You know that feeling. You stop flipping or clicking and stare at the photograph. It makes your pulse quicken. Your mouth waters. Your cheeks flush. Then the guilt begins to set in. For men this might be a photo of flesh. For many of us women, it’s a bookshelf organized by color. Or perhaps a desk drawer that uses spice jars to keep the rubber bands from mingling with the push pins.
I am talking about org porn. The all consuming obsession of looking at pictures of organized spaces and never actually organizing anything. I admit, I have looked another woman in the eye, breathing a deep sigh of pleasure as she talked about going to the Container Store, as if it were a strip club. I only had to read the words org porn once to snap me back to reality.
Years ago, my Mother-in-law thought she was just being nice by sending me a free subscription to Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine. Little did she know that she was feeding my org porn addiction. I have since bought Martha organizing products such as chalkboard labels for my pantry containers. Those labels are still in a drawer, waiting for that day when I can enjoy them. Organizational magazines exist to make us buy organizational products. Much like men get tricked into buying penis enlargers (do they?).
I found a great article recently about this topic on another blog (link removed for your protection). It made a lot of same jokes I am making here, but mentioned an organizational book to help with your problems of obsession with organization – huh? Instead I am swearing off all organizational products and how-tos. I cancelled the Martha Stewart subscription and I am moving on. But I can’t say I won’t ever set foot in a Container Store again – I am not that strong.
I broached this topic with a similarly minded friend. We talked about how we madly and desperately de-clutter our homes like the prop master does a set, at the mere mention of company coming over, as if they were photographers for Better Homes and Gardens. We hold illusions up for each other, not realizing we are making our friends feel inadequate by not showing each other how we really live.
I am not saying you should never clean up your shit. Hell, throwing stuff out can be one of the biggest sparks of creativity out there. Whenever my daughter is bored I walk into her room and start sorting her toys. She immediately finds something to entertain herself with (lest I throw it out). Whenever you are feeling stuck or trapped, tackle an area of your home with a garbage bag, but please by god, don’t go to the internet for instructions first.
As a naturally messy human, all the photos on Pinterest won’t to make me a tidy one. They will only make me loathe myself for not living up to some pristine ideal. This ideal, possibly achievable when single, is all about control. It’s not about creativity or innovation. Sure, it’s nice to be able to locate your scissors and your glue gun, but a little visual clutter is just the sign of someone who likes to make stuff.
So let’s all stop looking at porn and get busy doing something we love.