So Maybe I Am a Little Neurotic


I once thought being a procrastinator proved I wasn’t obsessive/compulsive, but then I found procrastination is one of the first noticeable symptoms of the malady.  My friends politely speak of my perfectionism and I try to be normal, but it’s hard.  Recently $4 saved me from myself.

A Change of Seasons

When it came time to change my closet to my fall wardrobe, there was an issue.  I had enough hangers for all my clothes, but for some reason I suddenly didn’t have all the “right” hangers.  See, different kinds of clothes need different kinds of hangers and for some reason my clothes weren’t distributing themselves appropriately on the hangers I had.    I fussed over the problem with elaborate mathematical equations for a while, but finally convinced myself to quit being neurotic and instead be thankful I have clothes, because there are those who don’t.

A History of My Hangers

This hanger issue isn’t a problem I’ve always dealt with.  There was a day when I only had two kinds of hangers – the wire hangers from the dry cleaner and those nice clear plastic ones you get with the clothes you buy.  I didn’t think about hangers at all in in those days, but I did use my “good” hangers for my best clothes and everything else was on a wire hanger.

However, I did notice all the clothes in my mom’s closet were on those nice hangers from the store.  Of course, she worked in retail from the 60’s to the 90’s.  She made sure everything she bought home was on a nice hanger and with wardrobe attrition, eventually everything migrated to the good ones.  In fact, in my career girl days, probably the only reason I had those nice hangers was because of Mom’s generosity.  She gave me clothes for pretty much every occasion and even for no occasion at all, when she found something she wanted me to have and there was no occasion in sight.  Yeah, she was pretty amazing.  While I appreciated Mom’s closet, I guess I wasn’t neurotic yet, because I didn’t covet her closeting habits.

Then I went into real estate and we custom built a house.  You might wonder why selling real estate and building a house had any effect on which hangers I used.  Well, my days in real estate gave me some discretionary funds I hadn’t had access to before and when we moved into the custom house, one of the perks was a dream closet – complete with a dressing table.  One thing led to another and I suddenly had very specific hangers for all my clothes.  My evening clothes went on padded hangers.  Dresses, jackets and blouses went on those clear plastic hangers.  I had specialized multi-tier hangers for skirts and pants.  Everything else went on those white plastic hangers you can buy in bulk.  You cannot imagine the joy this brought me.  I would stand in my closet and derive pleasure from the mere sight of my clothes hanging on their appropriate hangers.  By then, Mom had retired and my closet was actually better than hers!

Maintaining My Obsession

There have been five houses since that customized closet and while none of those closets were quite so grand, I have maintained my penchant for hangers.  I’ve even expanded my collection.  I found heartier versions of the white plastic hangers that work great with jeans and outerwear.  I discovered specialized hangers for tank tops and camisoles.  Did you know they have hangers for boots, too?  To my dismay they “improved” the white plastic hangers, so I now have about four varieties of the white hangers in my closet, but I’ve had learned to ignore that hiccup.

Then suddenly my hangers were all wrong and no amount of switching could right the problem.  The bottom line was that I needed more white plastic hangers, but back in October I told myself I could do without them.  I’d just get by with a few variations on the theme.  Every time a hanger would break, the situation got a little worse.  Then I bought a few items from stores that thought tossing my purchases in a bag was enough. (You’ll be glad to know I didn’t lay down in the floor and have a fit.)  Soon it seemed as if some elf tribe was entering my closet each evening as I slept and trading out good hangers for bad, because it seemed as if the situation was worsening daily.  Every day more and more wire hangers were finding their way into my garments!

Mission Drift

So, what does all that have to do with $4 solving my obsession/compulsion issues.  Well, I was in Target to find a couple of items they’d been out of at Ulta.  Since I was there, I looked into several other items on my list, one of which  took me right by the storage department (though I can’t tell you exactly what item that was.)  There, I discovered a HUGE package of white plastic hangers was $1.99.  I’d been gritting my teeth for months over those “inappropriate” hangers and for less than 200 pennies I could just fix my closet.  I bought two packages!  My clothes are all hanging on the appropriate hangers now and unless those elves I talked about return, I’m set for a couple of years – and all for less than $4.

