Manic Organization Is Searching My Soul!

Manic Organization is searching my soul
I know what I want
But I just don’t know, honey 
How to go about getting it

Feeling sweet feeling
Drops from my fingers fingers
Manic Organization hasn’t captured my soul. YET!

If you love Jimi Hendrix as much as I do then you will know why I changed the lyrics of his song I need them to match my current mood.

It hit me while at the office this morning. At work, I’m incredibly organized. Organization is 90% of getting the job done.  Organization helps you to perform more efficiently.  Even when working on more than one task at a time, I need to have everything in its place.


This is one area of my desk at work. I keep the phone message book next to the phone, and always have a highlighter and pen close by.  Current work is always to the left…


And work that comes after the current gets placed in a neat pile to the right of me. I keep certified mail receipts on top of those little file boxes and when the return receipt comes back to me, the receipts are matched up and placed in their proper box.


And EVERYTHING has a file.  I can’t print on them either. I NEED and HAVE to make little labels or I can’t function correctly. It is a little OCD! My calculator never leaves that spot unless it is in my hands and my hand sanitizer is close by. So why am I such a slob then?

But home—well, that’s another thing.  I love my home to be neat and tidy.  And I take pride in the fact that Chateau Bonaparte is a comfortable and welcome abode.


Why is it so hard for me to keep organized at home?

But I got a slight, small, mediumsized, big major problem. I cannot keep a closet organized.  I cannot keep my bathroom organized. Hold on there. I did say my. I use the guest bathroom upstairs when I get ready in the morning. I use that same bathroom when I do my hair.  I think having separate bathrooms keeps a couple happy!

Now understand, the linen closet in this tiny bathroom is well organized.  The good towels are in the master bathroom’s closet.


All the old towels are folded neatly.  That’s because the old towels are never used! Why would I allow my guests to use old towels? In fact, I don’t even know WHY I have these towels–they don’t match the decor and they are old and raggy. Time for a purge! At some point. Maybe before Christmas–actually maybe AFTER the holidays!

This is basically what my bathroom looks like when I finish getting ready in the morning.


Random hair roller that I snagged from Chippy’s mouth–and I’ll still put it in my hair.  Bonaparte will be so mortified when he sees that I’ve posted this and other photos of the mess I make!

My morning routine continues in the upstairs guest bedroom.  In this room is a small closet.  I keep sweaters, and blazers, and lots of my hair in here.  I also keep costume jewelry and makeup and anything that doesn’t fit into the large closet in our bedroom.  Are you following me?

And this closet usually looks like this.


Yeah. This tiny closet, which has been professionally fitted with shelving and rods, did NOT help me in any way to be more organized!

The desk which turned into a makeshift vanity is another bone of messy contention.


And this. THIS is the absolute worst.  Half the time I have to place whatever makeup I’m using on my LAP because the mess I made ON the desk is so bad!

And no matter how much I try to keep organized, within 48 hours of neatness, the mess comes back.

The really sad thing is that I’m not even ashamed of myself for this tremendous lack of respect for my stuff.  I should be ashamed.

I am the one who loves to iron.  I am the one who, when the kids were younger, was down on my hands and knees three times a day scrubbing the kitchen floor. I vacuumed twice a day.  I was a bit obsessive.

And now—the kids are gone. We are empty nesters. I have become the female version of Oscar Madison of sorts while Bonaparte has become the French Felix Unger. He is constantly picking up after me and mumbling naughty words in French.


Yes. Bonaparte is Felix compared to my Oscar…the awful thing is that while I type this, I’m wearing a sweatshirt that is filthier than Oscar Madison’s!

But I will say that it really doesn’t take much time to tidy of the little messes I make.  I did have a surge of Manic Organization when I arrived home from work today. I think it was because I couldn’t find a sweater that I was searching for. Organizing will allow you to find anything!

While Bonaparte went out to fill my car with gas, (Don’t judge! I have a bizarre fear of pumping gas and Bonaparte kindly does this task for me). I tackled the mess in the  bathroom…


Mr. Clean couldn’t have done a quicker job!  

I went to the little closet, tidied it out in no time and found two sweaters I thought I lost!


Neat and orderly–for about two more days!


My blazers are always hanging up neatly though…


And my cosmetics are ALWAYS neatly organized in these little pocket hangers that I got at Five Below! They hang over the door!


And this is as good as it’ll ever get with my makeup desk. I’m telling you by tomorrow morning it’ll be a mess again…


And I need to have shelving installed for some of my hair!


…for now.  I’ll just seize the moment!

Tell me, am I the only one who is organizationally challenged? Do you have a little bit of an organizational issue—or is it really just me?


I won’t count sheep tonight. I’ll just count hangers and shelving!

And why I count hangers to help me go to sleep later, you just know I could not pass up posting “Manic Depression” by my Jimi.  There must be some copyright issues on YouTube with Hendrix, so I’m posting this version with Seal and Jeff Beck instead—but it still sounds amazing!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!



