Tuesday, 28 September 2010


Yesterday's lighthearted  flurry about OCD on Twitter opened a can of worms. Check out the #OCD hashtag and you will see what I mean. We're not talking about superstitions or actual disorders, here. It's more like things that someone has to do in a particular way or a certain number of times. The Twitterverse disclosed everything imaginable, from ironing clothes and underwear before travelling, not celebrating a birthday until the minute of your birth, walking on cracks evenly in the concrete (or avoiding them), or opening computer programmes in a specific order so they line up correctly on your task bar. (I can empathise with this one.)

There's a great joke that goes something along the lines of, "I have CDO, which is OCD but spelt in alphabetical order like it should be". I love it. (Check out the title for this post.) There are certain things that bother me, but I also enjoy poking fun or annoying people who fuss over silly things. For example, an ex used to insist that the openings of pillowcases on the bed pointed away from the door. (Apparently it is an old Scottish tradition - ha!) Guess which way I put the pillows now? ;-)

I know someone who arranges her wardrobe according to skirts, shirts, tops, dresses, coats etc (and it won't be in the order I've just described), then each category is shaded from dark to light. I know there was something to do with seasons in her order but can't remember exactly what. Incidentally, she's an accountant.

Here are some of my particular OCD tendancies. I'm sure there would be dozens more to add if I gave it some more thought.
  • Clocks and calendars: they have to be correct. Each month, I am the one who changes the calendar to show the new month. We changed to daylight savings time this weekend. All our clocks at home and in the car seem to be ok and I quickly changed the time on the clock in my office, but I've noticed several other clocks in high places that are still an hour behind and that really bugs me. The funny thing is, I can't stand to wear a watch.
  • Picture frames: they have to be straight unless the display is designed to be otherwise. The same goes for posters. Someone thought I was taking down a new poster at work the other day; no, I was just straightening it. I'm still relatively new so my colleagues don't quite know how to take me yet. They'll find out.
  • Coathangers: mine have to all be hanging over the wardrobe rail (not hooking under) and skirts, tops and dresses have to face to the left. My sweetie is the opposite (although he insists it doesn't bother him); his shirts all face to the right. I try not to let it drive me nuts.
  • Numbers: when I have a group of something, I like them to be even numbers or multiples of 5. 10 is good, 11 not, 12 is fine, 13 not, 14-15-16 are all ok ... get it? I don't know why.
  • Clothes pegs: their colours have to match. I used to be really fussy with this, even to the extent that all socks had to be hung with the same colour, or tops etc. I'm a lot better now but still like to hang each item with matching clothes pegs.
What are your #OCD tendancies?


Kellee said...

I probably should start by saying that this is only the tip of the iceberg & the more I read #OCD, the more stuff there is I do that I never realised.

When I download a new song, I must buy the album version not the single. Every single song must be rated. Anything I rate to be 1 or 2 stars gets deleted. The really neurotic thing, all songs must have the same playcount. So far I'm up to 18. I have 2 playlists only - one for 'Under 17 count' which is what I use to catch up songs I've just purchased, and 'Under 18 count' where I take the rest of them from 17 to 18 etc. This is where the rating becomes very important, because I don't want to waste time listening to songs that aren't as good. People who have 30000 songs on their ipod and only listen to 100 drive me nuts.

All my coathangers must match, hook over not under and face left. If I have 2 skirts on the same hanger, they must be equivalent in their formalness e.g. formal skirts go together, casual skirts go together. From left to right I hang, pants & jeans, tops, skirts then dresses.

My peg basket used to be 2 colours, blue & red. I would hang my entire first load with blue ones, then the 2nd load with red ones, that way when I was bringing the washing in, I knew which ones would be drier. I would get so annoyed with people who would mix and match that I threw them all out and bought wooden pegs.

Half of my cereal bowls are blue, the other half are green. They must be stacked alternately.

Clocks must be 3 minutes fast. Enough that you still have a bit of slack, but not enough that to relax and think its ok, I've still got 5 minutes. Alarms must not be set to a 5 or a 0, because that's what everyone else does and I feel sorry for the other numbers. I also can't set them to a 3 or an 8, because that would really be a 0 or 5.

My sisters find all of this completely hilarious, and go out of their way to move things when the visit to see how long it takes for me to notice.

So yeah, I'm completely nuts, but I like it.

Anonymous said...

glad to find a fellow obsessive organizer! I had been living with ocd since the past three years. Now these hilarious quirks are a part of life. I had written about my experience in my blog too.