Where Does It Go?

My mother always said the key to keeping your space efficient, house, apartment, room, or automobile, is  the old adage: “a place for everything and everything in its place”).

 organized pantry

I’m not the best follower of this excellent advice – I love to scatter too much, especially on desk tops and coffee tables and counters – but I do want everything in the kitchen to be in its proper place.

Why?  Because I’m the cook.  Or, I should say, I’m the only one who prepares food in something other than a microwave or a toaster oven.

 

However, I live with grown men – the testosterone fairly flings itself on the walls of my house.  I’ve learned to live with intermittent and totally unexpected shouts – actually, very loud screams – of “Go 49ers!” or “Stupid call, ref!” 

Even toilet seats left raised.

 

But I cannot understand why items that always and very clearly come from  a definite place in the kitchen often find themselves, for example, outside — in the back yard.

Or in a bedroom. 

Or, when it’s obviously an eating utensil, in the drawer with the towels and dishcloths. 

Why, when it’s so obvious that measuring cups are made to nestle, are they tossed willy-nilly into a draw where they won’t fit, eliciting yells of frustration from said men.

And don’t even get me started on the whole bowls-and-their-lids thing!

 

I’ve lived for 47 years with the same man, and four other men at various stages of their lives.  I’m 5’4″ tall; they are all over 6 feet.  Isn’t it clear that I cannot reach the top shelves in my cabinets like they can?  Why, oh why, do they always place often-used items where I cannot reach them unless I risk life and limb and injury?

 

I’m not a fussy person.  Truly, I’m not.  You cannot raise seven children,  work full time, and be fussy.   Like the picture below from “Grumpy, Grateful Mom” Blog, there are times when the mess prevgratefulgrumpymomails.

 

But, please, once before I shuffle off this mortal coil, I’d love to see the dishwasher items unloaded and put away where they’re supposed to go. 

Where they were found. 

Please.

 

What about you?  Frustrations in your house with organization and storage?  Are you a neat-freak or a take-it-easy type?  What’s the one thing you insist be done your way?  What do you always put back in its correct place?  What’s the one thing you never put back right?

 

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Comments

79 thoughts on “Where Does It Go?

  1. 1
    Jane says:

    Hi Jo,
    I’m a bit messy, but it’s a neat kind of messy. I’m short and I hate it when people put stuff on the top shelf and there’s no way I can reach it without a stool or chair. All the shampoo and body soap bottles have to be a certain way. I always rearrange them when someone else messes up the order I had them in.

    • 1.1

      Jane, congrats on the GR! I hope you’ll have fun with him. I don’t have a lot of bath products, so that doesn’t trouble me. But I want all papers I’ve been working with left exactly as they are. Otherwise, I can’t pick up where I left off.

      • 1.1.1
        Jane says:

        I’m like that with my papers, too, Nancy. I’ve got too many bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap and even facial cleansers.

    • 1.2
      Caren Crane says:

      Congrats on snagging the GR, Jane. Watch out for him. He will rearrange your soap and shampoo bottles in a heartbeat, just to watch you flap around! Cuz that’s how he rolls. :D

    • 1.3
      Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Jane! Congrats on snagging the GR, but, like Caren says, don’t let him know it peeves you about the shampoo bottles. He’ll be in that bathroom in a HEARTBeat to mess stuff up. Speaking of thriving on chaos! Ha! That bird sure does. :>

  2. 2

    Jo, I’m really not tidy. I tend to put things back in the kitchen because the dh is the cook, and I don’t want to make his job harder. Plus I’m in there enough that I either know where things go or remember where I got them in the first place.

    Office supplies, scissors, stapler, markers, colored pens, etc., on the other hand, can wind up anywhere in the house. They wander big-time. About the only place they never turn up is the bathroom.

    • 2.1
      Caren Crane says:

      Ack! Nancy, the pens and markers and scissors and tape all wander off in my house, too. It’s gotten better since the girls are both at school most of the year, but the DH still grabs pens and carries them out of the kitchen. Where I had them in a drawer. So I could find one when I want to make a list!

    • 2.2

      Nancy,

      I have a rule about my office, while at the moment it’s a bit of a disaster, I’ve been shredding papers and filing and doing tax stuff (ugh!), it has things in certain places, such as the stapler, the pen and pencil holder, where I keep the nail file and a pair of scissors.

