5 Years Later, I Knew Exactly Where It Was

5 Years Later, I Knew Exactly Where It Was at

Unfortunately, this isn’t a post reporting the ongoing success of an organizing project from 5 years ago.

It’s a post demonstrating the enigma that plagued me for years.

My son is doing a science project. We needed to weigh some rather lightweight things. I told him, “We actually have a scale that measures in ounces. It’s the postage scale I used when I sold on eBay. Don’t worry. I know exactly where it is.”

And I did.

I went right to it.

right where I knew it would be at

And then he asked where the tape measure was.

In the Junk Drawer.

Or it should be.

If it’s not in the first Junk Drawer you open, try the other three. If it isn’t in one of those, try the garage. Maybe on top of that chest of drawers. Or in Daddy’s toolbox. Or maybe on the shelf by the freezer.

In the last five years, I’ve used that digital postal scale maybe one time. Maybe. But all that time, I knew exactly where it was.

In the last five years, we’ve used the tape measure hundreds of times. But every time we need it, I’m never completely sure where we’ll find it. If I’ve used my first decluttering question on it recently, we’re in luck. If I used it and absentmindedly put it down in some random place, not so much.

But that scale, when it does get used, goes back to its exact spot every time.

Every single time.

Here’s the disconnect. When I sold on eBay, I had an elaborate, efficient system. Clothes were washed, organized, photographed, placed into Ziploc bags and put in a specific spot to await the ends of their auctions. Once the auctions ended, I set up everything on my bed and methodically sorted and weighed and printed postage and scheduled pickups.

I had a system.

When people would ask me about selling on eBay, I would describe how I made it work and their eyes would widen at all the work I put in and how organized I was.

Many a person claimed they could never do what I did because they simply weren’t organized enough.

Many a person whose home was consistently clutter free and vacuumed and whose countertops weren’t covered in dirty dishes.

Many a person whose home was the complete opposite of mine.

And that was part of the reason I was so frustrated with my inability to keep my home under control. In certain areas I was ridiculously organized, passionate about having a designated place for my packing materials and labels and postage scale, and fanatical about being sure those things were always in their places.

Now I get it.

I’m a project person. I lo-o-ove a project. I love tackling a challenge with a beginning, middle and end. Packing up baby clothes and sending them off and enjoying the satisfaction of money in my account was fun to me. Keeping it all organized jazzed me. There wasn’t an option. People all over the country were depending on me to ship them exactly what they paid for! If babies didn’t have the shoes to match their Easter outfits, I WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE!!!

There’s totally a disconnect. Really. But I now get it. (Sortof.)

I am the person willing to let little things go (boring stuff like picking up toys or emptying the dishwasher or wiping toothpaste splatters off mirrors) for the sake of big things like a complicated system for shipping coats and mittens and hairbows all around the country.

Actually, I wasn’t “willing to let little things go” as much as I just never stopped to consider the little things and how they might suffer before I jumped into a fun and exciting project with both feet!

So, five years after I last sold anything on eBay (other than a failed attempt here or there), I still know EXACTLY where to find that postal scale.

Just don’t ask me about the scissors we used last night.



Oh. You’re curious about the other randomness on that back-in-a-corner-I-pretend-no-one-ever-sees bookshelf? Well, the white thing is a toilet paper holder to put on the table at a wedding reception if you use toilet paper instead of napkins. (It’s a Thailand thing I bought for uniqueness, but didn’t use in my own wedding.) The canvas is a painting we did as a family when the kids were preschoolers. I did the background and each of us painted random things on it. A fun family project orchestrated by my mother. And a tiara. For days when I need to wear a tiara.


--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    Maybe the problem with the tape measure isn’t that you don’t put it away when you’re done with it, but that where you put it is only one of several places where it belongs, and you need a couple more tape measures, one in a drawer near where you do crafts, one for your husband’s tool box, one where you are likely to want to measure your calf to see if those cute boots would even zip…
    If you only have to walk across the room to put a tape measure away you are more likely to do it than if you have to walk all the way to the other end of the house.

    So get another tape measure or two. It’s not like they’re soooo expensive. And don’t get the cheap ones either or you’ll have the same problem only it’ll be the ‘good’ tape measure you won’t walk to the other end of the house to put away.

    I have five pairs of scissors for this exact reason, and now I can always find my scissors because they are where I would look for them in this room or to do this job, not where I thought I would look for them when I put them away that one time when I was only thinking about using them when I’m sewing on buttons and forgot I also use them to open stuff in the kitchen and for crafts and cutting the odd mat out from behind the dog’s ears and upstairs in the office by the printer. I still need a pair to keep with the wrapping paper, and that’s on the list for the next time I go to the store that sells the good scissors.

    Anyway, that works for me, and maybe it’d work for somebody else too.

    • 2

      Oooooh, I like this thought!!!!

      • 3

        I do the same with scissors. One pair is in the gift wrap bin. One pair is in my crochet bag. One pair lives in the kitchen. And a few kid pairs are in our homeschooling area.

    • 4

      this totally makes perfect sense to me, as some one who will walk across the house to get some random item i need to use *right now* but who is not likely to make that same walk when i’m done with it.

    • 6

      Yes!! I’m a “project person”–never heard anyone explain it like you did! At home, I’m a messy clutterer, a disorganized procrastinator. Before I retired as a h.s. Guidance Counselor, my desk (& surrounding areas) at school were pretty much disastrous! However, I was AWESOME at organizing school-wide standardized testing, putting on the Nat’l Honor Society induction ceremony & banquet, registering students for classes, & other such time-consuming projects! And in the midst of my desk/office clutter, yes, I generally knew where everything was!

    • 7

      I have two phone chargers, one upstairs, one downstairs. That has saved a lot of frustration.

  2. 8

    Took the words right outta my…paragraph. You need a few more tape measures, to keep in various places, so that they don’t wander all over the house so much. I was also going to use the scissors as an example, but you did that too, Sarah!!! 😀

    No, seriously, she has a great point. Some things you CAN use multiples of and it’s okay to have more than one because you need more than one, in more locations.

  3. 9

    I am such a project person too! Thank you once again for telling it like it is! Putting things in their places is so unnatural for me.

  4. 10

    2 of your sayings are being said, (while talking to myself) on a daily basis here…. “Where would I look for it when I need it?” and “Just go put that there right now while you have it in your hand… do not delay… do NOT set it down to move it later.” …. Ok, so the last part is some extra words I have to add to kick myself into gear, but those two precepts ARE working for me! THANK YOU! Also helping… my To-GO Donate box is on the front porch …. OUT of the house. When full, it goes on the FRONT SEAT of the car – then I HAVE to drop it off – no forgetting or losing it in the trunk for months 🙂 THANK YOU!

  5. 11

    Praise the Lord for those who love us and give us gifts like a 5-scissor assortment for Christmas! Mom

  6. 12

    Tiaras are a definite necessity for when you need to remind yourself that you are the queen of your domain. Besides, they’re sparkly and fun to wear! Just ask my 7-yo. 😉

  7. 13

    I could have written this! I’m amazed at how organized I can be for projects and how I can’t find anything used on a regular basis.
    Thanks for being real!

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