is not an inspirational Home Organisation article. I tell you this upfront because I don't want to waste your time. After all, if you regularly read Home Organisation articles — or, more specifically, if you follow their advice — you probably only have about four to five minutes free per day to read the news. The rest of your day will be spent folding fitted sheets, colour-coding your wardrobe, and organising the pantry.
Still, though I'm not a Home Organiser, I do enjoy reading Home Organisation articles. I like the nice, soothing photos of the carefully stacked Tupperware and the wicker baskets full of towels and the decanted bottles of hand soap. And, as I don't pay heed to any of their handy hints, I have lots of free time to browse lifestyle stories.
I've learned a great deal from my Home Organisation reading: that labels look better in italicised font, that white is "simple" and "classic" and "beautiful", and that some people have an actual housework schedule. Who knew?
But so much of what I read and see doesn't make sense. For example, why do they stack their pantries with endless, identical containers? Doesn't that make it harder to distinguish the self-raising flour from the plain? Wouldn't it be easier to have different coloured containers? Who wants to squint at italicised-fonted labels anyway?
And speaking of containers, what is the obsession with decanting everything? Because everything in these cupboards is decanted. The sugar is decanted into a sugar jar. The biscuits are decanted into different biscuit jars. Small packets are decanted into big jars. I've seen photos of dishwashing tabs decanted. Vinegar decanted. Baking soda decanted. What is the fear of original packaging? Is it a phobia? What is it called?
How do they top up the decanted containers? When they're running out of flour (which is helpfully labelled with an italicised font), do they wait until the Tupperware is completely empty, or do they top it up with more flour? If the former, where do they keep the new flour (because god forbid any original packaging makes it into the pantry)? If the latter, does the old flour stay at the bottom for eternity?
Why do they decant spices into spice jars? Spices are sold in spice jars! And who needs a tub-sized jar of oregano anyway? How much oregano are these people using? Are they making oregano biscuits? Do the oregano biscuits have a fancy label with italicised font?
What about the things that don't fall neatly into categories? Everything is ordered: snacks, spreads, canned items, sauces. Where does my Coke Zero go? Is Milo a snack or a sauce? Are crushed nuts a snack or a garnish? Is a garnish a spread or a spice?
Also, I hate to say it, but some of these home organisers say things that just aren't true. For example:
"Lazy Susans are the perfect solution for your pantry."
No they're not. I've tried them. All the bottles fall over when they spin.
"It's just as easy to put things back in the right spot as it is to put things back in the wrong spot."
Incorrect! It's much easier to shove things back in the closest possible spot and worry about it afterwards.
"Nothing is more satisfying than a clutter-free wardrobe."
I disagree. I'd say there are many things more satisfying than a clutter free pantry. Sex, for example. Chocolate ice cream. A new pair of shoes. A nap!
"Food preparation saves me so much time."
No, it doesn't! You spend your entire Sunday making meal schedules and preparing food! And you still need to wash up after meals like everyone else!
"Tidy house, tidy mind."
Not true. Too much tidiness is unnatural, particularly in the kitchen. We are, by nature, hunter gatherers. We are not supposed to be able to reach out our hands and just grab the cereal and eat it. We're supposed to work for it. Open the pantry and rummage around a bit. Decide it isn't there. Move things. Search. Only after a bit of a struggle can we truly enjoy our food.
So. Enjoy your inspirational Home Organisation articles. The photos are lovely. But make sure you take the advice with a grain of salt. (Carefully placed in a tiny, white salt container, with a miniature italicised label. Of course.)