February 28, 2006

My Mad Organizational Skillz

The other day, my wife made a couple snide comments about the state of my music room. Last night, I accused her of being James Frey and called her blog something like A Million Little Entries. Here's how she described the room.

I happened to go into Chris's cd/guitar/stereo/half empty soda can/rock hard old gummi bear room (which I never enter as it is filthy and as I am responsible neither for creating nor cleaning the filth I just blissfully pretend it does not exist) to look for a pen and found the pink pacifier perched on one of his pedals. He is now in the dog house and also responsible for boiling the thing for half an hour to remove residual filth.

Do you happen to have the number for bullshit? Because I'm going to call it! (I'm waving my arms around and gesticulating wildly but you'll just have to take my word for it.) Now, I'll admit that I have issues with organizing my personal spaces. And that they might leave a little bit to be desired, if, what you desired happened to be completely sanitary conditions. I'll willingly admit to a few infractions.

My Office
My office is relatively clean, at least that's what I'd like you to believe. I successfully lull visitors into a false sense of security, enabling them to believe I'm both professional and organized. Sure, they see a couple ties on my desk but, to them, that reeks of professionalism and commitment in a wow he must be here late some nights so he just whips off that tie after business hours kinda way. No, that's laziness, my friends. And those piles of paper it looks like I'm actively engaged in reviewing? They've been there for weeks and I should probably throw them out but my recycling bin, she's full. And I'm way too lazy to empty that sucker. Oh, and whatever you do, don't open the overhead cabinet on the left without first donning protective eyewear and a helmet. Random, gravity-defying piles of paper and binders. I keep it locked for my own protection.

My Car
Have you ever walked by a car in a parking lot, looked inside, and tried to figure out what the driver was like based on what you could see? My car...well...okay, I'm willing to admit that it looks like some homeless dude took of residence, albeit in a fine, zippy German automobile which I doubt is standard fare for the homeless. There are no clothes except for the dozens of ties. So, it would really have to be a homeless nudist with a tie fetish. Who likes donuts. See, I'm really terrible about cleaning my car. When I leave work each day, I hastily unbutton my collar, rip off my tie, and throw it over my shoulder. This has resulted in the largest mobile tie collection in North America. I also pick up donuts on the way to work. You know those little colorful sprinkles? They're everywhere.

My Music Room
The music room is actually, in my humble opinion, the most organized, well-kept personal space under my purview. Between the 3500+ CDs, six guitars, gigantic stereo, 8 speakers, two amps and five guitar pedals, I think the fact that there's any floor space in the tiny 10X10 room is a miracle of organization. There's even art on the walls. And a nice, hand-woven rug on the floor.

Sure, I have some issues with the maintenance and organization of personal space. But Beth exaggerates. There's no reason to boil that pacifier for half an hour. Twenty minutes would probably do.

Posted by Chris at February 28, 2006 07:16 AM

The inside of my car is spotless. My studio however, is the one room in our home to which my hub closes the door when people are over. I'm not sure if he considers it an eyesore or if he is concerned for their safety. There are probably six to ten objects per square inch in that room. But I know where everything is and it's the only room in my house I can say that about! Please don't insult my Haven!

Posted by: JuJu's Mom Linda at February 28, 2006 07:43 AM

My husband and I share office space in the house, his side is nice and neat, and mine is organized, in my way,early american pile, where I can find everything. He seems to think it is not the neatest place in the house, It may look messy, but I really do know where most things are, whether it be on the hutch, or the shelves above my desk, or even somewhere in one on my many desk drawers. :P bah what do spouses know about organization?

Posted by: Angelia at February 28, 2006 07:56 AM

It amazes me how I spend so little time in my room (conscious anyway), and yet it's still a craphole.

My computer desk, on the other hand, is more what I like to call "utilitarian decor", ie. things I use, or rather, have used at one point. DVD pile, CD pile, book pile, old Dilbert day calendar page pile, mail pile, cheap mechanical pencil pile, etc. etc.

Posted by: Gavin at February 28, 2006 08:04 AM

oooooooooooh! You said "gesticulating" prrrrr!

