Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Place for Everything and Everything MUST Be in its Place

I love order and organization. To me there is nothing better than spending a day sorting and organizing and finding a home for clutter. I will organize and sort virtually anything with mass and volume, and that takes up space. It's what I do. When I see clutter, there is a chemical reaction in my brain that blocks all other rational thoughts and the only thing that I can focus on is, "Must sort junk...must sort junk," and until I have been able to tackle whatever it is that is wearing on me, I find it very difficult to concentrate on anything else. Some would say it's a sickness, I would say that it is an endearing little quirk, Mike would say, "Someone help me. She is organizing my underwear by color!"

I have always known that I am a very organized person, but I became aware that maybe I was a little too organized when I was sitting in a doctor's office one day and all I could think about was, "That chair should be over here because then it would go, red chair, blue chair, red chair, blue chair..." and it was all that I could think about. Then I started wondering, "What would things look like if this table went over here and this chair was turned like this..." Long story short by the time they called my name it was like one of those big reveal moments on Trading Spaces and I was all, "Ta Da!!!" The other patients seemed a little pissed, but whatever. Some people just don't appreciate anything.

The lab that I used to work in was big on supplies, but very, very short on space and everything that was essential for the job littered every single square inch of the room. Do you have any idea what it was like to work there and NOT be able to sort and organize? It would be like putting Ru Paul in a room full of makeup, wigs, and show girl costumes and telling him, "Do not make yourself fierce girlfriend!" I believe that he would most likely implode and I almost did except that every three weeks or so, either myself or one of my coworkers would rotate to another hospital's lab for a week, and there it was much easier to be, well, organizationally insane. There were big open spaces, much less clutter, and for the most part, lots of extra time to spend cleaning and organizing. By the time that my week was up, I had done enough sorting therapy to get through another three weeks amid the clutter at the other hospital.

Before children, I always had my DVDs alphabetized, my remote controls lined up on the coffee table like little soldiers, and my canned goods were arranged nicer than your local Quickie Mart, but once Aaron came along I had to let go of a lot of that stuff. It was hard, very hard, and I remember the exact day that I had to surrender to the clutter. It had been way too long since I had done any dusting and Aaron was in the baby swing chillin', catching up on the latest Blues Clues, and I thought, "I think that I will clean." Of course, as soon as I started, he started wailing and I threw my hands up and said, "Screw it!" A little piece of me died that day my friends, but somehow I managed to learn to cope with some clutter. Oh it still drives me completely nuts and there are times when I will be sitting in church trying to listen to the sermon when all I can think about is, "The newspaper was all over the table when we left, and the breakfast dishes are still out...I bet that person's house is in order...," but somehow I have been able to function even with the obsessive thoughts running through my head over and over, and yeah, over again.

The good thing is that with kids comes a whole new crop of things to organize. When we bought Aaron his first set of play food, I really wanted to buy a special organizer to sort the stuff according to the food guide pyramid. Dairy in this drawer, meat in here, veggies in this compartment...Oh yeah, I'm totally sick. There are times when I could spend hours going through both of the kid's things attempting to put everything back with its original pieces. Cars go in the car bin. Diego doesn't belong with the Weebles. Doesn't Elyse know that this purse is an accessory and belongs with the hats? Urgh, kids.

My dream would be to spend an entire week alone with nowhere to go and nothing else to do but reorganize my house. I probably wouldn't even waste time eating. I would just survive on Diet Pepsi and anything that I could pop into my mouth on the fly. I would start at one corner of the house and I wouldn't stop until I got all the way through to the basement. Oh the joy! I'm not sure I could handle it. The only problem is that if I actually did that, I would most likely have to ban the kids from ever coming back. Sure I'd miss them, but the food in my refrigerator would be sorted by expiration date. Can you imagine?


Leslie said...

You need to come to my house. You can organize and declutter all you want!