What personal unwritten rules do you follow?

All of us have our own personal unwritten rules that we follow every day.

For example, when getting dressed, I must put a sock on my left foot, sock on my right foot, then shoe on my left foot and shoe on my right foot. It just feels correct.

I have heard there are some societies where people put a sock on one foot and then a shoe, and then repeat the process on the other foot. I’m not sure how they can live like this because it seems uncomfortable and also unfair to the second foot.

I may try it sometime just to break up my routine and to see how it dramatically changes my life, but on most days I follow the regulations for shoes and socks.

Rules like these generally are not written down, so I am writing them here for your benefit. Please see if you agree with them and let me know about other personal unwritten rules that should be included.

Unloading the dishwasher –Everyone has their own order for putting dishes away, but starting with the bottom rack seems to be the preferred order. To me, plates and larger items should be put away first.

Pressing the lock button on the car – This must be done at least twice, especially if the horn does not honk until the second press.

Socks go in a top drawer – Although socks go on the feet and could therefore be in a lower drawer, they must be in a top drawer. I can see the logic if the top drawers are smaller, but in many dressers they are all the same and people still put socks in the top drawer.

Other drawers should also be in logical orders – Underwear needs to be at the top, but there is no reason it could not be in a bottom drawer. It does go on your bottom after all.

Clothing items need to be separated by drawers – I have family members who will throw shirts, underwear, socks and shorts all in the same drawer. I don’t know how they live in such chaos. I can only assume that they are anarchists.

Routine for the shower or bath – Everyone has their own order, but have you ever tried to deviate from your usual washing schedule? If I do, I can’t remember if I have cleaned everywhere so I just end up washing again anyway. Washing your hair is always last, right?

Drying after the shower – It’s similar to washing, but with less water. I may start with my elbows sometime just to see how it feels.

Making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – If it is a sandwich with two pieces of bread, I want to put the peanut butter on one piece of bread and then put the jelly on top. I have heard of people putting the jelly on the second piece of bread and then just smashing everything together, but that seems like it would ruin the sandwich or cause food poisoning, so I won’t risk it.

Brushing your teeth – I think you need to start top on the left on the front side, and then go to the right and then the top middle, then to the back side of the top teeth and then finally down to the bottom teeth. You have to start with the top teeth in case they knock anything down onto the bottom teeth. If I tried to start on the right side and in the back, I would probably get cavities.

Checking to see what is on television – Do you click through the channels from wherever the tv was on when you started, or do you go to the lowest channel possible and then go up? Or do you start with a favorite channel and then go up or down from there? It’s an important routine to set in order to maximize your viewing time and experience.

Putting in contacts – I have to start with the left first. I can’t imagine putting in the right contact first. I don’t know if I could be friends with a right contact first person.

Sitting in the same section at the movie theater, church or other location – I always want to sit in the same areas at church and the movies. I know I like the view, I am comfortable there and it just feels right. If I see someone sitting on the opposite side that I am used to at church, I either assume the church is full, someone is visiting or something is wrong.

Sitting in the same chairs at home – I only ever saw my father sit in one chair at home when I was growing up. We had plenty of other comfortable chairs, but he only sat in one.

Eating in order – I want to eat vegetables first and then enjoy the other parts of the meal. Many people want to portion foods out so you finish all of the items they are eating at roughly the same time.

Sleeping on the same side of the bed – I didn’t know this one would be that important until my wife and I switched sides when she moved the bedroom around. I had trouble falling asleep for at least a week. I am used to it now, but if she moves the furniture around again I don’t know what I will do. I may have to try planning for award acceptance speeches as my friend Andy suggests.

Finishing a blog post with a clever line – Ok, I guess I don’t always do this one.


Any other personal unwritten rules? Feel free to add them below or let me know which ones I am wrong about. Thanks!

32 thoughts on “What personal unwritten rules do you follow?

  1. I put plates away before glasses and tend to pack away cutlery in groups instead of grabbing an assorted handful and separating when at the drawer. Right leg shaved before left, I don’t know why but I worry I would lose balance if I started on the other leg…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel that your opening routine is missing something. Personally, I am with you on the left sock, right sock thing but I think then moving on to shoes next is a mistake as you could quite easily forget the putting on your trousers (pants) stage.
    I can’t put trousers on before socks, it just feels wrong to have the material tickling suggestively over your nude toes in the mornings, if you felt like being titillated like that you’d probably still be in bed.
    Trousers after the socks and before the shoes, otherwise you run the risk of leaving the house in the morning all discombobulated, not to mention half naked.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. When crossing legs, the right leg goes on top of the left. I have tried the opposite and it isn’t very satisfactory.
    I always chew at my left pigtail. The right one isn’t as crispy.
    Earrings: left ear first – Mascara: right eye first. Starting with the right ear or left eye would feel like the end of the world

    The less said about my drawers the better…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These are not everyday fare in England but I stored up ‘mentions’ of them from various American films and TV sitcoms. Finally worked out that ‘jelly’ was jam but that didn’t make it any easier to put such an outlandish combination of salty and sweet in my mouth. But one day recently I decided to break the habit of a lifetime and try one, and it was quite nice! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You must always unload the bottom rack of the dishwasher first, but that’s just a practical matter. You don’t want any leftover water pooled up in the indentations of the coffee mugs or if a bowl went sideways, to drop onto the items below.

