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The Fine Art of Disorganization February 19, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

Dory-&-MarlinSome people follow the maxim, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Others enjoy a more haphazard approach to life ~ having mastered the fine art of disorganization.  These fortunate folks never have to search for car keys . . . because they misplaced the car on their last trip to the mall.

These scatter-brained souls need never waste time rummaging around a mile high stack of post-it notes to find a stray phone number because:

(1) the phone has gone missing or its battery is dead
(2) service has been disconnected for non-payment of the bill
(3) while looking for the phone, they forgot who they wanted to call
(4) all of the above

Hint: The answer, for true masters of discombobulation, is almost always, “d.”

Of course, no one is completely organized/disorganized.  Instead, it’s a vast continuum from one extreme to the other.

Where do you fall?

Donald-Duck-BaseballAre your socks organized?  By color?  Or by amount of remaining elasticity?  Do you select each day’s outfit from a carefully tabbed and illustrated notebook of ensembles, sorted by season?

Are your DVDs and CDs alphabetized by artist and cross-referenced by genre?  Are you clueless when someone asks the whereabouts of your Junk Drawer?

What is this “junque” of which you speak?

Or are you at the other end of the spectrum, having raised disorganization to an art form?

Little-Miss-ScatterbrainDo you wear mismatched socks?  Or better still, shoes?  Do you store crackers in the fridge and bacon in the cupboard?

Do you buy groceries at the dry cleaners and fill up with gas at the Mexican Taquería?  Do you keep pots and pans in the bathtub or store bath towels in the kitchen?

Do you wear swimsuits in the winter?  And snowsuits in the summer?  Do you only remember to pay the power bill once the lights go out?

If you answered “no” to any of the last 9 questions, you have not yet mastered the fine art of disorganization.  You have room for improvement.

Or should that be disimprovement?  

Wait!  Is that even a word?  It’s looks funny.  Give me a minute . . . let me check the dictionary.   

Hmm . . . that’s odd.  I know it’s around here somewhere.  I’m sure I used it yesterday.  Right after I rewarded myself for organizing my desk.  Oh, wait. Maybe it was BEFORE I enjoyed that fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie.  

Mmm . . . cookies.  

I’ll be right back . . . 

 Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Sandra Harriette - February 19, 2013

I like how you tagged this with mindfulness. That’s one of my favorite words these days.

Oh, and nice “monologue” there at the end!

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

Thanks, Sandra.

2. ryoko861 - February 19, 2013

Ready for this……my friend reported her car stolen from in front of her house one day. She had been away for a day or two in NY (we live in PA). We, my family, figured it was her teenage son who took it for a joy ride, crashed it or something then ditched it. So about a week goes by……….she texts me……..cops found her car…..at the park and ride…….WHERE SHE LEFT IT ABOUT A WEEK AGO AFTER DRIVING WITH A FRIEND INTO NYC! All I could do was shake my head! How the hell do you forget where you left your car???? NEVER have I done that! This is my friend…she’s a little out there (love her to death though…she’s so funny!)

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

That is SO FUNNY! I almost took that part of the post out because, really, WHO misplaces a car? And now I know that it really happens. 😀

katecrimmins - February 19, 2013

This happens more than you think. My ex came home from the airport late one night in a taxi. He went to put his briefcase in his car in the garage and came in screaming that the car was stolen. I looked at him and said “but you drove it to the airport dear.” His dear mother used her microwave to store stuff — all kinds of stuff that she never remembered where it was — so it ran in the family. I have hundreds of similar stories about that family! My current husband is so organized that it took a while for me to get used to it.

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

Oh, wow! That’s two missing cars in one comment thread! I have heard of people storing strange things in their ovens, but the microwave?

I prefer organization to disorganized chaos . . . but NOT if it means becoming obsessive-compulsive about it. Relaxed organization is just right for us.

ryoko861 - February 20, 2013

I was amazed! THe only time I misplaced a car was at 2am with a friend….at a bar….and we forgot that about 3 hours earlier we moved the car to a better place….I guess it wasn’t a better place afterall. After calling the cops, they found it around the corner. Yeah, they were laughing to themselves…looking at these two wrecked individuals.

Perfecting Motherhood - February 23, 2013

I remember watching this interview years ago with a French actor who said he had lost his car several times. He would park it somewhere in Paris and just couldn’t recall where. What’s funny is that he played a character in movies that was just like him in real life, clumsy as hell and forgetful.

nrhatch - February 23, 2013

Sounds like Woody Allen . . . 😆

3. sweetdaysundertheoaks - February 19, 2013

I don’t know where I fall.. 🙂 I certainly don’t have anything alphabetized but I do have my shirts hanging in the closet by color. It amuses me when I put them away. I am a place for everything and everything in its place kind of gal. I don’t like clutter and I don’t like every flat thing in the house covered with stuff. Have I mentioned that retirement and sharing now that two of us are home has been a challenge for me? 😀 And it has been 6 years! Life Balance. Good post Nancy!

