Published On: February 18th, 2013|Categories: Home page, Systems|

The Secret to Why You Still Can’t Stay Organized

Being organized requires a balance of three limited resources.  The first two are time and space.  Much has been written about how to work within the limits of time and space, but there is a third resource that attracts less attention.  That resource is energy.

It is possible to clear your space, organize your time, and establish sensible systems for both and still not be able to stay organized, because you lack the energy to maintain those systems.

Just as everyone has only 24 hours in a day and a limited number of square feet in one’s home, so to does everyone have their own energy limits.  Oh, I know there are various “energy boosters” and healthy lifestyle choices that can help your energy levels, but I’m talking specifically about your organizing energy level.

Everybody’s got a different level for organizing energy and any organizing system that exceeds that limit, is dead in the water.  There is definitely such a thing as over-organizing.  Over-organizing is when you spend too much of your organizing energy on things that are relatively unimportant.  Here are some examples.


Reserve your organizing energy for decision-making and sorting, not shredding.  Anybody can shred.  Only you can make decisions about your stuff.

Owner’s Manuals

Owner’s  Manuals fall under the stage of sleeping files.  You are keeping them just in case, so don’t waste your organizing energy on getting them into an elaborate organizing system.  Spend it on your more current files you need to find reliably or, better yet, the files you need to make a point of acting on.


If scrapbooking is your passion and you have the time and energy for it, great!  All too often, however, I see individuals who take on the undue pressure of specially documenting every moment in their lives. That pressure is just too much with their busy lifestyles. Those special moments that can’t be captured perfectly, don’t get captured at all. Then the feelings of guilt and inadequacy set in. Who needs that? Settle for a much simpler record and focus your energies on enjoying your family’s moments, as they are happening.

Of course, if you derive energy from organizing everything in your home, then don’t let me stop you.  For most of us, however, we just don’t have the energy.  When I say “we,” I mean it.  There are many organizing opportunities in my home I let slide, because I just don’t have the energy. The more you can say “no” to the less important, the easier it is to say “yes” to what’s most important.

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