About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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28 Responses to Manic Organization Is Searching My Soul!

  1. June says:

    Hi Catherine, Omg, i can certainly room, dining room, kitchen., main bathroom……very little clutter, HOWEVER, small bathroom, aka my bathroom, bedrooms, finished basement. ..a whole other story. YES, when i was younger and kids were little, very neat and clean.. Not so much now. Sometimes i feel guilty, but luckily it goes away. Thanks for sharing. I feel I am in good company.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi June. Whew! I definitely know I’m in good company!! Thank you! Isn’t it true though? I think all those hours of being overly clean have taken a toll on me! I’m admiring the neatness before it goes back to the usual way tomorrow morning!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  2. Juia Poulos says:

    I hear you Girl! My husband is the most organized person I ever met; in the house, at his work, in his hobbies, etc.
    I get chastised because I leave things “around”; everything from bread crumbs to sheet music.
    I have improved though! I actually like a neat room with an absence of paper piles.
    But…. in your sixties it really is uncool to get too OCD about it. I’d rather be on the Costa Del Sol, Malaga, Spain. Have fun with the time ya got.!
    THX you for all your work. I so adore reading your posts. You are the only blog I follow.
    Congrats on your new job. I’m sure they love ya.

  3. KB says:

    This is so heartening.

  4. Donna says:

    I sure love a neat closet, but just can’t keep it that way! I’ve simply accepted that I have to organize a few times a year, then will backslide until it’s a complete mess again…then re-organiza AGAIN! I do share the master bath with monsieur so try to put stuff away every day…some days are better than others. Maybe we’re opposites; my desk at work is more messy than my spaces at home…

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Donna. Oh. I truly love a neat closet. And I’m envious of all the Pinterest pins that show perfect closets. Even when my closet is well organized it still can’t match up to those perfect closets. Basically, if I can find my clothing–my closet is organized. It’s when I can no longer find anything that I need to organize…..XOXOXOXO!!!

  5. mareymercy says:

    Ha ha – I also use the guest bathroom as “mine” and keep all my clothes in the guest room closet! It’s a habit I got into when I was teaching because I got up SO much earlier than Doug, and I always felt guilty clattering about in the bedroom getting ready. Now it’s been that way so long I just keep doing it.

  6. Adryana says:

    You know, a little mess never hurt anyone. I’m bit weird in that way. If my desk/vanity table/bathroom counter or whatever surface is neat and clean, I get bit anxious. It has to be a bit messy for me to feel okay with it. My messy doesn’t mean I can’t find anything, it’s more like “this cream is behind that cream and in that bag and under that magazine”. My mother would say it’s a disastrous mess, I say it’s organised mess.
    Now, my closet is another story. If it isn’t neat, I can’t operate functionally.
    Lovely post as usual! 😄💕

    • Catherine says:

      Yes! Adryana–YES!! I love the idea of an organized mess. It’s true. I know where all my makeup is even when it is messy as all get out!! XOXOXO!!!

  7. Judy says:

    I am so happy it’s not just me! My kitchen and desk are immaculate but my clothes stay in place for a day or so, then ouch! My husband has his own bathroom and it is bare. Mine, on the other hand is so cluttered you can hardly see the green tiles round the basin. I think it’s because I love the glowing feeling I get when I settle down and tackle the mess, and I love it to be tidy and everything in order. Why I can’t keep it that way I will never know, but I am so glad you are the same!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Judy!! LOL!! Yeah, when I clean the kitchen I just don’t clean, I go in for the big guns–toothpick cleaning around the rims, I get a knife and dig in between the oven and counters, I go nuts!! It literally shines. Oh Bonaparte’s bathroom is immaculate! I don’t like that!! Yup! We are the same–and I think there is an entire group of us!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  8. julietC says:

    I’d like to say we are exactly the same but I have just looked around my work desk – I’d send you a photo of my shameful space if I could figure out how… oh well maybe via facebook (if I shame myself publically maybe I will tidy up). The thing is I am an information specialist – basically a medical librarian that works in an office so I should be tidy. I am not, but I am good at finding stuff for other people, other colleagues are actually worse (which cheers me up a bit). At home, I am messier – I have my knitting, my books, my art stuff, my glass stuff, my… and we live in a teeny little house. The only way I can stay organised in my wardrobe and make up is to get sorted the night before and have a capsule make up collection at the ready so I am not rifling through stuff while getting later and later as the bus goes once an hour (although I surprised myself on the bus this morning – these black trousers are erm, NOT black). I should be tidier and more organised but we have too much stuff in a too tiny house. My theory is that as mums we get so used to tidying and sorting for others we forget how to tidy and sort for ourselves – we can only do it for others even after they leave home.

