An extreme tolerance for all things organized


I was chatting with a good friend about similar idiosyncrasies we have when it comes to organization and storage of many items around our homes.  I, like him, choose to have vegetables stored in the fridge with other vegetables, condiments belong with other condiments and canned goods deserve to be recognized at first glance because their labels all face outward from their designated cupboard.


(yes, this is my cupboard)

Having this conversation with him made me feel normal.  What I had deemed to be slightly irrational behavior on my part, we agreed, is theoretically more of a sensible thing than a labelled disorder.  I like things to be organized.  I like the feeling of order and knowing I can find something quickly because it holds a place where it should be found.

I love to cook so having all of my food items readily available and easy to locate makes my life much easier as does my cooking method.  I learned many years ago from a very wise teacher to clean as you go.  As things are boiling or sautéing,  you can be spending those idle moments closing cupboards and drawers and cleaning the dishes that you have already used.  There is nothing worse than cooking for hours only to be faced with a mountain of dirty dishes at the end of the prep work.  This is an unnecessary evil and one that can be alleviated by cleaning as you go and potentially reusing some of those same dishes to cut down on the clean up.

The three letters OCD have been beaten into submission, rendered unconscious and left for dead.  I knew I was bordering on something that could be defined with three simple parts of the alphabet but O, C and D was not the combination of letters that I felt defined my habitual tendencies.

After careful consideration and a willingness to admit that there may be a convenient label for me, I feel comfortable conceding to the fact that I have ATD – Attention To Detail.  This affliction is not discussed in medical journals nor is it recognized as a treatable disorder but I feel confident that, given time, more people will hopefully become afflicted by this chronic need for organization and cleanliness.

The tagline of our first group meeting will be – “Put it back where it belongs and close the drawer all the way”.  We are currently taking well-written and grammatically correct submissions to become part of our team.  Applications should be double-spaced in the font of your choice (Times New Roman).




20 thoughts on “An extreme tolerance for all things organized

  1. I alphabetize my herbs and spices, and further break down categories into those used for baking (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger) and cooking (bay leaves, curry powder, mustard seeds)—do I qualify for ATD membership?

  2. Wait! Are you telling me that there are some people who organize their canned goods in a different way than that? I can’t fathom it 😛 This way seems the most logical, normal, intuitive way there could possibly be!! The (genius) parenthetical inclusion in your last sentence just kills me. Very funny, Susan!!

  3. YES! Thank you… I feel like I spend half my life justifying why I prefer things to be a certain way (because it’s easier than organised chaos, you fools!) ATD and proud.

  4. Ha ha ha ha ha! Perfect timing for this post. I just got done organizing my closet. The clothes MUST be in categories, (casual, professional, etc.), and hung shortest to longest! I also feel much more comfortable if my canned goods are facing front.

  5. Ok, my pantry starts out like yours but somehow it never stays that way……I am unworthy to be a member of your club😳 but I admire your motto!

  6. Your stacked cans are impressive. I have kids… my pantry definitely does NOT look like that! (I do have labeled bins for instant oatmeal packets, drink mixes, fruit snacks, healthy snacks, tea bags, etc… so I do try to keep some sense of organization!) I’m pretty sure I have ATD 🙂

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