Shopping, TRAVEL

YouTube Videos Lie


I’m going to rant today.  I’ve whined before over the “improvements” companies insist on making to things I love – “improvements” that render my favorite things useless to me.  All it takes for a cosmetics company to discontinue a lipstick color is for me to like it, but that’s different from improving products past the point of being useful.  You know what I mean.

The Tension-less Shower Rod

I grew up with something called a tension shower rod.  The tension came from a spring.  You’d twist the rod until it was just a smidge bigger than your opening.  Then you’d squeeze it into place and forget about it – like for decades.  This was a true improvement over the old shower rods you attached with screws.  The improved rod worked without marring your wall and if it ever did come down, you weren’t left with a hole in the wall.  What’s more, if your spring ever did lose a little of its tension, you could just unscrew it a little bit and get another decade or so out of the rod.

Then the shower rod companies decided to “improve” their product.  I remember going to the store and buying a tension shower rod and coming home to put it up.  I ripped off the cellophane and started twisting it the way I always had, but something was wrong.  I dug the wrapping out of the trashcan and paid more attention to it.  A big blue star on the wrapper informed me the rod was “SPRINGLESS”.  And they thought that was good news???

For awhile, springless and springed tension shower rods were sold side-by-side, but only for awhile.  After our most recent move, there were no springed tension rods – at all.  I looked everywhere.  So, I came home with the new springless version and gave it to my husband, because I already knew there was no hope for me with the rod.  He watched a YouTube video and managed to install the rod, but after a couple of weeks our expensive custom shower curtain was down on the floor.  After a few rounds of that, we went out, bought the really old kind that screws into the wall.  It took some research, but we found one.  Months later, the shower curtain is still up there.  I’m thinking it will always be up there, but so will the holes we made.  So much for improvement.

Do-It-Yourself Mini-blinds

There was a time when people who wanted mini-blinds had to call a decorator.  I’m glad those days are over.  Now you can get mini-blinds at your big box home-improvement store, but the measuring might be a little tricky.  For our latest house we ordered “custom” blinds and since we have 30 some odd windows, measuring them was quite a challenge.  My husband did the installing and it wasn’t the easiest thing he’d ever done, but he did it without the egregious use of swear words.

So when we needed mini-blinds for one of our rent houses, we thought we knew what we were doing.  We showed up with our measurements, thinking we’d go in and make do with the “standard” sized blind that were trimmed to fit, but got a lesson in mini-blind packaging from our friendly big box sales employee.

Seems folks used to measure their window and then the store personnel would do some kind of mathematical equation to provide blinds with the perfect fit.  The mini-blind manufacturers have now decided to cut out the mathematical equation.  Now when you go to the big box store you just pick out the box with your window width on it and voila, you have mini-blinds that fit – at least theoretically.

We pointed out to the nice man at the store the blinds were at least a foot longer than we needed, but he assured us the length was adjustable.  Nice right?

The actual installation of the blinds was pretty straightforward.  In fact, hubby was able to negotiate the blinds into the window without reading the instructions or asking me anything.  Then we got to the adjusting the length part.  I dug out one of the instruction pages and read through it.  The instructions sounded like gobbledy goop to me.  There were four different types of string and you had to hold your tongue just right, but the instructions assumed we’d find it simple.

Simple isn’t exactly the word I would use, but there was one part that was virtually impossible.  At the bottom of the blind was a plastic plug which had to be removed so you could thread those four types of string through the hole it filled.  The instructions said to remove the plug with a screwdriver.  Bill gave it a shot, but his efforts destroyed the plugs.

Remembering the “helpful” YouTube video he’d watched to install the SPRINGLESS  tension rod, I whipped out my phone and googled “adjusting Levolor blinds length.”  (FYI, there are 6100 results to that inquiry.)  I clicked on the Levolor video and watched it while Bill wrestled with a mini-blind.

Liar, liar!  Pants on fire!  Since we’d already figured out those four types of string, I waited impatiently while the video got to the plastic plug part.  The video showed the bottom of the blind and then someone popped the plug out with no hassle at all.  I must have watched that part of the video three times, thinking I missed the part where they explained the removal process, but the truth of the matter was, they cheated.

The blinds are installed and we adjusted them, but let’s hope our tenant never gets around to inspecting the bottom of the blind.  Next time we’ll just leave a foot of extra slats laying up in the window.  So much for that improvement, too.