Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Voices of Chaos

I have been trying for longer than I'd care to admit to get a handle on stuff.  And by "stuff" I mean accumulated objects of various types.  And by "get a handle on" I mean rearrange, file, toss or just shuffle the piles around and pray that they somehow magically get smaller over time.

You can probably guess that I haven't yet hung a banner proclaiming Mission Accomplished, and the piles haven't done their damn job, either.  Sadly, they are just as heavy and unwieldy as ever.  Is anyone surprised?  No, I thought not.

I know people who are highly organized.  I know people who not only preach but also (successfully) practice a place for everything and everything in its place.  I have to admit it's both awe-inspiring and annoying as hell.  Sometimes I feel like it must require some sort of black magic or deal-with-the-Devil kind of arrangement.  Whatever it is, so far, I don't have it.  But I still try.

Sometimes I think my problem is I'm a victim of my own over-zealous sense of organization, and I fret over basic decisions and make the entire process much more complicated than it needs to be.  If I'm organizing my books, should I arrange it by genre?  By book size?  Hardcover vs. Softcover?  And speaking of book size, why aren't sizes standard?  What am I supposed to do with the odd volume that's abnormally long, or unusually tall?  SOMETHING has to be done, because it will wreck the entire shelf.  Problems like this might sound insignificant, but these are the exact things that throw me into a tizzy.  

When I'm not dithering over books, I'm wrangling sheet music, CDs and DVDs.  Should I put Porgy and Bess with the operas or the Broadway shows?  Should the Blu Rays be separated or interfiled with DVDs?  And the worst problem of all:  Should I file the movie under L for "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" or should I file it under S for "Series of Unfortunate Events" or under U for Unfortunate Events?  These decisions should not be and are not taken lightly.  

I'm getting better with embracing the whole notion of donating items for others to use and enjoy.  It took a long time to get to that point without feeling like a wasteful human being, or worrying that as soon as I gave something away, I'd certainly need it again.  I've got clothing donations down.  Books are still a challenge, because getting rid of books is like turning your back on children.  It's not a skill I possess.

In the end, I don't think I'll ever be entirely neat, clean, and organized.  But I'm happy to report that things are getting better, if only by miniscule degrees.  Meantime, I'll be over in the corner, pondering Richard Rogers (Musicals or Jazz standards?), the filing conundrum of Monty Python's Spamalot and what the heck I'm going to do with that one enormous oversized book.

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