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My House

Dealing with Election Day Anxiety: My Therapeutic Kitchen Drawer Before/After Organization (AKA my Attempt To Feel Control Over Something…)

What do you post on such a nationally important and yet highly emotional day in our history????? Listen, it’s out of our hands at this point (once you vote). We can’t control the results but you know what we can control? THE INSIDES OF OUR COLLECTIVE JUNK DRAWERS. So, all weekend and continuing into this week I have been reorganizing every single drawer, cabinet, and closet in my house and today I am giving you the before/after. You know what they say: when you feel powerless, show your pantry who is boss.

I’m also a big proponent of leaning into my anxieties and naming my shame (I listen to a lot of Brene Brown) and so here we go: Clutter makes me anxious, AND yet I’m very messy and disorganized and carry a lot of shame over that. I do this to myself, I realize. I am my own disheveled nightmare. Well, it was time to do something about it, while also managing my election anxiety (and listening to podcasts).

Before I tackled the drawers and closets I am about to show you, we looked like we had been robbed (aka it was a MESS). It was hard to find ANYTHING and I was so embarrassed because while we keep the visual parts of our house looking really pretty (my level of house pride is so high) I literally just shove ‘junk’ and garbage into the closest drawer to keep the rest of the house pretty. It’s gross and childish and people are always SHOCKED when they come over and open a drawer.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: inside all our (super organized) drawers & cabinets in the mountain house kitchen

When we first designed the kitchen we worked with an organizing company, The Neat Method, and it truly did set us up for more success than I ever would have been able to do without the systems they put in place and the products they recommended and installed. So I’m not starting from ground zero in here, just from “super messy, but with a system”.

The Junk Drawer

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: inside all our (super organized) drawers & cabinets in the mountain house kitchen

That photo almost makes me laugh. Look at the batteries all lined up in a cute little row as if I’m not going to throw used batteries in there too and never know which is which! I knew that this wasn’t going to last, not in this family.

Here’s a cautionary tale for you – two creative, left-brained people get married and their house is forever a challenge to keep organized. It’s a bummer, and we both literally feel like all we do is clean, and yet what you are about to see is not abnormal for us – it’s extreme, yes, but not rare.

Now to be fair this is the ‘catchall near the door’ and we do need easy access to a lot: sunscreen, daily allergy meds, hair ties, keys, masks, sanitizer, and 17 pairs of sunglasses. We moved any and all ‘daily hardware’ to the toolbox in the garage and most of the office stuff to the credenza upstairs. We also went ahead and put that rogue sock, you know, NOT IN THE JUNK DRAWER (in the pantry where it belongs, duh).

To start, I had to pull everything out to get my bearings… I put on Armchair Expert and Brene Brown and got to work (we have an agreement with the kids on Sundays that they can either clean quietly or play quietly because we need quiet cleaning adult time and so they generally just stay out of our hair and play in the attic knowing that if they don’t they’ll get put to work – funny how that works).

It took about 45 minutes and felt SO GOOD.

Now I know that that doesn’t look super impressive and it’s not the ‘org porn’ that we are all used to, more like a low budget ‘org indie movie’. But that’s where we are at now… Those lucite containers really do help, though (they are hard to see, but they keep everything divided).

So here’s the before and after, left and right (I like how I have to spell it out because it’s not THAT obvious). But trust me, in person it’s a world of difference. We couldn’t even open it before.

The Cooking Utensil Drawer

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: inside all our (super organized) drawers & cabinets in the mountain house kitchen

Two years ago… This one also makes me laugh. I’m so glad I had so many brown paper bags for… uh…??? We actually did make a ton of puppets out of them but certainly didn’t need them here.

As of last week, it looked like this:

It was driving me NUTS and yet it was my mess as I cook the most. It’s so hard to be your own pet peeve…

Listen. It’s clean. It’s organized. I know what we have and now that we live here full time we have way more tools.

