Jayne Dawson: January - A tidy month

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January is the month when I fit right in.

The only time of the year when my life’s passion matches the feeling in the air.

Perfect storage is my first love. When I die they can write “the only box she didn’t covet” on my coffin, or get Ikea to make me an extra large plastic one with lid, which should be supplied free in view of all the money I have invested in their storage solutions over the years.

While some people fall asleep at night imagining wealth beyond compare, I drift off dreaming about Total Organisation.

Ideally, I would like everything in my life to have its own box, bag, drawer or case, and be labelled. I include my family.

It’s fair to say I like things to be contained, I like them to have a place, I like them, at the very least, to be encased in a plastic folder.

A walk-in wardrobe is often held up as the very epitome of female organisational desire, but its potential for disorganisation makes me anxious.

I would need all the same hangers facing all the same way as a mere starting point and then clothes of the same length grouped together, as well as clothes of the same colour, and little pigeon hole things for each pair of shoes.

And as I write I’m worrying about whether long and short sleeved items of the same colour could all go together, or be divided into further sub-sections.

There are family opinions on the subject. One of my children claims to be similarly afflicted by the need for order to such an extent they believe it to be a form of obsessive compulsive disorder, although I notice this OCD only applies to their own territory, and not mine.

Whereas my sister regards my desire to box, bag, file or contain everything as evidence of a great psychological flaw – I say she needs to spend less time thinking about other people’s foibles and more time putting things into plastic folders.

The marvellous news is that now I am an empty nester I find my categories stay categorised for longer which gives me more time to think of further sub-divisions... but I’ll probably be okay once the shiny, happy novelty of my empty home has worn off.

Normally, I wouldn’t be willing to divulge such detail about the storage/categorisation thing – but, as I say, it’s all okay because it’s January.

In January everybody develops a mania for order, which is why it is currently possible to meet everyone you know in a branch of Wilkinsons. Try it, I predict you will meet a friend hovering between the vacuum-packed under-bed storage bags and the plastic boxes with matching lid, or gazing, mesmerised, at the four-tier shoe storage racks.

I like this kind of shopping because it’s companiable.

We are all in the post-festive mire together, up to our knees in novelty slippers and toiletries we will never use.

In January we all share the panicky desire to sort our stuff before it does for us. It’s the month I feel normal. I love January.


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