      Here’s the rule. DH isn’t allowed to bring anything INTO or take anything OUT OF my office without my permission. Seriously. He has his own pig sty, er, office and the rest of the house to deposit things for me to find. MY OFFICE isn’t his room…and he is freaking going to respect it!

      So good to get that off my chest!

      • 2.2.1
        Jo Robertson says:

        Ooooh, Suz. I like that firm stance. We have 5 bedrooms and I’ve confiscated 3 of them, and I now hide my supplies in one of my extra bedrooms. Boyd’s good about keeping his own things organized, though; it’s the BOY that makes the messes.

        My problem is I don’t like to write in my office. I like to be in the family room where all the happening stuff is. Folks come and go and chatter. As long as they don’t expect me to talk BACK, I’m okay.

    • 2.3
      Jo Robertson says:

      Nancy, FIRST, how lucky are you that your husband does the cooking??!! Can I borrow him? Boyd does everything, from cleaning to grocery shopping, bills and car repairs, lawn work and his own laundry, but he does not/cannot cook!

      I know I shouldn’t complain; he’s a saint!

      I do have to have my writing supplies — scissors, stapler, laptop cleaners, tape dispenser in the same place. I go crazy if I have to search all over for something I need RIGHT NOW. It got to the point where we have two sets of each, one for my office and one for the other folks to move around from room to room LOL.

  3. 3
    Jo Robertson says:

    Hi, Jane! Neat kind of messy is my style too. And I make piles. I don’t like folks to move my stacks and piles around or I get confused.

    Wow, never thought of arranging the shample and conditioner bottles a certain way. I probably would if I didn’t have to share a bathroom.

    Congrats on getting the rooster! You could stand on his head and reach for the high shelves. Just kidding!

    Actually I bought a 4-legged milk stool at an antique shop about 20 years ago and I use that. Not too far to tumble if I should fall.

  4. 4
    Helen Sibbritt says:

    Jo
    I know your pain it is the same here in my house LOL although we don’t have a dishwasher I still like things unpacked from the dish drainer put away in the correct place some of these drawers and cupboards might be a bit messy but at least I know where to look for them, one thing I insist always goes in the correct place is the medicines which I keep on the top shelf of the pantry and low and behold anyone who does not put them back where they go I can really growl LOL. I am not as organised as I would like to be and I envy anyone who has everything in the correct place all the time I so wish it was the same here in my house.

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • 4.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      Ha, Helen, I forgot about the medicines. Those definitely need a safe place especially with the grands running around.

      I keep mine in a shoebox in our walk-in closet. Then I fill up my pill container every week. You know you’re old when you have to have one of those pill boxes to dispense your daily meds!

  5. 5
    Tawny Weber says:

    I’m an organizational freak (shocking, I know). Everything has a place, everybody in the house knows where that place is and if its not put in that place, I tend to grumble. My kids clothes are still hung up by type (mine are, too, as well as by color and sleeve length, but once we got past me hanging up their stuff, they threw that idea right out the, well, closet door).

    But my husband, who hates clutter, is still a little, um, messy. He has piles of stuff on the kitchen counter, piles of stuff on the table, piles of stuff in the family room. I can usually pretend I don’t see it for a few weeks, then I start yelling *g*

    My parents are coming to visit next week – and I’m already tensing up. Not over their visit, although I’m sure that will provide plenty of tension. But because they always help in the kitchen, and never EVER EVER put things where they belong. We spend two weeks after every visit sorting through the cabinets and drawers in search of stuff.

    *sigh* So, yes I am an organization freak. But I balance it nicely by not being a clean freak :-D That has to count, right?

    • 5.1

      LOL, Tawny. I used to do this after my mom or my MIL would visit. (Due to their age, they don’t come to Texas anymore.) Couldn’t find things for days. And the places they’d put things? Made no sense to me at all!!

      • 5.1.1
        Jo Robertson says:

        I think some of this “misplaced” stuff is generational, Suz. For example, I use my chopper (Go, Pampered Chef!) so much that it has to always be at hand.

        The blender? Not so much. Stick it in the back of the cabinet LOL.

        Cutting boards used to be pulled out from above the drawer space. Nowadays, we know NOT to use the same wooden cutting board to chop on, so the different cutting boards need to be handy.

    • 5.2
      Jeanne Adams says:

      Tawny, I do envy your organizational skills – though I’d throw the “by sleeve length” out the closet door too! Ha! :> I can manage by season, and then I’m done. Snork!!

      As to the guest moving stuff around, that makes me nuts!!

