I was a teenage slob. Yes, I was.
My bedroom in my parents' home was a disaster. Well, maybe not as bad as some teenagers' rooms I've seen. No moldy food on the floor at least. My problem was that I couldn't seem to put anything away when I was done with it.
A big part of the mess was my clothing. This was way back in the (ancient) days when we females weren't allowed to wear slacks (let alone jeans) to school. It was dresses or skirts and sweaters or blouses. Many of my school outfits were wool and had to be dry cleaned when they became soiled so these items were definitely worn more than once.
For some reason I just hated to rehang clothing. (A basic unfounded fear of closets?) Items weren't thrown on the floor (I would have probably been tarred and feathered if I had done that) but draped over any available surface such as a chair or desk or bed or door knob.
Whenever I wanted to have a girlfriend stay over night with me, my mom wouldn't say yes until . . . you guessed it . . . I cleaned my room. On these occasions when I was forced to put away all my clothes, I would get out the ironing board and steam iron and carefully press each and every item before rehanging it. Other items were put neatly away in drawers or chests or bookshelves or desk wherever they belonged. I probably filled an entire large garbage bag with general debris also.
My bad habit continued when I went away to college. Bless my forgiving roommates who never complained (to me anyway) about my aversion to putting things away. Everything was where I could find it. Just not as neat and well-kept as it should have been. (Understatement.) At least I did always keep my mess on my side of the room. (Such consideration!)
For a period I lived in a sorority house. Within the large house was an apartment for a married couple. The woman had been hired as a "house mother" and unbeknownst to us made periodic checks of all our rooms when we were gone.
Guess who got called on the carpet for having the most despicably messy room our house mother had ever seen?
Am I still a slob? Nope. All those unrefined habits instantly changed when I got married. And it's not as if I married a neat-freak who told me to shape up or ship out. He has always done a pretty darn good job of picking up after himself . . . well, he takes care of his clothing and other personal items but we do have words now and then about the piles of books, magazines, and various other articles of reading/research material he likes to let accumulate to monumental proportions scattered hither and yon around the house.
So you see, my own magical transformation from slob to pretty good housekeeper wasn't brought on by outside forces. Suddenly making and keeping a home that I was proud of and that was neat and tidy was very important to me and has remained so to this day.
I still wonder why, when I entered those teenage years and became interested in clothes and concerned about my appearance, I also became so disorganized and sloppy. Why I hated hanging up clothing or returning anything to its proper place and why I studiously avoided doing it. And why did all that change when I had a home of my own?
Dunno. But I'm sure glad I got over it. I'd hate to have to confess I'm an adult slob.
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