Posted by: Pamalamadingdong at February 28, 2006 08:16 AM

I dunno, it could help build Mia's immunities. Less trips to the cute Pediatrician.

Posted by: Wicked H at February 28, 2006 08:23 AM

You think things are messy now. Just wait until Mia is walking around getting into everything the second you turn your head. Those days are quickly approaching. Then you will truly know what messy, cluttered, unorganized, and filthy mean. It'll be your living space which includes your home (every room the child enters) AND your car. You won't have anyone over and surprise visits from people are like a visit to the dentist. Only then, will you discover the capacity of your closets.

Time to hire a maid. I'm tired of heading people off at the front door acting like they can't come in because the little one is sleeping.

I'm embarrassed of my messes. I wasn't always this way. My car was showroom clean. Now it reeks of old baby smells. Do those ever go away?

Posted by: Jay Wilkins at February 28, 2006 08:40 AM

hmmmm, I describe the inside of my car as one big rolling 'purse' or 'mommy tote bag. Pens, crayons, school papers, the mail I got on the way out and pitched into the passenger seat ( eldest, the bookworm, is technically tall enough to ride in the front at 5'1'' and 11 yrs old, but don't tell her, m'kay) empty water bottles and 14 pairs of sunglasses. I hate it when I am standing by the car and someone I know comes near. I wanna throw a blanket over the passenger seat. I pretend to be part of the witness protection program.
My computer desk might, maybe, have a couple empty diet Coke cans on it, ya never know.


Posted by: cristin in NJ at February 28, 2006 08:44 AM

I think we all have weird quirks that way. I have a thing for right angles. Everything in my house and former office (new one tomorrow) is set on right angles with the exception of two pieces of furniture (which drive me crazy yet I know that they look better that way.) And I can't really have "stuff" laying around. I am a "putter away" type of person.

As for cleanliness/organization, funny the husband and I are complete opposites. I can go for weeks without a thorough cleaning because I put stuff away as I go and I do mini wipe-downs of everything (bathroom, office, bedroom, kitchen, etc..) so it all looks relatively OK...husband...well...he's pretty much ANTI-wipe-down...but HAS to do a COMPLETE clearning every 2 weeks....but otherwise does NOTHING (hello underwear on the floor) in between.

Quirks I tell you, quirks!

Posted by: wn at February 28, 2006 08:48 AM

I drive a zippy German auto as well. And when you look inside, it's very neat looking. However, it's a station wagon, and if you pull the cover off the "trunk" part, not so neat and tidy. I try, but it's always too something to spend time cleaning that space. Too cold, too hot, too late....I think you probably get the idea.

Have a great day.

Posted by: cas at February 28, 2006 08:49 AM

I can't crack on the messy car, man. If I'm remembering correctly, Amalah posted pictures of it a while back and, while gross, it ... uh ... looks like mine. So no mocking from me.

Posted by: Fraulein N at February 28, 2006 08:54 AM

3 minutes in the microwave in one of those pump-part sterilization bags, and you're good to go. :)

Posted by: Julie at February 28, 2006 09:23 AM

Your music room sounds a bit like our house...only one guitar (acoustic), but there are pics everywhere, along with CD's, band posters, drum sticks, ear plugs, and everything else everywhere. Whatever works though!

Posted by: Cristina at February 28, 2006 09:52 AM

As long as we're all confessing, I cannot put my laundry away in a timely manner. And when I say 'timely' I mean 'ever. Oh, I'll wash, dry it, heck, I'll even fold it. But put it away? That's crazy talk!

My work space is a friggin bastion of order and cleanliness. You could do surgery there (though I would not recommend it). My bedroom, however, could be a teenager's, except that my husband's side of the room is irritatingly neat. Yes, you could hypothesize that he thinks my side of the room is irritatingly messy, but we're talking about ME here.

There are no donut sprinkles in my car, but about once a week, I have to shovel out the Chik-fil-A cups because they make the best iced tea in the WORLD.

Huh. I do feel better for confessing. I might even go put laundry away. But I doubt it.