The Pantry

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: inside all our (super organized) drawers & cabinets in the mountain house kitchen

Two years ago this pantry was set up REALLY GREAT, actually. I highly recommend reading the post on what products we used to keep everything organized (but namely, these baskets and the clear food containers are GAME CHANGERS). Big fan over here. So yes, it was messy but I’m so grateful I had it set up to actually reference these photos as I organized it.

Here’s what it looked like last week.

It was out of control and I couldn’t find ANYTHING, including our ‘vacation chips’ (Cool Ranch Doritos) that somehow have become ‘Pandemic Chips’ thanks to Brian’s wonderful rationalization skills. But good news! We had 2 bags of spirulina powder (??) and not one, not two, but FOUR bags of almond flour up top, with 2 that had spilled over.

Here she is after I organized on Sunday.

Don’t be jealous of my iPhone photo skills. This is 2020 content amiright? I just ordered 3 more of those white baskets for all my flours/sugars up top that are just floating around and falling over. And I ordered 4 more canisters to decant even more. Knowing what you have and where it is does make you feel in control. It’s like a closet colonic. Shoot, Caitlin, we need to trademark that… Closet Colonic TM.

The Baking Drawer

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: inside all our (super organized) drawers & cabinets in the mountain house kitchen
photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: inside all our (super organized) drawers & cabinets in the mountain house kitchen

This drawer has maintained its purpose which I appreciate – all things baking/mixing and it was pretty easy to reorganize.

Here it was on Friday:

A quick 15 minutes later she looked like this:

Those mixing bowls (that are only $8!!) are still GREAT by the way as they have a spout and they kinda ‘stick’ to the counter (because they are rubber).

Tupperware Drawer

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: inside all our (super organized) drawers & cabinets in the mountain house kitchen

The tupperware drawer will always be messy unless you pair the lids with the dishes on a daily basis and even though Brian has his Masters degree and I run a successful business, I think we know the daily ‘tupperware pairing’ task is beyond our skill levels. Could this be a hole in the market? Do we need to hire someone to come and daily pop lids onto plastic? Could they also do this with “socks” as that is its own baffling beast of a puzzle beyond our abilities?

Two years later, on Saturday here’s what it looked like:

It looks like the inside of my soul last week, really. But a quick 15-minute organization and wipe down made my insides feel so much better.

Take that!! Tupperware drawer!! Emily Henderson is IN CONTROL OF YOU (for now). Who’s your Daddy!!!!! (???)

Spice Rack

Now, this was OUT OF CONTROL. Part of it was that I brought a lot of the spices from LA up here so we had doubles of a many. But Brian would overhear me muttering ‘where the heck is my garam masala?’ way too often. I’ve become such a cook where I need things like garam masala and star anise! Look at me!!! Look at that disgusting floor!!!

So I pulled everything out….

In case you are wondering what is happening in the background… I forgot that underneath all those upholstered bench seats in the dining room is flip-up storage. So as I was going through closets I started storing a lot in there (like our kitchen appliances – mixers and food processors we rarely use, halloween decor, etc).

And here is the beautiful after. Ahhh, what a relief. 🙂

Kids Game and Paint/Craft Closet

It looks almost like a joke. If this were a set for a film I could see the director pulling aside the set designer and say ‘I know I asked you to make it look like the messiest closet ever, but you’ve gone too far, it’s not believable, nobody would ever have a game closet that looks like this – pull it back a bit, mkay?’

Oh, man. Even I needed some closure on that one. It was giving me agita or vertigo, whatever it is when you feel dizzy and shaky when you see something. Organizing this one did make me want to buy more bins to store stuff in – so stay tuned on that (and we purged some games that we had bought as props for shooting the house that we never played).

I’ll leave you with a good one… The hall closet that is supposed to be the laundry closet.

