I am not, overall, compulsively organized. (I can almost hear Dad’s snort of agreement at that statement.) I’ve gotten more organized as I’ve gotten older, and there are certainly areas of the house that I care more about than others. In the kitchen, for example, if something isn’t exactly where it’s Supposed To Be, then to my mind it is Lost. This is why it’s been in everyone’s best interest if no one but me ever puts away the dishes.
But in much of the house, I am functionally organized: that is, exactly as organized as I have to be in order to function. I don’t futz around with getting really organized unless something really bugs me.
Something like CDs, for example.
We don’t have a ton of music. Everything that we own fits (almost, roughly) into a small box, where we packed it once long ago for moving. It’s lived in that box ever since. This was a little annoying to me all along, since digging through a box to find my favorite Enya CD was never entirely fun, but over time more popular CDs shifted t the top, and it wasn’t terrible. Until, that is, Nathan became more interested in listening to music.
To make a long story short, I developed a deep reluctance to go anywhere near that box. I began to loathe it: the broken cases, the orphaned CDs that hadn’t been put back correctly, the jumble of unused discs that neither of us could remember where we’d gotten them anyway. One somewhat frantic afternoon, when I was looking for a CD for Nathan, I had a vivid fantasy about scooping up the whole box and taking it out to hurl into the garbage bin. “If we’re just going to treat these like garbage, why not throw them away and be done with it!” I imagined screaming. That was when I knew it was time to act.
Thrift stores to the rescue: over Dave’s Christmas break I found two nice little CD organizers for very little money, ones that (importantly) could be mounted to the wall out of easy child reach. Buying them was fun; installing them satisfying; but unless you have that little nugget of organizational joy in your own brain, you won’t understand the sheer, ecstatic pleasure of putting the CDs into their new home. Grouped by artist! Further grouped by type! This section reserved for library CDs! I approached the task slowly so that I could savor it more.
Of course I know that it won’t stay so wonderfully organized, but that’s ok. I can already feel the compulsion dying now that our CDs have some kind of home. In the meantime, I’m just letting myself enjoy the brief, lovely increase in household order.