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In which I break up with my IKEA organizer
A step by step guide to reclaiming kitchen counter space and peace of mind
Most of us have or have had organizers like this in our homes. They’re ubiquitous. They emit a siren call, telling us our lives will be more organized if only we had an organizer product to collect the debris of daily life.
I’ve owned this wood IKEA desk organizer for upwards of a decade. It’s moved across state lines with me, lived in my last 3 homes with me, and has always looked like absolute garbage. Yet my loyalty and faith that I NEED this item persisted.
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Till now. The day has come, friends. I’ve broken up with my organizer.
It all started when I was writing an article about storage blackholes (coming soon to a screen near you!) — those spaces that seem to just absorb random junk. You never really know what’s in there, and it’s impossible to find anything you’re specifically looking for.
I realized that I’d been proudly displaying a storage blackhole on my kitchen counter for a decade. And the mess has been stressing me out every day without me realizing it.
What kept me so loyal was that it did contain a few things I used regularly: scissors, stamps, envelopes, checkbooks.…Along with useless untold scraps of paper, receipts, stickers for my kids, checks that I’ve deposited through my phone, and who knows what else.
But finally, I was able to see clearly: I could just find new homes for the useful items and get rid of everything else. Items won’t collect if the organizer is simply not there.
Here’s what I did:
Empty out the organizer and give it away
Pick up the useful items and find new homes for them (scissors in drawer, stamps in kitchen cabinet, etc)
Have a plan for the misc items that pop up (I’ll add a clothespin to the wall for receipts we don’t want to throw out yet — like my “Bills” clothespin, this has a natural maximum so I’m not too worried about it getting overwhelmed)
Move on with your life, realizing that basically nothing has changed since you got rid of that junky organizer, you just have a cleaner countertop
And just like that…I broke up with my IKEA organizer for good.
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