Put Things Back the Way You Found them

/ 2 minutes

My father was one of those people who believed in an organized workbench. He did not go the full Tim "the Tool Man" Allen from Home Improvement with the white tape dead silhouettes of tools on the wall. However, he did have a proper pegboard with hooks/etc. for all his tools. He also had various labelled organizers for holding nails, screws, washers, etc. Basically, there was a place for everything, and everything in its place.

So it is not surprising that I should grow up as a kid being told (repeatedly) to "put things back the way you found them." And the truth is, his system worked. All throughout my childhood, and even in recent years long after he passed away, if I was at my mom's house and needed to work on something, I would go to the workbench and, at least in most cases, still find the tools exactly where I would expect them to be. (In recent years there have been exceptions in my mom's house, of course. But those were the tools that my mother had used at some point since my father's passing, as she had her own organizational system if you will.)

Having a place for each tool and each tool in its place made things much easier, as you did not waste time walking all over the house trying to find something just so you could do the thing you originally wanted to do. Or worse, ending up being a bit like this 😀:

This whole "put things back where you found them" recently came to mind when doing some work around my own home. Now I do not have a pegboard or, for that matter, even a workbench in our current home. My tools are limited to one toolbox for the usual hammers, screwdrivers, etc., along with an old shoe box that holds various leftovers from things we have put together over the years. Other than that, we have a drawer in the kitchen with a few tools in it. And, of course, there are all my tools for doing electronic/computer work. But all the same, there is a place for everything, and everything SHOULD BE in its place.

So when I go to get something from its assigned place and it is not there, I find myself channeling my father a bit (and in my head I feel like Scrat, that squirrel from the Ice Age movies, where its own lower eyelid starts twitching 😀)...


"Where is the ____?"

"Oh, I used it the other day. I think it's in ..."

"When you are finished using it, please put it back where it belongs."

Yep, I am becoming my father. Mind you, I do not think that in most cases that is a bad thing. My father had a great influence on my life (both parents did), and I love (and miss) him very much, even now. And in this regard, the lesson of "put things back the way you found them" is a good one.

If you borrow a tool from a workbench, put it back in the same place when you are done. If you borrow something from another person, it is your responsibility to return it to that same person. If you borrow a friend's car and use up half the fuel in the tank, have the courtesy to tank it up so they get their car back as it was when you borrowed it. And so on.

Next Post Previous Post