"You know how I organize everything? Well, this is all the stuff that doesn't fit into any category! So you see, I'm not messy...I'm just, uh, so organized..." - Monica Geller from Friends Fiona, a good friend and co-worker of mine, recounted an argument that she had with her boyfriend with whom she shares an apartment: "He's always annoyed by me because I nag him to pick up after himself and generally keep the place relatively clean. And he pointed out that despite my need for the apartment to be organized, my own purse seems to be in a perpetual state of chaos. I admit that it's true. I've got all kinds of crap in there like safety pins, crumpled receipts, and who knows what else. There should be a safety warning on my purse before anyone sticks a hand in there. For some reason, I have this double standard for acceptable cleanliness and organization when it comes to my own stuff versus our shared space."
Fiona's lament reminds me of my own home and the apartments I've lived in before. For some reason, and I'm not sure how it happened, but there was always one closet or cabinet or drawer that became a black hole of...of...stuff. One might even go so far as to classify all of it as junk, but the contents have proven itself useful, albeit in only specific situations: Certain things that ended up in these areas were coolers from previous camping trips, a box of art supplies, a crate of extra computer and telephone cables, old term papers from college, etc. Inevitably, when something goes missing, I let out a huge sigh and announce that I'm about to enter the Black Hole...and after an hour or two, I always come back from a trip down memory lane ("Hey! I remember this bag of felt! It's from Halloween when we all made Team Zissou patches for our sweaters!") and whatever it is I might have been looking for.
There have been many heroic attempts at organizing the Black Hole...however, it tends to slide back into a comfortable chaos after a few months. For some reason, the cleanliness standard that I enforce in the rest of my home doesn't seem to apply to the Black Hole...maybe it's because I can shut the door on it and pretend it doesn't exist until the next time I need to find an extra USB cable.
Do you have a junk drawer, a messy closet, or even your own purse or bag that you let slide?