Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Perils of Organizer's High

I am a messy person who likes things to be tidy and organized.  Yes, I realize I'm the definition of "oxymoron."  Why do you think you need a "moron" to spell the word?

In my house, it's always time for spring cleaning.  There's always a closet or cupboard in dire need of a good purging.  And, once a closet or cupboard has been purged, it's only a matter of time before Courtney's Second Law of Messiness kicks in: I'm good at organizing and tidying a messy space; but I am terrible at keeping a tidy and organized space clean.

Most recently, the space where we store all of our bathroom/medicine supplies reached the breaking point.  It was no longer possible to find the Nyquil or a freaking band-aid.  It took ninety minutes, but I conquered and organized the mess.  (In the process, I found a package of allergy medication that had expired in 2002.  Shameful). 

When I was done, I had Organizer's High, which is like runner's high but without the sweat.  I felt energized and ready to conquer any mess.  I wanted to keep that satisfying feeling of organizing a messy space.  What should I organize next?  The garage?  The basement?  I can organize anything!

Fortunately, I've had Organizer's High before and I am familiar with its symptoms - and consequences.  Although Organizer's High feels good, it is actually a dangerous condition that should be recognized as a temporary psychological disorder.  The high you get from organizing and purging a messy space makes you want to keep organizing and purge more crap.  But if you purge too much during a 24 hour period, mistakes get made.

Learn from my mistakes.  I have donated bags of old clothes that were ready to go to Goodwill and then, while flying on endorphines/hormones/whatever, I decided to reckon with my shoes.  Yes, the Mountain of Shoes needed to be tamed.  But I razed the mountain into a sand castle and many good pairs of shoes were lost.

Excuse me while I take a moment to mourn my lost shoes.  Oh, my black Uggs with the little black gemstones!  So impractical and stupid for a woman who lives in Southern California; and yet, so wonderful and cozy and warm for running errands on a chilly day.  Black Uggs, I don't know where you are, but I hope someone is treating you well.   

The next time you embark on a spring cleaning project, please, beware the perils of Organizer's High.  It might feel good to purge while you are in the moment, but eventually, you will regret recycling your great-grandmother's wedding album.