Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Entry archive:

(Getty Images/Hemera)
(Getty Images/Hemera)

Organization as art Add to ...

Glow-in-the-dark baby Jesus figurines. Asparagus shafts. Matchbooks. Spools of thread. Dental instruments.

They're all there, and they're all extremely organized at a blog called Things Organized Neatly. Launched last month, it's the latest website to compile perfectly aligned objects for public consumption.

More related to this story

Before that, there was Collection A Day, which creator Lisa Congdon has parlayed into a book, out next spring. A lifelong collector, Ms. Congdon embarked on a year-long project to photograph one collection every day starting Jan. 1, 2010, from airline baggage tags to sewing machine parts.

Similar was Obsessive Consumption, a project started by Kate Bingaman-Burt, an assistant professor of graphic design at Portland State University. She documented everything she bought on a blog and in a book, published in March. From toilet bowl cleaner to tweezers to Kit-Kat bars and Vitamin water, everything is shown in screeching detail.

"Money and purchasing and the problems with money and the emotional connection to buying products have been a constant in my life. When the women in my family get together, we go shopping. We discuss important issues in our lives over sale racks instead of the kitchen table," Ms. Bingaman-Burt writes in her introduction.

Foodies are getting in on the action as well: September saw the release of Hembakat ar Bast (Homemade is Best), Ikea's 140 page coffee-table baking book. It features photos of ingredients perfectly and painstakingly laid out, one by one on a blank canvas. The book, which features 30 classic Swedish baking recipes, was shot by Carl Kleiner, a photographer obsessed with order in his still-life shots.

Why all the obsessive compulsiveness? After the recession, downsizing was all the rage. This new crop celebrates people's neatly curated collections in all their minutiae, appreciatively.

 

In the know

Top videos »