I am a neat freak. Not a clean freak, per se, but a neat freak. I like things organized and in their place.
I do clean my house regularly , often, and fairly thoroughly. I tend to due “light cleaning” all along, then heavy cleaning once a month or so. However, I am, constantly organizing and reorganizing my/our stuff, to make it fit better, look better, and/or to make it more practical for my/our access and use. This drives Jeffrey crazy sometimes, but if I do it myself and leave him out of it, he is mostly fine to leave me to my obsessions. (His office is his one haven and off-limits from my orderly attacks, although I do sneak in to vacuum, dust, and tidy up on occasion.) Just as it drives Jeffrey crazy for me to constantly organize, it drives me crazy to have disarray and disorganization. I cannot rest or relax while things are a-muss.
There is the practical, every day, ordinary (for me) housekeeping organizing. Cabinet and closet doors and drawers must always be closed and shut when not in use (lest monsters escape), beds must be made (lest monsters take it as an open invitation to roll about in the muss), dishes put in dishwasher and or put away (lest monsters lick them), blankets and throws folded and placed where they belong (lest monsters steal away with them to build forts), garbage and recycling emptied before over flow (lest monsters think the house their territory with all the overflowing garbage) , boxes broken down and disposed of (lest monsters use them to hide), hanging hand towels neatened (monsters never do so after using)….you get the picture. This is the stuff I do every day, throughout the day, to keep the house looking orderly and organized, as it brings me a sense of calm and peace.
Then there is the deep-dive organizing:
Clothes closets get torn apart and everything gets folded, hung, stacked, stored, and placed as neatly as possible. Our master bedroom walk-in closet is home to our clothes, shoes, extra bed linens, my ostomy supplies, and a few other odds and ends with no other place to go. It gets used daily, things pulled in and out of it, so it needs a thorough reorganizing fairly regularly, once every two months or so (depending on how long I can stand it.)
Our coat closet got reorganized this weekend. It is home to our coats and sweaters, winter scarves and hats, fabric bags and totes, cleaning tools, and extra bar stock. This also gets fairly frumpled on a regular basis, ad for everything to fit nicely, it needs to be kept as orderly as possible.
Bathroom cabinets full of toiletries and towels need to be neatened and reorganized often, as well.
Under sink cabinets became wastelands of cleaning and tissue supplies, no matter how often I attend to them. Perhaps because they get the most use?
Kitchen cabinets and drawers are in constant need of tidying up, impacted by food stock and new devices or discarded ones. We also cook every day, breakfasts and dinner (and lunch on weekends) so I’m always trying new to things to make more room and make things more accessible. We have more dishes than we need, but all devices get used often or discarded. (The one exception is our bread machine, which gets dragged out once or twice a year for a flurry of fresh bread baking, then returned to storage for the next flurry.) Our kitchen is probably the least consistent in organization, things are moved often to improve the flow. Jeffrey isn’t a fan of the constant change, but usually recognizes the improvement once he’s had a chance to experience it.
Christmas decorations are about as organized as they can get, sorted by room and theme, placed in clear bins,m and labeled. If there’s a better way to do it, I am unaware of it.
My comic books remain organized A_Z and catalogued.
My basement collectibles are fairly permanently set up but, again, new gifts and acquisitions requires some tweaking here and there to make room or pull collections together.
The thing is, I love doing all this organizing. It brings me joy and pleasure (eat your heart out Marie Kondo – and, yes, I love her show and any show that involves redoing a space for the better.) I can spend hours and days making things look neater and nicer around the house. It’s immediate gratification, and it’s something I’m good at: taking a mess and making it immaculate. It borders on a compulsion for me: I straighten magazine tables in Doctor’s Offices, Shelves in Grocery stores, books in Bookstores, etc. Not to the degree I stand there and neaten everything and get held up, just putting things back as I go and happen to notice them in disarray.
I have learned, however, you NEVER organize or neaten up someone else’s space without being invited to, no matter how good your intentions are. (I learned this very early on as a pre-teen, and have never done it again.) It does not make me uncomfortable to be in a home or space that is in disarray – to each their own – but given the invite or opportunity, I will gladly apply my skills to make it neater, if you like.
Just don’t get in my way.