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Can We be Too Organized?

Can We be Too Organized?

home office organizing

Can we ever be overly organized

Most of us don’t suffer from the problem of being too organized. We often struggle with managing papers, maintaining our desks so we can find what we need, keeping a check on closets, garages and shared space so we can use it and live in it. Too often we find ourselves battling with unmade decisions that challenge and keep us mired in confusion and overwhelm and we don’t know where things go and where they belong.

I spoke with a colleague today who says she suffers from OCD around her need for hyper organization. She finds herself compulsively alert to any areas of her space that might be out of control and she tends to them immediately. She says at the end of each day, her office is perfectly put back together as if ready for a photo shoot. This for her brings her calm and peace of mind. Fortunately, she is aware that this over organization spills into her family life and she has made a concerted effort not to inflict it upon her children and to a lesser degree, on her husband.

She is aware that creating this dynamic with her children is not a healthy behavior. Kids need to learn good habits for managing their things and their personal spaces while at the same time have permission to create, play and make messes. If they become terrified of making a mess, they may find their creative spirits inhibited and their creative joy squelched. This mother sets parameters for the kids to play, like in the kitchen, so long as they agree to clean it up afterwards. That way, they get to express themselves and mom doesn’t have to stress out and worry and can back off and let go.

While there is allowance in some areas, she confessed that if her husband made an entry in the checkbook, it would be too much for her to handle and she would most likely have to start a new ledger and re enter all the prior information so it is neat and only in her writing. We pick our battles and let the others go.

I know a woman who was adamant that when her son and his friends were over, they had to eat their snacks over the sink so no crumbs would spill anywhere. While this may sound extreme and hypervigilent, it’s what she needed to keep control over her space.

And that it is what the crux of the situation: the NEED to control. While the world spins around us, the markets fluctuate, employers and employees have varying moods, our cars breakdown and we can’t control the weather or traffic, for some of us, controlling our interior spaces is the one place we feel we CAN control. We have the power to regulate our environments and this can create a sense of ease and peace of mind. It gives a sense of safety especially when we feel when we don’t have control over other areas of our lives. For others who grew up in a chaotic household,  being hypervigilent can feel like a way to control the uncontrollable; when things were spinning out of control, we made a decision to never allow things to get that bad.

It’s my belief to keep things in moderation.While I enjoy a tidy home and things in their places, I don’t resort to my space looking like a magazine shoot. Projects can be left out that I am currently attending to and I can put them away when need be and my peace of mind doesn’t get thrown off. We all need to find the happy medium when organizing especially when living with others who, most likely, have different needs and desires in this arena. That way, we can exist more easily and fluidly.