Posted by: Contary at February 28, 2006 09:55 AM

I try so hard to be neat, but I'm terrible at it. My desk is covered in papers. My car is a mess. Right now, the floor of my back seat is covered with the insides of a stuffed animal that my dog killed, old Gatorade and soda bottles, and pieces of paper that were on the front seat that I needed to clear out so someone could sit down. Oh, and a box of stuff I've been meaning to ship back to drugstore.com for about a month. No ties though. :)

Posted by: bad penguin at February 28, 2006 09:57 AM

Our bedroom is also our living room. The rest of the house belongs to the kids.

My side (with computer) stays well organized most of the time. His doesn't. He's a pack rat. I draw an invisible line which I never cross.

Posted by: ann adams at February 28, 2006 10:15 AM

Hey don't mess with my piles pal!!! (I have dubbed my husband 'shovey-boy' because he continually INSISTS on moving my stuff the mere fractions of inches required to render them completely unidentifiable!! (It's visual thing!!))

But FOOD, now that is a different story!! Food remains just FREAK me out... they must be purged immediately... unless they're in the 'fridge... The 'fridge is the sole domain of the scary-food fairy... (We leave it to her to handle...) ;)

Posted by: Deepblue at February 28, 2006 10:27 AM

we are SO related.

Posted by: jodi at February 28, 2006 10:54 AM

I think we need to see pictures...

And don't worry...my car looks like a homeless dude lives in it...and has swiped himself an old tv...(still trying to figure out how to get rid of my "ewaste".

Posted by: Amy at February 28, 2006 11:11 AM

Um...yeah...I think I'd go for the 30 minutes just to be on the safe side....

Posted by: Queen of Ass at February 28, 2006 11:21 AM

You just need a good spin doctor. A car covered in colorful sprinkles? That's not a mess, that's avant-garde interior decorating.

Posted by: Sheryl at February 28, 2006 11:43 AM

Have another baby, or two, and you will see how quickly one goes from boiling the binky to popping it into your own mouth to clean it and handing it back to the kiddo.

Kid 1. Boiling
Kid 2. Quick rinse under the faucet
Kid 3. See above...lol

My bedroom/office is freakishly tidy and organized. Somewhere along the line of my college education, I developed a nasty little compulsion to clean before studying. If my room is not clean, I can't even sit and read. This from someone who spent 17 years of marriage thinking that if you couldn't see the mess from the doorway, it didn't count (hence the massive pile of clothes, papers and assorted crap 'hidden' on the far side of the bed). Yep, the then-husband used to exaggerate too.

Posted by: Jaycie at February 28, 2006 12:00 PM

My junk drawer at home is usually kind of messy. But it has a checklist of all of its contents (the inventory) and I require people to check items out (like a library) and place them back in the drawer immediately after use. Not following the rules results in a steep fine and 50 lashings with a wet noodle. So, empty soda cans in the music room might constitute grounds for divorce in my house!

However, every jacket and coat I own is covered in cat hair and that doesn't bother me in the slightest. I'm selectively OCD, I guess!

Posted by: Ms. Q at February 28, 2006 12:11 PM

Suuuuuuuuuure your office is clean. Just like I'd like the entire world to believe that my dining room table isn't a receptacle for all of our amazon boxes, mail, and other stupid things that have no place. Yep, my dining room table is ALWAYS clean. :oP

Posted by: statia at February 28, 2006 12:13 PM

I usually manage to eat without spilling, so the front seats aren't bad, but my backseat is piled with spilled bunny graham pieces. You could make a whole army of Franken-bunnies with the parts.
The trunk is filled with old pop bottles to return, as the last time I went to the return center, the machines filled up long before I was done, and, you know, why put them all back in the garage when I'll just have to put them back in the car again... except for the fact they've all spilled out of the bags, and now there's no room for groceries back there now. *sigh*

Posted by: Kate at February 28, 2006 12:30 PM

I once got into a collegue's car and it was so dirty, there were rotting banana peels on the floor. I gagged all the way to the meeting.

...and I went to Beth's site Chris...and saw the evidence. You are as guilty as OJ my friend.

Posted by: Vicky at February 28, 2006 12:49 PM

OK, I was just over at the Fish, and she promised Mia pictures if we take her side. What've you got?

Posted by: Julie at February 28, 2006 12:55 PM

Sorry, dude. She's got you on this one.

