My adventures and mis-adventures as I travel here and there

Mr(s). Clean

It might take me less than 1.66 years to become this....

I’ve always been a person who likes neatness, cleanliness, order, and organization. In my first apartment I just happened to have a roommate who was even more fond of neatness, cleanliness, order, and organization than I. Belongings left in common areas for more than 2.2 hours would magically appear in a pile in front of my bedroom door, once a week cleaning was of supreme importance, and I swear that she would clean the bathroom after me sometimes when she might have thought I didn’t do a good enough job. All of this sort of solidified the neat clean person in me and I became a beast (for those of you who realize that I’m exaggerating, try not to blow my cover). My next roommate was quite the opposite of the first, and suddenly I was experiencing a reversal of roles as I played the cleaning Nazi to my unsuspecting new comrade (no pun intended). :S (She later became more conscientious about household chores than I, for which I do not wish to claim responsibility)

Thankfully I have been able to temper my preferences after years of learning that when living with others, their style of keeping house may not coincide with my own (and reminding myself that I’m not married to them, thank goodness), and that that’s ok! (The differences part, not the married part, though that really is ok too… I’ll just quit now…)

When I move to Michigan, however, I’ll be living on my own without roommates for literally the first time in my life. Without the necessity of tweaking my insanity in order to coexist with other women sharing my kitchen, I have semi-terrifiying visions of myself turning into a hyper-vigilant neat freak, bent on keeping every speck of dust in its rightful place. I can only imagine how my cat would suffer with her long luxurious fur which might look a little dusty to a wild cleaning eye. There would be benefits, of course, such as the gleam in my boyfriend’s eye as he gazed with approval on the evidence of my superior housekeeping skills, but do I really want to go there? Giving in to the neat freak psychosis would make living with someone else again all the more difficult. I’d really like to plateau somewhere between Anal Angie and Sloppy Suzy. My worries about this aren’t tempered at all by my recent frenzy of organizational escalation. People, the other day I, seriously, I organized all my shirts, sweaters, and dresses by color in the order of the rainbow!!! For some of you this may be normal, but I have NEVER done it before. If I start alphabetizing my drawers, I may have to check myself into the psych ward. I lie awake at night envisioning my new home and in my mind it’s the vision of perfection and cleanliness. This vision blocks out the fact that I have pets, am clumsy, get lazy, and am easily distracted.

On the other hand, and this is much more comforting, perhaps the renewed urgency for organization is a symptom of moving. I do believe it’s a lot easier to know what I have and where it is, and to decide what I do and don’t need to haul across the nation, when it’s all nicely organized, alphabetized, colorized… Is anyone with me on this? Before I go on a trip- before I even begin to pack for a trip- I feel a deep deep need to clean and straighten. Then it’s so simple to pluck certain items from their natural habitat and pack them neatly away into their suitcase. I have a friend who’s boyfriend seems obsessed with deep cleaning the car before taking a roadtrip, so I think I may be onto something here. My mother also spends the wee hours of the morning before any trip doing everything she can possibly think of to do that she has written on a massive list (and it will make your head spin around in perfect circles). I must have gotten some of that genetic material from her. Recently this phenomenon has been directed toward my clothing, but I expect it to spread shortly to other areas of my living environment, maybe to my food pantry (that’s an extremely glorified term for what I have) or (oh NO!) bookshelves! I’ll keep you updated. It’s always my dream, though, before embarking on any kind of travel, to achieve ultimate organization and cleanliness… a goal that always seems just barely out of reach….

January 15, 2010 - Posted by | Travel, United States | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Your mother’s lesson plans and yearbook planning pages put my head into a spin! I have no idea how anyone can be that detailed and organized. I mean, I’m crazy OCD about certain things randomly, but wow. I have sorted my closet by color, but also by style. And mine’s a bit easier being that the pallet is a bit more limited. 😛

    My DVDs are arranged first by language, then tone, then time period.

    Comment by Nathan | January 16, 2010 | Reply

  2. Well I used to organize my shirts by colors of the rainbow….and at one point in time I even organized them by type (short sleeved, long sleeved, etc) and THEN by color in each individual section. So…I think I’m worse than you. 🙂

    Comment by The Sister | January 16, 2010 | Reply

  3. P.S. That was only hanging clothes though…I’ve never organized my drawers by color…you are a little anal haha.

    Comment by The Sister | January 16, 2010 | Reply

  4. i totally agree. i regularly about twice a year go through everything i own and get great satisfaction from whittling down my possessions. i have a dream where i have everything i own and love in a backpack but coupled with three other traits i have (sentimentality, practicality and the love of comfort)i dont see that happening any time soon but still everything comes out twice a year and i try to get rid of a bunch every time. someday… someday…

    Comment by one of the roommates | January 18, 2010 | Reply

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