Is There Such a Thing as Too Organized?

OrganizingWith downsizing, “finding joy” in your belongings, and the tiny-house phenomenon, organizing is on the front page of current trends. But how much is enough? And can there be too much?

When beginning any organizing project, whether it be a whole house, top-to-bottom project, or just a one-closet or one-room small project, the first thing most people do is to run out and purchase storage bins, drawer organizers and whatever storage solution catches their eye. Don’t. That isn’t the first step and as the process continues, it may turn out that none of those are needed at all.

The first step is to determine what your goal is. Is it just to get organized, or is it organization as well as purging? Once you have a goal in mind, you can begin the sort. The sort is similar to what appears on the very popular show “Tidying Up.”

If the area you are working on on is small, then yes, by all means, dump the drawer or empty that closet. Stick to only one small area at a time. Place all like items together — the visualization of how many duplicate items are in a home is sometimes jarring as well as enlightening.

Make the decision, then, on how many are reasonable “keepers.” Can the excess be donated? Sold? Given to a family member just starting out? Be methodical in that portion of the process.

Go top to bottom in a particular area, as well as have a defined starting point and end point. This will prevent confusion about where you stopped working when the dinner bell rang.

OrganizingIt’s helpful to take frequent breaks with any type or organizational task. It is physically as well as mentally taxing. Stopping to clear your head on the front porch or to get a glass of water will keep the focus where it needs to be, rather than being pulled off on a trip down memory lane when Grandmother’s pearl necklace turns up at the bottom of a pile of old receipts.

At this point, after items are sorted, it’s time to make a decision, and it is a personal one. How much is “good enough”? Can there be too much? Absolutely!

In the quest for organization and the peace and calm it can bring to a household, you can easily overdo it. The temptation is to have a container for every item, whether it’s paperclips, barrettes or other small things. The storage container industry is booming, due in large part to the organization trend.

Depending on individual lifestyle and personality, deciding how much to organize is very personal. You need to decide for yourself how best to store items. The danger of overdoing organization is maintenance — be realistic in the ability to put things back in the place they are stored.

Would a larger container with two or three items be more workable than three tiny ones? Is a bin a practical solution for umbrellas, or might hanging them on a hook in the closet be better? Consideration of lifestyle and personal habits is so incredibly important when doing an organization project.

A person who works 12- or 15-hour days will likely be unable to maintain multiple small containers of items on a daily basis, but will have no problem with a small tray to toss them in at the end of the day. Less is more in most instances. Being able to keep it organized is key!

After sorting and deciding what to keep and what to toss, it’s time to decide on storage. Purchase only what you need to store what’s on hand. This encourages keeping belongings at a level that fits in the designated space.

Now that everything is in “your” perfect place, step back, enjoy your handiwork and relax in your “good enough” space.