From Endurance to Dressage
Originally, I thought I was the last human on Earth to watch Clea and Joanna on the Netflix series, The Home Edit. Turns out, lots of you hadn't seen it either. I wrote about what they first inspired me to do here. As you likely already know, dressage people tend toward a Type A personality which means we like things done just so. Think Sheldon Cooper if you will.
When life gets stressful, screw you,COVID-19, the state of my physical surroundings plays a much greater role in my emotional health than it does when life is humming merrily along its little way. The more stressed out I have become due to work and COVID, the more the little piles began to look like mountains. After I gave my office a once over, I couldn't stop myself. The rest of the house became fair game.
The Home Edit's system is fairly straight forward. Essentially, it boils down to five basic steps.
With my office zoned, edited, and contained, I moved on to other parts of my house. The visible parts were all tidy and well organized. While not terrible, it was the hidden places in my home that needed some love. I started with underneath my kitchen sink. Per Joanna and Clea's directions, I took everything out. Then I cleaned the cleaners, tossed out the nearly empty ones, and laid down a vinyl mat cut to size. I took some quick measurements and headed over to Lowe's. Only three baskets would fit, so I created zones based on my available area. While the strategy might not be obvious to you, the baskets make sense to me.
While at Lowe's, I purchased extra plastic bins knowing that underneath my bathroom sink was next. My husband's side of the bathroom has far fewer products, so I left his alone ... for now. I followed the same strategy of removing everything, wiping the cabinet out, and then creating zones. Clea and Joanna call all of the new, unopened items, backstock, so that is what is filling up the space in the back.
I also tackled the drawers. For the one above, I threw out piles of old make up, tarnished mirrors, used-up emery boards, and a bunch of safety pins, old buttons, and strands of hair. For my hair accessories, I got rid of old scrunchies, broken barrettes, and even more loose hair.
Not wanting to spend even more than I already had - right now I've spent around $300 for new containers, I repurposed the baskets that I already had. Without so much junk in them, the baskets now have plenty of room to fit the items that I deemed serviceable and safe to use.
I know that for myself, overcoming inertia is the hardest part of any job. Newton's first law of motion states that "An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force." Once I started, there was no stopping me.
For once, my husband wasn't annoyed by my frantic puttering because he knew the kitchen pantry was next. I am the cook in our house, so the pantry's chaos was to me at least, an organized mess. Unfortunately, I was the only one who could figure out the system. My husband needed a compass, a map, and a headlamp to figure out where the flour was located.
Since my zones were already pretty well established - back stock goes on the top shelf, cookbooks next, and cans go a shelf down, I only had to empty one shelf at a time to reorganize. For the cans, I bought a set of three-tier spice rack steps. Those gave me a lot more useable space on that shelf. You can now see what's in the back row.
The worst offenders in my messy pantry were the bottom three sections. My fourth shelf, the top shelf in the photo below, became a baking and snack shelf while the one below it is now for pastas, grains, and liquids. The Applejacks are not a regular staple, and while I desperately wanted them on the snack shelf, they just would not fit. I am still working on a solution for the occasional cereal box.
Having zones has made it much quicker and easier to make a grocery list - I can now see what's missing, and it's all a lot faster to put away since everything has a designated space. If you're interested, the canisters holding my sugar(s), flour, and oatmeal were from Amazon as were the wire baskets.
As I was refreshing my kitchen, I realized that the plastic organizer that I had been using for my silverware drawer was easily fifteen years old, so I sprang for a more contemporary model which turned out to have better compartments anyway. As for the rest of the drawers and cabinets, I had already emptied and reorganized them a year or so ago by buying racks to hold my pot lids and cutting boards, and I tossed out anything that hadn't been used in the past decade.
I continued through the house, consolidating all of the bedding from the two spare bedrooms and accompanying bathroom. Why I had sheets in three different places I'll never know. I even found a set of really nice sheets for our bed that I haven't used since moving into this house four years ago. They've now been laundered and put back into circulation.
The final stop on my whirlwind tour was my half of the closet. We both keep our respective sides very neat, but my sweaters and pants were constantly cascading over the edge. The cloth, closet bins that I found were fairly inexpensive and have solved the problem of lost and buried sweaters.
As I open drawers and cupboards around the house, I find myself sighing in contentment. Organizing my physical world is a sure-fire way to get my mental house in order. I feel less stressed, less overwhelmed, and far more relaxed.
If you've started watching The Home Edit, let me know what you think.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
3/6-7 El Sueño (***)
4/17-18 El Sueño (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
5/23 TMC (*)
6/12-13 SB (***) OR
6/19-20 El Sueño (***)
6/27 TMC (*)
7/3-4 Burbank (***) OR
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
7/25 TMC (*)
8/14-15 RAAC (Q) (***)
8/29 TMC (*)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read