Even crime is organized

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“Organizing isn’t about perfection.  It’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life.” ~ Christina Scalise

I am a self-professed control freak when it comes to events in my life.  I love planning, I love having lists and I love being organized.  I’m an Aries, what can I say?

The questionnaire

(photo credit)

Routine and planning make me comfortable.  I like to know what to expect and I appreciate having my day flow in a way that can only come from planning.  I go so far as to arrange my grocery list according to the layout of the aisles so my shopping is not a haphazard trip, circling the store multiple times to find the items I need.  It is a coordinated dance through the maelstrom of people frantically running from aisle to aisle, having given no forethought to the layout of the store.

While I admit I am not a big fan of surprises, I do appreciate a little spontaneity.  It is a welcome change from the comfort of my structure but I could never be a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl.  I like setting aside time for certain tasks and find that I accomplish much more when I stick to a regimented timetable.

I have mellowed over the years and am not as systematic as I used to be.  I was once accused of planning a spontaneous event and, although I thought I covered it well, I was guilty as charged.  I’ve learned to let go of the reigns as I have matured and enjoy the moments of the unexpected.  But I will never give up my lists.

What about you? Are you a planner or do you prefer spontaneity?

An extreme tolerance for all things organized

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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.

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(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).

 

 

 

Reworking the image of a mid-life crisis

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I have noticed a few things about myself as I gracefully grow older, particularly over the last few years.  Grey hair and wrinkles notwithstanding, my perspective has evolved from the relatively carefree attitude I once enjoyed.   Gone are the days I flippantly put that first toe into the soothing waters of a hot tub and let my body follow.  Public pools are a distant memory and the frequency of my hand washing has increased exponentially.  Hell, these days I even avoid soaking in a bathtub.  I refuse to call myself a germaphobe but, if the label fits, I have three letters for myself – O C D.

I don’t know when this nuance in my psyche first began to form but it has taken root and branched out at an uncomfortable rate.  I haven’t reached the breaking point of color coding my closet or having my remote controls in a line at a 45 degree angle, yet, but I do notice the trending pattern and it has become somewhat disconcerting.

Perhaps this is a natural evolution from childhood to adulthood.  Maybe this is simply my acceptance of dealing with reality from an educated viewpoint.  Or just maybe, this is my mid-life crisis.  Conceivably I am taking things far too seriously but I cannot seem to access the earlier frame of mind that allowed me to live with reckless abandon.  I am stymied by my overwhelming urge to retreat from public spaces and the sharing of any bodily excretions that are emitted into public water.

midlife crisis(image credit:  someecards.com)

I can only hope that the misgivings of my mid-life irrationality will subside.  I hope to be able to, once again, access that childhood abandon that allowed my to enjoy my life without second-guessing it, or at least bring me reasonably close to that feeling again.  If not, I fear I may be sending my future blog posts via Skype from the bubble I have inhabited while banging on the keyboard through my rubber gloves!

Have you noticed any noteworthy changes as you’ve gotten older?

Hoarding gives me the Heebie-jeebies

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The Daily Prompt asks this question today:

Does a messy home (or office) make you anxious and cranky, or is cleaning something you just do before company comes over?

coffee_table

(image credit: accentondesign.net)

The items on my coffee table do not have to be positioned at precise angles at varying degrees, but things do have a certain place in my house.  I am not fanatical about cleaning, but I am stringent about being organized.  I don’t get many surprise visitors because I live in a very rural area, but if people drove off the beaten path and arrived at my home, I would not be frantically searching for the Swiffer or tossing newspapers or wrappers under the couch cushions.

The same goes for my desk at work.  Sure there are piles of paper and file folders, but they are organized piles that I strategically am able to work through because everything has its place.

Having said that, the entrance way into my house could potentially negate anything I’ve mentioned about seeming organized, but that will be rectified soon.  My entrance way is the only spot for me to store my patio cushions and other outdoor items that are longing to be freed from their winter incarceration.  It’s nothing close to being a Hoarder’s episode, but it does make me a bit anxious when I see everything piled in one spot.  Hazmat suits are not required, but until I win the lottery I will have to deal with the negative aspects of living in a house that is only 650 square feet.  At least the rest of it is organized!

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