Anal Retentive Olympics

After a bout of cleaning this weekend, I wondered whether my anal attention to detail is beyond the norm. So, let’s see who is the most anal retentive here and whoever is the worst will win a nifty organizer from Staples. Mmm… staples… :wink:

Top 3 Examples of Personal Anal Retentivenes:

  1. Bills in my wallet have to go this way: dollar inside,. then five, then ten then twenty. All facing the same way.
  2. Shoes have to be lined up in pairs.
  3. Clothes in closet hang in categories. Pants together, shirts together, cardigans together etc.

How anal retentiveness helped your life:
Makes me appear more intelligent and with it than I actually am.

How anal retentiveness hurt your life:
I almost got hit by a car when I stopped to sort my change in a parking lot.

How else would one do any of this? :cool:

I sort mine that way. And, um, sometimes I swipe my husband’s wallet and sort those too. And take a twenty, if there’s an extra. :smiley:

Me too. Shoes in pairs, also, but in those hanging thingies so I can clean the closet floor every once in a while.

Honestly, these examples don’t seem that bad to me. They just seem organized. I can find all my stuff that way, I know which clothes are clean, and I always know about how much money is in my wallet. Now, if you tell me you clean your furnace once a week, that’s anal retentive.

To be fair, the darling Mr. Stuff might think I’m a little anal. He has had to adjust to a higher level of organization than he was used to. That has cut both ways, though – I put his undershirts and socks away neatly folded and sorted, and pretend not to notice that they only stay that way until the next time he opens the drawer, after which they look like they’ve been stirred with a stick.

How anal retentiveness helped my life:
Like I said, I can find all my stuff. And it helps me not have more junk around than I need. (As in, I know I have two rolls of Scotch tape and I know where they are, so I don’t need to buy a new one every time I have to wrap a present, unlike some people I know. coughMOMcough)

How anal retentiveness hurt my life:
Well, I don’t really think it has. I did have one grand fight with a college roommate, but we got over and we’re still good friends. I’m still neat and she’s still messy, although less so in recent years. And, as I said, Mr. Stuff and I have had to adjust to a shared environment with differing levels of innate organization. But if it hadn’t been that, it would have been something else, and really, we’re getting along just fine.

A shiny anus is a happy anus.

No dirty dish can ever be left in the sink. In fact, in most cases all the dishes except for the plate and silverware I’m using, are washed prior to eating.

Towels must be folded with the seams facing inward.

Dammit. I misread the topic.

I left out the “Retentive.” I was excited to read about some Anal Olympics.

Additional craziness:

I have a certain way I fold my towels and if anyone is helping me fold towels, and they fold them “wrong” I have to re-do them.

When I am visiting other people and they leave the room, I tidy up a bit and mentally rearrange the room.

Sept. 25 is going to be fall cleaning day for my place. Complete mop down, flannels getting laundered, air conditioner uninstalled and I am looking forward to it.

In a restaurant, if I get crumbs on the table I have to pick them up.

I have a secondary pen jar for the pens I don’t currently use but are still good pens.

My current anal retentive challenge is trying to figure out a way to avoid getting gasoline on my hand as I gas up my car. Every damn time, when I take the nozzle out of my tank my hand gets dripped on. No matter how much soap I use, my hand stinks all day.

Shouldn’t that be the “Anal**ly-**Retentive Olympics?” :smiley:

There was the girl I used to date who alphabetized her spice rack…

My spice rack is alphabetized. So are the cereal boxes in the cabinet, and soup cans in the pantry. In fact, any grouping of like-foods in the pantry is alphabetized - large groups of soups cans, extra boxes of cereal, extra spice bottles, whatever.
Is there something wrong with that?

My CDs and DVDs are all alphabetized, too. It makes it easier to find just what you’re looking for. When people come over and browse through our DVDs to see what we have, every so often someone will exclaim, “Oh, my God, they’re in alphabetical order! You’re insane!” But why is that so crazy? It makes it sooo much easier to find something.

My books are shelved like the library, alphabetical by author, then chronologically within each author’s name. Non-fiction is separated from fiction, of course, and is grouped by author and subject.

Like the OP, I also have all my hangers facing the same way, and have my clothes separated by type. Shirts, pants, sweaters, skirts, etc. Each section of clothes are also broken down further by type - sweaters, casual shirts, dressy shirts, t-shirts (and everyting is also grouped by color), then jeans, then dressy pants. Skirts and dresses are hung up by length and style (dressy or casual).

Towels need to be folded a certain way, and grouped by color, and bills in my wallet need to be in denomination order and all facing the same way.

Keep a box of rubber gloves in the car. Some stations provide “gas mitts.”

And the OP is a piker if that counts as anal retentive.


