What’s so odd about being organized?

“You never told me you’re OCD.”

“I never told you that because I’m not. What gave you the idea that I was?”

“Mindy said you were.”

“Mindy? Why would she say that? Any idea?”

“Remember a few months ago when you hosted the luncheon for the business women’s group at your home, and Mindy came early to help you set up?”

“Mindy was a great help that day.”

“She did more than help. She looked inside all your kitchen cupboards and drawers and couldn’t believe how neat and organized they were. She said she opened the doors to the cabinet where the serving bowls were stored and was blown away by how orderly everything was.”


“After she saw that cabinet, she opened something else every time you left the room. She wanted to see what the rest of the kitchen storage looked like.”

“Double wow for being nosey but I don’t have anything to hide. A bowl’s a bowl.”

“Mindy said seeing that first cabinet instantly made her think you were OCD. She was amazed by how all the flatware was organized. You know, all the wooden spoons in their own tray. All the turners and spatulas together. A drawer for paper products. Another drawer for pots, pans, and their lids.”

“And how is this a sign that I’m OCD?”

“Because everything is stored together. Like with like, and everything in its place. If you take a step back and remove yourself from the situation, don’t you see how that’s how?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Come on. Think about all the extra work and time involved in having a kitchen like that.”

“In fact, my whole house is like that, and there’s no extra work involved. I have to empty the dishwasher every day. When I do that, I have to put everything away anyway. So why not put the spoons with the spoons, the bowls with the bowls?”

“Good point.”

“Actually, putting like with like makes our life easier. Neither hubby nor I have to think about where things go. We know. Plus, we don’t have to waste time looking for stuff because we knew right where to go to get something.”

“Hadn’t thought of it that way,”

“All we are is organized. When we move into a place, we set up a storage system and then have the discipline to stick with it. Over the years, we’ve saved lots of time and been spared lots of frustration.”

Mindy wasn’t the first person to say something about the organization in our home, but she was the first to call me OCD.

I grew up in a house where we kept things orderly. So did hubby. We were imprinted with the benefits of orderliness early on and understand there’s no secret sauce to being organized. Honoring the system that everything having its place is simply a frame of mind.

Throughout my career, there have been countless times when I worked 70 or 80 hours a week because of a merger, an acquisition, or labor negotiations. Not having to waste precious time looking for a blue scarf or the car keys was a lifesaver. Being efficient boils down to self-discipline.

When you stop to think about it, lots of things in life, love, and leadership are based in self-discipline and the frame of mind that goes with it. Sure, it’s easy to drop the car keys somewhere, anywhere, when you’re tired and come in the door late at night. But why indulge that urge? Drop the keys in the basket by the door. You’ll save yourself a ton of grief the next morning as you grab the keys out of the basket. No crazed searching as you fret about being late to that important meeting.

Being organized isn’t the same thing as being obsessive. I see organization as an act of self-care that saves me time and avoids frustration. I’m all for that.

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