      • 5.2.1
        Jo Robertson says:

        I agree, Jeanne. The sleeve-length thing had me scratching my head. Especially her in CA where we don’t have all that many seasons!

        • 5.2.1.1
          Tawny Weber says:

          Well, we don’t have seasonal, really -so I never have to change out winter to summer clothes LOL. But I have mine organized by spaghetti straps, then short sleeve, then mid sleeve and I think I might have two long sleeve shirts hanging up. Cuz, yanno, it’s California *g*

          Hey, maybe that sort of means I’m organized by season, too… can I claim it? Huh huh?

    • 5.3
      Jo Robertson says:

      What? YOU?!! An organization freak? Like no one in the Lair knows that fact for sure.

      Actually, I admire your organization skills, Tawny. I’m just jealous. And I’ve found when people visit they rarely see the dust or grime, but they DO notice messiness. I always go for the pickups first and let the cleaning go.

      Dust is a fact of life here in CA, isn’t it? I swear I could dust every half hour and the furniture would still be dusty.

      You never cease to amaze me, my Bandita friend.

  6. 6
    Mary Preston says:

    I’m somewhere in between. I do have things out all over the kitchen bench, but they are things I use all the time so it makes sense to leave them out.

    After all, no one wants to be hunting for teabags when they are gasping for a cuppa.

    My cupboards are clean, neat & tidy.

    I live in organised chaos.

    • 6.1
      Jeanne Adams says:

      I do love that phrase, “organized chaos” – describes it SO well!

    • 6.2
      Jo Robertson says:

      LOL, Mary, I like that term “organized chaos”!

      I leave certain things out too, like my fresh fruit basket and my containers for spatulas and wooden spoons that I use all the time for cooking. I hate rummaging in a drawer for them.

      • 6.2.1
        Tawny Weber says:

        But I think leaving things that are used regularly out and in convenient reach IS being organized *g* If I had to open a drawer everytime I wanted a spatula, or haul out the tea maker ever time I needed another gallon of tea (a few times a day LOL) I’d go nuts.

        I adore the idea of organized chaos.

  7. 7
    Deb Marlowe says:

    Hi Jo!

    I live with three males, so I feel your pain. If you ever figure out how to convince them to follow this perfectly logical plan, please let me know!

    • 7.1
      Caren Crane says:

      Deb, there is no such plan. Women have been looking for millennia and still…nothing. It’s disheartening, for sure, but if they at least kill large bugs and clean up dead animals the cat leaves on your doormat, it seems to work out. :D

    • 7.2

      Deb,

      Gonna share my theory about men with you.

      You know genes for women are XX and for men are XY.

      See, women have two perfectly formed X chromosomes. Men…they don’t have two different ones. Nope, what they have, in my opinion is 1 perfectly formed X and 1 BROKEN X that looks like a Y.

      See…Men are broken, that should explain any weird thing they choose to do. :)

    • 7.3
      Jo Robertson says:

      Thank you, fellow sister in pain. Men are so different in their approach to organization and chaos that I don’t think I’ll ever figure them out. I think it’s easier just to go along after them and do it the right way!

      Wow, three men, Deb? You are a saint! I love my men, truly I do, but they are different creatures LOL.

  8. 8
    Beth Andrews says:

    Jo, I tend not to be too fussy but it drives me crazy when my kids don’t rinse their dishes. Especially when they have something like oatmeal. That stuff dries on like cement!

    • 8.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      I KNOW, BETH!! What’s with the non-rinsing? It takes a second. I don’t mind dirty dishes sitting on the counter — I get that — but food in them. Puleese! Oatmeals a bad thing, but also anything with egg or cheese in it.

      My men seem to think the dishwasher is a miracle scrubber and will take care of all that gunk!

    • 8.2

      And then there’s the scum that forms inside a glass that used to have milk in it. We finally got the boy in the habit of rinsing and filling with water, but it took a while.

  9. 9
    Caren Crane says:

    Jo, I really do feel your pain. Since I got my first apartment, I have had my own tool box. I kept it after we got married, because I knew my brand-new husband well enough to know he had NO organizational skills. He also had (and has) no sense of “proper place”.

    For instance, if he takes a screwdriver or a roll of duct tape from my tool box it will end up wherever he used it last. That might be in the garage, upstairs, in the trunk of his car. Wherever. He will never remember where he left it or what he was working on. It’s maddening!

