Ok, I’m about to admit something that is probably common knowledge to those who know me but, I’m about to say it out loud (or, at least, via the internet to a group of unknown blog readers).
I am anal. I like structure and I’m a bit obsessive. And, everything in my house has a “spot”. When things are “out of place” is actually causes me stress and I feel the need correct it as quickly as possible or it will literally wear on me until it’s completed. Now, I’m certainly not Monk, but I like things to be de-cluttered and I like the feeling of being in a clean home that is free of extraneous stuff.
I often find myself walking through my house right behind my dear hubby picking up things he’s put down, to place them “where they belong”. In our house, you should know that you can’t place anything on a counter expecting that you can go back in an hour and pick it up because, if I’m in one of my clutter-free-moments, it’s likely already been moved. Some weeks are definitely worse than others. If you’ve caught me during a particularly rough week, where I’ve had a lot of work and I’m feeling exhausted, you may have a shot. Because, while I can feel my anxiety mounting about the things lying around the house, I’m just too tired to attack them.
But then there are the weeks where stuff’s getting tucked in drawers, moved to the basement, hung in closets in a mad dash to wipe away my stress. The challenge here is that hubby is not impacted at all by clutter. He could walk past the same coat hanging on a chair 100 times and not notice it. He can ignore the crumbs on the counter for days. He can decide that the appropriate long-term-spot for the drill charger is the kitchen table.
I don’t understand his ability to ignore the stuff around him, but it’s a skill he’s truly mastered.
Then there are the days, where I’ve moved something to where it belongs and hubby’s trying to find it where he left it.
One of our most common conversations:
Hubby: “Hon, I can’t find my keys”
Me: “Where did you leave them?”
Hubby: “Right here on the counter”
Me: “I probably moved them to where they belong”
Me: “You do realize that we’ve had a key holder hung on the wall since the day we moved into this house.. right?”
Me: “How come you never use it?”
Hubby: “I don’t know”
As I mentioned, everything has a place in our house. And, these are generally not secretive places where I choose to hide things from hubby. They are designated places, that hubby is aware of, where we put all the keys… or all the electrical cords… or the tape measure or the (fill in the blank)… I could go on and on. And, I can say with almost certainty, that if it’s missing from it’s designated spot, it’s because hubby was the last one to use it and it never found it’s way back to where it belongs!
If I was running around the house behind hubby moving things to hidden places, I could understand how my obsessive straightening up would be a challenge, but I’m really just placing things where they belong. So, why oh why, does hubby have such a hard time finding things??? And, he could always choose to put stuff away himself .. which might help him find the things he’s looking for. But then again, I’ve written about how he can’t even find the items he, himself puts away.
Since I’m not sure what the solution is here…. I will continue to clean up my house and move stuff on hubby… and, even though the keys will never be anywhere but the “key spot”, hubby will probably never be able to find them!