My whole family spent Saturday putting away Christmas decorations and organizing. While I was packing up the snow globes and attempting to get four tons of glitter out of the couch cushions, my husband kept our five year old preoccupied in her playroom organizing. She had already spent a large portion of the morning helping take the ornaments off the tree, but after almost driving me into apoplexy by swinging my annual Swarovski snowflake ornaments around her little finger like a tassel I banished her to an entirely separate floor of the house. Off she went to organize her toys. This would probably not be a fun thing for most kids, but it seems that my little mini-me may have a predisposition for organizing.

Container store, organizing children's toys, princesses all have a place

No, seriously, contain yourself!

After successfully packing away all of the “our first house” and “baby’s first Christmas” ornaments along with the little handmade trees and snowflakes without turning into a weepy mess, I ventured downstairs to see how the playroom was coming along. I found my daughter and husband standing in the center of the room with piles of dolls and accessories spread out in front of them. Princesses to the right, Scooby Doo to the left and mounds of My Little Pony and Harry Potter in the middle. And then my husband uttered the words that made me fall in love with him all over again. He said “Let’s go to the Container Store.” I know I had just packed up all of the Christmas glitter but it felt like that day after Thanksgiving when I gleefully skipped around my house spreading that sparkle like it was shooting out of a fire hose. Joy was back in my heart, but this time it was for bins and boxes and pretty little labels.

Off we went, three little elves so excited to get organizing that we didn’t even get dressed. We put on our winter coats and boots right over our pajamas and headed straight to the holy land. Walking in to the Container Store is much like I imagine heaven to be, bright and sparkly and everything in it’s place. I immediately forgot I had my family with me as I wandered off to imagine all of the possible ways to reorganize my closet and drawers. I walked in a dream state imagining all of my shoes stored away in their matching boxes, blouses and pants all arranged by color on matching hangers and accessories all tucked neatly away. My alone time was short-lived. I heard them before I saw them, cart careening around the corner led by squeals of “we have boxes for all of my Barbies!”

Ah yes, we were on a mission. My companions had found the boxes they were looking for, and on sale! They led me out of the “closet” section of the store with cries of “let’s go home and organize my toys” coming from the little one, as she skipped through the store. We passed through the “office” area quickly stopping only briefly to smile and laugh with another shopper who asked if the littlest elf could come home with her and organize her closet too. This was all happening too fast. I had not even been down the aisle with the plastic rainbow colored boxes of all shapes and sizes reminding me of my childhood birthday parties full of gummy bears, stickers and hair ties. This could not all be coming to an end so quickly. I grabbed on to the cart and turned into the first “kitchen” aisle. This would distract my husband long enough for me to make it through the “bathroom” and “gift wrap” departments if I was quick. I raced my way down aisle after aisle, soaking in all of the shiny chrome baskets and neon bows. Sweat gleaming on my brow I thought I might have to strip off my parka if this lasted much longer. I rounded the final corner only to find my daughter sitting on the floor in the middle of red and green storage boxes crying “you are taking too long. It’s going to be too late and I am going to have to go to bed before I organize my things!” We had hit the proverbial shopping wall. It was time to go.

I’m pretty certain the staff at the Container Store feels the same way I do about organizing, because they are aglow like angels as they ring up our boxes and labels. They are almost giddy as they ask what wonderful projects we have planned. They listen intently as my daughter talks about her plans to gather up all of her toys and arrange them by theme and collection. They tell her how brilliant she is for wanting to have all of her things in their own little boxes and bins. They send us on our way like angels at the pearly gates saying we have more work to do in this world before we can come home for good. And just like that, the doors close behind us and we are in the parking lot.

The rest of the night was a blur of Barbie shoes and tiny little plastic apples, but everything made it into it’s rightful place. And it was all done by tiny little hands. My little mini-me is one of us! I can hardly contain myself.

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I’m Jen. I am a mom, wife, daughter, friend and often times the bad influence your mom warned you about. I am good with words, numbers and dysfunctional people. I tend to find humor in situations that aren’t really funny and I laugh at my own jokes.

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