My husband is a keeper. And in this instance I'm not referring to the fact that he's a great guy and I'd like to keep him around. He is that, of course, but what I'm referring to is the keeping of stuff. My husband keeps stuff. And I, like any good opposites-attract story, am a discarder. A thrower-awayer. A declutterer, if you will. In other words, I like to put things in the garbage. For instance, a receipt from the year 2001 recording that epic purchase at Taco Bell probably doesn't need to hang around. A to-do list from the mid twentieth century... if it didn't get done then, it ain't gonna get done now. A used paper towel. Pretty sure we won't be using that again. So I throw it away. It just feels so right to throw away scraps of paper, toss out old ice cream buckets, random bits of metal, instructions to a machine you no longer own. I am a disposal. A ravaging machine of destruction. A tempest that cannot be stopped! A whirlwind of whirliness! You would think then, that I am a very organized, neat and tidy person. But you would be erroneously engaged in such a thought pattern if that was what you were thinking. Because as my family, former roommates and current husband would tell you, I'm really rather messy.
Here is the important thing though. I know where everything belongs. So maybe my clothes are on the floor in a big messy pile. But, I know which ones I should hang up, which ones go into the wash and which ones are just plain ugly and should be donated to Goodwill. Maybe the kitchen sink is full of dirty dishes but I know where each one belongs, the exact spot on the shelf. There is a dust ring there to prove it. Sure I might not file that neatly arranged pile of papers on the desk, but the point is I know where each one SHOULD be placed, they each have a folder nicely labled and ready for them. But there they sit. And this fact of knowing the place for everything, skipping the part of everything in it's place, makes me feel organized, whether or not I truly am. But any scrappy scrap of paper or object that has no place and no potential for any organized spot in our home gets tossed quicker than you can say "hey, I needed that receipt!".