When Organizing Goes Too Far

Chris Ronzio

I am a self-admitted manic organizer. Bordering on OCD, I enjoy long phone calls because they give me some quality time walking around the house with my swiffer. My desk is remarkably clean, and I often make my bed at 10pm if it was previously unmade, just so I feel slightly better about climbing into it. It’s totally nuts.

But, as much as I advocate organization, simplicity, and clarity, we have to leave room for a little chaos to keep our lives in balance. At my house, we have a couple closets that are in horrible disarray, and an unused bedroom with a cluttered perimeter of mystery boxes. It’s a healthy purgatory for junk that we just don’t want to organize yet. Maybe someday, but for now, thinking about organizing those last bits of messiness is more stressful than knowing that they exist. We are balanced.

Trying to organize everything, either at home, at work, or in our businesses, is a recipe for disaster. Life doesn’t have standard operating procedures, so there has to be some flexibility for everyone to do what works for them. Using software to stay organized is great, but when you spend more time organizing your thoughts than you do acting on them, you may have developed a habit that you can’t sustain. If the stress of staying organized feels heavier than the stress of being disorganized, you might be out of balance.

So, find what works for you, and stick to it. No one is forcing me to make the bed, I just like it that way. And as long my chaos is contained to my closet, I’m happy with it too!

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