After more than a decade of organizing people’s homes and offices, there are certain things that I’ve often wished never existed. The ubiquity of these, and the speed at which I do away with them, has me convinced that the world would truly be a better place if I never saw another one.
Sounds harsh, but read on, and I’m sure you’ll agree. Here are my top ten:
1. Party favors— It’s bad enough that children today get trophies for playing on a team and getting a haircut, but do we have to give them trophies for attending parties? Does anyone need a trophy saying, “I Had Fun at Ethan’s 6th Birthday Party”? Does anyone need a bag of cheap, plastic crap or candy after having cake and ice cream? Why are we bribing children to come to parties?
2. Reply-all emails—Unless I’m the one organizing the meeting, bake sale, or party, I don’t need to know that you’re coming, too.
3. Tote bags—Used for anything other than toting. If it’s stuffed with junk in your closet then it’s no longer a tote bag—it’s a garbage bag.
4. Monogrammed gifts—They can’t be returned. And people have a very hard time discarding anything with their name or their child’s name on it. Even when they don’t want it. Need I say more?
5. “Economy” sizes—They’re the opposite of economy. Unless you’re raising the Gosselin eight, how much ketchup can you really use by the expiration date?
6. Paint your own pottery—Slapping paint on a pre-made ceramic is not creating art. It’s creating junk…that’s expensive… that your child will then want to display. Find another way to entertain your child.
7. Poster board—Or rather, school projects on poster board. A three year old can navigate an i-Pad, so a school age child can certainly figure out how to use Power Point.
8. Pedestal sinks—Where are you supposed to put the toilet paper and extra soap?
9. School half days—Either give the children a day off, or keep them all day. Anything in between is annoying and hard to plan around. And while we’re at it, let’s also eliminate parent participation events that start in the middle of the day. Most parents work, and it’s convenient for no one, stressful for everyone.
10. Work parties—That’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one.