For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a very effective method of organizing my personal items: The Pile. Yes, I stack things: mail, documents, pictures, clothes, anything stackable or pile-able I will find a way to get into a mound. In high school, my dad dubbed my room “the nest” because my items were piled around the periphery of my bedroom. There were my worn clothes on the back of my desk chair, my tennis bag, my book bag, shoes, etc., all in a neat circle around the center of my room. He was right, it looked like a nest. But notice I said a NEAT circle. There was method in the mayhem, order in chaos. Crazy as it might sound, I knew where everything was. I never found myself searching for items. I knew where things were at all times because I placed them in The Pile. Maybe I just have a great memory, I don’t know, but it has worked for me for a very long time.
I should note the nest was such a part of me that my dad kept a Post-It sign reading “Danielle’s Nest” on my bedroom door until I graduated from college and got a job away from home officially marking the end of nesting in my parents’ home. He did not throw it away, though; he mailed it to me, symbolically passing the permission to nest elsewhere. At least that’s the way I took the gesture and have gladly transported The Pile with pleasure.
That is, until now.
Now, I’m married. Now, I have to care more about the state of our house. Now, I have an 11-year-old nephew who visits for a week during the summer and decides to “organize” my desk out of boredom and I CANNOT FIND ANYTHING. Seriously, it has been 7 months since the incident, and I’m still not quite sure where things are.
In other words, my organized chaos has collided with another human being’s chaos and my method has to change whether I like it or not. The introduction of unpredictable outside factors greatly diminishes the effectiveness of The Pile. My nephew is the extreme example, but on a daily basis there is the chance that my husband might want to find a bill or borrow a pen or pad of paper or his could clothes get thrown on my clothes or my clothes get kicked somewhere because he doesn’t understand the important role keeping The Pile neat plays. Before I know it, I’ve lost the checkbook and can’t find half of my socks.
The sanctity of The Pile has been irreparably violated. The method must be abandoned in favor of hangers, drawers, and organizing bins. *tear* I will miss you, old friend. I hope in time we may meet again, if not on my desk at work, certainly in the back seat of my car.