A Hot-Button Issue: Clutter

<B>Andy Rooney</B> On Those Who Clean, And Those Who Don't

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by Correspondent Andy Rooney. This was first broadcast on May 2, 2004.
There is no question that this country is seriously divided on many issues. Aside from politics, abortion, Iraq and taxes, there is another way we differ.

Half of us put something back where it belongs when we're done with it. The other half puts it where it doesn't belong.

People who put things where they belong arrive at the airport two hours before their flight. They check the air in their tires. They remember birthdays and send cards.

Well, I don't do any of those things and I am a person who regularly puts things where they don't belong.

When I come into the office in the morning, I take off my coat. Do I hang it on the hook made for it? I do not. I hook it over the doorknob.

There are three of us here in this office... Susie, Keith and me. Keith is a person who puts things where they belong. He has stored about 1,000 of these pieces we've done, right where he can get at them.

Susie is orderly enough, but overwhelmed by the stuff people send in. Her storage room has no filing system because no two things belong in the same category.

People are always just like they are, no matter where they are. My basement office at home looks just like my office at the office.

I am inundated by misplaced items. The Emmy is on top of a box of scripts, I think.

At my desk, I'll take a reference book and look something up. Do I then put the book back in its place? Hardly ever. I put it somewhere else. I'm more apt to put it on top of something, too, than in something.

Upstairs, my clothes closet looks like an unmade bed. I always think I'll hang it up later.

Since the kids left home, I use Brian's room to dress in. I use his unused bed to put things on. A bed makes a great storage space for things you don't want to take the time to put where they belong.

In the kitchen, I hardly ever do it right. The forks end up with the knives and spoons.

The two-car garage is so filled with things that don't belong there that there's hardly room for one car.

Balancing one thing on top of another makes me think I'm being orderly.

Now, I'd like to defend myself and all the others of you out there who put things where they don't belong.

You can fuss too long over where to put something. Putting things where they don't belong, on the other hand, is quick and efficient. Not only that, the next time you want whatever it is, it's right there where you can get it.
Written By Andy Rooney
  • Rebecca Leung

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