Every once in while – and I mean this is not often, only once or twice a year most of the time – I am engaged in this ritual that I call “cleaning up the mess”.
You might wonder what it is (or might not).
Well, basically this is what happens.
Essentially I am an organized person – at least that’s how I want to claim myself to be. I like to have things neatly arranged, in place, and according to some sort of order. In day to day realities, however, what I want and like is not what I always do. So, I misplace things, put them where they should not belong, etc., etc. Paper, bills, records, DVDs, books, … they could be scattered anywhere. To make it worse, I also tend to “collect” unnecessary things like newspapers (which, at the spur of the moment, I usually wanted to clip for their interesting articles or historic events), brochures, etc.
Things are not in a complete chaos, though. I mean, my house still looks okay, at least on the surface. It’s just things are not where they should belong and this often causes a lot of inconvenience, like in one of those days when I’m looking for something and can’t find it quickly enough because it’s not where it should be placed.
I blame this situation – conveniently – on my hectic work schedules and other unsceduled activities, such as, you know, blogging.
Anyway, after six months or so, I’d usually find this urge to clean up and get organized. And this usually happens during one of those long semester breaks – in the mid or end of year – whey I get about two weeks off regular schedules. (Yes, as a teacher, I still have to go to the office even when it’s semester break, but I can go at anytime because I don’t have to teach.) And so this is what I’ve been doing in the past few days.
A few days, you said?
Big tangible things are the easiest part. I can put books, DVDs, etc. to their respective places and get rid of unnecessary things in… well … a couple of hours. The hardest part was (and has always been) checking, categorizing, and arranging the small things with contents – I mean those records, bills, tax docs, papers, notes, etc. I can’t just put them anywhere because they have contents and therefore need to be arranged/organized accordingly. I have to check dates, numbers, records, etc. so that they are orderly and belong where they should belong. This part usually takes “forever” and, obviously, the one I hate most.
Anyway, it’s all done now, at least for this period. I can breathe easy and, as usual, pledge a resolution that I should be more organized from now on so that I will not have to do it again next year. Unfortunately, as experience has shown, next year (or semester) things will likely be the same again. It’s becoming a ritual of some sort, probably a modern man ritual of self-cleansing.