Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Packing.

You know, people have commented on my organization before.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

As I pack up yet again for another move (we take ownership of the place in Pigsbird Thursday), I put everything in a little box with a label or obvious purpose and I realize, I'm not really that organized.

It's just that if I ever want to find anything again, I've gotta do something.

My mother was an organizational dynamo. She should have been one of those consultants who goes into someone's house and whips them into shape; when I was a kid, she used to save up all sorts of food containers as craft supplies, and even THOSE were organized. (Washed, nested in stacks, on a shelf in the corner of the basement.) My brother and I both got the organization skills sort of by default. You couldn't live with the woman for more than five minutes - let alone be RAISED by her - without figuring out the basics.

When I'm in school, I'm always well known as the person who is always on time, who never lacks a pen and pencil (and spares for classmates), who can repeat what the professor said on the first day of class on the last day because of her notes. When my brother was in the Marines, he was always the guy in the platoon assigned to any organizational chore, because he was the guy they knew would do it, and do it right. One thing the military does is make sure all packs are packed the same way (ammo in one pocket, medical supplies in another, etc); that way, in the dark, with hell breaking loose, you can find what you need in ANY pack. My brother was the guy who made that happen in his platoon.

So now I've got a ribbon box. And a fiber box. And a bead box. My kid has one big plastic bin for art supplies. Another holds all her Little People animals.

And the organizational skill passes on to another generation, even though my mother's been gone for nearly a decade.

11 comments:

Barbara said...

Are you a Virgo? I am, and I love me some organization toys. I have bins and cubbies and shelves. I love "a place for everything and everything in its place." I am in love with and married to a man who wants to have everything he might need in the next, oh, hundred years handy. I compromise. He has these blue eyes and a voice like warm honey. I compromise.

amy said...

I am constantly organizing and then reorganizing, when the inevitable descent into chaos returns. With three kids, the organizational systems tend to break down fairly quickly. (Rather, the systems remain, but the adherence to said systems breaks down.) But then, imagine what it would be like around here without my attempts at organization? Horrors.

BammerKT said...

Do you mean to tell me there are people that don't have all those little bins and boxes and labels etc? My mom had all these tins from Christmas cookies and stuff in her sewing drawers. To this day they make me smile because I think of her thread tins, her button tin, her elastic tin which we all knew by the picture on the top.

Bells said...

it's good to be organised. I have moments of it. Not enough.

Mandy said...

I am in total awe of anyone who is organized. I never learned to be, and neither did my husband. Now we're passing our terrible habits to our son! We live in a fairly small house with a lot of stuff, and at any given moment, it looks like something exploded. Horrors, indeed!

Alwen said...

My organizational system is called "I know where every blinkin' thing in the house is. Heaven protect you if you rearrange one of my stacks of stuff."

My mom, I would say, is pretty ADD. So the system I learned for whipping a house into shape was, "You should have a party at least twice a year so the house gets cleaned up."

The ADD stories I could tell! It's so hard to explain the fog in my brain to people who can't see it.

Amy Lane said...

That's lovely. My step-mother is SO organized--but my real mother is a mental patient. Uhm, guess which influence won?

Donna Lee said...

I am very organized at work because I have to be. At home, so-so. I have a general idea where things are and can usually put my hands on things fairly easily. That's good enough for me.

Roxie said...

My organizational system is organic. Whatever was used last is closest. And if you can't find it anywhere else, look under the sofa.

Leonie said...

My organisational skills have been seriously compromised by the advent of three children. I dream of the day when they return....of course it would help if my husband would put things back when he's finished using them, he only knows where they are in the first place because I put everything in it's own spot, but somehow when he's done he either puts it in a new spot or just leaves it. He knew where to look to find it in the first place why can't he remember where that is to put it back???

Liz said...

OK, you just made me cry out of sheer recognition. Again. I have pockets of organisation.