I recently heard that one could assess what is important to a family by surveying what is on their kitchen table. After a moment’s thought, ED and I agreed that we have nothing. Hmm. Is nothing important to us?
Obviously not. What our empty kitchen table demonstrates is one of our basic ground rules to maintain sanity: keep personal stuff out of the common areas.
Anyone who has shared living space with other people for any length of time knows that there needs to be shared standards of tidiness in order to tolerate time together. Magazines on the dining table during short vacations with friends is tolerable; during a regular lifetime, not so much.
When I hear friends complain of their husbands’ inability to pick up their personal I items, I whisper a silent “thank you” to Mike for being possibly neater than myself. Friends of his once joked that his tool box could be used in a surgical suite. Very rarely do I pick up forgotten socks or drinking glasses.
ED had been independent for many years and demonstrated the same level of attention to organization as I. Nevertheless, a busy household requires constant surveillance to maintain neatness. Popular books now espouse the importance of organization and simplification in our lives, although I know people who thrive on disorganization. Thank God (literally), that ED, Mike, Blue Boy and I share similar standards. Notice that Mowgli is not on that list.
Advice: if you are considering sharing a household with another family, imagine living with them in their home as it is. How long would you last?
How much organization do you need to be comfortable?