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

Thanks, Pix. Same here. I’m closer to the organized end of the spectrum . . . but not obsessive about it. Like you, I prefer lots of clear surfaces to endless clutter (which always needs dusting). 😉

4. Andra Watkins - February 19, 2013

I fear that I am the most organized disorganized person I know. 🙂

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

That’s great ~ it’s like going “wrong” . . . with confidence. 😀

5. suzicate - February 19, 2013

I’m middle ground. I dropped the high organized skills from days of the “pursuit of perfection” to now a somewhat organized mess! I know about where things are now, meaning I know it’s somewhere in the junk drawer or in the pile of papers on the desk. But hey, my socks match!

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

I seldom find myself in mismatched socks (or shoes) . . . except on contrary day. 😀

6. ericjbaker - February 19, 2013

Ha. Before my company switched to a jeans and whatever-as-long-as-its-not-obscene dress code, I used to stage my week’s attire in the closet so that I would have brown shoes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and black shoes on Tuesday and Thursday. For the week’s (very ironed) shirts, it was stripes-solid-stripes-solid-stripes.

DVDs separated by genre and strictly alphabetized (Aa, Ab, Ac, etc), CDs strictly alphabetized (Aa, Ab, Ac, etc).

Vacations planned down to 15-minute intervals.

Did I answer your question?


nrhatch - February 19, 2013

Oh, my! You are one organized dude, Eric. 😀

7. kateshrewsday - February 19, 2013

I am at the extreme end of the disorganised bit of the spectrum.

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

We seem to be drawing from both ends of the spectrum today. 😀

8. seeker - February 19, 2013

It would drive me nuts if I am fully organized.

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

Viva la disorganization!

9. Tom (Aquatom1968) - February 19, 2013

Nancy, I’m so disorganised I’m about to come full circle and head back into organised territory again… I mean I always have to look for something, and usually have a rough idea of where it may be – and I usually find it eventually. However, I lost my car once – no twice, I remembered another time – on a supermarket car park. I found it eventually though… after searching for 45 minutes or so. Discombobulated? Me? I’d say!!! 😀 Fun post!

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

Thanks, Tom. That’s 4 missing cars in one comment thread. That might be one for the record books . . . if I could find the record book to record it! 😉

10. colonialist - February 19, 2013

I am addicted to the fine art of being organised. I have a place for everything, and everything in – some other place.

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

If you toss everything into ONE pile . . . then you’ll only have the one place to look. 😀

11. Catherine Johnson - February 19, 2013

Fantastic! I am well and truly disorganised.

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

Judging from the comments, it’s clear you are in good company. 😉

12. diannegray - February 19, 2013

I’m not OCD organised, but I like to know where everything is so I can find it in a hurry. The weird thing is that I always find things I’ve never been able to find when I’m looking for something else!

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

I’m with you. I don’t want to hunt around for the same items on a daily basis . . . but every once in a while it’s fun to play Hide and Seek. 😀

13. shreejacob - February 19, 2013

I’m some where in between…I enjoy watching how people organize their stuff on Youtube though! If I put that much thought into organization, I wouldn’t be able to do much of anything because I do get fickle and think too much!!!

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

Agreed! Some of those uber organized folks are a bit scary . . . with labels on everything. I’m glad I don’t have to share living space with them.

14. Patricia - February 19, 2013

At work I am super organized and efficient. At home I seem organized. My bedroom closet and armoire are neat and tidy as is my linen closet. But don’t open any other closet or the pantry cabinet!

nrhatch - February 19, 2013

Most of us are a healthy mix of organized and not ~ I promise NOT to snoop in your pantry. 😉

Patricia - February 20, 2013

Well, then you can visit any time.

15. Barbara Backer-Gray - February 19, 2013

Haha! You wouldn’t believe the times I’ve misplaced my car at the grocery store to the point that I’m convinced that THIS time the car REALLY is stolen. Fun post.

nrhatch - February 20, 2013

Another misplaced car! This really is becoming an epidemic! 😀

Barbara Backer-Gray - February 20, 2013

Yeah, it’s called menopause! 😉

16. sufilight - February 20, 2013

I don’t like clutter and I am mostly organized but not with files. I am looking at a tickler right now that is overflowing with files as I haven’t bothered to get rid of what I don’t need. Will tackle it before March. 🙂

nrhatch - February 20, 2013

This time of year is when I do my best filing weeding . . . it gives me something to do while procrastinating on the taxes. :mrgreen:

17. Team Oyeniyi - February 20, 2013

This reminds me of a woman I used to work with who HAD to match the colour of her pegs to the colour of the clothes.