Since this closet has no purpose it becomes the catchall for everything, namely like 15 hats and our bag of sports stuff that we take down to the field for “P.E”. I would basically close my eyes, open the doors blindly, throw something in, and close the doors before I saw or heard where it landed. Honestly, much like how a 5-year-old cleans. Fun fact: I used to “vacuum” when I was little by taking the 50lb 1970’s vacuum and push and pull it back and forth on the carpet to make all the lines of a thorough vacuum job, but without plugging it in so I could watch/hear Days of Our Lives while doing my chores. I was the kid that shoved everything underneath the sofa or in between the cushions. These are NOT habits that I want to pass down. But you gotta name your shame.

Again, the irony is that our house is actually almost always visually really uncluttered and clean. It is pretty on the outside of the inside and I am proud of it. But like our country – there was so much hidden garbage inside every single drawer, closet and cabinet, growing and making the whole house feel toxic and ugly. And while I can’t do much about this on a macro level, I am a testament that if you dedicate some time, even just one drawer, 10 minutes, to organizing your insides (or helping a neighbor, connecting with family) you will feel better.

I hope you are all hanging in there today – it’s a big emotional day that no national drawer clean-out can eliminate.

We are praying for our country, our kids’ future, our planet’s future, the lives of the so many living in poverty without resources, or marginalized by racism and bigotry, and hoping that our collective – but often disparate – American morals, values and democracy can survive and prevail.

But if things don’t go as I hope, then I’m looking at you “GARAGE” – prepare your toolboxes, seasonal decor, and piles of beach toys to be controlled hard Wednesday morning – or whenever I recover from tonight’s results – by this messy lady. It’s not going to be pretty. xx

Oh and, God Bless America. …

No, seriously. Dear God, please bless America.

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2 years ago

God Bless America, As we said in the 60’s Right On Sister. And I am totally in awe of your ability to focus on drawer rearranging 😊

2 years ago

Emily, you’ve always struck me as an admirably honest, open, and humble human being, but this post has leveled you up to be my actual hero. Takes a lot of guts for a “pretty house” lady to share her secret shame, but you did not hold back. I have to admit I was smiling at your scenes of anarchy all along, but when I got to the heap of overturned spice jars in threatening to spill out of that gorgeous custom spice cupboard, I truly laughed out loud. Your realistically tidy ‘afters’ warm my heart, and as much as I pray that our national nightmare will end today, I kinda want to see what’s going on out in your garage.

2 years ago
Reply to  Diane

Yeah, Emily, show us the garage!! Ha!

2 years ago
Reply to  Diane

I laughed out loud at the spice cabinet, too! The pantry is my personal trouble spot. I’m an organized person by nature, but I can’t seem to ever get a handle on the pantry.

2 years ago
Reply to  Diane

I’m with Diane on this, plus I laughed. And, I was distracted from everything else long enough to consider how to reorganize our entryway closet. Excellent election day blog post, 5/5 stars!

2 years ago

A woman after my own heart. It’s 5:30 in the morning, and I’ve already stress cleaned the bathroom. About to head off to the polls. Then I’ll come home and do some excavation in the coat closet; it’s truly a horror story in there!

2 years ago

Good strategy!

We’re going to need these anxiety-aiding busy projects. All week.

Best luck staying distracted, all!

2 years ago

This was such an entertaining and relatable read! Entropy is the only constant, right?! I’m a big proponent of “systems” in all things (check out the book Atomic Habits if you’re in a self-help mood), and everything still devolves to chaos given enough time and neglect. So thanks for sharing this. Nice to know I’m not alone, and it had me chuckling out loud.

2 years ago
Reply to  Amy

“everything still devolves to chaos given enough time and neglect.”
You said it!!!
Ain’t that the truth! Macro, micro and everything inbetween.

Chaos came, for years. Let’s hope some reorganisation can come soon.
The world is watching, with baited breath.
Every TV channel in Australia is focused on the US election, all day, tomorrow!

2 years ago

Wow, I just stress cleaned my whole house. I’m talking every surface and knob, full move out cleanse. Then I open my laptop to this, and it all makes sense.

Thanks for the hilarious read, and also helping me realize just what my dual anxiety driven home cleanse was.

2 years ago

This is SO REAL. I absolutely love it.

