Picture this: It’s 5 p.m. on a Friday. You just finished work, closed your laptop and now you’re considering heating up a pot of tea or pouring yourself a glass of wine to wind down from the craziness. You look up from your desk, see a pencil that needs to return to its proper place, a dirty napkin that needs to be tossed, and a book that needs to be straightened. You get up from your chair and walk to the kitchen, and figure before you do anything else, you need to wash the dishes, fill the dishwasher, and wipe the counters. Check. Check. Check. There. Now everything is where it should be and you can take that deep sigh of relief.
If you’re nodding your head, welcome to the Chronically Neat Club. You are now officially a part of the crew who values tidiness above anything else and who has, long ago, quit apologizing for the relentless drive to get stuff done.
Here are five things that only chronically neat people understand:
The Absolute Ecstasy of Crossing Items Off of a To-Do List
Look, sex is great and all, but have you ever slid a ballpoint pen across a handwritten task on a seemingly never-ending list?
Now that is truly satisfying.
If you identify as a chronically neat person, chances are, you know what I’m talking about. There truly is no greater feeling than looking at your notes or Google calendar and realizing that you’re one step closer to wherever the heck you were headed.
But… now that you’ve crossed off this item, you have to rewrite a new, perfectly uncrossed list on another sheet of paper. And the cycle starts all over again.
The Adrenaline Rush to ‘Get It All Done’
There’s something about multitasking that chronically neat people take to a whole new level. Sure, everyone knows how to multitask to some extent (some more than others). But if you’re a chronically neat person, you’re always doing four or more things at once.
You’re the type of person who can listen to a Zoom call while taking color-coded notes, organizing your computer’s file folders, and purposefully doodling along the margins of your planner. It’s not necessarily that there’s this innate desire to do more than one thing at a time, but you are unconsciously inclined to doing everything at 110%. So if your computer folder isn’t in the right place… then you’re going to get that done while keeping up on the notes and simultaneously jotting down tasks in your planner—all to make sure that your ‘i’s are dotted and your ‘t’s are crossed.
The Heartwarming Feeling in Your Chest When It All Just ‘Works’
There’s this unexplainable sense of calm that only comes when everything just happens exactly how you intentionally (and orderly) executed it.
As a chronically neat person, you always have your proverbial ducks in a row. And so, as things fall into place and according to plan, when you find something exactly where you left it, and when everything is just as it’s supposed to be, you have this warm and fuzzy feeling in your chest unlike anything else.
The Sweet Freedom of Saying ‘Bye’ to Things You Don’t Need
When you’re a chronically neat person, you don’t have time for clutter. You don’t have the energy for meaningless conversations. And you sure aren’t going to keep something around if it doesn’t further your purpose and goals.
So, naturally, you don’t have a problem Marie Kondo-ing items that don’t help you stay on track—including your child’s old toys, that planner with too little margin space, the dish soap that doesn’t actually scrub your plates clean, etc.
The Satisfying Deep Breath at the End of the Night
Last, but definitely not least, one of resonating truths that only chronically neat people can understand is that satisfying exhale at the end of the night.
Once everyone is put to bed, the dishes are done, the laundry is folded, the pens are lined up in the top-right corner of the desk, and all the counters have been wiped—you can finally re-center and rest.
And honestly, nothing feels better than that.