I was at a party last weekend, and as inevitably happens, someone asked me how I got into professional organizing.
(Well, first they were like, Really??? You do that??? Cool… you don’t want to see my house…)
My best friend introduces me to people as the most organized person she knows. Another friend asked me to manage his move (without, unfortunately, telling any of the other helping friends about it; the general consensus afterwards was that I was “bossy”). Any job I’ve ever had, I’ve spent all my downtime re-organizing everything in my immediate environment. I love to clean. I love to file. The books on my bookshelves are organized alphabetically by subject or by author. There are several subcategories of each. We organizers are a breed unto ourselves, as I’ve been finding this weekend at my first professional organizing convention.
My boyfriend calls me “Monk-elle.” After the television character. Early in our relationship, I was helping him set up an auditorium with chairs for a recital he was giving (he’s a classically trained tenor – we met through our then-mutual singing teacher). After all the chairs were pulled out from under the stage, and arranged by his “roadies” (long-suffering friends who had volunteered to help him with the business end of the recital), here was his new girlfriend, walking up and down the rows, crouching to eye the position of each chair in relationship with the others, making tiny adjustments to the position of rows which, to the untrained eye, looked perfectly straight already… Monk.
I had never seen Monk, and I didn’t find my boyfriend’s laughter amusing. (I think all his friends were laughing by that point, too.) He later showed me some episodes from his complete Monk boxed sets. I was offended. (But I really like the show.)
I still insist to this day that I am not a Monk – I mean, I do not compulsively touch lampposts; I don’t need an antibacterial hand-wipe every time I shake hands. But I kind of prefer it when everything is straight… (I’ve been known to stop a conversation to adjust a picture frame on a wall across the room) …and I can go into a frenzy of activity every time I get a stain on my clothing, not satisfied until I know it’s out. (Or maybe that’s just my Home Ec background, but that’s another story…)
I told a friend who knows me well that my boyfriend thought I was Monk. The friend says I am. I give up.
I’m trying to be more flexible, though. I only sweep the hardwood floor of my bachelor apartment once per day.
Okay, maybe twice.
Well, three times, if it really needs it…
This post was originally published on my professional organizing blog, An Organized Existence.