Rachel C
2 years ago

Just what I needed to sooth my soul this morning. I love some good organization.

2 years ago

Love you Emily! So refreshing to have a clear voice of reason, compassion, and courage in the design world, especially representing Christians. I’ve really appreciated the stand you’ve taken during this administration’s nightmare term. Some design bloggers have been very quiet, either in support of our mob boss, or afraid to lose their conservative, Christian homemaker readers, and it’s been disheartening. Your blog always gives me energy to keep thinking critically and also, now, after voting, to clean like the Dickens. God bless America. God bless the world.

2 years ago
Reply to  Katherine

“Some design bloggers have been very quiet, either in support of our mob boss, or afraid to lose their conservative, Christian homemaker readers, and it’s been disheartening.”

Your above ugly comment is disheartening.
Surprise, there are decent people who live in this country who don’t have to slam other people. Their lives are full with things that does not make sense to act like you think they are acting!
Maybe try working on maturity (and collect some wisdom along the way) because I am sure your mom said it too, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything…..

2 years ago
Reply to  MJ

“Their lives are full with things that does not make sense to act like you think they are acting!”

I’m not sure exactly what this was meant to say, but to be clear – voting for Trump is a vote for hate, intolerance, and violence, and is against all the core principles of Christianity.

2 years ago

This post was like oxygen today. Thank you. XO

2 years ago

I can’t help but link this sweet animated short Brent Brown video on Blame, something that *might* just creep into my thinking when undertaking a reorganization project like this! (Who put the rubber bands in this drawer when we all know we have a rubber band jar… urghhh… )

2 years ago
Reply to  Susannah

Rubber bands…I’ve never seen a rubber band…sleepy rubber band!…it’s a fake rubber band…the rubber band wasn’t even born here…oh, I have some stories about gaga rubber bands!…nope, no rubber bands here!

Sound familiar?!? 🤣😅😂

2 years ago

This has been me for like two weeks. Watching “The Home Edit” on Netflix and buying clear bins on Amazon because The Container Store has crazy long shipping delays.

BTW, this tupperware has stacking lids which are a game changer that everyone needs (you can also stack most of the bins together):

2 years ago
Reply to  Jessvii

YAS I just took off a couple weeks to decompress and take care of house things, and have literally been watching the THE and Marie Kondo episodes on repeat (next up is the adorable Kardashian kiddo “parking lot”)

It started out as finally organizing things after our pandemic-move chaos but has definitely become “well THIS is a thing I have total control over”.

AND I have finally reworded the Konmari ideas into something that really resonates: “does this item support my ideal lifestyle?” I’m setting up a tiny meditation zone and a tiny workout zone in my living room (I know I know, everyone else has done this already but moving really set things back)

<3 to everyone out there and just remember that no matter what the results of today are, people across the country spontaneously banded together to create mutual aid groups for the neighbors they’d never even met… Even in dark times there is light

2 years ago

I sincerely hope that the before pictures of your drawers and closets is the most stress inducing thing I see today (and it was a LOT for my type A, very organized self to handle!) Thank you for keeping it real and a good laugh this morning. I am off to decorate my house for Christmas and I will have zero shame that it is a beautiful sunny 60 degree day on November 3rd and my house looks like a goddamn winter wonderland.

2 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Type A here, and you know what? I felt so much relief here realizing that my standard of expectations might just be too high (reinforced by things like The Home Edit that show a level of Type A even I struggle to achieve). My not-quite-perfect organization systems are still usable, and we really do a fairly good job maintaining them. No need to look insta-ready at all times 🙂

2 years ago

Love that your after looks like a normal kitchen – even a normal high end kitchen. 🙂 We’ve all had those before’s, but a lot of us can’t ever have the photo worthy original shots. At least not for more than 5 minutes. Love you for being a talented human & an honest human!

