December 2012

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laugh Is There a Catalog That Offers Catalog Organizers? By Laura J. Gallagher If you're looking to acquire a quick inferiority complex, all you have to do is pick up a catalog. Because according to the ones the Galla- gher household gets, whatever you're wearing, sitting on, hanging on your walls, or giving to others as gifts, is wrong, wrong, wrong. It's especially galling this time of year, when the holidays come " " At this point, I'll settle for a husband who doesn't ask 'Honey, where are the pens?' when they've been in the same place since 2004. lutions catalog sprung to life, or the Container Store came to my neighborhood, I'd be the one standing outside their doors a week before the grand opening, jumping from foot to foot and yelling "Shut up and take my money!" I want my house to look like the "After" in a Real Simple before-and-after spread. I want a place for everything and everything in its place. I want 62 percent fewer Allen wrenches in our garage. Heck, at this point, I'll settle for a husband who doesn't ask "Honey, where are the pens?" when they've been in the same place since 2004. Because while there are pockets of my life where I have reached they're all in the original containers, not in matching, whimsical jars with reusable labels. I do not own a single SpaceBag. And our spare bedroom/office is a terrifying jumble of my childhood furni- ture and what seems to be 75 electronic items. All of which need to be in the same general area, so one corner of the room has enough electrical cords to power an ICU. The thing is, I want to be organized. I'm telling you, if the So- around. Not only are we supposed to decorate our entire house, in- cluding holiday-specific furniture and wall art—and you'd better pick a fashionable color scheme (which changes every year, so good luck with that) —all gifts we buy must be eco-friendly, expensive, and educational (because what kid doesn't say, "Please give me presents that remind me of school."). All pets must be willing to wear either antlers or Santa hats. There is an electronic version of everything and "Dad" wants it. And, darn it, you're baking cook- ies and going ice skating with your multi-ethnic friends whether you like it or not. On the bright side, wrapping those presents won't be much of a chore; you can buy a gift-wrapping station! Without one, it's im- possible to keep all your wrapping paper, ribbons and bows in one place (hint, it's called a box in the closet). But beyond the holidays, which I've always half-a**ed anyway, catalogs give me the sinking feeling that I'm not nearly as orga- nized as I could be—or want to be. My spices are alphabetized, but Sheldon Cooper-levels of anal-retentiveness, I haven't managed to get our house there yet. Having a hubby whose cleaning philosophy is "put things not necessarily away, just elsewhere" and who is fully convinced that I share it doesn't help. And if you think I'm being unfair, go look at his office at work. Now go look at mine. Speaking of home offices (we were, go back and look), I LOVE the ones in furniture catalogs, purely from a you've-got-to-be-kid- ding-me perspective. They're always as big as our living room. They feature furniture with ridiculously specific storage, and scattered about artfully are books of fabric and/or paint swatches, wrapping paper, a mug of funky pens, and, like, mason jars filled with differ- ent colored rice. Sometimes there's blueprints or a T-square. The fun part is trying to figure out what businesses these home offices are for. Considering that, "as shown," the furniture adver- tised costs more than my car, apparently We'll Ship Colored Rice Anywhere And Design Your Kitchen While We're At It, Ltd., is doing quite well for itself. Let's see what happens when Gallagher's House of Used Allen Wrenches, Inc. opens its doors. Laura J. Gallagher is a long-time communications professional. When not teasing her husband, Triple M's Pat Gallagher, she is on Facebook at the Laura J. Gallagher page! ••• 80 BRAVA Magazine December 2012

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