Monday, February 27, 2012

CCA - Compulsive Container Acquisition

Hello and Happy Monday!

Today I would like to discuss a phenomenon which, I believe, is common to many people with organizational difficulties. It's called Compulsive Container Acquisition or CCA for short (Okay, I made all of that up, but I still think I'm onto something)

The underlying belief of someone with CCA is that containers magically bestow organization. If you could just acquire the correct vessels for your schtuff, you would be organized. Now, most of us know that there's more to it than that, but gosh, it doesn't stop us from trying. I thought I would show six different types of containers represented in my house, and the thought behind their acquisition.

The thought behind acquiring cute containers is simple: "If the containers are cute then I will be inspired to use them." Since four of these containers are currently being used to corral stuff at my house I might think that there is something to that... were it not for the fact that I gave away about ten that I didn't use a few months ago. My personal experience is that "cute" and "organized" are not synonymous. This was confirmed when I checked the Thesaurus. What cute containers are is fun to buy! Then you end up with cute container clutter which kinda defeats the purpose.

Oh expensive. I think the thought behind buying expensive containers is that there must be a positive correlation between money spent and usefulness. "They're expensive so they have to work!" No, no they really don't.

If expensive was good, well free is AWESOME! It's like the gift of organization just fell from the sky and into your hands. "Free organizing containers! I can't POSSIBLY pass those up." I got these from my sister T over the weekend. She's organized, she used them. I'm not organized, I have no specific plan for them... They sure are cool though.

This one may be peculiar to people who live far away from IKEA. The IKEA container acquisition goes something like this: "What? You're going to IKEA? I HAVE to put an order in! hmmmm, what do I need? what might I need? Who knows? I know! I'll cover my bases by getting one of each."

Matching containers provide a sense of unity which must provide order, right? I mean, you can line them all up in neat little rows, that's organized isn't it? The problem for someone like me is that I try to put EVERYTHING into a matching plastic box. "Mom where are the tissues?" "In their plastic box." "Heather, where's the dog?" "In her plastic box."

"Recommended" meaning that someone who is considered an expert in organizing recommends a particular item. As soon as they do that, us non-organized people see that item as having the "Fabulous Organizer Seal of Approval." It's like being recommended by Oprah. It means that container is magical. If you buy it, you must be organized. How could you not? The organizing expert has it and they are. Makes perfect sense to me.

For the record, I have specific plans for all most some okay two of these containers. They are they key to being organized. I know it.

So there you go. Six types of containers acquired by those of us with CCA. Can you think of any I missed?

See you tomorrow!


  1. my goodness. you are loaded, just loaded with beautiful, useful, expensive, cheap, free, recommended containers! i agree with all your ideas, and think you should create a container manifesto. BUT what i like most is your lovely pictures with words on them. beautiful blogging!

  2. Thank you Noreen! I'm trying to be fancy now that I've had that Illustrator class ;-)

    "The Container Manifesto" I like it, I'm going to have to think about that!

  3. Ha ha, it's so much fun to read your blog! And this is so true too!

    It's kind of catch-22 with containers for organizing. If you buy first and organize later, you will probably end up with containers in the wrong size and colour. But if you organize first, and then buy the containers, your home will be full of things on the floor/table/bed waiting for the cointainers... If you do one little area at a time, you will have to go to the store millions of times. Tricky!

    I have lots of containers I don't use too, and containers filled with crap that could come to good use.

    Good luck, somehow we make progress if we are really determined! :-)

  4. Hi. I'm Eric, and I am recovering from CCA.
    LOVE this post!!!

  5. Hi Eric! I think I fell off the wagon ;-)

    Maria - I know right? You need something to put the stuff in, but then the stuff for the stuff turns into clutter! What to do!

  6. I think you are onto something! CCA does exist esp. for a friend of mine that has adult ADHD. I love the containers that you got from your sister. Yes, free is awesome! Also glad you know where the dog is : )
    I have fantasies that the right containers will fix my home!!!

    I love your layout and labels! They look great.

  7. I swear I will actually finish organising my office once I get to IKEA in Sydney - I know the Billy Bookcase and the assortment of containers I will buy are going to completely solve the clutter habits of a lifetime. I refuse to acknowledge CCA as a condition. While I continue to live in the optimistic world of the CCA denier I cling to the faint hope that one day I may win my battle over disorganisation.

  8. Thank you Leah! Yep I hear Maisy scratching at the lid, it must be time to go out ;-p

    Go Janine! I love your uh... optimism, yeah, I'll go with "optimism". I think Billy bookcases could work here too... I see another "one of each" IKEA run in my future.


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