Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Organizing to the Extreme

There is such a thing as over-organizing. While you won't find that word in the dictionary, here's what I mean by that.

Using too many organization products, gadgets, gizmos or having too detailed/fussy systems is over-organizing. Like ironing and folding your underwear, it is unnecessary. Ditto for alphabetizing your canned goods. Having a drawer organizer full of 10 2" x 2" sections that are labeled is over-organizing. You only need to have the organizer and items in each section to be organized -- any more, and it's too much. The organizing system/method/routine must be in proportion to that which is organized; in other words, consider how convenient and helpful your 'organizing' is. A.k.a., don't sweat the small stuff.

Then there are times that organization is used as a replacement for other activities:
Some of us organize to avoid working. If you tidy your desk and file your papers in order to procrastinate, stop it! One sign of an over-organized personality is when your idea of fun is spending extravagant amounts at office supply stores. Work first and splurge on those new, color-coordinated organizing products as a reward. - Mary McKinney, Ph. D.

Organizing is also often used as an unconscious tool to make us feel in control by physically managing our environment. Even if the world around us, our job, our family, whatever is chaotic or hard to figure out, at least we can control what's happening in a drawer, a desk or a room. It makes us feel better, like at least something is in order.

Some food for thought, even for professional organizers!