Washington Post Throws Itself at ModernDomestic Readership

by moderndomestic on August 14, 2008

For those of you who don’t live in DC and don’t closely follow the gossip about the Washington Posts’ decline, I doubt that you paid attention to the scathing remarks the Post received about their recent sensational and completely unnecessary 13 part front-page series, “Who Killed Chandra Levy,” that was clearly a move to drum up readership.

However, I wonder that there wasn’t more outrage from readers about a similar, 11 part series in the Home and Garden section called “Organizing the Attic.” Clearly a ploy to win over the ModernDomestic audience.

And guess what, it worked! Well, I mean, I did read the whole thing, despite the questionable journalistic value, even for the Post’s Home and Garden section.

The series follows Liz Seymour, deputy editor of The Washington Post Home Section, as she takes on the Herculean task of cleaning out her attic that has become a dumping ground/cesspool for every unused item in the house. She even hires a professional organizer to help her out with the project because she’s so overwhelmed.

While I like organizing articles like these because they satisfy my voyeuristic urge to sneak into other people’s homes and judge them (let’s be serious people, isn’t that why we love the decorating shows? Because we can judge?), it also got me revved up to tackle parts of the apartment that need organizing (like, um, the bathroom, where I still have makeup that I got five years ago and is probably going to turn into acid any minute now).

And it made me think, yet again, that living in a consumer-oriented culture like ours just makes it too easy to accumulate crap. WonkthePlank and I try to be good about throwing things out and not cluttering up the apartment, but this is because we live in a one bedroom apartment and we’re already short on closet space. And we still have places in the apartment that could use a good decluttering session.

Following Seymore as she tackled the mounds of stuff in her attic—from old apartment leases to holiday decorations to table linens—made me that much more committed to only buying things that we’ll really use in the apartment, and regularly combing through and getting rid of what we don’t need.

Otherwise, who knows—maybe in ten years I’ll have enough stuff that I can write a series called “Organizing Under the Bed.”

Hmmm, I wonder if the Post will be in need of a new organizing series by then . . .

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Trekkie August 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm

I followed this series too and I thought that she talked a lot about her junk and not enough about the organizing. I crave information on organizing things in small spaces so that they are compact but still easy to find.

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moderndomestic August 18, 2008 at 1:55 am

I also hate how a lot of articles on organizing just sell you a lot of products. Like, I want tips and techniques, not an advertisement for the Container Store.

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