What Peter Walsh Can Teach Us About National Donut Day

In case you weren’t aware of it, today is National Donut Day—or National Doughnut Day if you’re British, Canadian, or were fans of the ring-shaped, deep-fried cake treat before Dunkin’ Donuts popularized the shorter spelling of this word.

This day is observed on the first Friday of June primarily in the U.S., although in recent years other countries keen to hop on board this artery-clogging celebration have been participating. If you’re thinking that this is a fantastic marketing ploy by donut shops, you’d be wrong. Apparently Donut Day was created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the men and women who served donuts to soldiers during the First World War. In fact, it was only after adding a clause promising to serve donuts and coffee at every meeting that the League of Nations was formally established. Or so rumor has it….

So what does professional organizer Peter Walsh have to do with donuts? Well, Walsh is a master at helping people declutter and organize their homes and lives, and the donut is a master at helping people eat delicious treats. So here’s what Peter Walsh can teach us about National Donut Day: 

Sort Donuts By Type

There’s nothing worse than opening a big box of donuts, grabbing a mouth-watering powdered ring, taking a huge bite, and then realizing that there is a whole other world of round, sweet, fried cakes in there! Not wanting to look like the office glutton, you wipe the white powder from your mouth, hair, shirt, and pants and saunter back to your desk, pretending that you are satisfied with your choice of midday sugar high.

If Peter Walsh has taught us anything about organization, it is this: categorize your donuts for ease and speed of identification. So donut holes should be grouped together, as should jelly-filled, glazed, sprinkled, powdered, and crullers. Any donuts that span more than one category should be eaten on the sly by the office manager prior to setting out the box for the entire staff.

Declutter the Goodies Table

As with the box itself, the “goodies table,” a universal shrine found in every office, ought to be cleared off before depositing a fresh batch of addictions. If you can’t easily locate the sucrose treat among all the clutter, how are you going to experience the sugar high, fog, and crash? It would be a crying shame to miss out on this socially-acceptable bender. So be sure to remove printers, legal documents, and final proofs before throwing down a box of Krispy Kremes.   

Don’t Fight Over Deep-Fried Dough

Peter Walsh reminds us that clutter and chaos is never about the “stuff” but rather the emotional or psychological baggage behind it. So what you really should be doing is figuring out why it’s so essential that you hold on to every single National Geographic magazine ever published.

If you’ve ever come to blows with a coworker, spouse, or friend who’s recuperating in the hospital over the last two donuts in the box, you know what we’re talking about. Suddenly, you must have the chocolate-glazed one and no amount of bribery, refusal of sex, or loudly-beeping heart monitor will make you change your mind. But it’s not really about the chocolate donut, is it? A powdered, jelly-filled one will give you diabetes just as well. 

The Donut and the Promise

Especially in Western society, there is the tendency to buy, buy, buy—and then stash the purchase in a closet or garage, unused. Walsh calls this phenomenon the product and the promise. People don’t want to actually use the product, they just want the results that they’ve been promised from the advertising, and then they have difficulty letting go of the product because they can’t let go of the promise.

Buying stuff you don’t need is an excellent way to mask feelings you aren’t comfortable with, such as sadness or anger, and is a lot more socially acceptable than lighting up a crack pipe. So don’t pick up a six-pack of crullers with the hope that they will deliver you the promise of happiness, fulfillment, or love. The most you can hope for is the coveted role of popular donut guy at work—but only until the last crumb has been mouth-Hoovered from the box.

Selena Templeton

Selena Templeton is a writer and editor who sees the world through Giggle Glass, a type of wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display plus false nose and mustache. It reveals the absurd, amusing, and inappropriate goings on of daily life and displays it in a lap top-like hands-on format, from which she posts to various blogs such as Self Storage Finders, Romantically Challenged, and SelenaTempleton.com. As a former professional organizer and a current Virgo, she is a self-diagnosed authority on storage, packing, organizing, and general neat freakishness.

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