Housekeeping Note:
Drawers
25 January 2019

¶ Although there are few things more satisfying— sometimes even amusing — than reorganizing messy desk and kitchen drawers, I can’t think of anything that I’m more likely to put off. Perhaps it’s a question of scale. Aside from frenzied searches for papers and utensils that it has suddenly become mortally urgent to find, drawers are mundane and their contents minute. Pencils, paper clips, letter openers, a pot of rubber cement. Post-its, in many different sizes. Latterly, ink cartridges and thumb drives. For volume, notecards, notepads, notebooks. It all seems so trivial — the mistake, I suppose, that allows me to rummage through drawers and, having found what I was looking for, to leave them in disorder. Almost everything is “more important,” more pressing than organizing drawers. Frowning over a drawer full of tumbled odds and ends, I sigh and close it — “I must get to that soon.” Which I don’t. 

Now, however, as I’m convalescing not only from an illness but from the stretch of fatigued anxiety that preceded it, and that to some, however small, extent brought it about, I’m possessed by the conviction that nearly everything is in the Wrong Drawer. In the book room, everything seems to be not only in the wrong drawer but in the wrong desk. That’s because I switched the two desks in here, moving each to where the other one was, only a few week before being felled by fever. The reason: in my Aeron chair, my legs fit under the the drawers of one of the desks but not in the kneehole of the other. Why it took four years to see this as a problem beats me. Moving into this apartment was a curious disjunction of order —  we knew where all the large pieces went —and rush — what to do with the immense quantities of little things? There was a great deal of shoving things into drawers simply to get them out of the way. Quite a few of those hasty, unconsidered deposits have never been sifted. 

With the result that, every time a drawer is cleaned out, there’s at least one cry of “So that’s where that was!”

I’ll treat the problem of drawers-as-tombs in another entry. 

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