The quest for organization has become a more and more important topic for people these days, and with good reason. Never before has life been so complex … we have so much more to manage than ever before! When I think back to when I was younger, life was so much simpler. Not better, necessarily, but simpler. No email, few gadgets, less stuff and far less going on.
Take pictures as an example. You had a camera and a roll of film that had to be sent off to develop. When you wanted to take a picture you really had to think about it and save the shots for what was truly important. You could only carry so much film and each image had a cost. Now we have thousands (if not tens of thousands) of images, videos, etc. saved to all kinds of devices. The need for organization when you have a library of thousands of images is exponential when compared to a box of snapshots.
Lots of things in life are like that, there's so much more to manage now and it can get overwhelming. We live in an era of abundance, regardless of your level of “success”. We have more clothes, more stuff, more information, more to do …
So, in that quest to keep it all organized, can you go too far? The short answer is … yes! Organization is productive and positive if it helps you live your best life. Being able to find what your looking for, knowing what you have and being able to enjoy it are all positive outcomes. It's when it becomes organizing for organizing’s sake that it can go astray. I’ve been guilty of that.
Social media, newspapers, blogs and magazines sometimes (often) show us unrealistic images of what organized should look like. I'm all for minimalism … if you have what you need/want and you can use it easily. “Cute” and “pretty”are great if they work but it's ok to challenge the images people suggest as examples of what to do. It's situational, what works for one family may not work for another.
At the end of the day there are a couple of ways to keep yourself in check.
• If it makes you happy, it's all good!
• If you spend more time organizing than you gain from being organized, you may have gone too far.
• If being organized is causing you stress … it’s not working for you.
If all else fails, call in a professional. We can often figure out a system that will work for you based on our experience with working with all kinds of families.