2 years ago

This was amazing. There must be something in the water because I reorganized all my kitchen cabinets over the weekend and it was GLORIOUS.
Side note…do you know what enneagram type you are? I’m a “1”, the perfectionist, and I SO relate to your agonies of clutter. I desperately want everything to be clean and tidy, but because of the perfectionist issue I avoid dealing with things if I can’t deal with them *perfectly*. Therefore I just don’t deal with things, like clutter. It’s a curse. Trying to find a spell to break it, ha.

2 years ago

This post gave me LIFE. I understand the shame you feel, but this is my reality too. To see your home which is so stunningly beautiful have closets and drawers that look like mine is what I needed to get me through this day.

2 years ago

I love this post!

Lydia K. Williams
2 years ago

YES! Thank you for the before, before, after photos….all those highly stylized professional photos can be gorgeous but disheartening for those of us who success at doing dishes and keeping counters cleared but have messy, real-life drawers! Even after you organize them they are never as beautiful as the stylized photos and this “trio” of pics is a balm to my soul! Thank you for showing us your “normal”!!

2 years ago

The unnecessary blogger-y-ness of the word “hack” stresses me out more than the contents of any drawers. But that IS some high-quality drawer rearranging!

2 years ago

I clean when I’m angry, really emotionally distressed or avoiding something emotional.

My house is almost always clean (unless I’m really unwell…hello chemo!). I think that displays the level of stress I’ve been under for several years = hide the upset in my life by having floors you could lick! Uh-oh! 🙄

I’ve never been tidy. I’m super clean, but not tidy. Even stacks of paperwork I had when I was consulting were dust-free, ha!

Now, I’m amazing myself with my consistent tidiness and organisation. Like, for real, my Tupperware is always tidy! I put it back that way after I dry it.

BUT… my downfall is my art and craft supplies. They are a hodge podge of chaos! I make the excuse that it’s because they live in the sleepout (an Australian thing. Used to be a small, half walled verandah that was later glassed in above the half wall. Most really old houses have them and most people with them know they are the proverbial junk room.) I’m inspired to tackle this before summer sets in downunder coz that rooms not air conditioned. Now, I just need to feel well enough… *wishing* … … …

2 years ago
Reply to  Rusty

Rusty – Hope your well enough comes soon and best of love and wellness with the chemo

Judith Hume
2 years ago

Ohmygosh, this post is GREAT! Thank you thank you thank you for showing us actual pics to which most of us can relate. What you wrote, about clutter making you anxious and yet being messy and disorganized and carrying shame over that totally resonated with me (and I’m 71!). I’ve struggled with this my entire life, so I especially love this post. I’m going to send the link to both of my daughters. I always enjoy your posts, but I especially love this one. Thank you so much for providing this on a day when we all really need this!

2 years ago

Thank you for showing us that everyone (no matter how beautiful a home) also has plenty of messy, disorganized areas! I can hear my bathroom drawers whispering to me now…

Olivia Jane
2 years ago

Emily, I’ve been a superfan for along time, but this post made me love you even more. Thanks for the real talk and real look — and for using your platform to GOTV!!

2 years ago

Haha, these are great! And I really appreciate your ‘real life’ afters.
I’ve been doing my own re-organization project: separating huge mounds of legos back into the pieces for actual sets. It is very slow-going but will hopefully keep me busy tonight! And maybe I will tackle that junk drawer, too.

2 years ago

Organizing stuff is the best indoor therapy there is. I’ve been on a drawer kick also, and it’s not like they weren’t good before–they were. Perfect is nice. Perfect makes me feel like I can keep order in the universe. Perfect fights entropy.
Dump the trash and move on.

2 years ago

The random empty sandwich baggies in EVERY SINGLE drawer are cracking me up 😂 it’s like where’s Waldo. How does that happen?!

2 years ago
Reply to  Emily

That’s my question too… how do I literally pick things up all throughout the day EVERY DAY but still have a messy house??? It is baffling. Though I do have a spouse, 2 kids and 2 dogs who do little to help matters. I think I’m just not perfectionistic enough to have a really clean home. True perfectionists probably don’t sit down until it’s all done, yet here I am reading a blog post (and even all the comments) at 2:40pm when there are definitely other things I should be doing.

