Untidiness. Tidy.

Untidiness. Some of us can live with it, some of us can’t. As you’d expect, there’s no-one round these ‘ere parts who would fall into the can-live-with-it camp. No, really. Honest. Oh OK then, maybe, just a little bit.

It’s a typical stereotype, but if you can handle untidiness, chances are other people might perceive you as a tad, well, disorganised. The kind of person that takes five minutes to find their keys, and has to ring their own phone.

But the proverbial challenge ‘you couldn’t organise a tossed salad’ is often further from the truth than one might think. Delve a bit deeper into the jumble and there’s far more method in your madness than tidy people will give you credit for. So, in a new take on spick and span, we say all hail the Piling Cabinet, exaltations to the Walk-on-Floordrobe, and three cheers for the Wearing Cupboard.

The Piling Cabinet

Invented in 1834 by Sir Ivor Neatun, Head of Paperwork at the Southwark Loom Company, the Piling Cabinet is not really a cabinet at all. It consists of a space on a flat surface (usually a desk) that is wide and deep enough for papers to be stacked one on top another.

Neatun’s genius was to develop a system with only two basic rules – which became known as Neatun’s Principles – that saved a great deal of time. In one fell swoop they did away with the need for complex and time consuming filing techniques.

  1. Everything in Chronological Order
    Neatons’ first principle of the piling system is that it is not beyond man (or woman) to remember something happening ‘about three weeks ago’. Ergo, he realised that a heap of papers would generally be stacked in chronological order – with the most recent on the top. Sir Ivor observed that as experience in the technique grew, his apprentice ‘Piling Cabinettstas’ would find they could quickly and reliably locate the relevant papers by accurately guesstimating the depth down the pile in which to search.
  2. One Pile, and One Pile Only.
    Neaton realised that the moment two Piling Cabinets are begun side-by-side, papers may inadvertently be shared between the two. This colossal mistake quickly leads to the total failure of a Piling Cabinet as a system. Paperwork from 4 weeks ago in Pile 1 may end up above paperwork from 3 weeks ago in Pile 2. Neaton’s second principle of the Piling system is therefore to keep just one pile.

Actually, we made Sir Ivor Neatun up, but we’re quite confident that the thinking behind his fictitious principles are deployed in Piling Systems the world over.

The Floordrobe

To the uninitiated a Floordrobe is about as appealing as Tracey Emin’s Bed to a Van-Gough Connoisseur.  But to those in the know they’re the future: a wardrobe without boundaries, a closet where you can’t get claustrophobic, a hanging rail which nothing can fall off.

Defined by the Collins Dictionary simply as a pile of clothes left on the floor of a room’, there are handful of golden rules to observe when managing your floordrobe.


  1. Slick out – Slick in
    Where you can, find techniques for removing your clothing in as few moves as possible. For example – if you’re wearing Jeans and boxers, pull them both down together, hook your fingers in your socks and step out. In the morning the whole ensemble will be right where you left it, ready for your to simply step in and pull up – just like a Fireman.
  2. The Sniff test
    A quick sniff around a T-shirt or blouse will tell you if it’s good to wear, or needs to go back on the floor ready for wash day two wednesday’s after next.
  3. 1:4 Underwear.
    If wash day is still an unfeasibly long time away you can eek out underwear to last four times longer. Having worn once simply rotate 180 degrees and wear backwards. On day three rotate back and turn inside out, keeping inside out, repeat the rotation on day 4.

If you’re proud of your Floordrobe then how about this appealing T-Shirt from Chargrilled.

The Wearing Cupboard 

Finally, in our trio of topsey-turvey organisational golden-nuggets it’s the Wearing Cupboard. A simple concept that works best in cold winters – it involves wearing as many of your clothes as you can at once.

A Wearing Cupboard has plenty of positive side-effects as well: it will keep the heating bill down and if you rotate the layers it will mean less frequent wash days and the oyster layers will get a healthy airing. Plus, all of your clothes will wear evenly – so you’ll never have a worn out sweatshirt paired with smart new jeans.

OK, back to reality. In the real world it is probably best to keep tidy, and if you want to free up some space at home, you know where to come.