LEARNING FROM LIFE: My late wife used to have this saying about neatness: “A place for everything and everything all over the place.” It sounds clever but having everything randomly scattered about was a regular irritant to her. Me too. I would have to say in my life I have gone from not caring where I put things to developing systems so I can locate things later.
One of her worst nightmares (and mine) was misplacing important information like a phone number. The phone number might have been for someone we had promised to call and now we had no way of keeping her promise…they had an unlisted number. Or it might have been some items we had promised to pick up for a friend and so we had to go through the embarrassment of calling and asking for it again.
I still have a persistent problem of leaving my glasses in many different places which means I have to look every possible place to see if they are there. And the extra problem I have with finding lost glasses is I can’t see to find them.
I have gotten in the habit of putting my car keys in the same place, but it is impossible to find an old photo or yearbook I just thought about. I have tried to think carefully before storing things so I can reason my way back to them if I happen to forget (and that happens a lot) where I placed them. For really important things, I have taken to placing them on a shelf in plain sight.
Right now the basement storage area of our house is an accumulation of things packed on shelves to get them out of the way. But who knows what’s in those unmarked boxes and what about all those old photos. Shouldn’t they be put in albums? And who looks at albums any more these days? Shouldn’t everything be scanned into the computer to save space.
What I am learning about life is that neatness is important but one has to have a system for storing things. In a Seinfeld episode there was character who helped people organize their closets. I wonder if there are people who help you organize storage areas of your home. There really should be.
It saves a lot of time and stress if we develop the habit of neatness at an early age when it is not as important as it is in later years.