For as far back as I can remember, people have made fun of me because of my intense focus on things like organization, cleanliness, etc. Not just my focus, but my enjoyment of a good organizational project. I like things to alphabetized or grouped by height, size, color, type, etc. Everything has a home, and I prefer things to be in their homes. My roommate does not share my, “a home for everything, and everything is returned to its home” compulsion. Therefore, there are baskets all over my apartment. In the bathroom there’s one on the sink for hairpins and such and a larger one for sprays, curling irons, etc. By creating a convenient home for these items, she puts them away 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time, I can put them away in under 10 seconds, so it doesn’t bother me. Same goes for shared household items. I established where they go and I replenish them so we never run out. This makes me happy and she enjoys the fact that we never run out of things like toilet paper and dish soap. We both win.
I have done things like this in every place I’ve lived, including my parent’s house. However, over the years I learned to tone down anything more overt because I knew that it either wasn’t sustainable with the people I was around, or that I would be teased. Being late causes me stress. A massive pile of unwashed laundry, causes me stress. Not having a home for papers and mail that need attention, causes me stress. Unfinished work/business, causes me stress. I know this about myself, but since I spent years downplaying and ignoring these needs so that I could fit in and “just relax,” I think that I became accustomed to this underlying constant level of stress. Instead of telling people that reorganizing shelves in my living room was much more relaxing to me than going to the spa, I went to the spa and pretended that my mind wasn’t racing through the items that I could be checking off my to-do list at that very moment. Because that is what normal people did. That is how you avoid getting teased.
I have lived like that for a long time now, and I’ve noticed that recently I have had this overwhelming urge to go through all of my belongings and get rid of almost everything. Downsize and weed out until I have the bare minimums. Not for any reason, other than the fact that I am sick and tired of having stuff around. Which left me thinking that there had to be something underlying this growing need. That’s when it occurred to me; it is much easier to have everything hyper-organized when you only own a handful of belongings. So instead of getting rid of everything I own, I’m going to stop pretending that I’m okay with clutter. I’m going to relax by cleaning and organizing everything that I own to within an inch of its life. I will post my calendars and to-do lists and pre-plan my meals and it will be fabulous. If something doesn’t have a home and I can’t find a suitable home for it, then I will get rid of it; but I’m not getting rid of things just for the sake of getting rid of them. That’s ridiculous and won’t solve the underlying problem.
My name is Kat, I am a hyper-organized, neat-freak and I don’t care who knows or makes fun.