    Also, we have had basically the same “system” for where things are stored in our kitchen for 19-1/2 years. He still has no idea where anything goes and, like your guys. cannot fit ANYTHING back into the utensil drawer. He has tried to mangle my pastry blender any number of times!

    • 9.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      We could switch houses and men, Caren, and it would be exactly the same thing!

      But wait, your own tool box. I’m soooo impressed! I refuse to use anything that’s inside a tool box, so that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about.

      Pastry blender? My husband thinks it’s for chopping eggs for egg salad. And actually it does a really good job. BUT … you must rinse off the egg parts right away, or, well, you know, you’ll be looking for another pasty blender right away.

      • 9.1.1
        Caren Crane says:

        Ack! Not rinsing egg off? That’s like Beth’s dried oatmeal, only less accessible. Stern frowns at Dr. Big for that. :(

        As for the toolbox, I will admit to a love of handtools. My maternal grandfather was a carpenter (and machinist) and my paternal grandfather owned a hardware store and lumberyard. So tools are kind of in our blood. All of us girls and my brother are very good with tools and can fix most anything. It’s a great skill to be able to look at something and tell whether it can be fixed and what’s the best way to accomplish that. Also when to call someone more experienced and/or talented. :)

        I think all women should equip themselves with basic carpentry skills. Makes life so much easier when you don’t have to wait on someone else to do things. Plus, it’s fun. :D

        • 9.1.1.1
          Jo Robertson says:

          Fortunately, Big doesn’t make egg salad very often.

          I admire your handyman skills. You must have high spatial intelligence, common in engineers and architects and good map readers.

          Me? If I turn around in my kitchen I get lost.

  10. 10
    Anna Sugden says:

    LOL Jo – that must be so frustrating. I’m blessed with a husband who is good with things going in their proper place and is easy-going about my ‘organisedly disorganised’ tendencies *g*. Luckily, the point at which we both need to re-order the disorder is pretty similar.

    OTOH my mum and my dad and step-mum are the most frustrating people! They always have to put things where ‘they’ think they should go and not where they really should go. Drives me nuts!

    • 10.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      Frustrating, indeed, Anna.

      I think the key to getting your “team” to put things where YOU’VE decided they go is to start early. My sister put her foot down from the get go and her husband of fifty years knows EXACTLY where everything goes and does it right.

      Have I mentioned, though, that at 4’11″ I call her the Little General LOL? Sorry, Sis.

  11. 11
    Mozette says:

    What about you? Frustrations in your house with organization and storage?

    My folks will say I’m a hoarder, but truthfully I’m not. I’m in a townhouse where room is fairly small… so storage is mainly making sure things fit; and fit well.
    So, if I have stuff I don’t use and does work, I give it away. No, I don’t want to make money on it, I’m a generous person and wish for others to be able to use what I don’t need.

    Are you a neat-freak or a take-it-easy type? What’s the one thing you insist be done your way?

    The one place I have to make sure is tidy is my lounge room. All my dvds and vinyls must go back where they’re housed or they’ll end up being scratched; and not worth anything. The kitchen table has been a work in progress and I have recently made sure it’s nice and tidy… something I’ve worked hard on.

    But it’s my kitchen that has been my big, major project. My fridge and pantry has everything in its place and a place of its own… if anything is moved, I’d know with a blindfold on. I’m just like that.

    What do you always put back in its correct place? What’s the one thing you never put back right?

    I never put back my clothes once the laundry is done… I know it sounds silly. But once the basket is full and back in my bedroom, that basket could sit there – in the way most times – waiting for me to go through it for around a month before I throw it onto the floor and put everything away. :) Silly but true.

    • 11.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      Hi, Mozette. That’s funny that you’re so organized and meticulous in your kitchen, but don’t fold your laundry. I don’t worry too much about things that don’t matter, like underwear and sox, but I hate my outer clothes to get wrinkled, so it’s out of the dryer and up on a hanger right away.

      I’d rather hang up even my “work clothes” — LOL, that’s sweats and tee shirts — than fold them. Guess I don’t have enough drawer space.

      • 11.1.1
        Mozette says:

        Well, Jo, with us Aussie, the kitchen is the hub, the heart and soul of a house. It’s where the family gather at the end of the day to talk, eat, chat and exchange ideas, talk about our day over dinner and be with each other. We love to cook in traditional families and so, this is why my kitchen is so organised; it’s the heart and soul of my house… where everyone would come to be if I had a family.
        All my food is prepared here – without a microwave – and I sit at my dining table and enjoy my dinner and breakfast… it’s just how it’s always been done.

