Do you over-organize?

I believe it’s possible to over-organize and create too much of a good thing.  We see ultra organized spaces in magazines, on the internet and television and then think, I want my house to look like that!  What we don’t realize is that it’s very difficult to maintain an ultra organized area and we may become frustrated trying to maintain it.

I prefer SIMPLE = sustainable organizing systems.

Let’s compare a few ultra organized examples with their “done is better than perfect” counterparts.

Pantries

Ultra organized:  Perfectly straight rows of labeled clear containers holding flour, sugar, cereal, pasta, rice, crackers, ect.

Why it’s difficult to maintain:  You will always have extra dry goods that do not fit into the containers.  This means you will also need extra storage space for the overflow and somehow remember you have this back stock  instead of buying more.

Good enough organization:  Expired food is regularly tossed and food is grouped according to category. Users are able to quickly find items and see what they have.  Containers are used to hold categories of food, for example, your snack foods are grouped in a container.

File systems

Ultra organized:  Color coordinated file folders.

Why it’s difficult to maintain:  What happens when you need to add a new file?  Will you have to go to the store because you ran out of that particular color?

Good enough organization:  I enjoy color and believe there isn’t anything wrong with adding colored file folders but you can do so in a more carefree manner.  Line all the tabs up on one side of your folders or stagger them loosely.  Now this system is a more sustainable system.

Photos

Ultra organized:  ALL of your photos are labeled and  in scrapbooks, photo albums and the baby books are filled in—even your youngest child’s book.

Why it’s difficult to maintain:  We get busy with life and overwhelmed by our unorganized photos.  Even if we enjoy putting together gorgeous scrapbooks we may need a week of vacation to complete one book.  That’s a lot of pressure!

Good enough organization:  Toss blurry and unflattering photos.  Write the date on the envelope when you have photos printed or better yet use a labeled photo safe envelope.  Place in photo boxes.  Categorize photos on your computer by month, year or event.  Regularly backup the photos on an external hard drive or the cloud.  I use Carbonite.

Closets

Ultra organized:  Clothing is perfectly folded or hung on matching hangers, and sorted by color.  Closets that are featured in magazines look beautiful because they usually contain very little clothing and clothing is a neutral color palette.

Why it’s difficult to maintain:  It takes more time to group clothing by color and few of us are expert folder,s unless we have worked in retail.

Good enough organization:  Clothing is returned to the closet after it’s washed.  You have hooks to hold items that can be worn again before washing.  Floor is pretty much free of clutter despite a couple pairs of shoes lying around the closet.  A hamper holds your dirty clothing so it stays off the floor.

I’ve tried to organize my clothing by color, because I was curious…could I maintain it?   I soon lost interest and did not keep it up.  If you love to colorize your closet and it works for you than don’t change what works.

The point of this blog post is….organize to your level of satisfaction and what works for you, not because you feel the pressure to be ultra organized.

Have you ever tried to ultra organize?  Please share.

  • Sista

    Great ideas. It’s easy to fall in love with all the cute containers available and fret about using them instead of using what you have and being done with the project. Thanks Jill.

    • Jill

      Your sista is very wise:)