Getting Organized: That’s Crate!

Posted on October 14, 2020


Since I broke my wrist, biking and some hiking have been out of reach as too dangerous and too strenuous, so I’ve had to find suitable ways to be physically active. I was doing a bit of gardening, but then I overdid it, so I turned my attention to the house.

After several weeks of work, I’ve organized every room, every closet, and I’ve significantly downsized the library.

As a person with spinal damage, one “rule” I made for myself is to avoid owning things I can’t safely move by myself. Of course, there are a few things, like refrigerators and laundry machines, that are too heavy, but these items are not ones that I wish to rearrange for a new look.

Other items, like chairs, tables, and book cases fall under The Rule. To that end, I was able to empty the last two book cases and replace them with crates I’d emptied in the library. Now I am in zero danger of getting injured by moving heavy book cases, and I like the fact that I can safely move every piece of furniture in the house on my own power.

This is why I love crates! I love that they can be stacked in various shapes, and that the shapes can be changed. I love hanging file crates for organizing documents in The Archive, milk crates for hidden storage (like shelves under the hanging clothes in the closet), and wooden crates for books.

I’ve had my milk crates for decades; they were my first “shelving units” as a young adult in poverty, and they served me well. As I earned more money, I bought big, wooden book cases–which I ended up giving away as I made my furnishings adapt to The Rule.

Now, when I see how cute and practical my wooden crates are, I wish I hadn’t succumbed to the idea that “real” bookcases are better. That was some weird, middle-class, striving vibe I inherited from Mom, who was self-conscious about “looking poor.”

I don’t care about appearances; I’m all about practicality, and this is why I love crates. If I could go back in time, I’d advise myself, regarding furniture: “Keep the crates. Crates are great!”

Crates also reflect HDT’s credo: “Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.” It’s very simple: a crate is just a rigid box. I love that. I love boxes!

…Also baskets, even buckets (pails, to some readers). But today…

I Celebrate Crates

I raise a toast!

To Crates! To Crates!

I’m telling you, they’re really GREAT!

The perfect solution: the humble crate.

Through the decades they will last.

They help you organize your past.

They hold your books and documents.

They let you see where your stuff went.

It’s a book case, dresser, shelf.

It’s more helpful than an elf.

It’s not a sign of poverty;

it’s simple practicality.

Crates help make my house a Home.

Crates drove me to write this poem.

In the slideshow below, the 1st photo is one of the last, large book cases.

The other photos are the CRATES at work in the living room, library, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and Archive.

lisa eddy is a writer-for-hire, researcher, educator-for-hire, youth advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy
On email:

Photo: Ed Pembleton