Posted by: shannon at February 28, 2006 01:38 PM

Organization is a loose term. I am organized in my own way. I can always find anything on my desk in a moments notice. But every one says I'm messy. I love stacks of paper and books. If they weren't there, I would feel lonely in my big desk. I also have a lovely collection of Starbucks cup on my desk. They are my idea of fine art. I only throw the smelly ones away. My car is better, because Hubby and I trade a lot, depending on who is picking up kids, so it is relatively clean, because he cleans it. And we have one of those rooms in our house too. It holds more of hubby's crap than I could even name. A few guitars, old toys, trophies, cars and other crap. Notice I call it crap. It's probably not, hell it could be worth money. But it's crap to me. There will always be a difference in how you and Beth describe that room. The "homeless nudist with a tie fetish" line cracked me up.

Posted by: Melissa at February 28, 2006 01:40 PM

Chris, sorry but your wife wins this one, especially once I saw the cat puke and cricket carcass...EW

Posted by: Dana at February 28, 2006 01:45 PM

The cat puke and half a cricket got me. I'm sorry, but I might have to take her side. :)

Posted by: laura at February 28, 2006 01:52 PM

Beth seems to be the winner of this one. The proof is in her pictures. I mean, cat puke? Ew...

Posted by: Jen at February 28, 2006 02:48 PM

I love that you keep your ties in the backseat of your car. I would love to see a picture of them all covered in sprinkles.

Posted by: Isabel at February 28, 2006 03:24 PM

Sorry, dude, I just left your wife a comment voting for her on this one. And that was awfully fun, you should let the Internets decide all of your marital disputes. (I bet Beth would be down with it if we always side with her!) But I did give you some credit... 30 minutes of boiling the pacifier would probably be overkill. That room was only worthy of 20 minutes.

P.S. I would hate to be you if you ever have to move. So many CDs! Can you tell I've been moving a lot, it's the first thing I think of.

Posted by: Noelle at February 28, 2006 04:35 PM

Surely you can train the cats to eat the sprinkles in the car. One problem down! :)

I'd like to pretend I'm Miss Organized, but we ALL know that just isn't so. I misplaced the battery charger for my CAMERA for crying out loud. Yeah. Organized my arse. Pffft.

Posted by: Opal at February 28, 2006 05:17 PM

Ok we need to do that whole Wife Swap thing. My hubby is really, really, REALLY messy. As in "would leave food out for weeks and dirty clothes on the floor for months if you didn't clean up after him" messy. He has never cleaned up after himself. In college, his roomates would get tired of his mess and clean up after him. Later, he lived with his girlfriend, a neurosurgeon, who cleaned up after him.

Send Beth over to my house to live with my hubby for two weeks. And trust me, she'll never ever complain about your messes again.

Not that I'm anal about neatness.

Posted by: Lisa B at February 28, 2006 05:30 PM

Well, I hear you Chris. I feel for you on this... seriously. I do. I am supposed to be playing chauffeur tomorrow but the state of my car... well... let's just say it's this side of being condemned. Where you have ties I have shoes... something to do with living in a northern clime... off come the heels on go the runners...


Posted by: Nat at February 28, 2006 05:52 PM

I saw the photos, dude. Cat puke and bug bits. Blech.

Posted by: jayne d'Arcy at February 28, 2006 06:23 PM

She has incriminating evidence. She photographed cat puke on the floor.

I voted for Beth.

Posted by: Emily at February 28, 2006 06:58 PM

Please tell me you are kidding about the pacifier.

Posted by: jen at February 28, 2006 07:03 PM

The car...GAH...drives me mad. I HATE messes in the car. HE leaves everything in there...just tosses it on the floor like that's going to magically make it disappear...mocha cups, water and soda bottles, food wrappers...sometimes gig clothes, always ball caps (those damn caps are everywhere!) But, hey, your music room looks nice. ;)

Posted by: Marilyn at March 1, 2006 02:38 AM

Dude, I saw the before pics. Come on, it looks much better now. Admit it! And you don't have to worry about that cat puke thing coming to life and attacking you now do you? Or that half of a cricket? See, clean can be a good thing!

Posted by: Red at March 1, 2006 08:19 AM