Your engineer is able to remember so much useless trivia – and even the occasional valuable fact! – because his brain can easily handle complex interrelationships between objects. He naturally categorizes objects and concepts according to how he might use them. It’s awe inspiring – really!
So what about his physical world?
Here, there are two kinds of engineers. The minority keep their world as orderly as their mind. If yours is one of these, then congratulations. You win – at least in this ONE instance!
If, however, you engineer keeps his home office or work room looking like the picture above, then read on, while we explain – not that ANY explanation is going to relieve your frustration, but giving you some insight IS the best we can do!
Let’s start with the obvious question. WHY? Why does he keep his room this way?
The answer is surprisingly simple. Your engineer uses a rigorous prioritization system. He works on whatever he believes to be the highest priority at this time. This is GOOD! It allows you to manipulate (oops, we mean manage) your engineer to get important things done around the house.
Why keep a room orderly? To be able to find the things in the room quickly, whenever you want them!
However, your engineer’s brain can remember where he placed any object currently in the room – at least he thinks that it can! He believes that he can put his hand right on any object he wants any time he wants it. There is no gain in putting things in order – in fact it’s a waste of time. His efficiency mindset kicks into overdrive, telling him that his time is better spent doing a bit more on the current project!
What can you do about this?
Limit the damage! If you haven’t already done so, tell him that this is the one room where he’s free to do as he sees fit. Then post a Radioactive Fallout sign on the door, and NEVER let anyone else open it!
The worst thing you can do is to organize the room as a favor for your engineer.
He already doesn’t know where anything is anywhere else in the house. This lack of knowledge makes sense. After all, you didn’t consult with him on where to store the salt and pepper shakers. Why would you expect him to know where you put them – especially when they move around the kitchen several times a day.
You might try to persuade him with something he considers to be a benefit. We recommend something like, “Would you be able to put more things in here if you had some drawers and shelves for storing each project that you’re completing?”
Notice the use of “completing” and how we’ve avoided more negative words like “started” or “have in progress”, or “can’t figure if you even want to complete”.
Keep things upbeat and positive, and you have a chance of nudging him in the right direction!
Oh, and don’t threaten to have your mother move into the room as a reason for him to clean it up! That won’t end well!
Best to just smile and tolerate the bad with the good of having an engineer in your life – whenever you find the good!