I think she was definitely not disorganised. In fact, she only worked 3 days a week and her desk was always SO tidy that one day a visiting consultant, looking for some desk space, suggested “This office is empty, why don’t I use this?”

nrhatch - February 20, 2013

I’d much rather work in an uncluttered office . . . than in one overflowing with piles of “work in progress.” But I don’t know that anyone would ever have thought that my office was “empty.”

18. Tori Nelson - February 20, 2013

I *thought* I was a pretty tidy person until I met my husband. Now I look a bit like a slob by comparison. Having a toddler has forced me to loosen up, accept a little chaos and a lot of disorganization. If I tried to have everything exactly so my eye would never stop twitching and my son would be afraid to play with anything 🙂

nrhatch - February 20, 2013

It’s hard for kids to let their imaginations soar . . . if they have to stop every few minutes and put away their toys and playthings.

Much better to give them (and ourselves) a bit of leeway.

19. Grannymar - February 20, 2013

I do like everything to have a place and put it back when finished with. I never know until the day, what I will wear, simply because in Ireland, we often have all four seasons in one afternoon.One of my brothers has the answer to the odd sock problem, He buys two dozen pairs at once, all in the same colour, so there is no need for sorting and he just pulls two out of the drawer as he needs them. When the socks supply dwindles… he buys another two dozen pairs.

nrhatch - February 20, 2013

I can’t imagine planning out my outfits in advance, but I do like to walk into an uncluttered closet to select what suit suits me. 😀

20. nancycurteman - February 20, 2013

I try to work in an uncluttered workspace, but somehow it always get cluttered again. I really can’t put my finger on the problem.

nrhatch - February 20, 2013

It’s gremlins! Nasty little buggers. :mrgreen:

21. spilledinkguy - February 21, 2013

I have to ‘try’ to stay organized… because with my memory, if I don’t… there’s just NO hope for finding anything! Of course it still takes me a while, but… could be even worse!

nrhatch - February 21, 2013

At the moment, the surfaces in my office are CLEAR of CLUTTER. How long will this transient condition last . . . hard to say. Clutter comes and goes. 😉

22. jannatwrites - February 21, 2013

I definitely don’t have the art of disorganization down. I try to keep things neat, but they eventually get messy and then I go on a cleaning frenzy. A never-ending process 🙂

nrhatch - February 21, 2013

Never-ending is right. When I think of all the things I’ve donated, sold, recycled, given away, I’m amazed that we still have TOO MUCH STUFF. And it NEVER seems to stay where it ought to stay. 😉

23. colonialist - February 22, 2013

You are being rather forward all of a sudden! The turkley-wurkley looks nicely wacky!

nrhatch - February 22, 2013

Why do I have the strong sense of déjà vu . . . as if I’ve read this comment before? 😆

24. Pocket Perspectives - February 22, 2013

I’m amazed how our stuff wanders…. to the most mysterious places…how in the world did it get there????

nrhatch - February 22, 2013

It’s like shape shifting stuff . . . now you don’t see it, now you do!

25. Perfecting Motherhood - February 23, 2013

I’m very organized when it comes to the daily life with the kids, so we have a place for everything and everything is in its place (I don’t have time to search for stuff in the morning). But I’m disorganized when it comes to working habits and routine. It doesn’t help that my schedule changes every day so I don’t have the 9 to 5 daily grunt to keep me grounded.

nrhatch - February 23, 2013

I expect that we can be more organized with respect to SPACE (and keeping things in their place) than with TIME (and the effective use thereof). And vice versa.

If it works for you, it works. If it causes unnecessary stress, it might be time for a change.

Perfecting Motherhood - February 23, 2013

Oh no, the disorganized work isn’t good for me, but I haven’t figured out something that works well and that I can stick to. I think I need to strictly organize my work schedule hour by hour. When I time myself to work on a task, I’m much more efficient at getting it done within the timeslot, so I probably need to do more of that.

nrhatch - February 23, 2013

Sounds like an experiment in the offing. 😀

26. adeeyoyo - February 23, 2013

Lovely post, Nancy. You just described me. I am the most disorganised person I know, BUT I still know where things are, lol!

nrhatch - February 23, 2013

The less stuff I have . . . the easier it is to keep TABS on it. 😀

27. bluebee - February 24, 2013

I lurch from one extreme to the other

nrhatch - February 24, 2013

I am journeying toward “getting more organized” . . . but I never seem to reach the destination of “being organized.” 😆

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