Organized vs. disorganized


By the age of 53, you would think I’d learned the fine art of organization. But maybe it has nothing to do with age. Probably it’s genetic. Here’s where I get to blame my parents for something — my tendency toward disorganization. It’s all their fault.

So here I am…married to Mr. Organization himself. I’d hoped that after 30 years of marriage, I’d have gained some of his skills through osmosis. Nope. Hasn’t happened.

Case in point: my sewing room. The door is usually shut if (a) there is more than one dog in the house, and (b) there’s an outside chance that someone from the “outside” might pop in and just perchance, need to partake of the “facilities” and get a peek at my sunny yellow sewing room.

There is a reason the door is shut. It is a mess. Technically, it is clean and the hardwood floor is (usually) clear of items. Except those bags of fabric, but they don’t count because they’re underneath the sewing table and no one but Ike can fit under that.

On any given day, my sewing table will be covered — well, at least part of it — by piles of fabric waiting to become items of clothing, Eric’s faded jeans waiting to be patched, some favorite DVDs, and one piece of fabric laid out so as to give the impression that I am mid-project. Oh, and my favorite sewing scissors might be there to lend creedence to said sewing project. I can leave them there safe in the knowledge that no one will touch them. They’ve learned — the hard way — that use of them for anything other than fabric is VERBOTEN.

So…back to the organization thing. A few years ago, Mr. Organization brought home a piece of furniture from his dad’s shop. In its shop days, this cupboard of hundreds of tiny drawers was filled with nails, screws, etc. — likely catalogued alphabetically. Mr. O set down the “object” and without saying a word, set about cleaning and painting it. 

Nonchalantly, I asked what he intended to do with it. His eyes bright, Mr. O said he didn’t know, but if I wanted it, I could have it. Clearly, he hoped I’d use it to create my own semblance of order. I caved. Sure…why not…so up to the sewing room it went. I spent the afternoon placing notions of all sorts — buttons, snaps, elastic, pins, sewing machine parts, thimbles, needles, etc. in the tiny drawers. Patterns fit perfectly into the larger drawers on the bottom.

As I said, I spent the afternoon doing that. One afternoon. Now and then I ponder the possibility of spending another afternoon finishing the project but that concept is overwhelming. In an attempt to help out, Santa brought me a label maker — ideal for labeling each drawer. This would be a great idea…if I could figure out the label maker. Instead, there it sits on top of the cupboard.

Now whenever I need a specific button or type of elastic, I think again how much easier it would be if the drawers were labeled. I wouldn’t have to spend the better part of an hour opening and closing every drawer until I find the right item.

In contrast, take a peek at our basement office. Well, technically, it’s Mr. Organization’s office because Mr. O has organized it. All too well. There are all the drawers, clearly labeled with every item in its place. On the wall is a huge white board divided into categories of projects, their progress and their due dates. A three-month calendar is filled with scheduled events — color coded.

The bookshelves are filled with books — not necessarily alphabetically but by author when possible. The desktop might be strewn with papers, but clearly each one has its place. And every weekend, it gets DUSTED. I am not making this up.

Somewhere — hidden away — are stamp albums filled with stamps, carefully categorized. Other stamps are filed in envelopes. This is probably also true of his coin collection, although I don’t know. I think he’s afraid I might cash that in if he shows it to me.

This whole concept of organization is a fascinating subject. He’s organized and ALWAYS on time. I’m disorganized and RARELY on time. He can (usually) find things at the drop of a hat. Except for his car keys and wallet. And items in the refrigerator. And phone.

At any rate, I recently read an article on organizing specific areas of the house (i.e., kitchen, office, gift-wrapping room). Gift wrapping room?? Who has time for that? I’ve got to admit, though, that I fell in love with the organized kitchen — pretty little clear plastic containers stacked and labeled. Everything in its place.

So…guess what I’m going to do this weekend? Well…at least for one afternoon. But I will NOT become Mrs. Organization. That would only confuse our daughters. You see, one of them is Mz. Organization. One is not. Gotta keep life in the balance.

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6 responses to “Organized vs. disorganized

  1. I know where you saw the gift wrapping room! Real Simple magazine. Isn’t it the coolesT?

    • Pannabecker Steiner Mary

      Yep, you’re right. Anne and I were looking at that last night, wondering who would have that much wrapping paper around????

  2. want me to come over and help you throw s*%t away? 🙂

  3. Pannabecker Steiner Mary

    Yes, please. AND you can help me organize the kitchen…then the sewing room. PLEASE.

  4. Organization is overrated. An organized mind has too much time. That’s what I’m using as an excuse.

    • Pannabecker Steiner Mary

      And a sound excuse…but Fred has no time NOT to be organized. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be as efficient as he is. I think I’m ADHD.

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