Highly Organized People require extra-special care and tending. They are the beautiful orchids of our society.
They prize structures, schedules, and repeatable outcomes. Highly Organized People are amazing in their abilities to load dishwashers, sort laundry, compose lengthy strategic or financial documents, and orchestrate complex social events. They correctly and frequently enjoy the use of napkins, spreadsheets, and Trapper Keepers.
If you live with one or care about one, there are a few things you can do to make life with your Highly Organized Person more enjoyable (and survivable).
Respect their structures, no matter how silly they seem to you.
If your Highly Organized Person does not like the way you organize household items (such as dishes, the mail, the bookshelf, or the spice rack), do not attempt to arrange those objects. If they recoil in horror when they see how you pack a suitcase, always let them pack their own.
The Highly Organized Person delights in doing things the correct way (their way) and your meddling is not only obviously incorrect, but it is actually offensive in its haphazardness. Let them put stuff where they know it belongs. You’ll never do the dishes again.
Accept that their organizational projects are a form of creative output.
“I am going to clean out the fridge!” says the Highly Organized Person with a mischievous glint in his eye. Do not be alarmed. Completing this task will bring him genuine joy.
Do not mock the Highly Organized Person’s binder full of design ideas, her trusty label maker, her never-closing Pinterest tabs, or her extensive collection of integrated storage solutions. These things are the paints and canvases for highly organized creativity.
Try to keep your personal disorder to yourself.
Your less-organized life undoubtedly horrifies your Highly Organized Person, even if they try to deny it. Piles of stuff, drawers full of clutter, inboxes with more than 15 unread messages, the simultaneous use of multiple calendar apps — these may be perfectly acceptable for you, but they are deeply disturbing to your Highly Organized Person.
Whenever possible, keep your personal disarray out of view, where it will less-frequently upset your Highly Organized Person.
Indulge their proclivities for project management.
Often, when executing complex plans (e.g.: weddings, vacations, skin care regimens, marketing campaigns, or home remodels), the Highly Organized Person will ask you your opinion. This is a trap. Your Highly Organized Person already has an incredibly detailed outline in his head, and is loathe to even nominally alter it.
The Highly Organized person does desire your approval though, so when possible (and within reason) nod along with what is suggested. Your Highly Organized Person will be creepily happy, and you will again avoid having to do any tedious work.
Love means never having to say, “I don’t know where that is.”
Successfully living with your Highly Organized Person means changing a few of your habits to make them feel comfortable in their own home. Your awareness of their need for organization is key to a functional relationship.
A few suggestions:
· Don’t bring home random items before your Highly Organized Person has designated a location for them.
· Put your dirty clothing in the correct hamper as soon as it is removed from your body.
· If you take a book from the bookshelf, return it to its correct alphabetical location when you’re finished and for God’s sake don’t crack the spine.
· Take notes and then let your Highly Organized Person reformat them.
· Never bring glitter into the home.
· Go grocery shopping together, so you don’t buy the wrong kind of everything.
· Don’t ever touch their stuff in the bathroom.
· Save your tax deductible receipts in a designated folder. Present this as a gift to your Highly Organized Person in the spring.
Remember: Highly Organized People are people too.
They need understanding and patience, love and respect — implemented in a predictably sequential series of carefully orchestrated and tastefully executed events.
And storage solutions. They can’t get enough fancy boxes with stupid lids.