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I woke up with coffee while refreshing the Apartment Therapy page, anxiously awaiting the whip and chair that will force me to clean house from top to bottom in one month. I have surely slipped into some alternate reality where I look forward to the torture that is cleaning my house.

How this can happen is beyond me but it’s happened 3 years running now. It’s the mop and bucket family reunion. I have Harry Potter online friends, horse owning online friends, and Apartment Therapy’s January Cure has given me a very large group of non-clean freak friends that are almost as disorganized as I am. This is the real reason I tune in and get excited at the end of December. My buddies! I live for reading the discussions, commenting on posts, posting myself and getting to know everyone.

HAZZAH!! The first assignment was just posted and it is NOT THE FLOORS! WOOT WOOT WOOT WOOT! Today’s assignment is to declutter just one single drawer. How easy is that? Of course, you haven’t seen my nightstand drawers. I’ll pick the worst one. Top drawer, left nightstand.  I will take before and after pictures. It’s really a mess. Little odds and ends. Guaranteed to take an hour to sort through, pitch and relocate all those odds and ends.

But there’s a problem here. No flowers? We’re not supposed to run out and get ourselves a bouquet? Every year I’ve done this we’ve first had to get flowers to perk ourselves up for the tasks ahead. Every year I’ve immediately looked at my cluttered and disheveled counters full of mail, baking ingredients, gifts that haven’t been put away, snacks, etc. and thought “Okay, so where do I shove a vase of flowers? Between the bags of flour and sugar or can I shove those tins of cookies and popcorn out of the way enough to make room?” But not this year! This year I had company in for the weekend so I had to make the clutter disappear by friday. This year I have plenty of room for flowers so it’s only appropriate that this year they’re left off the first day to-do list. I call MALARKEY and I’m going to be a rebel and pick up flowers anyway.

Okay, so, it wasn’t what I’d consider “easy”. Easy is mixing a shot of Frangelico in a cup of eggnog and watching something on Netflix. Cleaning the dreaded nightstand drawer was like uncovering an archaeological site wherein several civilizations are buried.



So I removed the top layers and found a first gen iPod, 7 old pairs of reading glasses, two dozen pens of various types, jewelry, pills, birth certificate, old check book (from 10 years ago), thermometer, hand creams, chapstick, several pairs of ancient earbuds tangled up with everything else in that drawer, bottle caps, hair bands, hair clasps, chocolate frog cards, bubble gum turned to granite, a couple of “neat rocks”, old bankcards (5 to 8 years old), candy wrappers and book lights.


What’s worse than a bunch of totally useless, non-working junk taking up space in a drawer? The bottom layer of fuzz, critter hair, and change, that’s what.


There may have been enough change in this drawer to take myself out to lunch at some place fancier than a fast food burger joint. Obviously, I need to eat larger pickles because just this change filled 3/4 of a dill spears jar.

The end result, is the jewelry I couldn’t find is now in it’s proper place where I can find it, things I often actually need at bed time are where they can be reached at bed time, hardware has been moved to where hardware should go, the glasses are bagged up for charity, the now-I-know-where-all-my-pens-went pens are now with office supplies in a closet that was “Cured” last year and has remained healthy for an entire year,  medications and supplies are in the medicine cabinet or first aid basket in the pantry, and the drawer is vacuumed and wiped clean.