Is The Container Store Like Porn for Women?

March 5, 2012 | By | Comments (1)

Is there something unique in women’s brains that makes us go bonkers for bins, binders, and baskets or cuckoo for containers, clasps, and clips?

I ask because in the last few weeks alone, I’ve had rather impassioned conversations with a few friends and acquaintances, wherein we both spoke feverishly about our love for all things organization and containment. Put an image of orderly closets or perfectly-arranged shelves in front of many modern women—and it’s an instant “Aahhhh”. Or perhaps it’s actualy an instant “ACK!”, given how most of our real-life closets stack up. (Mine are rather disastrous.)

Seriously: look around the next time you enter The Container Store. I’ll be willing to bet it’s largely women who are in there grabbing up the plastic shoe bins in every size, the ten-pant hangers, the 30-pocket jewelry holder. It’s like catnip! Just look at the displays and catalogs–they’re distinctly female.

While studies have shown that women ARE,  in fact, more organized than men, and that they have neater handwriting, I’m not sure these differences alone account for the strange and single-minded desire to have the world’ most organized pantry or a garage with a hook for every need.

Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to see that the desire for organization surely has roots in a need to feel in control, to try to rein in the swirling demands and detritus around us. In an attempt to gain control, some turn to booze or disordered eating or other destructive behaviors. I contend that many women turn to Real Simple, the world of Martha Stewart, and all that irresistible beyond at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

While my husband goes berserk when I move something to another of my “organizational systems” or hang just one more random hook (he contends my solutions make more problems than they’re worth), I’m rather stubborn and unrepentant. It’s almost like I have Champagne tastes on a beer budget—such is the chasm between my actual level of organization and my desired/dreamed-for level.

In the end, whether or not anything truly changes and I magically become a neat person, I’ll keep oohing over artfully-arranged bookshelves, snatching up drawer dividers, and wandering wistfully through the Tupperware….

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