Call it the desire to be your own Martha Stewart, or blame it on the Container Store and Label-Maker Plus, but woman all over are getting the Organization Bug—BAD! It’s one thing to keep your kitchen pantry in order. But it’s an entirely different problem when you spend more time re-organizing the pantry shelves after making dinner than you spent cooking the meal in the first place.
Organize: to put together into any orderly, structured whole. To arrange in a desired pattern or structure
Organization: an ordered manner; orderliness by virtue of being methodical and well organized
On the surface, a well organized home is something to be proud of. I’ve walked into my neighbor’s home, the family with the four kids under six years old, and am in awe at the toy bins neatly staked and the chore lists color coded on the wall. Seems like she’s really got her life “in order.” But then I asked her about it, and the dirty little secret that so many woman carry came tumbling out.
Organization as a time-waster. Organization as a way to procrastinate. Organization to fill-up your time and mind so that you can focus on that instead of what’s really “messy” in your life.
Who would have thought that all those highlighters and labels and bins have a dark side?
It’s easier to go through the old appointment book and highlight schedules and rewrite lists than to think about all the chaos involved in maintaining your families’ schedules.
It’s easier to go out and spend money on all the right-sized food storage canisters and spend days organizing your pantry than to actually plan for that big party you’re hosting.
And it’s a lot easier to organize that desk covered in bank notices and IRA statements than to sit down and figure out what your financial plan is going to be in this economically uncertain time.
Looking for a new job? My job search log is highlighted. I have an Excel file for each day, and then another one broken down by salaries. I have folders to bring to different interviews based on certain criteria. I spend so much time preparing and making sure everything is in order, that I forget the important part—actually getting out there and applying for positions and networking. Maybe because those two things frighten me, I instead choose to focus my attention on what I have control over—my organization.
To lead a happy life, you need balance. Having toy bins to help keep down the clutter in your home is a wonderful idea. But labeling the bins into different categories and having a check-out system for your kids toys, well, that just crosses the line. It takes the fun out of life. Having a daily schedule is great, but having three or four calendars on the refrigerator all highlighted and broken down by the hour … That’s just too extreme.
If you find yourself making lists, or labeling everything in your bathroom, ask yourself what you really “should” be doing. In my case, it’s making more phone calls to potential employers instead of re-writing my search list for the fourth time this week.
I’ll admit that there are woman out there who are just extremely organized and can handle all the time spent organizing as well as actually being productive. But for us non-superwoman, there is a happy medium for us to find.