Angela Ploetz

Certified Professional

Freedom Filer Certified

Clear and Simple Certified®

President of the NAPO-Austin Chapter


My goal is to help people create a space that supports them, mentally, physically, and aesthetically. When you are free from the chaos you have the capacity to create more of what you want.

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Are You Too Organized?

by Angela On June 15, 2010

Did you know that it is possible to be too organized?  Yes, there are people who try so hard to be organized that they are actually over-organizing.  When you create too many categories,  sub categories, or steps for anything you may feel like you are really creating an extremely organized and specific system.  But in reality it may cause confusion and it may take longer to find something. 

I often tell my clients the easier we can make something the more likely you will be to actually do it.  Here’s an example: if you have a set of blocks in your child’s playroom high up in a closet and there is a basket of action figures on top of it, what is the likelihood that the set of blocks will actually be played with?  The chances are pretty slim, but let’s just say your child spots the blocks and asks you to get them down for him or her.  Fast forward to clean up time and you guessed it, your child can’t reach up high so it is again your responsibility to put the blocks away.  Remember in order to put the blocks away you have to reach up high, pick up the basket of action figures, put the blocks on the shelf, and then put the basket of action figures back on top of the blocks.  Whew!  I get tired just thinking about it!  That is a great example of a system with too many steps.  

The same can be said for files; people often create categories and subcategories and then don’t file things because it takes too many steps.  Or they made the filing system so complicated with so many categories and sub-categories that they can’t find things.  They then waste time searching for things in a meticulously coded system of micro-organization.  Time is being wasted rather than saved. 

When it comes to being organized simple is often best.  Do not make things too complex especially if you are not the only person who will be using the space or the system.  When things are too difficult we often just end up with piles of stuff.  It needs to be simple to do, simple to explain, and simple to understand. 

Here’s to keeping it simple.


Copyright (C) 2010 Angela Ploetz, POSH Space

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3 Responses to “Are You Too Organized?”

  1. Chris Heidel says:

    I may be guilty of this, LOL. I must have over 400 file folders, but I can usually find what I am looking for. When I don’t know where to put something, I just make a file for it so that it’s out of my hands. This saves time because I don’t sit there trying to decide what more general folder to put it in, but can waste time if I go looking for the article I pulled on “shopping for olive oil” in the “grocery” folder, only to realize I had made an “olive oil” folder.

    • Angela says:

      Thanks for the comment Chris. With most systems you will run across those kinds of situations. Usually I tell people to “what’s the first thing you think about?” and file the paper there.

  2. Lita Daniel says:

    Great article. You hit the nail on the head. Simplicity is the key.

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