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It’s Hard, Being Such a Perfectionist and All

Years ago, Mom told me that she had heard about a study that showed how disorganization and clutter was actually linked to perfectionism. I laughed and I laughed. Now, I’ve been accused of a lot of things; perfectionism ain’t one of them.

However, lately, I’m beginning to see the truth in that. March may as well have been dubbed Little Things Month, because that seems to be the scale of the tasks I’ve undertaken (not including, of course, the ongoing saga of the Great Cooper Clean-Out, although the pace at which that’s being accomplished definitely falls within the baby steps guidelines.)

Take, for example, this one:


[Seriously, we live in a cave. Damp walls, cold floors, low light—the whole she-bang.]

OK, back when we promoted Joey to his big boy room, I  had this bright idea to get him a set of plastic tubs on a stand in lieu of a dresser. For one thing, this will last him quite a while and can be used for toys if the whole clothes thing doesn’t work out. Also, I wasn’t finding a piece of furniture that was worth the shelling out. The added bonus was that I could separate his clothes by day, with the hopes of curtailing the whole morning wardrobe drama.

Well, that was better than six months ago and still no days of the week tubs. Because, see, I had to print up the labels. And how would I affix the labels? Should they be put on a little stick and attached to the front? Or should they be put into some kind of sleeve? Should the color of the font match the walls, or tie into the theme of the room somehow? And speaking of font, should the words be in all caps, or all lower-case? But wait, would this confuse him when he learns to write them properly?

Are you beginning to see why this ridiculously simple task took so blasted long? And why I spend so much time staring into space with a confused bordering on angry look on my face? Listen to what’s going on in my head! Who can think with all that?

In the end, I sat down one afternoon last week, spent about 15 minutes picking out a decent font and size (which is about 10 minutes more attention that it deserved), and printed the days out on cardstock. Oh, but yes, I put it off until the next afternoon because I needed to get out the paper-cutter to get it cut just so, and. . .wait for it. . . to decide which tape to use. Then I got fed up with myself, took the scissors to it, and stuck ’em on the back of the tubs using scotch tape.

Because, after all, we’re talking about plastic tubs that hold clothes for a three-year-old. A very important three-year-old, yes, but not so much a critic.

Hey, but the system really seems to be working well, so it was totally worth doing. The upshot of these past few weeks is that I can say that about every little improvement I’ve made, and I’m pretty sure that they’re going to start adding up to big overall improvements, which is encouraging.

Can you believe I have more to say about this? (Not the clothes tubs. We’re done with that now.) Just not today, though, because I need to squeeze a few more little things into this very little bit of quiet time.

Also, can you believe April begins tomorrow? Q1 2009 is already over?!


2 responses »

  1. Oh, so that’s what our problem is…you KNOW how long I’ve spent on organizing just my thread…with that same look on my face, I’m sure…

  2. Yep, that would be my husband. Total perfectionist, and you’ve never seen a more cluttered, disorganized person anywhere. His office would scare small children.


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