Think You Don’t Have It In You To Be Organized? Think Again.
For as many extremely cluttered spaces as I’ve been in (and believe me, I’ve seen some shi-yat), I have to say I have yet to find a single silverware drawer that wasn’t fully functioning; fully organized.
Knives are always with the knives, forks are always with the forks, spoons are always with the spoons. Not only that, I can’t think of a silverware drawer I’ve opened where the utensils haven’t all faced in the same direction.
For all the other chaos that may be going on elsewhere in the house, there are no forks to be found in the pantry, no spoons to be rescued from the pots and pans drawer.
The owners of these silverware drawers, by the way, are apt to proclaim themselves “slobs,” “chronically messy” and one, I believe, referred to herself a “piggy.”
These same people continually do not put things back where they belong: papers from files, snacks from the pantry, clothes from the closet. They strew, or they pile, or they ball up, or they shove.
And yet: the silverware drawer.
The concept of that silverware drawer is one that’s been so hardwired into our systems that it doesn’t occur to even the sloppiest person to do anything but put the forks back in the fork section of the silverware drawer.
The majority of people reading this post will have grown up seeing their parents demonstrate the behavior of putting silverware back in its proper place time and time again, will often have been given the chore of unloading the dishwasher, putting the silverware away, themselves, and so on.
It’s the organizational equivalent to brushing one’s teeth.
On top of this, I have seldom seen a silverware drawer that was at all cluttered. There might be some stray takeout chopsticks floating around the sides, and maybe a straw or two, but fundamentally and obviously, the silverware drawer works.
How is this managed?
Silverware is something we have daily and close contact with. If a knife is dull, you know it. If a fork’s tines are bent, you feel it. This active connection to eating utensils allows you to remain in control of them, and this process all happens unconsciously.
And yet, for something we rely upon so heavily, which is such an integral component of our daily lives–no matter how small–most people are not in the habit of forming emotional attachments to their silverware.
I’ve had clients express attachments to fairly bizarre items, but I can’t say I’ve ever had one tell me, “I just can’t part with that spoon.”
Plus, most people aren’t in the habit of shopping regularly for new silverware, so the collection easily sustains its capacity-equilibrium. I mean, when was the last time your girlfriend called you up and asked if you wanted to go buy forks with her?
When new silverware is purchased, it’s done intentionally, and usually, in one fell sweep, since having a consistent set is a priority for most.
You might be reading this and going, “Yeah, but that’s the silverware drawer. It has to work.” To which I would say: precisely, and so does everything else in your life.
Or you might be going, “Yeah, but silverware is way easier than anything else to stay organized with.” To which I would say: I don’t think so. Consider how many times a day utensils are pulled from the drawer, transferred to the table, used, and washed and put in the dishwasher and unloaded and over and over again. There’s a lot of moving parts involved in household feeding itself, when you think about.
Yet, every time, every day, look what you do: have a grasp on what you have, put back where it lives, replace only as truly needed.
So, think you don’t have it in you to be organized? Take a look at your silverware drawer. Then you’ll find out how capable you really are.
Image credits: Design Manifest, Martha Stewart, Could I Have That
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