I fail to see how you get gas on your hand. I’ve never gotten gas on my hand when I’ve gassed up. When I’m done, I tip the nozzle up a bit while still in my car, to make sure all the drops get out, then take it out, while keeping the nozzle down, and put it back into the holder. Even if I didn’t tip the nozzle up, I couldn’t see how I could possibly get gas on me. Maybe you’re car’s gas…filling…area is just positioned different than mine.

I lose. Instantly.

My money is almost always stuffed in my pocket. I think I’ve kept money in my wallet about four times in my life, and never actually in the area of the wallet you’re supposed to keep it. I’m lucky half the time if I can tell you how much I have in my pocket without taking it out to count.

My shoes? I own 1 pair, a set of hiking boots. They reside under my computer chair, where they’re kicked when I take them off after I get home from work.

My clothes? I do things in reverse…I live out of the laundry hamper. When clothes are washed and dried, they’re carried back upstairs in the hamper and then I pick them out of there. Dirty clothes get piled in the corner until the night before I do laundry again, then moved to the now-emptied hamper.

And you don’t even want to see the inside of my car…

I have this funny feeling I’d be a casualty if I had to live with some people! Thank Og supervenusfreak loves me… :smiley:

In a similar thread a year or two back, someone posted something to the effect of coming across a full jar in their father’s workshop that was labeled “Pieces of string too small to keep.”

Man, I used to be like that as a 5-year-old. Everyone’s shoes had to be lined up along the wall, and if anyone moved them I’d start screaming. Even if they were going out, and needed the shoes. Everything in my room was arranged in alphabetical order. EVERYTHING. Even the things that didn’t easily lend themselves to that sort of thing. And my favourite game was to take my pencil case, wrap it in cling wrap, unwrap it, and wrap it up again. Fortunately, I grew out of these autistic tendencies. You should see my room now. Bwahaha. My parents say they kinda miss my anal-retentive phase.

Except for the money part, you desribed me perfectly. Why hang up my clothes? If I need them, they asre right there in the hamper! I’ll just grab them from there! (Although I have two, olne clean, one dirty, cause eventually even I got sick of my pile of dirty clothes.)

But my money is probably the only thing I am anal about. Like others said, it has to go in increasing order, and the presidents’ heads face me.

The only thing that I’m like that about is the stuff on my computer. Media is in one folder. It’s separated by music/video/pictures. Music is all perfectly sorted with perfect ID3 tags. Video is split up into all the different TV shows/movies/don’t open (“don’t open” contains porn, obviously.).

Other than that, I employ the same system as jayjay for laundry, except that if a shirt has a collar, I hang it up.

I also set stuff on my desk when I’m done with it, and the desk gets cleaned off every couple of weeks, so that there’s a growing mountain of stuff for a while… and then nothing. I can’t do clean as you go kind of stuff. If you told me that I had to spend just 8 minutes a day doing general straightening up in my room, I’d go insane. I’d rather spend 2 hours one weekend a month.

  1. It’s “Anally-Retentive Olympic Games” or “…Olympiad”. I’ll be playing for the Grammar German team.
  2. Bills are faced and sorted in wallet as above; change is spent in such a way as to minimize the number of nickels, drive the number of dimes to three or fewer, and drive the number of pennies to four or fewer.
  3. Pens (two, right hand pocket) are kept with the clip aligned to the brand name or label of the pen. When multiple long lines on the label make several configurations suitable, the most rare configuration is “right” (e.g. if one of the long lines is thicker, or scratched, it’s The Line for that pen).
  4. T-shirts are folded into squares with the collar showing. White V-necks are stacked separately from white crew-necks.
  5. Socks are paired and balled.
  6. Spices are arranged in the kitchen according to the following system: all spices are grouped into columns by the strength of their flavor, ranging from spicy to mild. At the head of each column, the most often-used spices sit ready to hand. At the back go weirder spices like turmeric and allspice that nobody actually uses.
  7. CDs are grouped by artist, with adjacent artists grouped by similar sound; They Might Be Giants are near Barenaked Ladies and Fountains of Wayne, who are near Weezer and the Refreshments. Each artist’s CDs are grouped chronologically. When no sensible transition between artists exists, a blank page provides buffer for new purchases. (After several purchases the buffer ceases to exist, creating a non-sensical transition, but that’s okay because I remember it was there :eek: ).

I only qualify in the money and CD organization categories. Ones first, twenties in the back, all facing forward. The 4000 CDs are all alphabetical, with a separate section for Various Artists. The LPs are alphabetical, the 45s are alphabetical by year. All have industry-standard plastic divider cards with the letter of the alphabet (LPs, CDs) or year (singles) attached from packages of stick-on letters. The databases (one for singles, one for albums) are alphabetical, with the artists’ releases in chronological order. I have a lot of other rules for the database to make it as comprehensive as possible. It has to be this way, or how could I find anything, or know which version of a song was on which record/CD?