Ever since TV shows about hoarders came on the scene, people started using the phrase being “a little OCD” when talking about their passion for order in some sphere of their life. Hoarders don’t appear to embrace neatness, but their passion for perfection often arises from the fear that to discard any piece of paper or possession will result in a crucial lost opportunity.
Mill, from my book The Reluctant Archivist, is sufficiently affected by his perfectionism to merit a Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder diagnosis. Yet Mill’s influence and loyal following continue to grow. Seem puzzling? Social workers often say the difference between an eccentricity and a disorder is the extent of its interference with daily tasks and routines. So there must be an upside of the inclination to save, categorize and file!
I personally think I could have made a respectable career as a Professional Organizer. My ability to enter a room, view a pile of mismatched items of various sizes and shapes, and quickly visualize them arranged for convenient access in bins, on hooks or shelves is not universal. I begin with the end in mind, savoring the simplicity organization may bring.
Mill and I would have been kindred spirits, yet like most of us, organization in itself doesn’t bring the peace he hopes for. In my book, you’ll discover how Mill redoubles his efforts to pursue his hijacked goals and eventually reclaims what is most important to him.