“Organized” is NOT Code For “Perfection”

Are you perfect?  I’m not.  Perfectionism holds too many back from organizing their spaces.  They wait until they can do it perfectly, and that day never comes.  Let’s get real about this perfectionism thing…

Un-Perfect Confessions of an Organizer.

We’ve all got a little chaos in our lives, including yours truly.   Yep, and I have chosen to be a Professional Organizer. Why? Because I feel that having piles of less-than-useful things suck energy from my brain and spiritual well-being. So, several years ago, I decided to do something about it. I had stuff laying around, and it wasn’t pretty.  Things I didn’t need, things people gave me that never were used, things I was hanging onto for other people and things that just took up space.  It was a drain.  So, I decided to do something about it, one small step at a time.

Change takes time.

It took a good three years – yes, YEARS to get overall improvement. It took a daily decision and determination to change small habits.  Some of it was mind-numbing, and some of it was downright liberating.  I was not born with an “organizing gene” (although I must confess that I have always been a “re-arranger”).   It’s a skill, and can be developed over time.

Organized = Finding most anything in about 5 minutes.

So, what’s the point of organization? To find things, to know where your stuff is, to know that when you need something you can find it.  “Organized” = finding most anything you need in 5 minutes or less.  It also has the fantastic benefit of increased peace of mind: not arguing with your significant other about where the keys are, sleeping peacefully in your bed without piles of clothes or paying the electric bill before it’s due. Being organized doesn’t mean you have to have color-coded cabinets or files, have everything (including the dog) labeled and forgo your work to keep everything spotless. What it DOES mean is some semblance of order that makes sense for you and your life.  And that means a daily decision to keep things in working order.

Small changes over time = big change.

Small changes and actions everyday lead to big time change. Do what works for you. If that means color-coding, by all means, go for it! But a simple file will work if you use it correctly with good habits and the right mindset. Don’t try to live up to perfection, because that only leads to disappointment and paralyzing procrastination.

So, put your excuses aside and have some hope.  Your home office doesn’t have to be magazine-ready, just workable for you.

What small step can you make today to get over your perfectionism?

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10 thoughts on ““Organized” is NOT Code For “Perfection””

  1. I totally used to be a “perfectionist organzier”. I’m not a perfectionist in every area of my life, mind you. 🙂 Used to wait until everything was perfect THEN I could starting organizing!! No more!! You are so right it NEVER gets done that way! 🙂

    Great post!

  2. I think there’s a key difference between untidiness and clutter. I would count myself a perfectionist, but I tend to be extremely untidy – and I’m OK with that! The saying ‘A tidy desk equals a tidy mind’ isn’t just irritatingly smug – it’s demonstrably untrue. Having said that, everyone needs a system, even if it’s one that works only for them. And being able to locate a document quickly is an essential. Cutting out the clutter is where my battle is fought!
    .-= Rob´s last blog ..HON File Cabinets =-.

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