Wish my election anxiety was resulting in cleaning drawers rather than stomach upset that I won’t elaborate on…

2 years ago

Hi! And I echo everyone to say I enjoyed this! Today is doubly stressful (election plus a dr appointment I’ve been waiting on for a month!) but this helps! Love you guys!

2 years ago
Reply to  Arlyn

All the best for your doctor’s appointment. x

2 years ago

Thank you for sharing this. It’s so refreshing to see that a home blogger can still be as messy as a regular person. But also wanted to remind you that it’s not completely out of our hands yet. I am putting some of my nervous energy into phone banking to reach voters in swing states. Who wouldn’t love to get a call from Emily Henderson??? 😉 And yes, God bless America. We truly cannot withstand four more years of this.

2 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Me too. Not doing it today but phone banking on Thursday to help people in Georgia check that their absentee ballots are being counted!

I’ve signed up to make calls with The New Georgia Project on Thursday, Nov 5, 2020.

2 years ago

MOAR OF THIS PLEASE!!!!!! This was so calming and hilarious and relatable!!

2 years ago

Whenever I go to my mother-in-law’s house I come home and declutter. She has closets that look like they are vomiting junk. Seriously, make it animation and you’ve got a vomiting closet character for a film. Clutter makes me SO anxious. Not so with my husband. Well, duh, cuz he grew up with the mother with the vomiting closet. I felt anxious just reading that you were anxious. Then the pictures… No shaming here, just applause for you trying to get a grip on it. Life happens, i get that, but keeping on top of it is also as satisfying as decluttering. (i say that as i am surrounded by clutter that is happening in my house on account of a planned move to another house. I feel like i’m drowning in “stuff”). One time, when we were to have unplanned visitors in like 20 minutes, i threw all the junk lying around into a closet. Wow, was my kitchen uncluttered. I decided to leave the stuff in the closet and to throw it out after a period if we didn’t go looking for it. Which was a good idea in theory, but didn’t quite work out. Anyway, good on… Read more »

2 years ago

OMG, you’re Monica Gellar! Honestly this post a) made me feel so much better about myself (that junk drawer picture is clearly from my house) and b) inspired me to re-organize my kitchen. I too have spices falling every where and multiple half-used bags of random flours WHY. I need to decant!

2 years ago
Reply to  Emily

They have really good Thanksgiving episodes so that would be a good place to start! 🙂

Anne Anzil
2 years ago

As a new empty nester , I also have been organizing every drawer/closet in our house. Feels so good! I am also addicted to ” Home Edit” and just read their book! It does make everything easier ! Jealous of that spice rack you have!! Love it!

2 years ago


You might like search “decluttering as spiritual practice”. Below is a quote from Lauren Rosenfeld

“So it’s not at all a stretch to say that decluttering is a spiritual practice that frees us of distraction and puts what we love and what’s ultimately important well within reach (and isn’t this at the core of all spiritual practices?). The more we declutter what’s not important, the closer we draw to all that is.”

Reassuring – and so true – for me.

2 years ago

Thank you for this humanizing post. It’s so nice to see some unedited photos of a lived in house, as much as I love beautiful, aspirational interior design.

2 years ago

I loved this post SO much! It was the perfect amount of comic relief and real life loving that I didn’t know I needed. 😀

2 years ago

Thanks for this post. I almost didn’t read it because, well, I thought you might delve into the politics of today. Frankly when you have posted political posts in the past I have considered unfollowing your blog because I disagree with your viewpoints. However I do believe it is important to have an open mind and as long as your opinions have been shared civilly I have continued to read. I truly appreciate when people from different sides can share their viewpoints without finger pointing, name calling, rioting, etc. Thanks again for an open minded political post.

2 years ago

I am a super organized person, and even I see how ridiculous the original before pictures were. I love your after photos, because they represent how people and families live. We have stuff. Thanks for a fun and satisfying post. I probably have at least a couple drawers I could do some work on today.

