Are You Organized or Overboard?

coffee, cup, designerA new year can bring a need to declutter and start fresh. While it’s great to get rid of what you don’t want and reorganize things, it’s possible to go a little overboard.

Learn why you’re organizing: for accessibility or aesthetic? Choose a simple system that will be easy to follow for you and your family. If your organizational system is causing you to spend more time keeping things in place, then that’s not organizing – that’s obsessive.

Here’s how to keep organizing on the right track:

The Pantry

Organize – Group similar food items together. Store breakfast foods, baking supplies, and snacks together so you’ll be able to grab them quicker. Sorting canned goods into fruits and veggies is also recommended.

Obsessive – Alphabetizing your products is over the top. Putting everything in a jar can also cross a line, and color coding items in your pantry.

The Closet

Organize – Organizing your closet can be a hassle. Professionals counsel clients to buy one type of hanger to save space and make it look neater. Toss the department store hangers and dry cleaner one and pick a hanger with the same shape (slim, chunky velvet).

Obsessive ­– Using the same hanger in every closet in the house can be taking organizing to the extreme. It can be a lot to maintain. Also, stop trying to coordinate colors like pants on one color hanger and shirts on another.


Organize – Organize your clothes can usually be where friends will coin you as obsessive. Sorting by color or sleeve/pant length is appropriate. Even organizing your sweaters and dresses to face the same direction is fine!

Obsessive – Here’s where the problem arises: organizing your clothes by color/brand and subdividing them by activity (or vice versa) will create hours of organizing after laundry day.


Organize – If you’re a reader and like to set your books in alphabetical order or genre, that’s not a bad thing. If you just want it to look pretty, try by book cover. These are both normal tactics.

Obsessive ­­– Trying to make designs with your books like ombre or rainbow, or stacking them by size, can be tough to maintain. Covering your books with coordinating paper colors is going too far.

Office Files

Organize – Files don’t need to look pretty. Choose an order that speaks to you. Use folders and write names on them to sort bills, or try alphabetically, by month, or specific groups.

Obsessive – Having a sorting file for every piece of paper is excessive. Get rid of statements that are over a year old and don’t keep notices about changes in your garbage schedule.

For even more ways to keep from obsessing over your organizing tactics, visit for more advice!

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