I admit it. I've always been a tad judgmental of people who just do enough to get by. As a first-born (and a Virgo) I guess I'm wired to push for perfection and that sometimes means going above and beyond what's necessary. (My husband is laughing right now, I just know it...) In relation to work ethic, I've always considered going above and beyond a good trait. However, when it comes to organizing, not so much.
When you finally do catch the organizing bug, it can be hard to know when to stop. Remember that time you just wanted to clean out one drawer and suddenly every kitchen cabinet was emptied out on the floor and you were stuck there all day trying to put it back together? Yeah like that. We can all get on an organizing roll because it feels so good to clean things out, declutter and put order to your stuff. However, beware of one of the big organizing mistakes people make: Over-organizing.
This is one instance when it's absolutely appropriate -- and even desirable -- to do just the minimum. Whatever you're organizing, don't overdo it. For example, when I'm working with a family, we typically collect what I call Vital Documents into a single folder for the entire family. This includes birth certificates, Social Security Cards, copies of driver's licenses, marriage licenses and such. Some folks would have a folder for each person, labeled and named. I say WHY make it that specific?
Why create several folders to hold so few documents, especially given how infrequently that kind of information is accessed? Make ONE folder, call it FAMILY VITAL DOCS, throw them all in there and sift through it when you need something.
If you apply this "only do as much as necessary" philosophy to all your organizing projects, you'll find your systems are easier and less cumbersome to maintain. Stay tuned for next week's installment of Organizing Mistakes.