2 years ago

1. “they can either clean quietly or play quietly because we need quiet cleaning adult time and so they generally just stay out of our hair and play in the attic” freaking BRILLIANT

2. I feel this is a little in the vein of like when people interview any women celebrities above a size 2 and breathlessly ask, “how BRAVE of you to wear a tank top!!!!!!!” buuuut I do also think this was pretty brave of you to put these real life photos on the internet and I think you should get to be really proud of yourself! Nice work! I also appreciate the photos illustrating how with this kind of decluttering and organizing, there’s always a phase where it gets worse before it gets better and you have to commit to seeing it through.

2 years ago

YES, God bless America. I am doing the same- organizing, cleaning and praying.

Rebecca Joseph
2 years ago

This might be my favorite blog post ever – like on the internet even!

2 years ago

Thank you thank you thank you for this post. I already commented twice but must do it again. I love how this post was a fun distraction from the stress of today while very much acknowledging the stress of today. After I finished reading I thought abt going to another home blog for more fun distraction, but then I realized that it will just PISS ME OFF if they just post like it’s a normal day without mentioning the turmoil we are all feeling. Thank you for holding our anxieties, sharing in them, and finding the right balance between humor and seriousness. Seriously. It makes me feel less alone right now to know how much others are also on pins and needles just WAITING to see what happens.

2 years ago

God Bless America!! And I loooooooooove this post and your REALISTIC Afters! Well done, Emily!

2 years ago

This was amazing. I read this when I sat down at my desk this morning at 9, after clearing off the clutter counter in our living room that fills with everything and has stressed me out for weeks. I knew I wanted some kind of peace when I hit the couch tonight with my jigsaw puzzle to watch/listen to results late into the night. I also loved seeing your drawers! We in voyer blogland see so many perfectly organized drawers. It is GOOD for us to know they don’t last! But also nice to see how it could look. I think I’m like you – I create clutter – I just can’t put everything perfectly in its place! But I also love decluttering, cleaning out drawers, finding places for things, and getting rid of the unneeded. Anyway, thanks for being so real today and putting a smile on my face. Take good care.

Elizabeth Kennedy
2 years ago

It’s great to know you are not perfect! I admire you for showing the Before photos. Since I, too, am anxious about the elections, I’ll follow your lead and start on my kitchen drawers this afternoon.

2 years ago

I so feel you. Three stages of organization from Organization Porn to Homeless Hoarder to Reality. I live at Reality and have never made it to OP. But I have been HH, tidy on the surface but don’t open that cupboard. I remember visiting a friend and I was helping in the kitchen and I opened a cupboard and it was TIDY! It started me on the path from shame to not embarrassing.
I salute you sister.

2 years ago

This is exactly what I didn’t realize I needed right now. So soothing. It reminds me of “Things Organized Neatly,” my favorite Tumblr from the Old Days.

2 years ago

Dear God – PLEASE BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!

PS – great job on the organizational skills!!
PPS – I cannot keep it together today!! I’m a Wreck!!

2 years ago

Emily, THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!! I am reminded of this MOST days, but it was such a perfect example of why I have read this blog every single day for 8+ years. You are SO humble, vulnerable, warm, and funny and I laughed out loud reading this while also feeling inspired, understood, and like you were striking my perfect balance of my many conflicting emotions today and searching for calm while recognizing the significance and historical nature of the moment. Thank you, thank you, thank you — I know a lot of bloggers have been debating what makes sense to post today, and this was just *chefs kiss* perfect. You are the best!

2 years ago

Wow, this is so inspiring! I should be doing this tonight instead of drinking wine awaiting election results! PS: I think that you and Brian (as creatives) are right-brained, not left!

2 years ago

I love love love this post! I organize for the same reason – when things are out of control around me, at least I can be in control of my closets and drawers. While I love the beautiful photos after the professional organizers came through, it’s so refreshing to see the inside of another real family’s drawers and cabinets. Thanks for sharing!

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