    • Catherine says:

      Juliet. I saw the pic of your desk and it looked damn tidy to me!! But I’m laughing because not only have I mistaken blue for black clothing, but I actually left the house with two different colored shoes! THAT was mind boggling–I couldn’t even get embarrassed because I though it was just funny. But–I do like your tip about a capsule make up collection at the ready. I just may try that!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  9. Lori says:

    I get anxiety if things are not put away in their proper place! But that comes from being raised by a Mom with OCD. I wish sometimes I could be a little relaxed about it, but that’s what the few junk drawers are for right? Lol

    • Catherine says:

      Lori. The “junk drawer”! Surprisingly, living with Bonaparte, has eliminated the beloved junk drawer. I swear we don’t have one. I think the junk drawer is my closet!! XOXOXO!!!

  10. Bernadette says:

    Manic organization – I will remember that phrase because it describes me so well.

  11. LA CONTESSA says:

    Now, I met the owners of FIVE BELOW!They are friends with my girlfriend who I wanted you to have coffee with before I realized YOU worked TOO!TRivia fact for the day he is GREEK and she is from TAWAIN!LOVELY PEOPLE…………….
    HOW WONDERFUL the FRENCHY PUMPS THE GAS!I HATE THAT TOO!IT Is just something WE WOMEN should NOT have to do!WE birth THE BOYS; let them do this LABOR INTENSIVE JOB!I had one SON who was over 10 pounds!YEP he RIPPED ME down there………… about BURNING!I always called my SONS FELIX and OSCAR!AS One is PRETTY and TIDY the other one……………..was a MESS, but takes after ME!!!!!!!
    SO, there you have it.

    • Catherine says:

      Elizabeth. Five Below is my guilty pleasure. I’ve found everything from those bespoke makeup organizers to cosmetics to slippers to phone chargers. It is a bargain wonderland!! You are so lucky to have met them! Oh..I despise pumping gas. But wait!! I GOT RIPPED TOO!! Jake was a ten pounder and tore me so badly that I was in the hospital for a week. I was so sore for a long time!! My sons are the same way!! One is ridiculously tidy and the other…well, Roman is a lot like me!!! XOXOXOXO!!! (Oona is a mix of both of them!)

  12. doodletllc says:

    Ha…I get this Post, Catherine…I stomp around the house making sure all clutter is removed, table and counter services clean, clothes (that I have washed,dried, folded, piled by individual) are put away and yet my closet floor is piled high with shoes…neatly piled, but piled…I know, too many shoes…don’t get me started. OCD…nay…I’m not going there. But I really had to laugh at the pumping gas…I think when we were growing up, New York State had a rule that you couldn’t pump your own gas…I think someone set fire to themselves while pumping gas but I could be fuzzy on that fact…but anyway, I HATE pumping gas and Mr. Doodle dutifully does it for me. Ahh…love. 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jeanne. Oh..I’m thrilled to know that more and more women are admitting to having their menfolk pump gas for them. NY used to have that rule but no longer. I think New Jersey is the only state where you can’t pump your own. One of the reasons I loved living in New Jersey!!! My closet floor is filled with shoe boxes and I should get rid of some but I just can’t !!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  13. calensariel says:

    I complained of that very same thing. Neat as a pin at work, a mess at home. A very wise friend told me that’s because at home I feel free to be creative. I thought that made a lit of sense.

  14. Jean says:

    Ah. Something we differ on. I am OCD evidentally, self diagnosed. Every drawer, closet and bin in my house is in perfect order. Last time my oldest daughter was here, she opened my pantry and whispered Oh. My. God. She then snapped a pic of it and texted to her sister. I was proud. I thougt she was blown away impressed. But I heard laughter and saw comments like Mom’s completely off the edge. Please tell me what is wrong with storing all your different flours, various grains and the like in vacum sealed mason jars with typewritten labels neatly in rows? Why would you have bags and boxes of crackers, chips etc laying around in your pantry secured with various unmatching clips vs in clear plastic containers neatly aligned? My personal closet is organized by type of item, then sleeve length, pant length and of course by color within those groups. My drawers, well, workout pants, pj’s, etc are rolled and standing so I can see them all without rooting and messing it all up. This idea stolen from The Joy of Tidying up and it’s changed my life! So fun to redo all drawers her way. I won’t tell you about my laundry room. Lets just say my girls conversation on the phone was mostly laughter, till there were tears. Neatnesss brings me happiness. I would get depressed if I had clutter. I should have been a professional organizer. I buy any magazine off the stand that has an organization feature that month on the cover. Sadly, I never learn anything new. It always ends up, REALLY?? Been doing that for years. How about I come get you straightened out and in return you cook me one of your lovely french meals. Apologies for the wordiness, but I get carried away. I even love talking about it!

    • Catherine says:

      OMG. Jean. I loved reading your comment. I would love to cook a great meal for you if you could organize me. I wish we lived near each other!! I’m jealous! I want to be like you so badly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tell you daughters they need to stop!! XOXOXOXO!!!

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