Organization 101, or Living with a Boy

24 May

I may be a lazy housekeeper, an amateur cook, a stealer of bed space and a fashion whore, but I’m a very organized person.  I like order.  All my shoes sit the same way in their cubbies, all my clothes hang in the same direction, all my books are alphabetized by category.  The Container Store is one of my favorite places and their motto, “Contain Yourself,” is one of the catchiest and smartest I know.

Here’s a recent photo I’m submitting as Exhibit A:

Jho closet - suits As you can see, I’m an organized person.

So imagine my chagrin to find that Cityboy is not.  Granted, he’s a neat person (in appearance and personality) and he keeps a clean house, for which I am eternally grateful.  But his brain works in mysterious ways.

For example:  his bathroom with its overflowing schmorgasboard of product.

When I first saw his apartment, I had to confirm he lived there by himself.  Because Cityboy’s bathroom houses enough product (and their accompanying implements) to groom and coif a family of five.  I’m not kidding.  Multiple shampoos and conditioners and body washes and razors and lotions and ointments and creams.  All splayed out like sad babies.  On counters and shelves and sink and tub ledge.

It’s hard for me to resist reorganizing the whole lot whenever I’m in town.  But I don’t.  Because I don’t want to be one of those women who take over their men’s lives.  And organize play dates for them with their girlfriends’ guys.  And transform their personal spaces into frilly bastions of pinkdom.

Except now I’m supposed to occupy that same bastion.

He’s doing his best, trying to pare down his belongings (or at least transfer some of the lesser used items to his storage space), which I thoroughly, thoroughly appreciate.  And I’ve offered to help, to bring a little of the Jho touch to his hidden messes.  But I don’t think he really wants me touching his stuff.

I may have been a little too excited about the prospect of reorganizing (which he reads as ‘throwing my shit out’).  I don’t understand it.  The house has always fallen under my providence in previous relationships, most guys being willing to let someone else do the stacking and shelving and putting away of the groceries.  Cityboy’s lived on his own for quite a while now, and usually I applaud his independent streak.  He cooks, he cleans, he even irons.  But I’m good at sorting.  Really, really good.

And it makes me happy.  Peaceful.  Calm.  All things I’ll need to face the chaos and swirling madness of the City outside the doors of our apartment.  What I need to remember, though, is that this is Cityboy’s first time.  His maiden voyage into the wonderful, tumultuous, head-butting experience that is ‘living together.’

So I’m going to take a step back, take a deep breath, and try to be a calming force for harmony as we merge our two households together.  Tamp down the eagerness to throw open all his drawers and hidey-holes and expose them to the light of day.  Bring some respect and dignity to this important moment.

If you have any pearls of wisdom to share, I hope you’ll comment.  Every little bit helps.

Contain yourself.



4 Responses to “Organization 101, or Living with a Boy”

  1. T.J. May 29, 2009 at 3:29 am #

    I’m gonna have to agree with Cityboy on this one. I’m a firm believer in organized chaos. Everything has place and that place is wherever I deemed worthy at the time. 🙂

  2. Liz June 3, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    Come to Tucson. Help me organize my stuff.

    • thatjhoanna June 6, 2009 at 8:03 am #

      Oh, I would love to. Few things give me more of a thrill than smart reorg.

  3. Kathryn June 3, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    Well, considering that you have a) quit your job, b) thrown out or sold half of your belongings and c) transplanted your ass on the opposite coast…all for his love, I think Cityboy can ditch at least half of those bottles of product. He probably doesn’t need all that crap anyway. Some subtle compliments about his handsome NATURAL appearance may go a long way to this end.

    I know you. You are not anal about organization. No, you are not. You are neat and clean, and in such a small apartment, Cityboy is lucky to have such an efficient and ambitious Left Coast Lady Friend.

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