        My bedroom is where my clothes go – whether they’re folded or not, in the basket or not, they end up there.

        But what I do (and this is what Mum does too) is watch that ‘Hoarders: Buried Alive’ tv show… it shows us that we may be collectors, a little bit messy, but we are nowhere near as horribly bad as those poor folk on that show in being disorganised. :(
        This show always makes me feel good… it also makes me want to clean my house. :P

        • 11.1.1.1
          Jo Robertson says:

          What a lovely idea, Mozette, the kitchen as the hub of the family. I think it must’ve been that way during pioneer days.

          For us it’s the family room.

  12. 12

    Jo, I so feel your pain!!

    This is one of the things that drives me nuts. Since DH has been working out of the house the past few years, he has taken up part of the cooking duties. He frequently grills for both of us. Burgers and salad are often the lunch menu around here, as well as steaks and sweet potatoes for dinner…Uhm…he has a limited menu.

    So, he has to reach into the little cabinet where I keep the salt, dry mustard, ground peppers (White, black and paprika) and garlic powder. He then must reach down and pull the nice big bottle of organic EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil…and okay, I’m a romance author and an OB nurse…how can something be EXTRA virgin…I mean isn’t virgin like a yes or no thing, not a quantitative thing?…uhm, I digress.)

    Now, he does this not daily, but sometimes twice daily. They’re always in the same spot. ALWAYS. If they’re not, he yells, “Dammit. Where’s….?”

    Sigh. I used to answer, “When I last used it I put it back where it went.” This always worked on the kids. Him? Not so much.

    So daily, and sometimes twice daily, I find these items strewn. (yes, not clustered, but strewn), across my kitchen and occasionally, like you outside by the grill. I gather them and place them back in their spot.

    Sigh.

    I feel like the kitchen genie. OR the keeper of the secret kitchen plans…you know, the ones that say where things go!

    However, since DH empties the dishwasher daily, he has learned where most things go. If he doesn’t, he leaves it on the stove. Yes, for the kitchen genie to put it in said spot.

    • 12.1
      Jeanne Adams says:

      I’m simultaneously laughing and rolling my eyes, Suz, about the Kitchen Genie. My DH does the putting away of the dishes, since I despise unloading the dishwasher (no idea why). However, if it is an unfamiliar item, he puts it right there, on the stove, for me (the Kitchen Jeannie) to put away. Urg. Seriously, how can ANYTHING in this kitchen be unfamiliar? You live here, right? *eye roll*

    • 12.2
      Jo Robertson says:

      Hi, Kitchen Genie! Since you’re such a wonderful cook, I’m surprised you’d relinquish any of that to DH, Suzanne.

      You know, I think the reason many/most men are like this has to do with our evolution. Our cave men had to have single minded focus to survive, so when they’re cooking, that’s the focus. Finding things and putting them back is a silly distraction.

      They gotta chase down that tiger with their spears!

  13. 13
    Jeanne Adams says:

    Hey Jo! Fun post! I’m organizationally challenged – and my challege is allllll about living with three men. I don’t know how you do it with grown ones, plus your DH. Mine are still young, and therefore can be used as minions from time to time, i.e. ordered about and forced to comply. :>

    The DH is pretty good about organization because he’s a CPA. Those accountant types LOVE organization. The problem comes in that his systems are so convoluted and arcane that, smart as I am, I can see no logic or reason to them. :> As regards his stuff, I let it be. If it involves the house, where I live AND work, and have to deal with said system throughout most of my day, then it’s MY way. Hahah!!

    And what is it about men and using shoeboxes to organize things? Really? Shoeboxes?

    The kitchen stays fairly organized, thankfully, but the clothes and the shoes and the toy weapons, and….I could go on and one. Testosterone Zone = Disorganization. I’m resigned to that.

    My office, like Suz’s is in a state of current dissaray, but usually is fairly neat, even though I’m a “file by pile” kind of filer. I keep telling my DH, I know where it is, but if you shift the piles – and thereby the Universe – I can’t find it. :>

    • 13.1

      Jeanne,

      Think baseball cards. Yep, see when our men were young, they collected baseball cards. Know where they kept them? SHOEBOXES. They kept their most treasured items there. So, naturally as adults, they do the same thing they did as children…See, they’re broken!

