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Column: Habit reformation

Humans tend to be creatures of habit. I know I certainly am. My days are never exactly the same, and yet I still follow a similar routine, whether it is at work or at home.

I have lived in the same apartment for three years, and I keep things relatively in order. Everything has a place; however, it’s not always in it’s place.  I’m OK with that. I use things and don’t always put them back where I keep them right away. I can be messy at times, but there is always order in how I do things.

In the three years I’ve lived in my apartment, I’ve slowly collected more stuff, for lack of a better word. I started out with two living room chairs and now have a couch and loveseat to go with one of the chairs. I got rid of my recliner. It was a hand-me-down from my parents, who gave it to my brother who hauled it out of his basement for me when I moved. The recliner was slightly broken when I got it, but it still served its purpose. It’s now in La-Z-Boy heaven. (RIP!)

The same is true for my closet. I was very selective with what I brought with me. I have clothes and shoes stored at my parents’ house, which some day I know they will make me remove; but they are fine with it for now. Three years is a long time, and I have had to buy additional closet organizers to make better use of the space. My closet and dressers are full, but at least they are organized.

Because I have so many clothes, I can sometimes let laundry pile up far longer than it should. It is one chore I truly dislike. Eventually, I always catch up. My goal has been to get at least one load done per week. This was easy to accomplish when it was just me.

I knew right away when my fiancé, Tim, moved into the apartment, I was going to have to change my usual habits or at least reveal some of my semi-OCD tendencies.

First off, I had maxed out the closet space in the bedroom and the hall closet, so Tim knew he needed to bring his bigger dresser to store almost all of his clothes with a few of his nicer shirts and pants hung in one corner of the closet. The dresser fit perfectly on his side of the room, and it was good for him to have that space in what was now our apartment.

The move was an easy transition, however, I’m sure Tim learned some new things about me during this convergence of our stuff. The biggest revelation came when I asked Tim to get clean towels out of the linen closet. I don’t really have matching towel sets. I just have different shades of green towels. Each color compliments another so I have certain, shall we say, towel pairings.

What Tim grabbed was not the right “pair.” I was trying to go with it, but Tim could tell something was off, forcing me to explain my system. To Tim’s credit, he didn’t laugh at me. Just told me he won’t be messing in the linen closet anytime soon.

My laundry habit has definitely changed. Tim and I would be swimming in laundry if we only did one load a week. We have to do two to three loads just to stay on top of things. Tim is great help, especially folding. I only have to “correct” Tim’ on few things, mainly towels (I think I have a towel problem). To his credit, he doesn’t get mad when I re-fold something.

Beyond just laundry, Tim helps me around the apartment, which is nice not to have to do it all by myself. He even spent one of his days off tidying up to surprise me. I still find certain things that aren’t done “my way,” but I’m learning to adjust. I’m certainly not going to complain. I love that he is so helpful around our place.

I just re-organize the silverware drawer when Tim isn’t looking.

Contact Pam Rodgers

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