Tuesday, November 17, 2009

To Be or Not to Be...

by Christie Kelley

Organized that is. I spent Sunday afternoon attempting to reorganize my kitchen. It's been about a year and a half since I moved out from my old kitchen into the new kitchen. I told myself that I would organize everything over the winter.

I meant last winter.

But it got me thinking about organization. I'm a somewhat organized person. Well, not according to my husband, but he is a super-organized person. I do like things to have a place especially in the kitchen. The only problem with that is I don't unload the dishwasher all the time. So I'm dependent on one of the three boys (that includes DH) to put things where they belong.

It rarely happens.

So what makes one person more organzied than others? After living with Mr. Organizer for 25 years, I have one theory. It's called the memory theory. While I might have a pile of papers on my desk, if someone needs one of those pieces of paper, I can find it in a minute. Because I remember where I put things. If I ask Mr. Organizer for a paper I know he has in his office, he has to sort through several files and try to figure out where he might have put it. He doesn't remember.

Now, having too many piles on my desk can drive me nuts. I'm pretty much at that point. My office is going to be reorganized next weekend. Usually after I finish a book, I do a thorough clean out of my office. That didn't happen when I turned in Scandal of the Season. I had to start book 5 (hopefully, some day it will have a title) immediately so the clutter continued to accumulate.

So what do you think? Are you an organized person, somewhat organized person or completely disorganized? Any comments that being organized is based on memory capacity?

51 comments:

Virginia said...

Great post, I would have to fall into the some what organized type of person. I like things to be put up, but I also live in a small house and they get cluttered pretty quick. Hubby never puts anything up. There just never seems to be enough room to have a place for everything. I love your kitchen by the way. I would give anything to have a kitchen like that. I remodeled my kitchen about 15 years ago and it could use a face lift right now. I did just paint and put down a new floor but I would love to have new cabinets again.

Keira Soleore said...

Virginia, you beat me. Arrgh! By the time I read the post and came to comment here, you nabbed him.

Christie, I love the layout of your kitchen and how it's all open into the living areas.

I used to be so organized!! These days, walking into my study is an exercise of tip-toe in a few steps, dump, step out in relief. The other rooms stay organized, but the study....I need a shovel, not an organization book.

Helen said...

Congrats Virginia have fun with him

Christie

I do love your kitchen I wish I had one like that mine is very small and yes everytime I organize it when the rest of the family put things away they never put them in the right spot.

As for being an organized person I try to be but it doesn't always work out that way but I agree with the memory thing I can remember where I put things but alas hubby never can and looses everything LOL.

Have fun organizing your beautiful kitchen

have Fun
Helen

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Virginia.

Hi Christie,
I'm definitely not the neatest person, but there is a certain organization to my messiness. My desk is pretty cluttered, but I know where everything is.

Christine Wells said...

Christie, great post! I think you're right about knowing where you put things. I love it when I'm organized but with small children it's almost impossible to be as organized as I like. Things tend to be put 'up high, out of reach' in a hurry and then I forget where they are. My dh leaves everything where he was using it last, and it drives me insane, but I know better than to put anything of his away. Then I end up having to spend hours looking for things (usually, he has misplaced them but won't believe it's not my fault!) So now, I'm like Schultz in Hogan's Heroes. I know nuthink!

Anna Sugden said...

Congrats on your fab new kitchen, Christie!

I'm what you might call an organisedly disorganised person *g*. I'm like you - I can find what you want in one of my piles ... unless I make the mistake of tidying up!! I like to operate in clutter (as my clutter twin Pat C knows *g*) and feel nervous when things in my office are too tidy.

That said, there is a method to the madness! There is a reason for each pile - they're not just random heaps. Which, I think, is why I can find things.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I do believe organization requires some memory ability and mine was lost long ago. I used to be very organized and methodical, now..... uh, not so much. How about, well, it is somewhere in this house.

Christie Kelley said...

Congrats on grabbing the GR, Virginia!

And thanks, I love my kitchen too. Living in a small house is hard. Before the remodel, I felt like we were all on top of each other and there wasn't enough space for anything. Now, we can spread out.

Christie Kelley said...

Keira, I don't want to talk about my office right now. My husband begged me to give up one of my metal filing cabinets and now I have stuff everywhere. Plus we are finishing up are basement (minor floor but the lower drywall had to be replaced) so now I have some of the basement stuff in my office too.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Helen,

So is this losing stuff and not being able to find it again a male thing? Even my son couldn't find his jeans this morning. I told him exactly where they were. I went in and pulled them from the exact spot after he couldn't find them.

Arg! I live with three of them!

Nancy said...

Virginia, congrats on taking home the rooster! Keira, almost--better luck next time!

Christie, I also operate on a visual memory system. I find things according to where I last saw them. If someone moves my papers, I'm thrown completely.

