Slug: between-kaos-and-kontrol Date: 2010-01-21 Title: Between Kaos and Kontrol layout: post

My family is about to move into a new house, which has me pondering my management of the two parts of the house I can legitimately call mine: my office (at least during the times I’ve had one) and the workshop. This house will be the third house Jodi and I have owned, and it will be the first with both of these features as separate, properly delineated spaces. And I’m practically giddy about it.

Both these spaces in the past have suffered due to quirk of my personality: I fall at about the midway point between design nerd and geek. This means that I am simultaneously driven to order and categorization, and so easily distracted from same as to drive my orderly wife up a wall.

And yet I’ve realized that there’s some kind of method to my madness.

Take the workshop, for example. In our last house, I took the time to hang several sheets of pegboard on the wall above the workbench, and anything that could conceivably be hung there, was. Over the span of about a month I tweaked and tweaked the layout of tools on that pegboard until I could put my hand on the tool I wanted almost without looking. It stayed like that until we moved out. You would assume that this meant that if you had stopped by sometime and poked your head into my garage, that you’d find it a marvel of organization. Actually, you’d be lucky to find the workbench surface under the collection of recently used and not-quite-put-away tools.

So why did I let things get into this state? Because 1) I’m crap at putting things away, because I’m usually distracted by something else that needs doing, or is at least more Shiny. And 2) I knew that it would take me less than 20 minutes to return that workbench to a known “clean” state on a Saturday morning. I had the system down - I could put tools away with both hands independently if they were in reach. In the meantime, I had a good sense of where I’d last used each tool and where on the bench it had landed.

I’m sure there’s a technical term for this, but I don’t know what it is.