I was at a corporate meeting one time when they asked that ‘icebreaker’ question they sometimes ask, “Share one thing with everyone they might not know about you.” One of the women said, “I’m super organized.”
I didn’t even realize that was a ‘thing’ until then. And I didn’t fully realize it was my thing too. And probably always has been. (I also couldn’t quite figure out how you could be ‘super organized’ without people around you knowing it – lol.)
Some epiphanies just come to me like that – later in life, from a chance statement. I realized I get comfort and satisfaction from putting things where I think they belong, making them make sense, making them look or sound nice. From words and sentences in my writing, to objects on a book shelf or in a curio cabinet, to piles and files of papers and bills.
I still haven’t figured out if it’s a strength or shortcoming that I basically keep my desktop with probably 12 icons tops (all sorted by type) so you can see my collage of beautiful vacation hiking vistas. And that I get cranky, and somewhat disoriented, if my email inbox (not counting all the orderly files on the side) gets to more than 40 items or so.
I actually marvel at people who can sort through thousands of emails, or dozens of open files, to find things … cause it really throws me off my game!
I never judge or even care how organized someone else is. I just find it helps me – and it’s a key to my own productivity, creativity and peace of mind. (Control the things you can, right?)
I’m the person who loves to do all those final finesses to something I’ve written – organizing all the thoughts, editing down the copy, carefully crafting every word and smoothing every transition. Doing something start to finish, then moving to the next thing … kind of a productivity addict, like my mom and grandmother before me. ‘Project-oriented,’ as someone at work once noted.
I’ve been teased at home about laundry being my ‘hobby’ … but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I do get a certain satisfaction from the sorting, folding, putting away, mindless routine of it all (kind of like paying the bills and putting away the dishes). A friend once shared that she and her husband sort of spontaneously went out and bought a car. She came home a little shaken and stunned, so threw in a load of laundry!
I guess the bottom line is it’s sometimes the little things that make us tick. I’ll admit I probably get a little too happy looking in my super-organized closet and matching up my outfits every day – from funky socks and sneakers, to fun necklaces, earrings, watches and bracelets. But I always come back to the Sheryl Crow song – ‘If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.‘ And when I wear my funky otter or ‘stay-at-home cat mom’ socks to finish off an outfit, I’m pretty happy all day.
And when I can say that it’s a ‘feng shui‘ thing to organize the spaces around you – versus being a little obsessive – that works too!