We're good about putting things away in the kitchen. We have to be. It's a galley kitchen, 6 x 13' before the counters went in. If we don't put things away, we have no usable counter space at all.

In my study, I operate on the piles theory, periodically weeding and discarding. Having company is good for this. :-)

Barbara Monajem said...

I'm too scattered and impatient to be organized. By the time I'm putting something away, I'm thinking about something else, so it goes just anywhere. The disorganization in my fridge drives everyone nuts.
I have actually succeeded in putting all of each month's bills in one folder, an accomplishment of which I'm ridiculously proud.

I do better at work than at home. I usually know what's in which pile, and I actually do file things in their proper folders and make new folders every year... Go, me!

Susan Sey said...

Oh, Christie, I only WISH I were organized. But no. I have piles. Piles that grow and shift and topple over. Once in a while I get a wild urge to sort through them all and file things. It happens maybe once or twice a year. I'm sort of between books right now, and I feel the urge coming on....

EilisFlynn said...

I'm organized at work ... and at home I have piles of paper starting little colonies conspiring to take over the rest of the room. Oops, too late!

Pissenlit said...

Congrats Virginia!

Depends on who you ask, what part of the house they've seen and when you ask them. Sometimes, parts of the house are spartan while other parts look like a tornado's been through it. But if it counts for anything, I think I'm organised. :) I operate on what you call the memory theory too...which is not always so good because my mum is a tidy-upper and she has a tendency to move things and get rid of things without my knowledge. And once in awhile, even if I'm the one to tidy up, my brain doesn't update my memory. Heh!

Um, most new organizational attempts occur right before company comes over. :D

Christie Kelley said...

Okay, I'm back from the grocery store and guess what I'm doing now...drinking coffee and eating a TIM TAM! They had them at the store!!!!!

Christie Kelley said...

Jane, I'm the same way. Although, I've gone past my disorganized limit so it's time for a clean up.

Then I won't be able to find anything.

Christie Kelley said...

Christine, the only thing I do with my husband's stuff is put it in his office. And I remember how everything was up high with little children. It's nice to be able to leave things on a table now and then. Of course, the problem is now their stuff is on the table.

Christie Kelley said...

Anna, I really dread organizing my office because I know I won't be able to find things. But it really must be done. It's gone too far!

Christie Kelley said...

Diana, my husband tells me he is so organized so he won't have to remember where something is in a pile. Of course, that means he has to remember where he put it or what his organizational thought process was when he filed it.

Christie Kelley said...

Nancy, I'm visual like that too. I can remember exactly what pile I place a paper in. Until I clean up. Then I'm in deep trouble. Hmm...maybe I should give up this idea of cleaning my office :)

Christie Kelley said...

Barbara, I was about the same when I worked in an office. I would have one pile for one project, another for another project. As long as nobody touched my piles, I was fine.

Christie Kelley said...

Susan, I found that cleaning up before starting a new book really helped me. It sort of cleaned my mind up too. (Not that I have a dirty mind or anything).

Christie Kelley said...

Ellis, my piles have formed countries, not colonies. It's time for them to go...

Christie Kelley said...

Pissenlit, my husband it the tidier-upper. He has finally learned that if a piece of paper has my name or one of the kid's names he better not through it out. He used to be soooo bad about it until he accidentally through out a check.

jo robertson said...

Great topic, Christie. I'm a fairly organized person. I like to plan ahead and manage my time. This is NOT to say I'm particularly neat. I think once upon a time I was, but seven children beat it out of me LOL.

BTW, my husband NEVER puts things away where they belong in the kitchen. I always hurry to unload the dishwasher before he does!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Good morning,Christy!

I'm a fairly organized person, but I think I'm sort of a hybrid. I do have piles of stuff on my desk right now and like you I can place my fingers on any particular IMPORTANT paper in those piles in a moment's notice. But I also have a very organized filing cabinet for papers that need to be kept, (i.e. car titles, insurance papers, taxes, etc.) as well as research papers I've collected for books and future projects. My husband couldn't find anything in it, because it's filed and organized in such a way that MY brain will remember where things are.

My kitchen is organized like a cook would organize it. Pots and pans in the cabinet under the stove, cooking utensils in the crockery jar on the counter by the stove or in the drawers next to it. Spices and near the stove. Glasses and dishes in the cabinets nearest the sink and away from the stove. And like you, I'm at the mercy of the non-cook to put them away. He's learning!!

Linda Rader said...

I like Book 5. It's a catchy title. Like Grafton's alphabet series. :)

Claudia Dain said...

That's such an interesting connection! Memory and organization...there might be something to that.

I'm organized, and I have a good memory. But I wonder if I could be more organized? I usually think so (there's never enough organization for an organized person---it's an addiction), but now I wonder if I'm not more organized because I have no need to be, because of my good memory.

Wow. I'm going to spend all day pondering this.

