A place for everything and everything in its place.
It is a good rule, but not one we follow.
Our rule goes more like this: multiple places for everything and anything might be in any one of them.
For instance, take something as simple as a screw driver. It might be hanging on the peg board in my shed, or it could be tucked in the kitchen junk drawer, or perhaps resting on a window ledge near where I used it to repair the garage door.
Whenever I am missing a screwdriver, I check these places.
Whenever I can’t find it there, I ask my wife. If she does not know where it is, I accuse her of losing it. If her denials seem credible, I accuse the cats.
They have been known to bat things down the heat registers.
If none of these avenues yield a screwdriver, I purchase another set. I figure sooner or later, by shear volume, one is bound to turn up.
This strategy is actually the best and beats the ‘everything in its place approach’, at least for screwdrivers.
Pliers are a different story.
I can never find a pair of pliers now matter how hard I look and no matter how many pairs I purchase. There is something about pliers that refuse to be found.
“We need to get organized,” I told my wife shortly after accusing her of losing my pliers.
“You need to get organized,” she told me after I had lost the pliers she bought me earlier in the day.
“We are hopeless,” we both admitted to each other.
By recognizing we are hopeless, we took the first step to recovery. By admitting we couldn’t do it alone and required a higher power, we took the second step, so we hired a professional organizer.
Her name was Cheryl.
Cheryl is an amazing lady who has always been a mystery to me. Her work is in high demand, but you have to wonder how she makes any money – because from all appearances, the bulk of her work goes to charity.
She donates most of her organizational services to worthy causes, primarily at the silent auctions that are popular in the Almost Iowa area.
So at a fundraiser, we won a bid on her services and Cheryl showed up on a Monday.
“This is going to take until Wednesday,” she told me.
“Is that going to cost extra?” I asked, suspecting that I just discovered how she makes her money.
“Not at all,” she said. “It is all for charity.”
“If you feel that I have put in extra work, write another check for the fundraiser.”
Wow! That was sweet.
So Cheryl got to work. She found all my screwdrivers and stored them back on the pegboard and added labels so that I would know where each one goes. She also located the pliers, the can opener and a vacuum cleaner.
She found six garage door openers, four pairs of my reading glasses and the lawn mower that I have been looking for since we moved in.
Stan had that and Cheryl ferreted it out.
All in all, we were thrilled with Cheryl’s work.
Until I couldn’t find my power drill.
I looked everywhere. I checked the workbench in the shed, the junk drawer, the window ledge in the garage, my bed side dresser, the basement shelves and Scooter’s pen.
When I asked my wife where it was, she just shrugged and said, “I don’t know, call Cheryl.”
So I called Cheryl.
“It is in the bottom big drawer of your tool cabinet,” she said.
“Thanks,” I told her.
“This is the fourth time this week you have called me.”
“I know,” I said, rather sheepishly.
“Call me anytime. It is all part of my service,” she said.
“Thanks,” I repeated.
“But that part of my service is billed separately.”
Suddenly, I realized how she made her money.