The Great Order Restoration Project

Here’s something you should never do. You should never move your guestroom to your child’s bedroom, your child’s bedroom to your home office, and your home office to your guestroom. And if you do, you better hope you have no guests coming for a very long time.

You probably think I say that with such confidence because we did it. No, we did not. But we’re trying to. And we have been for weeks. I’m afraid that, months from now, I’ll find myself running from my current office upstairs to my former office downstairs to get a paperclip. I hope I have the good sense to bring the whole box.

My husband and son moved the furniture, which is what husbands and sons are for. I supervised, which is what I’m for.

That left the miscellaneous stuff, the nitnoid bits and pieces of this and that. Every single piece of paper, every item of clothing, every thing-a-ma-bob and thing-a-ma-jig must be moved to its new location and put in its proper place, though “proper” may be too strong a word. We’ve never been one of those families with “a place for everything and everything in its place.” It’s more like, everything was someplace and now it’s someplace else.

One of the challenges of what I’m calling the Great Order Restoration Project is that many of my son’s belongings are small. It’s almost like we’ve been leaving a trail of BBs, LEGOS, and model airplane parts for the moving company, except that there is no moving company, and it’s not a very good trail.

Technology is, of course, a great timesaver in all of our lives, which is lucky, because you need all the time you’ve saved to move and organize all your technology.

We have more power cords and chargers than we have electronic devices. This may be because we have chargers and power cords for electronic devices we no longer own. You may wonder why we keep them. We wonder why we keep them. But, I think it’s for the same reason we keep keys we don’t recognize. We fear that the minute we discard a key, we’ll stumble across the lock it’s made to open. It will be on something very important, and it will be locked.

So, just in case we need them some day, we moved chargers and power cords–and keys. And we moved CDs, DVDs, VHS and cassettes, though I’m not sure we even have a VHS or a cassette player anymore. On the bright side, we didn’t come across a single eight-track tape.

I once believed technology would create a paperless society. All it really did was allow us to generate more paper more quickly. We do have a shredder, but it only works when we use it. I was afraid when I was moving all the paper from the old office to the new office that I would misplace something important, like the title to our car or a large sweepstakes check. And I must have, because I can’t find any large sweepstakes checks.

Even worse, I worried I might find something I’ve been living in blissful ignorance of, something that should have been dealt with long ago, like a light bill or a subpoena.

On the other hand, I hoped I’d find a few things: A favorite sweatshirt; a book from my childhood that I passed on to my son and haven’t seen since; a pair of reading glasses, worn only once; and the key to our roll-top desk It’s a good thing we lost the key right after we bought the desk; we hadn’t had time to lock it yet.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found any of those things thus far during the Great Order Restoration Project. But I did misplace a flyswatter and another pair of reading glasses.

(To volunteer to help in the Great Order Restoration Project, contact drosby@rushmore.com or see www.dorothyrosby.com. Twitter @dorot

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Dorothy Rosby is a syndicated columnist whose humor column appears in newspapers in eleven Western and Midwestern states, as well as several magazines.