I live with Others who mess with my organization. They are so lucky to still be alive. I tell them this often.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Jo! Why is it that boys and men can't figure out where things go in the kitchen? It's not like I'm the only person who ever goes in there.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Suz!

My husband can't figure out my filing system either.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Linda, I think my editor has given up with me sending him a manuscript with a title. Even when I have, they change it anyway so why kill more brain cells?

Deb Marlowe said...

Hey Christie! Gorgeous Kitchen!

I long to be organized. Actually I am, but it doesn't last. Too many other folks messing with my grand plan!

Like Susan, I'm a pile person. I hate clutter, but I do like a pile. It's a silent reminder to get to it! And it's such an accomplishment to make the pile disappear!

Christie Kelley said...

Claudia said...(there's never enough organization for an organized person---it's an addiction)

Oh no! Another one! That statement explains my husband perfectly!

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Deb,

People mess with my organization all the time. That's why I don't try anymore :)

Pissenlit said...

Christie - He has finally learned that if a piece of paper has my name or one of the kid's names he better not through it out. He used to be soooo bad about it until he accidentally through out a check.

Ouch. I've had to root through the trash bin on occasion.

Tawny said...

Oooooh, yes I love being organized. I'm never quite 'there' as I'd like, though. Partially, its because clutter drives me nuts (I think I'm clutter-claustrophobic *g*) and partially because I'm a control freak LOL. But I do love being organized and knowing that everything has a place.

And as organized as I try to keep the house (generally, it stays that way as long as I go through every month or so and tweak it here and there)that doesn't seem to be synonymous with tidy. Somehow, knowing where things belong doesn't make my family want to actually PUT them there.

Joan said...

I feel an overwhelming urge to be organized every January....fresh new year, fresh start that sort of thing.

But generally...leave my stuff in the piles I put them and I will find it.

Christie Kelley said...

Tawny said...Partially, its because clutter drives me nuts (I think I'm clutter-claustrophobic *g*) and partially because I'm a control freak LOL.

Wow, another perfect description of my husband :)

Christie Kelley said...

Joan, I feel that way in January too. I think it's because I get on a roll after taking down the Christmas decorations.

Beth said...

We're a mostly organized group here, although I do tend to let my desk get messy when I'm writing. Then, once the book is done, I take an afternoon and clean it up *g*

But even when my desk is at its messiest, I always know where to find everything :-)

Christie Kelley said...

Beth, I do the clean up at writing too. Well, usually. I didn't quite make it this time.

Lady_Graeye said...

Great post! I love it! Ha Ha! I just got a new kitchen too. I love yours, doesn't make cooking a lot more fun to do!
I am somewhat organized. In the new kitchen, I want everything put in its place. No old dishes, cups or pans were to be brought back in. That didn't work to well. I'm still waiting on new dishes.
Now for the rest of my house, ahhh, it's all torn up to be remodeled. So it's a mess. It's kills me.
I try to keep the laundry all done up. I hated folding and ironing. And I am always fighting with my husband and kids about picking up after themselves. It's a never ending battle.

Nancy said...

Deb Marlowe--you actually make piles disappear? I'm impressed. I mostly just move mine around, waiting to file them "someday."

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, the only parts of our house that are spartan are the parts company is about to see or has recently seen. The rest of tends to have the post-tornado style you described. We hope, finally, to fix some of that over the Christmas break.

Nancy said...

Eilis, I knew I was in trouble when I discovered that the catalog stack (which I keep in case I might want to order something later) went back to last winter.

Time to weed!

Becke Davis said...

Oh man, normally I'm sooo unorganized. Superficially, that is. But actually, I could lay my hands on the original notes from any article I wrote in the past 20 years. Up until a week ago, that is. I woke up one morning and was taken over by aliens, who forced me to empty 20-years-worth of files and keep only the publications the articles appeared in. I think it's safe to say I won't need the notes any more.

This little project took a full week and 15+ hefty bags. No one can really see the difference unless they open the filing cabinets, but I FEEL really organized now!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Christie,

One of my best tools for getting/staying organized is my shredder! It is the greatest invention ever!! Those mounds of papers and junk mail that comes in the mail or from work or from ms pages I've edited (because I edit a lot on paper) can all be gotten rid of once I've sorted and filed what I need to keep by zipping them through the shredder! Mounds of crap leaves the house and only the important stuff stays....LOVE IT!!

Christie Kelley said...

Lady Graeye, I lived with the remodeling mess for over a year so you have my sympathies. It's totally worth it in the end but I would never do it again. And yes, I love an organized kitchen too.

Christie Kelley said...

Becke! 15 garbage bags! OMG! But I guess that's what 20 years of notes turns out to be. I have that many bags for leaves in front of my house right now.

Christie Kelley said...

Suz, the shredder is in my dh's office so it's not convenient at all. Some day I'll buy one!