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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Get Organized Enough

If the previous guidelines got you all wound up and anxious about organizing, here’s one to bring you back down to earth: Endeavor to be only as organized as you need to be, and no more.

How do you know when you’re organized enough? When you are able to function optimally (not perfectly). If you answer yes to these questions, you are probably organized enough:

  • Can you find what you’re looking for in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Can you move through your home without the danger of tripping over clutter or knocking a stack of it over?
  • Can you use all of the areas of your home for the purposes for which they were intended?
  • Do you know what you own well enough to not inadvertently purchase duplicates?
  • Does your home look the way you want it to look, rather than appearing too messy?

When you are organized enough, your efficiency, mobility, budget, and pride are not hampered by organizational issues.

People often ask me whether my home has a "junk drawer." They roll their eyes in a combination of intimidation and dismissal when I answer no. Folks, I’m not doing it to be superior! For me, "organized enough" would not include a whole drawerful of miscellaneous stuff: I wouldn’t be able to keep mental track of it. I need a lot of structure and categorization of my belongings. But some people are able to remember just about every item in a container of unrelated things, and so for them, having a junk drawer (maybe even more than one) qualifies as organized enough.

It’s not a question of what’s right—it’s a question of what’s right for you.

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