I am a fellow devotee of the organized lifestyle but have discovered that the larger household requires constant reorganization on the part of the organizer. The silver bowl on the dresser in the front hall... was replaced by a lacquered wooden bowl when the new paperboy took to using rubber bands... and it was discovered that rubber does something disastrous and permanent to silver. The blood on the Christmas cards is easily explained: The single-edged razor blade, indispensable for opening wellwrapped packages, somehow got dropped into the bowl.

Gloves and mittens have been filed since time immemorial in the left-hand dresser drawer, but candle stubs are recent, removed from Halloween pumpkins by grandchildren and stowed away against next Halloween because they are exactly the right size and shape and it is harder to cut down a long candle to fit pumpkin then you think.

The long drawer underneath contains the big flattish games that keep visiting children occupied on rainy days. They are quite safe because one of the lids has flipped up and the drawer cannot be opened...

The right side of the bottom cabinet shelf to the left of the stove is for honey and syrup jars, set on plastic saucers to catch the drips. Which container got spilled, and when, is not known, nor what culprit attempted to swab up the mess with a paper towel. It was well solidified by the time I attacked it with steel wool and hot suds. It was educational to observe how the syrup (honey?) and the orginal finish of the wooden shelf had formed some indissoluble compound capable of amalgamating with shreds of paper toweling and still active enough to take in, and retain, shreds of steel wool. When the California daughter-in-law (a biochemist) visits next summer, I plan to call this to her attention. Nobel Prizes have been won as a result of just such accidental discoveries.

The chisel and the beer-can opener, kept for decades in the laundry for opening detergent boxes (Press Flap Gently, Lift and Pull Back) have both disappeared. My husband admits to having filed the chisel elsewhere under TOOLS, but cannot remember where; the beer-can opener is thought to have left the area in someone's glove compartment...