Reflecting on the potential downsides of organizing

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Today I’d like to start the week off by doing a little reflecting. As I write regularly about all the ins and outs of organizing space, time, and money, it’s easy for me to neglect the bigger picture sometimes. Yesterday morning in church our pastor was speaking on the topic of not wasting your time. My first thought was, “Yes, I’m all about that…you should check out my blog!” But then he began giving an illustration of the kind of person we don’t want to strive to be: one who has everything organized, everything clean, everything planned, etc., but ultimately doesn’t have their priorities in the right place. While the benefits of being organized are many, it’s important not to let the act of organizing defeat the purpose. Below I’ve identified three potential downsides of organizing that we should all be careful to avoid.

Don’t organize just for the sake of organizing
I love organizing. Sometimes I just feel good when I organize something. But we have to be careful not to get carried away. Always consider the greater purpose with everything you organize. Is there a good reason to do what you are doing? For example, are you saving time? Are you saving money? Are you increasing the efficiency or convenience of a task? Keep these things at the forefront of your mind so you don’t lose sight of the purpose of having an organized lifestyle.

Be careful not to use organizing as an excuse
Are you looking to organize your closet because in reality you have too many clothes? Are you unable to put money away for the future because you are spending too much now (even if you are getting deals)? Try not to use organizing as an excuse (i.e. telling yourself it’s okay to have excessive stuff as long as you just organize it well). Instead you should try to use organizing as a tool to assess your weaknesses and see how you can change your habits.

Keep your priorities in order
This is the most important of the three points and also what my pastor was really getting at in his message. Are you so consumed with organizing all your material possessions that you’ve lost sight of what is really important in life? My pastor spoke of using your time wisely and trying to only spend time on things that ultimately have eternal significance—in other words, things that matter. You can be as organized, neat, clean, and planned out as you want, but if you don’t have your priorities in order, then you are missing the point of life and are sadly wasting your time.

Reader Reflection
I don’t want to today’s post to be a downer for anyone…in fact quite the opposite. I’d love these points to help you look at the bigger picture and think about things that matter for a moment. Today I encourage you to do a little reflecting so that we’re ready tomorrow to get back to organizing–but this time, with the right attitude and purpose.

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