Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Odd Couple

It's Day Two of the Great Ice Seige of 2011 in Dallas/Fort Worth. We ventured out (slowly) to run a few errands this afternoon and have now returned home. Since my husband is quickly succumbing to the madness of cabin fever, I figured this would be the perfect time to ask him to lend his brain to my blog. Since the blogosphere seems to be primarily female-dominated (or maybe it's just the blogs I follow?), I thought it would be nice to get a male perspective around here for once, at least.

My husband is very supportive of my organizing efforts. He is happy to drop things off at Goodwill, put something out for a Freecycle pick-up, or go through a box of things upon request to decide what can go and what needs to stay. At times, though, my efforts to get things orderly and organized can get on his nerves. My goal today is to really get a handle on organizing priorities, man-style: What makes his life easier, what makes his life harder, and what just drives him crazy?

Turning over the keyboard now...

Having grown up in a cluttered household, I value my wife's efforts to tidy things up and provide some order in our home. We both feel it's our responsibility to help our son break what we call the generational cycle of clutter and disorganization into which he was born. On a surface level, it seems we're on the same page.

I guess the disconnect between my wife and I (as it pertains to home organization,) is in the process. For example, my wife finds great satisfaction in re-purposing furniture and clothes. She brings in items from Freecycle and has devoted time and organizational space in our apartment to painting, cutting, refinishing, sewing and all the other activities that go into restoring everything from shirts to pillows to tables. While I marvel at her passion, I do not share it. I know every time she gets that beam of hope in her eye, the piece of furniture will first take up space in our little apartment before she can make the time to fix it up. Our living room is the "waiting room" for projects-in-progress.

My wife and I differ in our ideas of cleaning the house. When she says cleaning, she means spending the day sorting, labeling and re-configuring space to make our stuff fit. While this is helpful, and many of my friends envy the fact that I have a wife with such talents, I have a totally different set of activities in mind when I say cleaning. My efforts include scrubbing, sanitizing and dusting. She spends countless hours reading organizing books and subscribing to websites that share innovative ideas on how to utilize time more effectively and stay on top of household chores. I, on the other hand, look at all the organizing books and wonder---at what point do all the books about how to tackle clutter become the clutter themselves?

I wrestle with how to say these things tactfully when my wife asks me how I feel about her efforts. I do feel very blessed that she works to organize our home. I see the many benefits. She helps me stay on top of my clutter and inspires me to be more organized at work. However, since she asked me to share this blog space, I decided to be completely honest and share some of my thoughts on where we disagree. I guess our next step is to try to take our individual strengths and compliment one another in our household endeavors.

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