    • 13.2
      Jo Robertson says:

      I was definitely thinking of you, Jeanne, when I wrote this post, imagining how it’d be around your house as the boys get older and you’d be the ONLY real estrogen voice!

      I must admit to the shoebox thing too, though.

      I organize the grandkids toys in shoe boxes with labels. It’s easy for them to find the Scooby-Do toys or the Legoes or the card games boxes that way. However, for some reason, Boyd puts the Mickey Mouse toys away with the Nemo toys. Uh, can’t he see the difference?

  14. 14
    Jo Robertson says:

    Good morning, everyone! I just stumbled out of bed; daylight savings is kicking my butt!

    Or it might’ve been the taped epi of THE WALKING DEAD I watched late last night. Is anyone else crushing on that show? What does it say about me that I enjoy zombies getting smashed to pieces?

  15. 15

    Aaaahhh!! Jo, your post cracks me up! I totally relate to everything you said. I need everything in its place in the kitchen, but please don’t walk into my office. I, too, believe in piles.

    The other day, my DH emptied the dishwasher. Twenty minutes later I walked into the kitchen and saw one of our cute little colorful fish-shaped bowls sitting on top of the sedate stack of dinner plates. Really? He really thought that’s where it went? REALLY???? LOL. I gave him an earful, but he just laughed at me. Sigh.

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

    P.S. to Jo and other Zombie lovers, there’s an awesome interview with agent Christina Hogrebe where she discusses THE WALKING DEAD in depth, among other important and timely issues. :-) Find it here … http://secretsof7scribes.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/qa-with-agent-christina-hogrebe/

    • 15.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      Thanks for the Walking Dead link, Kate. I admit to being an addict to that show, and I always watch the TALKING DEAD show with Chris Hardwick afterward. I WANT TO BE ON THAT SHOW! I love water-cooler discussions about it.

      Laughing at your fish bowls on the dinner plates. Reminds me why I only have one crystal goblet left from my wedding gifts. Really, real crystal, the kind that rings when you run your finger around the edges put in with the mismatched glass and plastic tumblers?

      I finallly hid that goblet and imagine passing it to one of my daughters and saying, “You can blame your father that there’s only one instead of eight!”

  16. 16
    Jo Robertson says:

    Grrrr, I’ve run out of replies, so I suppose I MUST jump on the treadmill now. My aching muscles are protesting! Why is something so critical to your health so DAMNED HARD to do!!!???

  17. 17
    Cassondra Murray says:

    I am actually a neat freak, though nobody would know that by looking at my house.

    We have no functional closets yet, which is part of the problem. But honestly, we have too much stuff for two people–too many hobbies, and I bet we have 250 t-shirts between us. I just went through them and whittled down a bunch. But some are the “keepsakes” from events I’ve run, music festivals I’ve played at, or some other special time in my life. I love pulling them out and wearing them on occasion for the memories they evoke, so I keep those, and those only.

    And poor Steve–he walks around with things in his hands–and when he needs to pick something else up, wherever he is, that’s where he puts thing one down–and there it lies, until I put it away. He can look at a room, and he just can’t see that there is something there out of place. The house turns into a pig stye very quickly, and that makes me turn mean.

    This week I’m going through closets, ruthlessly tossing stuff–the van is full for a St. Vincent’s run, and next I’m starting to file paperwork and get rid of the piles. Company is coming next weekend. By Sunday evening, I want this house where I can CLEAN IT.

    That’s the thing about clutter. You can’t clean because of it. And I like CLEAN.

    So I am a neat freak, but I live in s stye. It is the source of endless frustration and we have been near divorce over it more than once.

    *heavy sigh* After 25 years, I’ve figured out that I’m not going to leave him because of this. But I do hope to one day have a place for everything and everything in its place. I hate clutter.

    • 17.1

      Cassondra,

      You might want to try what I did with my nephew’s collection of keepsake t-shirts. I turned them into a quilt right before he went off to college. Now he sleeps under them!

    • 17.2
      Jo Robertson says:

      I know this wasn’t the crux of your comment, Cassondra, but my brain is screaming 250 TEE SHIRTS!!!????

      You’re right about the 25 year mark, though. It’s hard to change after that long. Sometimes you have to grin and bear it. Or at least pick your battles.

      One of my is the toilet seat I mentioned above. I’ve almost got everyone trained. The little boy grands who visit aren’t quite so good about it.

