The Pottery Barn Kids Catalogue is Mom Porn.

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Some women fantasize about sex. Some women fantasize about food. Some about shoes. I, however, fantasize about being organized. This means that I don’t have orgasms. I have organazms. Pottery Barn Kids catalogues are my porn. It’s a recent development for me, actually. I used to be firmly in the shoe-fantasy camp, but then I had kids, and suddenly my structured, type-A, everything-in-it’s-place life began to fall apart at the seams. Now, instead of drooling outside the display window at Barney’s, I find myself lingering in front of The Container Store.

 

The problem, primarily, is with the piles. Well, ‘problem’ is kind of an understatement; my husband and I have practically sought couples therapy over the piles. He doesn’t seem to understand why the piles exist in the first place (when you bring something inside, just put it away where it belongs), and he certainly doesn’t understand why they keep multiplying and spreading across the kitchen countertops like a fungus. I’ve tried explaining to him that it’s not my fault. I have very few things in the piles. A few loose phone numbers here and there, scribbled onto scraps of paper while balancing a screaming toddler on my hip, some bills, maybe a magazine or two. I’ll take responsibility for half of a pile, tops. It’s my kids who are to blame for the other forty three of them.

 

Now granted, I will admit that I created the kid piles, but if the stuff wasn’t in piles it would just be spread out all over the floor, so actually, the piles are a form of organization, albeit a primitive one. Some of the piles are legit: things that I just haven’t gotten around to filing or putting away, like the handprints that my son brought home from his Grandma & Me class, the piece of paper with my daughter’s height and weight on it from her four year old checkup (which was in May), or the toys that migrated north from the playroom to the den. But, as I have explained to my husband, the majority of these kid piles should not even qualify as real piles at all, because in reality, they’re comprised not of real things that I am waiting to file, or put away, but rather, of things that I am waiting to throw out, just as soon as a sufficient amount of time has passed so that my children won’t notice. Another rainbow flower picture drawn by daughter. A birthday party goody bag filled with plastic, age-inappropriate choking hazards for my two year old. A handful of business cards that my daughter swiped from my nail salon. None of these things will ever have a permanent home anywhere in my house, and so therefore I can’t just put them away, as my husband likes to suggest in his I-am-a-husband-and-therefore-have-no-freakin-clue-what
-it-is-to-actually-deal-with-a-four-year-old-whose-eighty-seventh-
rainbow-flower-picture-this-week-has-been-tossed-in-the-recycle-
trashcan-by-her-mother way of his. I’m perpetually stacking and restacking these doomed piles, and I do toss them out, eventually. It’s just that every time I manage to clear a bunch of them, ten more appear in their place. They’re like cockroaches. Or Gremlins.

 

DesignForPlay mom
11.13.08

I am a momtrepreneur and a professional organizer. The kitchen: it's tricky. One of the problems is that it is the "hub" of the household with a force of attraction so strong that objects from all other corners of the home tend to gravitate there. Instead of looking at PBK porn, have a look at your piles. Rather than buying an organizing system that you hope (probably in vain) will solve your problems, have a look at your piles and identify what is actually in them. Sort sort sort sort and create even more specific piles. Instead of "bills" you should have "bills I haven't looked at" "Bills I need to pay" and "Bills I paid and need to file". Some moms hate the clutter of the kitchen so much that they live in a complete state of denial and tell themselves that the bills should be in the home office, not the counter. Therefore, they become paralyzed by their inability to accept the fact that when they enter the kitchen with a pile of mail, two bags of groceries and a screaming toddler, there is no way in h^&! they are going to be able to make it to the home office to sort the mail. Best advice: take close stock of what is actually causing the "mess" and make a home for it that allows space for every item that may come to the counter. Secondly, make a date with yourself every three days to clear the counters and put whatever IS lying around in its proper place. An uncluttered kitchen is more enjoyable to cook in and eat in. You owe it to yourself!!

christinasinter...
10.10.08

I had that moment in a store. I took a pair of shoes to be re-heeled, that I had been wearing for six months after the little plastic heel wore through, and I was walking on the nail. The shoemaker told me I have to bring in my shoes sooner. I stammered something and then left, yelling at him in my head, "You're telling me what I should do? I came just as soon as I could squeeze it in between working, commuting 2 1/2 hours a day, breastfeeding an infant, cooking, grocery shopping, sending birthday cards, fixing lunches, and cleaning the house!" Luckily, I also had mommy-brain, and didn't think of my retort until I was several blocks away!

brandyhutch
06.16.08

Oh gosh I wish I could have the PBK fantasy, but I think I have finally come to terms that it will NEVER look like that. Our 6 month old's toys have somehow migrated into the living room, three baskets of toys later I have come to terms that it's never going to be as clean as it was before.

beckycharles
05.30.08

Phew I thought I was the only one in the world who didn't know how to keep everything organized all the time. For me, home decor magazines are definitely my porn I drool over them every time I have a chance. Although I'm sure the only people who have houses who look like that are never even home!

squeakere
05.16.08

You can have a house full of PBK furniture, but at the end of the day, the piles will still be there, and you will have scads of empty and dusty PBK furniture. TRUST ME. I have gone through occasional attempts to control the piles in out home. I have put systems in place to control the piles - some simple (a basket for mail) and some elaborate (a series of clear plastic bins into which I organized my husband's electronic component pieces parts). We have bought furniture that is intended to facilitate organization. All to no avail! Now we have a basket full of old mail (with a 2-foot high pile of mail on top of it), boxes of components plus all of the "new" pieces parts that have appeared as a result of our new television purchase, and the piles, they keep a-comin'!

Dummymummy
05.08.08

Thank goodness there are other women out there that are like me and actually admit to it. How do you recover from "piles"? I heard of piles before, however I don't know which one is worse! The only way I know how to get rid of them is put them in a shopping bag, hide them in your closet and shut off the light.

furnituremom
05.07.08

PBK is a dream of mine. I am an office manager of a furniture gallery that caters to interior designers. So all day long I am around beautiful furniture that is grateful it's not in my house with my children.
We were visiting a friend's home recently and she went to a closet and pulled out a game for the kids. To my utter amazement, she did not have anything on the floor of the closet. It was absolutely clean and organized. Her entire house is the same way. I have asked many times how is this possible. She said that she must blame it on her husband. He's a neat freak! I then had a little fantasy of my own for my husband to say that he would load the dishwasher. Now back to reality!

Brown_ Booger
05.07.08

Wow i wish i could have you Organize my life! its so UN-ORGANIZED! I DREAM OF PATERY BARN!LOL

namna1
05.07.08

Have you ever considered hiring a Professional Organizer?
Might be just the thing you need.
Look at the NAPO website for an organizer in your area!

wonderwoman
05.07.08

Oh how I wish I could take a week off and just organize my house. i consistently tell myself I can do it a little at a time and save my vacation days for time well spent with my family, but it is just not getting done -quick enough anyway. As soon as I fix one area of the home; another area becomes utter chaos and full of new piles. It is like I just move the piles from one room to another. I wish I were to become deathly ill that I would have an excuse to stay at home for a week and not feel guilty about not spending that time with my son (who is always stuck at daycare) or with my husband (who is in the military and not home half the year).