Organization Should Be A Tool, Not A Goal.
Given my profession, one could safely assume that I believe in being organized. Being organized can make a tremendous difference in the flow and efficiency of your day to day life. It will reduce your stress and increase the peace in your life and your relationships.
Organizing to save ourselves time, (not searching around for things), money (not re-purchasing misplaced items), and our sanity (not having to constantly stare at a mess in our home) makes sense and pays dividends in the aforementioned areas. Essentially, organizing is (and should be) about making your life easier.
All of that said, (this may sound odd coming from a professional organizer) I believe that there is such a thing as trying to be too organized. GASP!
I have loved organizing anything and everything for a long time. I am especially drawn to how organization brings order to chaos, a sense of calm in the midst of the stresses of life. I have, though, on several a few occasions, found myself re-organizing things (already organized enough) just for the sake of organizing it better. Whether it was a file system that was already functional or some other working area of my home, I would re-organize it just to make it more organized. Hhhmm...maybe that’s why I became an organizer! I finally had to admit that I was simply wasting time and possibly even making my system harder to maintain. There are definitely times when we legitimately need to recreate existing organizational systems to address life changes (new baby, marriage, empty nest, etc.,) but this is not what I am talking about here.
Many of us today have also fallen victim to the “Pinterest Worthy” mentality of organizing. A desire for each of our rooms, closets and drawers to look perfect enough for Pinterest. This is not only unrealistic but the difficulty in making it so, can cause us to give up on organizing altogether.
I believe the goal should always be “organized enough.” Enough to help you quickly locate what you need, when you need it. Enough to keep you feeling relaxed and at peace in your home. Enough to keep your sanity in times of difficult life events. Once we reach “enough”, anything more is just a potential waste of time, effort and money.
The truth is, when you take something that is already “organized enough” to the level of “too organized” you actually make it harder to maintain. Maintenance is the often forgotten but truly essential piece of the organizing puzzle. When you over organize something, chances are it will never stay that way. This is especially true if you share your home with other humans.
What does “organized enough” look like?
Systems that allow you to find what you need when you need it without tripping over it when you don’t.
Being able to quickly and easily find your keys, extra batteries, medications, phone charger, and lightbulbs; insert your life necessity here_____.
The ability to make a meal without digging through an overstuffed utensil drawer or cupboard for what you need.
The ability to easily locate your bills and other important paperwork without the tearing the house apart.
If you have the above mentioned abilities, chance are, you are organized enough. If not, go forth and get organized!