  18. 18
    Cassondra Murray says:

    Oh and don’t even get me started on the good tupperware I’ve lost to the back yard.

    He takes my good pitchers or bowls outside to feed something–or to put water in the bird baths. And then he needs to pick something else up (see above comment about *thing one in his hand* getting set down) and months later I will find my broken, cracked, sunlight degraded, EXPENSIVE Tupperware, no longer useful, in the back yard and go “WTF?”

    Most of my Tupperware was purchased at home parties–it was costly–it was BEFORE you could get Tupperware at KMart or Target.

  19. 19

    Ah! The joys of living alone. The seat is always down. The remote is always (a) mine and (b) where I left it! However, living with dogs in the house I have to be careful not to leave plates, cutlery or glasses around unwashed. They can be snatched off a low-lying table and end up anywhere in the house.

    I am something of a neat freak in that I keep shoes in plastic shoe boxes carefully labeled. I have my cabinets organized they way I like and if a visitor moves something I have to go and immediately move it back.

    My DVD’s are arranged in alphabetical order and my niece and nephew take great delight in moving one or two to see if I notice.

    • 19.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      Wow, Louisa, that’s amazing. I keep my shoes in labeled plastic shoe boxes too. It only works b/c my boys don’t/won’t wear my shoes LOL.

      Oh, but I want your organized cabinets! The alternatative, I’m afraid is losing my dear husband and he’s good for too many things to let him go .

  20. 20
    Pat Cochran says:

    For years when items were not returned
    to their rightful place, (or “lost” ) I was
    the designated finder. Now at my “ad-
    vanced” age, I am among those who
    “lose” items and must seek help in the
    finding!

    Pat C.

    • 20.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      Sadly, it’s one of the handicaps of old age!

      I find myself walking briskly into a room, stand there for five minutes, walk away, and finally remember what I went there for!

  21. 21
    catslady says:

    I’m not the tidiest person lol. But since I am the only one to do any cooking, things are at least where I put them in the kitchen. The other rooms aren’t as safe from my husband but I don’t need things neat – in fact that bothers me more lol.

    • 21.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      Yeah, Catslady, the chaotic kitchen bothers me the most, too. I can put up with the rest of it, but seems like I spend a lot of time in the kitchen!

  22. 22

    Ooh, it’s so long since I’ve visited the lair, I’ve forgotten what it looks like! ;-) Well, not quite, but it’s been a while. Nice to have my internet back working! Jo, fun post! I’m completely convinced that the male and female brains work differently. Men just don’t NOTICE that sort of stuff. Mind you, sometimes I think it’s very convenient for them not to notice, but not always.

    • 22.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      Welcome back, Anna! So glad your power’s working now! I think I’d go crazy without internet access that long. Forget about the refrigerator or lights. It’s all about the Ne

      I do think some men find it “convenient” not to notice certain things — like squalling babies when a football game is on!

  23. 23

    Hey Jo -

    Loved the blog! I’m the easy going type but I’m definitely in a rut. I’ve put the same things in the same spots for about 30 years. However my daughter has taken over the meal preparation duties (with my blessings) and she reorganized the kitchen this year. I can no longer find anything! My big frustration is that she put various cooking oils and flavored vinegars in pretty bottles without a tag or label. I can’t tell the vegetable oil from peanut oil. She says she knows, but that doesn’t help me.

    My wish would be that the dirty dishes be placed in the dishwasher instead of the sink or counter above the dishwasher. Sure would be nice if the clean dishes in the dishwasher got put away…somewhere. Instead, they wait for me who apparently is the only one who can find homes for the dishes and utensils. Such is life.

    • 23.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      Can your daughter come and cook for me, Donna?

      Boyd says if someone does a chore for me, I don’t get to decide the where, when and how deets.

      Sigh…

  24. 24
    Becke says:

    Jo,
    Me and my dh are neatniks. However, the kitchen sometimes creates an issue between us because we prepare meals together. Worse, sometimes our organization doesn’t match. “But honey, it goes here!”
    Then there’s the height difference, 5’4″ to 6’2″. I MUST have my stepstool and don’t move it even if it’s in your way!
    One more family irony. My daughter did not inherit the neatnik gene, but my son did. Go figure!

    • 24.1
      Jo Robertson says:

      What a great reversal! Your son is going to make some gal very happy one day!

      I don’t think my husband and I could work together in the kitchen. We can’t even make our own sandwiches at the same time!

      BTW, love that photo of you. Your hair is gorgeious!