    I always shave left side first… I guess it’s right-hand side in the mirror, so…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I have found a like minded person! So many of these ring true for me. The order of the shower (although I like to start with the head and work my way down), the dishes in the dishwasher, the seating position (not so much in church but in my son’s karate class). If I don’t do these things, I agree, something feels off and just wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, great minds think alike! I start with the ears, but the end with the hair. I always sat in the same place when my son was in karate, too. I had forgotten about that until now. Thanks!


  7. After reading this post I’ll probably start observing myself meticulously. But I already know that my dishwasher unloading is exactly opposite of yours. I remove the flatware first, since it hangs on the door and is heavy. Then I empty the glasses, since they are heavy, and the dishwasher itself might tip out and fall, if I leave the appliance feeling top heavy.
    As for “peabutsashes,” I especially like to toast my bread, then slather peabut on both slices, before applying cherry or apricot jam on one side only. The ratio of preserves to peanut butter is delicate. The sweet, sticky goo must not overpower the yummy, organic peanut base. Also, too much jelly, and you’ll be dripping the goodness from every corner. (My solution, when this does occur, is to lick my saucer clean after the main course has been consumed.) What can I say? I grew up in a barn.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I never realized that socks go at the top and everything else is in logical order, but it’s true! Although my thighs are even higher up but I think they count as socks too.

    Washing my hair goes first though, not last, do you think that might be a man/woman or short hair/long hair thing?

    Also, my best friend had a very interesting observation about the side of the bed thing.
    I didn’t realize this until she told me: I always choose the side of the bed that is closest to the bedroom or hotel room door. I have no idea why, but it’s consistent. That side feels best. So if I would remodel my bedroom and put the bed against the opposite wall I would sleep on the other side of the bed.

    Human beings are pretty weird 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You must lead a very orderly life. I did see some things in here that I have rules for as well.
    Peanut butter and jelly: Jelly first (Strawberry, grape sucks), then wipe the knife clean on the other slice, so you don’t get jelly in the peanut butter. Apply a generous coat of peanut butter to that slice, pour a glass of milk and you’re ready to go.
    Clothes/ drawers: My chest of drawers has six levels of drawers, but I mainly use the top four. The top one is for, you guessed it,socks. Next one down is for skivvies, pajamas and shorts. I don’t try to fit the shorts into the framework of purpose-driven logic, that’s just where they fit. After that, we have t-shirts, lots and lots of t-shirts and then we finish it off with drawer number four, which is for blue jeans and work pants
    The bottom two drawers are for lots and lots of surplus t-shirts and exercise type clothes like sweats and bike shorts.
    When I fold my clothes, I stack them in numerical order with one on top, that way I don’t have to fool around with a whole lot of back and forth.
    Sleeping on the same side of the bed: I’ve been married for thirty one years and slept on the left side of the bed every night.
    There’s probably more, but I’m running late for a super geeky wargaming session.
    Great post, Go Panthers (Please).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the list. Damn now I need to rethink my brushing-teeth-routine.
    Do you also have an order to social media/news sites you check each morning? I usually start with Twitter, then Medium, then Instagram, and Facebook notifications after that. Then come a couple of news apps. Then work mails and Gmail!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, the teeth brushing routine is key. I check facebook early and then news sites and then home emails, work emails and then Twitter last probably. I haven’t really figured out Instragram, but I should, and I don’t get on Medium as much as I was before, although I like it a lot. I will have to think more about this order now, too. Thanks!


  11. There are definitely a lot of odd unwritten rules that people seem to follow, and never seem to acknowledge until someone else points it out. It would be interesting to find out why this is in a psychological study.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have unwritten rules like wash hair first and wash ears last. I read somewhere that to keep your mind fresh you’re supposed to mix up your routines and try new variations. That sounds fine, but I can’t even step off the curb with the wrong foot or it feels like lunacy. I’ll keep trying though. Thoughtful writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. To me it makes sense to shampoo first. If you shampoo at end, you have to stand there longer rinsing the soap off. If you shampoo first, the rinsing takes care of itself as you stand there washing the rest of you.

    Liked by 1 person

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