To understand what it takes to stay organized, it might be helpful to change the spelling of the word itself. The word “go” needs to be at the heart “organized.” To be truly organized, you need to be or-GO-nized.
I know the definition of organizing, but I haven’t found a satisfying word origin. 1375-1425, late Middle English from the Medieval Latin organizare– to contrive, arrange— is not doing it for me.
I can’t help but wonder if organizing comes from the root organ, as in human organs. Think about it. Each human organ is a system unto itself, which has to work systematically in harmony with other organs. Organs are dedicated zones. If one organ fails, it affects the other organs.
I see organizing systems fall apart when well-sorted storage is seen as the end goal. It’s like being satisfied that the heart, brain, and kidneys all FIT, without worrying whether or not the blood is circulating.
As I’ve often said, circulation prevents accumulation. Stuff needs to flow reliably from one stage to the next. There needs to be a plan for movement.
Of course, storage is necessary, but think GO, not STOW.
Does your utility closet look like a Rubik’s cube of tightly packed boxes? This may seem neat and organized, but if you have to shift a series of unwanted boxes every time you want to access your desired box, then your closet is not organized for movement. Some items need to go, so that you can GO get what you want, when you want it.
Maybe you’ve got a dedicated zone of holiday decorations in your attic. Great, but if there are no open paths to access what you’ve got, then the only place you feel inspired to GO to is Home Goods, to buy more decorations.
If your to-do’s are hidden in a pile or even a file drawer, you will be less compelled to GO to them, than if they are standing up in front of you, vertical, visible, and minimal.
If you don’t have systems that inspire movement, it is very tough to stay organized. You need all systems GO!