Longing for an uncluttered life? Doris Day tells you how to get organized! (1959)

Vintage actress Doris Day 1959

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Doris Day says: Get organized!

By Doris Day, as told to Margaret Waite

Have you longed for the uncluttered life? Doris Day reveals her plan for becoming an “ex-Aimless” and an “ex-Chaotic”

Some time ago, I came to the unhappy conclusion that everything in the world is orderly except the people in it!

Tulips are reliable; so are the tides. You can count on things like Old Faithful, grunions, monsoons. Caterpillars become butterflies in due course. Beavers build dams. Salmon swim home to spawn, and swallows make it back to Capistrano on schedule.

All the things in nature follow an orderly and logical pattern.

Actress Doris Day in 1964

But orderly people are a minority — a persecuted minority, I might add. If you lead an organized, well-ordered life, you’re considered dull, plodding, unimaginative — or, to put it bluntly, a square.

Personally, I like well-ordered lives, and I’d like to achieve one. With me, it’s almost a matter of self-preservation. Spiritual self-preservation, let us say.

The world is so full of wonderful, exciting, beautiful, and inspiring things to do. There are so many things of lasting value to be discovered, so many pleasures of the mind to be sought out and explored that I just don’t want to squander my leisure time foolishly.

I guess I’m a miser where time is concerned. It is the greatest treasure I know.

Doris Day tells you how to get organized! (1959)

Doris Day explains the Aimless and the Chaotic

The downfall of most of us women is a lack of personal organization.

I would say that, generally speaking, there are two types of disorganized women — the Aimless and the Chaotic.

The Aimless means well, but her days run together in an indistinct blur. She can’t seem to get with it. She makes lots of plans, but she’s a non-follower-through.

She sits around all day thinking about all the things she should be doing and meant to do. She usually eats a lot of candy while she’s doing this, and all she ever gets is fat.

The Chaotic buzzes around like mad. She has projects going, all right, but none of them ever seems to jell, largely because of her personal engineering problems. Her energies are dissipated before they ever get her off the ground. She’s traveling in all directions at once and getting nowhere.

Actress Doris Day 1959

How to be a perfect '50s housewife: In the kitchen

Busy women need to organize their lives

I have been both an Aimless and a Chaotic in my time. I don’t know where I stand right now. Possibly I’m a combination of the two.

But I’ve decided it’s time for a change. Call me a square if you like, but I believe in planning. Long-range planning and short-range planning. Planning the years and planning the minutes. I’ve seen it work.

I think it’s terribly important for a woman to organize her life as far as being busy is concerned.

I’m sort of a composite person myself. Part of the time, during picture production, I am a working girl with long grueling hours. And part of the time, I am a housewife with a greater or lesser amount of leisure. So I run in both categories.

Doris Day and Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk - 1959

Doris Day: Do the things that are important to you

But one of the basic things I have learned through the years is that no matter how busy you are, you can always make time to do the things that are important to you.

I don’t think that any life need be an endless round of routine tasks. Women were not meant for this alone. If we can get ourselves organized and budget our time, we’ll have every chance to broaden our lives just as wide as we want to make them, to do the things we enjoy, the things that are constructive, and the things that give us peace of mind. The horizons are limitless.

If we can’t go to New York to see the plays, let’s get the books and read them. If we can’t go to France, then let’s study French at night school just in case maybe we can go someday.

Let’s take up tennis or join a gym for physical and mental well-being. Study art — alone or in groups. Take courses. Go to lectures. Let’s find out all we can about things in people.

I’ve always loved the Robert Louis Stevenson jingle I memorized as a little girl from A Child’s Garden of Verses:

The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

MORE: Betty White said that success isn’t easy, but she doesn’t believe in defeat (1954)

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