Did You Inherit Your Organizing Tendencies?

Did You Inherit Your Organizing Tendencies?

Beth Zeigler
Jul 28, 2010

We're right in the thick of re-watching 'Sleeping With The Enemy" and we really can't get enough of the two main homes that appear in the movie. Clean and modern, the first home shows us how Laura Burney (Julia Roberts) got her "neat freak" organizing style from her (downright despicable) husband. Living in fear of her erratic hubby, Laura learns that nothing can be out of place--ever. But once she flees and sets up shop in a new cozy charmer, she banishes his rules and throws caution (and order) to the wind.

Associating order with her previously chaotic life, Laura quickly relishes the fact that items suddenly don't have to be perfectly organized. Her changing relationship with her husband allows her to swing from one end of the organizational spectrum to the other. But here in the real world, do our relationships influence how (and if) we stay organized? Growing up, my parents drove home the importance of keeping my room neat at all times and putting items away. This is a lesson that I managed to take with me into adulthood (going so far as to help others by becoming a professional organizer). And while I understand that parents leading by example doesn't always dictate organizing tendencies, the movie did get me thinking-- how do our real-life relationships (with parents, siblings, and significant others) affect our organizing style?

Image: Susy Hammermeister from Look! Susy's Perfectly Organized Kitchen

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