This I Believe

Ashley - Kinston, North Carolina
Entered on September 28, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in cleanliness and organization. I realize this may seem insignificant and trivial compared to other things I could believe in, but nevertheless they are still quite serious and important to me. When I lived at home before college, these two things never really seemed to matter too much. When I cleaned my room or anything else in my parents’ house it was generally because my mother told me to. I always thought the house was clean enough and wondered why my mom was always so worried with things like the carpet being vacuumed or that the house was straight and clean when company came over.

I did not really understand where my mom was coming from until I moved out of my parents’ house and into a four bedroom apartment with two guys and another girl. I thought the living situation was going to be great. Everyone had their own bedroom and bathroom, and the only thing we had to share was the kitchen and living room. It did not take long however, before I began to feel like I was going crazy.

The dishes never seemed to be put in the dishwasher correctly and crumbs were always scattered over the kitchen floor, counter, and table. I started to feel like I was the only one in the apartment who could clean up after myself. In addition to the mess the boys would make, there always seemed to be men’s clothing in the washing machine and dryer. The same clothes would be in there for days and days, and I would really need to do some laundry. The other girl in the apartment was never there, so I knew the source of these problems had to be the boys. I could not understand why they did not take more pride in the way our apartment looked. It would embarrass me when friends and family would drop by and I’d feel like the place was a disaster. I could not wait until the next August when I would move out of the apartment into a house with just two other girls.

It turns out things did not get entirely better when I moved into the new house, but it was still not as bad. This time, organization seemed to be more of the problem than cleanliness. If a pillow dropped on the floor, the girls acted as if there were no reason in the world why it should be picked up, and they could not just take the trash out and put a new trash bag in the trashcan. Instead, they would just shove things down into the trashcan until you could not even see the top of the trash bag anymore. The refrigerator was a catastrophe. It just did not seem to matter to the girls where anything went or how outdated some of the food would be.

To me it just makes much more sense that everything have a place, and if you take something out of place, simply put it back. I enjoy cooking and eating in my own house, so it helps if that space is clean enough for me to cook and eat. These things should not be a big deal, but evidently, they were in both households I have lived in since coming to college. It was obviously too hard for any of my fellow roommates to keep things clean and tidy. I believe in cleanliness and organization. It just makes good sense.