OCD or Awesome Life Hack?

There are some of “my people” that one might say have…um…OCD-like tendencies. (There, I just RIPPED the bandaid right off.) I believe there is a spectrum of OCD behaviors, and I fall within. If you were to come to my home without prior knowledge on my part, you would enter my home and might very well believe that we had fallen victim to a heinous burglary. You would find Nerf guns and stuffed animals everywhere, at least one empty Amazon box lying about, random pieces of clothing thrown around like confetti, and shoes… Dear God, the shoes…obviously the thieves weren’t after shoes ‘cause they are EVERYWHERE! I apologize in advance to any and all unexpected visitors. We have not been robbed; we actually live here…in this house…daily.

Chaos couch

Despite the apparent disarray, within the chaos, you will find pockets of deliberate, and some might find, disturbing order. These are my pockets of sanity. Many would classify these “arrangements” as OCD. Perhaps they are. I am not here to diagnose, but to SHARE! (Insert the happy twittering of woodland animals here.)  I want to share a few of my OCD-like habits (Or what I like to call life hacks!  As if.) and a few ideas from some of my super organized friends. You may say, OCD, but we say AWESOME!

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rafiki meditating

Let’s talk about eggs. (Weren’t expecting that one, were you?) There is nothing I hate more that retrieving a carton of eggs from the fridge only to find it so unexpectedly unbalanced that the carton falls from my hand and lands in a huge mess on the floor. To combat this horrendous potential experience, I strategically choose my eggs based on their placement in the carton, leaving all remaining eggs towards the center of the carton. This enables you to pick up the carton, from any side, and have it equally weighted toward the center to avoid disaster. (Did you just roll your eyes?  Imagine a flight attendant demonstrating with the waving, pointed fingers….the voice…  it all becomes so much more fun!)

no yes eggs

Another habit that I have is to fold and store plastic grocery bags. I get A LOT of grief for this one, even from my OCD friends! They seriously don’t know what they’re missing. I fold my grocery bags and store them for easy retrieval from my pantry. This also aids in a more tidy appearance of said pantry. Why is this important? Because I do not have a family member who is capable of closing that door after they access it. Thus the pantry then becomes an extension of my kitchen and our sins are visible to the world! (Oh NO!)

folded grocery bags

Let’s just stay in the kitchen while we’re here. (Where I spend 99% of my time.) I have a very specific way that I stow dirty dishes in my kitchen sink. I’m sure you’re already thinking, “GASP! An OCD person would NEVER have dirty dishes in the sink.” In truth, this happens about half of the time. Some mornings I just don’t have time to empty the dishwasher, but that doesn’t mean that chaos has to rein. I neatly stack the dirties by category. (Stop your eye rolling and open your mind.) All plates together, all bowls together, all utensils together (WITH handles all in the same direction, duh) and all glassware together. This makes it incredibly fast and easy for me to load them into the dishwasher once I get time. (Ironically, my precious family members have not picked up on the “pattern” in the sink. I just can’t believe it sometimes. Love you! Mean it!)

dirty dishes

I’m not going to take all of the glory here. Let’s talk about Meredith’s contribution.  (I don’t even need to introduce her anymore!  Isn’t that awesome?) Hold on to your hats, ‘cause I’m completely jel over THIS one. Meredith’s pantry…… Well, see for yourselves.

Meredith's pantry

Not only are there matching containers, but THEY ARE LABELED! Seriously? Some might see this as a sickness, but come on! She can see what she has, and what she’s running out of at a glance! It’s brilliant. I have not fully embraced this yet, but I am working toward it. I pick up a new container whenever I hit the local Home Goods (Especially if I can remember what size I need. Not one of my strengths.) This can be quite an investment in containers, but if you are only purchasing groceries when you need them, instead of over buying because you didn’t see that box of brown sugar in the back, or WORSE, throwing ingredients away because they’ve expired, in the long run, I think you’re saving on this one. And Mere swears that food lasts longer in the containers than in their original packaging. Mind blown.

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mind blown

If you love to cook or bake, no doubt you have a multitude of spices. My spice cabinet looks like my son has been rummaging through it to find his soccer socks. My sister inlaw, Dara’s spice cabinet tells a different, glorious story. A happy tale of organization, thoughtfulness and the ability to see exactly what you own at a glance. I just don’t know where to start here with my envy. Let’s start from the top then! Cookie cutters and paper cupcake cups are stored in sweet jars. (Functional and decorative!) The basket next, houses food coloring and cookie decorations. Cookbooks are within reach and supported by mason jars filled with baking goodness. Spices are lined up like little soldiers on their teeny stair steps. The rest of the collection is neatly positioned so the taller items are viewable from the back and those items that are of similar sizes are kept on a tiny “hard working” Susan (This Susan ain’t no slacker and certainly is NOT lazy.).

dara's spice cabinet

I’m going to call Dara’s next space her utility drawer. Here she stores her batteries, matches, lighters, flashlight, candles and Scentsy wax bars. Once again, everything is accessible at a glance. Nothing stacked, so each item is ready to use and easy to find! Dara can easily see when supplies need to be replenished and/or get to them quickly should an emergency arise.

Dara's utility drawer

One thing you should know about Dara; she only buys exactly what she needs. She does not stock items. This allows for her storage spaces to be VERY clean and easy to use. (I swear. You should see HER pantry (conveniently pictured below). It looks like the house is staged for sale. So jel.) There are obvious advantages to this strategy.  I, on the other hand, am a stocker. I HATE to run out of anything, therefore I always have a back up. This presents storage challenges, but saves me emergency trips to the store.

Dara's pantry

Why am I sharing this? Number 1, ‘cause it’s fun(ny).  (And I sincerely hope that you could feel the humor that was intended throughout.) Number 2, I want to shed the reasoning behind what seems to be odd OCD behavior. We are all busy people and are coping in our homes to make our lives as easy as possible. Less stress trickles outward and helps the advancement of peace and happiness. Isn’t that the direction that we all want to go? If having an organized spice rack reduces stress, then don’t hate; appreciate!

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Fallon as bieber

1 Rafiki from Disney‘s The Lion King.  Pic from Pinterest.

2 Pic from www.knowyourmeme.com

3 Jimmy Fallon as Justin Bieber.  So funny!  Pic from www.google.com