Near the back of my shed, looms a gigantic box that is larger than a refrigerator and has more drawers than our kitchen and bedroom combined.
It is my tool chest and I have been told it is a miracle of organization – yet whenever I go to it, I can rarely find what it is I am looking for.
Like this morning…
I had returned to a simple task I started yesterday, cleaning the grass guards on my lawn tractor. The guards protect the belts that turn the blades and cleaning them is routine maintenance.
The job requires a socket wrench and a ½” socket. I had dutifully returned the wrench to its assigned drawer last evening but when I reached for the socket, I was greeted by an empty slot.
This did not surprise me because losing things is what we do around our house.
So I checked on top of the tool chest. This is a place that I reserve for the same purpose as the kitchen junk drawer. It is where I put things to lose them.
It is there that I found the thin bladed screwdriver whose absence was the object of much swearing a week ago.
I also managed to find the tape measure that I had accused my wife of losing and the drill bit I suspected one of the cats had batted into the grease pit.
It pleased me to find things I was not looking for – because that is the only joy I get when searching for the things I am looking for.
I have been told that you don’t lose things when you are organized – but I don’t believe that for a minute. I know it may sound odd, but tool organization only works for the things you never use and never for the things you always use.
For example, my ½” socket.
I rarely use any of the other sockets, so they remain safely snug within their little slots – but the ½” socket is forced to wander the world where it is exposed to the vagaries of wives, cats, dogs and being whacked around as I go thrashing about my business.
If I were to put it away when I was done with it, I would be forced to repeatedly go fetch it whenever I needed it and every time I did, I would have to strain my eyes squinting at the little markings that signify what size it is and invariably discover that I retrieved the wrong socket.
Multiple this ordeal times the number of tools in my tool chest and you will begin to understand the evils of trying to remain organized.
So instead I simply slip the things I need where I can readily get at them – into my pocket…and ah-hah, the whereabouts of the socket that I had just used yesterday was suddenly revealed to me.
And as I headed for the house, I heard my 1/2″ socket calling out to me from the washing machine where I had tossed the previous day’s clothes earlier in the morning…