Whether you are deep into an organizing project or you’re just getting started, it’s not always easy to figure out how organized you should get. Yes, it is possible to get too organized! In other words, you can spend more time getting organized than you will reaping the benefits of the organization.

In a world full of Pinterest pictures, it’s easy to feel like you need a picture-perfect, magazine-worthy organization system in order to be organized. I mean, do your canned goods really need to be in alphabetical order? In reality, putting your cans in a-b-c order may not be the most practical way to organize them. Remember, organization is about how a space functions, not how it looks.

We all have collections of tiny things in our homes. It could be office supplies (paper clips, thumb tacks, staples…), sewing supplies (thread, needles, pins…) or art supplies (paint brushes, rubber stamps, paper…), and they need a home that’s beneficial for you.

So, how far do you go when you’re organizing these types of items? You could have a bin labeled “Art Supplies” where everything goes, or on the other end of the spectrum, you could have several containers with compartments that organize the items by color or by project.

Which method is better? It all depends on you and your needs.

For example, consider someone who pulls out art supplies maybe once a year just for fun vs. someone who is a professional artist or has an Etsy shop.

In the first example, it might be enough to just have a bin where all of the art supplies live. In the second example, it would probably be more beneficial to have all of the supplies sorted and easily accessible.

Another thing to consider is how much time it will take to organize the items in question, and then what the pay-off will be for doing all of the sorting. It is easy to let perfectionism get in the way of practicality.

If you only pull out your art supplies once each year, and it would take you 10 hours to sort and organize everything, it might not be worth the time investment. But if putting 10 hours of time into organizing would actually save you time every day with the art supplies and possibly save you money with inventory for an Etsy shop, that’s an entirely different thing to consider.

Let’s say you’re not into art supplies. Other items you might consider organizing are:

  • Tools, hardware, screws
  • Beads, sequins, buttons
  • Cookie cutters, sprinkles, molds
  • Nail polish, pedicure supplies, cotton balls and swabs
  • Doll clothes, figurines, Legos

Legos, building blocks or similar toys are a tempting item to organize by size or color. However, it’s important to think about if your child (or whomever will be using the toys) is going to maintain it.

If you spend several hours sorting thousands of Legos into containers by color, a five-year-old will likely undo that organization in five minutes and it will have to be done all over again. This is where managing expectations is very important, and it’s okay to just put all of the Legos in a single bin. But if your child enjoys sorting and appreciates organization, micro-organizing the Legos may be the right thing to do.

Remember that there is no right or wrong to organize. It is about finding what works for you. What will you maintain? What will help you find the items when you need them?

Your organization needs will likely evolve over time, too. What kinds of things are you organizing in your home? Are you a single bin type of person or do you like to micro-organize items?

If you have specific questions about this, I’d love to address them. Please leave a comment or send me an email at: alyssa@myemend.com.