Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Neat Freaks

Some people are slobs--neither neat nor clean. Occasionally, two slobs marry and proceed to live in disorganized filth. More often than not, a slob marries his or or her opposite so they have something to "talk" about for the next 50 years. But for the rest of us, there are, I think, very few people who are both neat AND clean. You're either clean but not neat or neat but not clean. Again, opposites attract, so sometimes you'll have a "clean" marry a "neat" and they will either (a) complement each other, or (b) kill each other. I am definitely a "neat but not clean" type. Don't get me wrong--I don't mean that I neglect basic hygiene or anything, but I'm the type who is bugged by an unmade bed but not particularly bothered by unchanged sheets. A layer of dust on my desk--no problem. Piles of paper on my desk--a crisis. I think that if I could simply arrange for all dirt to have properly squared-off corners, dirt wouldn't bother me at all. Dirt just bothers me because it contributes to an overall feeling of "untidy." This, by the way, is something in my gene pool. My mom is a shelf-and-cubbyhole person, my sister is a daytimer-and-list person. It's a blessing, and a curse.

Strangely, I married someone who is equally a neat freak. So when we get time together, one of the things we do for fun and satisfaction is de-clutter. In the past week we have attacked all three of our children's bedrooms, with a vengeance. We didn't just "straighten up." We brought a backhoe. Hefty bags full of miscellaneous "stuff" found its way to the trash, or goodwill, or consignment (to the tune of $73! Yippee!). Yes, we also used the vacuum, and half a box of swiffers. But be very clear--the cleaning was secondary. This was all about NEAT! Sadly, our kids will now begin to trash those rooms again immediately. But that gives us something to do again several months from now. If you're not a neat person, you don't know what you're missing!


Anonymous said...

Mom says: Please define the descriptions for me and your sister. I want to know 'who and what' I am.

Lori Fitzgerald said...

I know what I am: neat but not clean. I will organize all day long, and sing while doing it, thank you very much. However, 300 layers of dust just adds character in my opinion. You'd think I'd be better about cleaning...particularly since SuperHubby has asthma and lack of dust would really help him out. I probably would, if I had the time. I'm just too busy updating my newest daytimer!

sirronstar said...

Neat-freaks of the world unite! I'm a piler, got it from my dad. I have nice little stacks of things everywhere. Clean is good, but neat, straight, everything-in-it's-place is better. (If you have to choose between the 2, that is.)
However, I will admit I'm the one that brings a swiffer to clean the fan blades in the staff cabin every staff retreat. I do reach the "it must be cleaned NOW" point.
My poor husband is neither. At 18 months of marriage, I'm now resigned to that fact. He's really getting the hang of how much my mental stability depends on neatness, though. Alas, all will be well.
I knew I'd get along well with Ann when her 1st summer at camp she organized the Lost & Found in the laundry room!