Opposites attract. Or so the saying goes. But the fact that I, a type-A, borderline obsessive neat freak ended up falling for a man incapable of leaving his once-worn pants anywhere besides the floor seemed an especially cruel twist of fate.
I genuinely need immaculate conditions in my home in order to function properly. I crave it on a visceral level; I’m ruled by it like the moon holds the tides. When the crown moldings are dusted, the hangers are spaced evenly three inches apart and the dining table free of paperwork, I can kick my feet up and relax. If something is dirty or out of place, I see it in my periphery at all times, lurking like a giant bug I need to squash. Needless to say, I have my own issues. But this isn’t about that: It’s about how my fiancé and I have managed to find domestic bliss despite our differences. Meet the Manceptacle system, the four-pronged program I set in place to keep his messes at bay…and my sanity intact.
In a nutshell, the system is a series of catch-alls strategically located in spots where messes first occur—designed as a visual cue to catch them before they spread. While this can be customized to preference and lifestyle, here’s how mine shuffled out: