Beware of the 3 Dangers of Organization

Dave at computerI am profoundly fond of organization and yearn to replace chaos with order.  Though I have failed to maintain organized spaces and events on numerous occasions, I am never willing to abandon the quest.  Imagine my consternation when I learned that organization could be misused!

It was not until I started cleaning other people’s houses that I realized that organization was only a tool and not a big “V” virtue.  Perhaps I could only see deficiencies in others’  behavior rather than in my own. Or, perhaps I needed to have multiple encounters with the phenomena  before I would finally catch on.  In any event,  I  became aware the following:

Organizational Smugness – If we are fond of organization,  we must ask ourselves why?  The purpose of thoughtful structure should be to make our lives and the lives of those around us better.  If our real purpose is to better showcase our stuff or our abilities, to pack more stuff or activities in,  or to simply project an image that we have it all under control,  then something is wrong and needs to be corrected.

Organized Stuffing – We must also examine the nature of the things we are “organizing”.  If we are organizing items we use regularly and are  planning our schedule to be more productive,  such is positive.  If,  however, we are  boxing and labeling an accumulation of unused belongings or scheduling additional events on an already overstuffed calendar,  we are engaging in nothing other than well-ordered hoarding and busyness.

Organization As Procrastination  –  We must ask ourselves, “Am I organizing things in order to avoid something else?”  For some, organizing can be a soothing distraction from an underlying problem.  For instance,  it might be more fun to experiment with productivity tools than to actually do the work.  Similarly,  it might be preferable to get bigger boxes and stack it all a little straighter and a little higher than to actually get rid of stuff. Organization might also be a way of dressing up a major lack in our lives.  We need to remove the varnish and carefully consider what we are doing.

Let’s face these dangers head-on  and use this valuable tool properly!



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