My desk is a mess. My workbench is a mess. My closet and drawers are a mess. I do have a system though, and I am pretty sure I know where everything is. I have to pay particular attention because as much as I am a “leave it out in the open” kind of guy, she is a “put it back in a drawer or back in the cupboard” kind of person. It is only a problem if I am cooking and I should leave the kitchen mid preparation. It is like an elf has swept in and made the measuring cup disappear and miraculously put the spices away. My system is that as I bring out all of the spices listed in a recipe and after I add a spice to whatever I am making, I put the ingredient away. This way I can keep track of what needs to be done yet. I have to be strategic and cook while nobody is home or if she is home, to not leave the kitchen unattended lest my hovercraft wife comes in and cleans everything.
I find that recently I am misplacing things more and more. Not the usual car keys and glasses or phone stuff. That is to be expected. Sometimes I walk into a room with intent and draw a blank to what the intent was. Sometimes forgot where I parked. Nothing serious.
Before I moved in with Sharon, I had a house filled with a lifetime’s collection of stuff. As the confusion of having possessions here, there and everywhere. at my house, my temporary quarters at my dear friend Danny’s and even more stuff at Sharon’s. I still knew where everything was.
Even this year with my classroom moved and all the contents now in up to five different places, I am able to locate anything.
Keeping track of my musical stuff is no less daunting. All of my harmonicas are labelled. My pedals are stored in one place. My guitars are almost all under one roof. I keep one at work. I have a drawer for strings, tuners, capos, wire cutters etc. I keep sheet music handy on a shelf and a portable recording device nearby as well.
Problems can arise when I go to rehearsal or to a gig. The equipment must all be amassed and returned sometimes under adverse conditions. People talk to you during breakdown, distractions mid-job. I try to be methodical. Last night I needed: four guitar cables, two pedals, two AC adapters for the pedals. One amp. One guitar. Spare strings and about a dozen harmonicas. I need an iPad clip and iPad for this gig and I like to use a pedal called an Air-Turn which turns the page hands free so I can follow the setlist and remind me of opening lines to songs etc.
I was pretty sure I had all of these things together while leaving the house. A shoulder bag with all the electronic crap and a briefcase with my harmonicas and rack and tuner, capo, etc. an amp (Fender Deluxe Reverb). and a guitar. (Fender Telecaster).
While setting up, however, I noticed the Air-Turn was gone. Not the biggest deal. I coped. I changed the page manually which is just an inconvenience. After the breakdown, I scoured the stage to no avail except to find our bassist’s tuner…lol. No Air-turn. Checked at home to no avail either. I figured it may have fallen out of the bag in the car. I remember a bag tipping when I had to brake quicker than usual. This morning I checked the car. Threw out a bunch of detritus, but no Air-Turn. I re-checked places where I knew it wasn’t and I was getting angry with myself because this Air-Turn was my second one, and they aren’t cheap. The first had been ruined by a glass of water frying it.
Then as I was searching in my sock drawer for two socks that matched. They are all black, but some feel better than others. No Air-turn, but I thought “Maybe it is in the back of the amp.” I don’t usually throw things in there because the tubes are vulnerable. There was my Air-Turn. I vaguely remember that it had been charging and I went to pack it last after the other bag and briefcase were full. I remember there was no room in the pocket of my gig bag, and there is a shadow of a memory of throwing it in the back of the amp.
All this to say it is important to be mindful when doing things.