Updated: December 29, 2015 – 10:58 am

I don’t mean to change my tune, but a new year is upon us. So here it goes. 

Last night my husband and I went to our neighbors’ condo for a holiday party. Neighbors in our building — look at us, making friends!

A large scrawl of art took up an entire wall — the same wall that is barren in our home. Rugs separated the big room into chunks: a dining area, a lounging area, the kitchen.

On top of the cabinets, sculptures and paintings beckoned.

A grown-up Christmas tree — not the set of two miniature trees that we have in our condo — filled the corner. “We love to go get a tree from the St. Paul Farmer’s Market,” my neighbor/potential friend told me. “It’s a tradition from when we lived in St. Paul.”

“Wow,” I said, knowing that this meant they had gone through the hassle of following condo-code on bringing a live tree into the building. There are rules about these things, you know.

Even the two little dogs roaming around added to the holiday spirit. Their condo was undeniably homey.

After the long walk home up a couple flights of stairs — no, we did not take the elevator! — we had to face the facts: our home looked a little empty.

This isn’t to say that I want to start filling it up with stuff. But it does seem that we’re a little lacking in the art department.

What about those long stretches of wall, scantily un-clad, with only a carefully-placed painting or mirror? Are we supposed to put shelves below them, full of books and photos and knickknacks? That sounds awful!


This year, we may need to make our home a bit more homey. This past summer a friend of my husband’s visited for the first time and said it looked like our apartment was protected by the CIA. I’ve been pondering that statement ever since, trying to spin it as a compliment.

But how do we add a touch of art without adding clutter?

A new year, and a new challenge. Maybe I’ll find a way.

But then again, I still haven’t taken care of the last year’s resolution: that dreaded filing cabinet.



2015 Organizational Year in Review and 2016 Organizational Preview

For your organizational edification, I have included a year-end survey. You don’t have to turn it in – unless you want to.

1)   What are your biggest organizational accomplishments of 2015?

2)   What mess caused you the most angst in 2015?

3)   What makes you sigh every time you see it?

4)   What makes you happiest about your home?

5)   As 2016 begins, what are areas you would like to improve? 

Perhaps I should answer my own questions. Seems only fair.

1)   Biggest organizational accomplishment? Staying on top of scanning incoming papers so that they don’t accumulate.

2)   Most angst? Backlog of files: paper and digital.

3)   Sigh every time I see it? The bathroom. Not only has it been more months than I am willing to put in writing since we cleaned the tub and shower, but this morning the shower head actually fell off and clanged to the floor, narrowly missing my head on its descent. But, on a more positive note, the new light fixture we put in this summer looks great.

4)   Happiest about my home? The open spaces with lack of clutter.

5)   Area of improvement? I want to decorate our place with more art.

Please use your items from above to create your New Year’s Organizational Resolution.

Based on my answers, in 2016, I will: Create an simple yet artfully decorated, paperless, clean bathroom, with a working shower. Then I’ll scan it and toss the real thing in the recycling.

Happy New Year and Happy Organization!